「星空」 (Hoshizora)
“Starlit Sky”

If there’s one thing that a fair amount of people believe in, it’s the notion of superstition and the presence of things that could end up being jinxes in one way or another. It’s easy to dismiss them off hand as “silly”—there’s usually nothing logical linking them with anything concrete—but you just never know. Because the fact is, when you’re dealing with inexplicable beings such as the Guana, it makes sense that you’d want to rely on something equally inexplicable (but more tangible) to settle the nerves, and you just never know when that extra bit of interaction or mental edge will save your life. That said though, some superstitions do end up grounded in reality in some way, and the supposed jinx about “things not turning out well if you clasp with a fellow pilot you never interacted with” could actually be one of those, as one could argue Yamano was distracted to some degree by her desire to distance herself from Tanikaze.

Granted, it’s a stretch, but it’s just those little details that could determine life/death in situations like this. Either way, the whole bit here with Yamano meeting her demise—the first of many I suspect—was just superbly done, and there’s a lot to be said about the events it leads into. Not only did it set the foundation for a cameo into her past and the effort she put into becoming a pilot, it also set up nicely for the traumatic transformation the Guana undergoes upon consuming Yamano, and there’s a clear psychological element to this tactic that makes for quite a watch. Tanikaze in particular ends up feeling the effects of this in the days to come, and it seems like there’s going to be a lot of suffering before all is said and done. And that’s without even mentioning the suffering our MC has already endured, the fact he literally died for a moment before reviving, or the fact that there could very well be a Yamano clone somewhere out there for him to run into again in the future. Oh, and did I mention the obvious mental suffering Kunato’s got to be going through after both losing the chance to pilot the Tsugumori and being ignored by the Elite Four? Phew*

It’s clear the source material has a lot going for it in terms of quality content and story telling from just the basic setting and characters, and it only helps that the Sci-Fi elements are also quite top notch. For one, Sidonia no Kishi’s does a superb job in how it presents the various terms and historical events that come with series of the genre. There isn’t really anything that comes close to being an info-dump here—or at least, there’s nothing particularly confusing about the information being given—and it’s just nice to see that they’re avoiding a lot of the pitfalls that come with series from this genre. Best of all, many of these elements are realistic in terms of how they’re implemented and/or why they’re being implemented—for instance, they lost food processing capabilities, so they used genetic engineering to obtain a different way to acquire food via photosynthesis—and it’s a solid story all around. I must say though, only needing to eat one meal a week? I’d love to be able to do that.

Ultimately, one could really go all day into how much the series offers both via the surface developments we see and the concepts that it touches upon. But seeing how there’s at least another 10 episodes from which to go into them, I’ll just stick to saying that it’s nice to see that director Shizuno Koubun seems to know exactly what he’s doing. There were a few obvious changes in the sequence of a few events that happened so far, and it’s nice to see that they’re decisions that paid off in terms of how it allowed him to focus the first episode on Tanikaze and the setting, and the second episode on Yamano and things that came from that first encounter.

Looking forward, the Guana we saw this week’s coming back for more, and the fact that two Guana passing the defense line almost destroyed Sidonia means that there’s a hell of a lot of trouble incoming. Let’s just hope the Elite Four are up to the task or else this epic space opera could turn into a space slaughter real quickly.

Some Random Tidbits:

  • Those catheters… “it inserts itself on its own, so don’t pull it out if you don’t want to lose anything.” Welp. Love how they actually addressed the bathroom bit here.
  • How about that literal, heavy mass cannon?
  • When doing safety checks, always watch where you’re going, or you’re gonna get your ass kicked.
  • That old man might be in denial about the reappearance of the Guana, but there’s no denying there’s clearly something going on behind the scenes. Not being able to talk about combat experiences with others? Hm…
  • Author’s Note: As with any series of this nature, please refrain from spoilers from the source material beyond this point. If you must, use spoiler tags and try to write a quick few words as to what kind of spoiler is within.




    1. let’s…DESTINNYYYY

      I’m really interested in where this is going, in terms of both plot and characters (both are deeper than most of the shows this season), but the cgi isn’t really helping. I might just end up picking up the manga once this is over. To that effect, I guess the anime has served it’s purpose.

      1. Possibly, though I thought the Dreams Negate (that’s his name right?) was having could have been also potential communication path, same thing happened in Ender’s Game, with the Alien racing communicating through dreams.

      2. I thought this as well. It instantly reminded me of Eureka 7’s Coralians or Gargantia’s Hideuze(sp?); they are not particularly starting aggression with humans because “they are evil” as the top brass would have you to believe, but have a purpose that humans intentionally interfere in, thus, earning their aggression.

    2. Looks like there was an improvement in animation this week (the fps went up) even though the facial expressions are still unfortunately static. Nevertheless this still remains a good bit of sci fi, especially with forgotten details such as bathroom functions and food delivery being given mention here. Also had a giggle at how both the Guana and some systems in the habitat are supposedly run on Higgs particles (bosons); makes the scientist in me cringe 😛

      As an aside I’m calling it now, the leadership of the habitat is either part-Guana or related to the Guana in some capacity.

      1. Standard Magical Power Source of The Day…Decades ago, it was Radioactivity and Atomic Power; Then Antimatter and Genetic Engineering…Now, Its Higgs Boson and NANOMACHINES SON!

      2. @cm_01

        You listed it the wrong way round.

        Radioactivity is technically atomic power. Genetic engineering is available now anyway. Nanomachines are soon to come. The Higgs is merely a sub-atomic particle which denotes teh attribute of ‘mass’. Antimatter is currently still hotly debated.

        1. Doesn’t matter for Sci-Fi authors and scripwriters…All they care is that sounds cool. You missed my point completely.

          For Example, Frankenstein monster was powered by lightning, since in Mary Shelley’s time, Galvanism was in the craze across European scientific communities.
          Bruce Banner turned into The Hulk by Gamma Ray because the story was first written during the Atomic Age. As simple as that. The source of power indicates when a Sci-Fi story is written.

        2. The only debate surrounding antimatter is its feasibility. Positrons have been detected along with both antiprotons and antineutrons. As well antihydrogen, antihelium, and antideuterium have all been successfully formed. The difficulty is maintaining it once its created though and controlling the rate at which it reacts with matter. Needless to say it works in sci-fi as an energy source.

          It’s why the mention of (or allusion to) the Higgs boson is strange because all this particle does is theoretically determine the mass of other particles. Have to agree with cm-01, likely done because the name sounds cool (although the God particle sounds even better :P)

        3. Dark matter is still debated, anti-matter isn’t. Anti-matter is a science fact.

          Positron (anti-electron) is produced when a proton decade into a neutron. It is routinely used in hospitals around the world. Positron emission tomography (PET) is one of the most common medical scan after X-ray, Ultrasound, and MRI. The heavier anti-proton and anti-hydrogen has been produced in accelerators for years.

          Sidonia has not describe how they actually use Higgs, but it’s basically Sidonia’s Minovsky particles. The author probably chose it because it sounded cool. It’d be more interesting if he played with the idea of Higgs, mass and gravity. Mass manipulation can be very interesting (like Mass Effect).

    3. Damn that was an epic fight scene if I ever saw one, reminds me a little bit of RWBY (even though it’s not an Anime, it is run in similar cgi graphics). But this show has been epic in terms of visuals and scope that I can’t remember anything like this in recent memory. The Architecture is huge in size, yet all scratchy and sort of used to a certain extent, you get the feel that this is not the gleaming future but something along the line of Blade Runner or Outlaw Star. And the story telling is just great, I mean given the pitfalls of Scifi (as some one has read and tried to write sci fi) this has the halmarks of being a well excuted plot. And one shouldn’t forget the character either, though I will admit they are a bit flat, or not as interesting since it seems like the focus is more on the environment and plot than the characters. Of course I could be mistaken of course.

      But besides that I’m really excited for this show, and I hope it’s as good as everyone is telling me it is.

        1. Just once I’d like a Harder Than Diamond (trope) or Indestructible Stoic hero/protagonist. The tsundere might stop if a girl broke the bones of her hand every time she tried to slap or punch the main character. Instead of the main (harem) character being a punching bag.

      1. Same problem with a lot of Nihei’s stuff. Distinguishing by hair style/colour is the easiest. And spare a thought for manga readers, we don’t even have the luxury of colour most of the time.

        1. Well, it looks like inside the Ship in the Life Section is a artificial Sun. The colors are different, then our original Sun. That can explain this “colors” all around.

      1. I’m not sure its mass cloning. In a hundred years of peace my impression is that the population has been allowed to reproduce normally. Cloning can boost population size but it’s not a safe method of ensuring genetic diversity which is more important in the long run.

        1. Hmmm. I dunno, I feel like there was definitely some kind of mass cloning done at some point, considering the situation they’ve had to deal with and the amount of clones we’ve seen of some of the characters.

          It’s definitely not quite great for genetic diversity normally, but if you’re at a level where you can do a lot of genetic engineering, this might actually not be a problem for them. Artificially generating diversity becomes a possibility if you get advanced enough.

        2. There is definitely cloning going on though. There are two character types (represented by short black hair and long pink hair) present to large degrees among the population from what we’ve seen so far.

          Considering the current situation the cloning was likely done to artificially boost the population numbers (preventing an even more deadly population bottleneck by maximizing the individual’s chances of reproductive success) and create a defensive force large enough to properly defend the habitat. After all note how many of the Guardian pilot trainees are these clones and how Yamano felt incredibly proud and lucky to be selected for it. Not to mention at least one of these clone types is hermaphroditic.

        3. @ Zephyr and Pancakes

          It would be a good idea to differentiate between cloning (basically copying humans 1 to 1) and genetic manipulation (artificially tweaking genes to create better humans).

          So far in the manga and the anime it is clear that there has been large scale genetic manipulation but it has not been revealed the extent of the cloning after the disaster of 100 years ago. The only secondary characters that are confirmed clones at this stage (ep2 of the anime) are the Honoka sisters.

          As for the hair colour argument, Sidonia is said to be a Japanese colony ship, so black hair should be an indication of an Asian crew base, not that everyone is a clone. As for the odd hair, Yuhata’s green, Honoka’s pink and Kunato’s white. Well, its anime, they have blond, pink, green, purple haired character who are Japanese all the time in anime. It shouldn’t be taken as a sign of cloning.

          Both Yamano and Izana have parents and grandparents. Both are enhanced but neither are clones.

          Finally, it seems odd that there is so much speculation on cloning based on scant details but almost no speculation on how Tanikaze almost died of a spinal injury and came back in full fighting form.
          The anime is definitely hinting at things, but its not just carbon copy humans.

          1. So far in the manga and the anime it is clear that there has been large scale genetic manipulation but it has not been revealed the extent of the cloning after the disaster of 100 years ago. The only secondary characters that are confirmed clones at this stage (ep2 of the anime) are the Honoka sisters.

            I don’t remember how many regular crewmembers Sidonia has right now (though I’m certain Nihei must’ve slipped it somewhere), but the manga does tell just how grievous the near-extinction situation (the one that prompted mass cloning) was.Show Spoiler ▼

            1. Thanks for that.

              The current speculation here seems to be that it is still taking place. And we need to agree on a definition of “clone”. To me a clone is a individual who is genetically identical to the “parent” eg. the Honoka’s (although their personalities differ).

              Since cloning is an evolutionary dead-end I put it to you that the first generation after the disaster were genetically enhanced and artificially grown but deliberately altered (and maybe randomized) to give the greatest genetic variation possible, something not possible if they just directly copied the few survivors.

              I read in a paper on endagered animals that a minimum of 5000 individuals are required for any species to maintain healthy genetic variation.Show Spoiler ▼

            2. My Guess why they use or used Cloning…

              Some big must had happed in the Past, where they lose many Life’s. So normal birthrate is to slow to regenerate the loss, and so they used Cloning to fill the gap faster.

            3. Healthy genetic variation is only an issue for sexual reproduction and living in an environment with changing diseases. Since they are already able to clone people and introduce incredible mutations, sexual reproduction is not as important as before. As for the diseases, they live in a spaceship. It’s going to become a problem if they arrive to a planet with life, but so far it doesn’t seem to be part of their immediate plans.

            4. On one hand I accept your point. However, wouldn’t it be better to already have a healthy gene pool than to be forced to artificially create variations after most of the population is dead. It has happened before and I can’t imagine the ship’s council thinking “it was a one off, couldn’t possibly happen again, we’ll be fine”.

              Another thought was that the best case is if all the crew have their dna on record. But some events indicate that this wasn’t happening yet (or at least not to everyone).

            5. Perhaps many Females died because of a disease. Or this Clones are superior in their DNA or Skills. i dunno. I just remember of some ST:TNG Episode, where they had contact with Humans living in a Big Asteroid that used Cloning to spread out. But someday their Gene pool was so poor, that they where dying, if they dont get fresh DNA

            6. Way I see it after the Siege 100 years ago Sidonia suffers for a severe population shortage and were willing to do everything in their disposal to return to original population. Clones and third gender were all desperation moves rather than anything meticulously planned.

        4. Honoka sisters are clones, but you only need to recognize Ren and En.
          Show Spoiler ▼

    4. Anyone found it strange that the Captain dressed as a nurse for Tanikaze? I REALLY want to know the connection between them(no, don’t spoil me =02)! I thought that they might have been mother and son, but perhaps they could even have been lovers somehow.

        1. Take it however you want. But just making a phone call saying “It’s me” and having the guy in black suit coming immediately. And on top of that ordering him to erase all of Nagate’s medical data (btw one of the fansub groups got that line wrong).

      1. …And could a mere Mass-Cloned Nurse order Ochiai, the Men in Black, around?

        No, no…Seems like she have a lot of secret identities to mingle with the crew and people unnoticed…nobody except ones of the Inner Circle know her face anyway…

      2. Show Spoiler ▼

    5. I don’t know, I think we are onto legendary stuff here. The atmosphere, the characters, the schemes that are surely going on behind and scenes and we still don’t know, the Gauna, the incredible OP.. They remind me of Shingeki no Kyojin. It reminds me of SNK in the sense of giving me the same chills as that show last year, where I knew from the very first episode that we were onto something special. My only complain is that Sidonia is scheduled to be only 12 episodes.. 🙁

        1. or this Anime here, is heavy influence from the War in Gargantia. We only saw a glimpse at the beginning of the War, the rest of Gargantia was isolated of 1 Pilot and his Mecha on Earth

        2. Well, I can see your point with Gargantia; it did came to my mind as well. However, I was talking more about how similar Sidonia made me feel with Shingeki when it started and not so much about the plot line.

        3. I have that feeling too that the Guana are similar to the Hideauze, especially since these humans are now able to use photosynthesis and the Guana have plant-like features. hmm, maybe that 100 year old disaster was just that, where their attempts to splice photosynthesis went wrong.

          a box like Hippo
        1. Well, if it is financially successful, it can easily get a second season. However, I always prefer a 2-cour show than 2x 12-episode seasons as it can make a show more coherent and because I don’t usually have to wait year/years for the second season to arrive! On the other hand, if it does get a second season relatively quick (see Log Horizon) then I won’t mind too much… 😛

      1. I had the same feeling, but with a twist. I began reading Sidonia no Kishi before Attack on Titan, so instead of this being Attack on Titan IN SPACE!, it’s the other way around for me.

        Whatever the case, it seems that both the anime crews of Attack on Titan and Knights of Sidonia know what they are doing. The changes they have done so far to the original material serve to deliver the story better, not to impose on the original story.

    6. There is a Yamano clone right away. Do not this Girl on the last Screenshot not reassemble her except the mole? Same Haircut. Okay, here she is more Open then Yamano. The Anime was fast in introducing a Yamano clone to our MC. Perhaps to reduce the Trauma?

        1. It is for you hearing “clone” a insult? i am sorry. Seems like you know more then me. I just saw these (how many twins sisters?) and the Ship Sidona is so Big, i imagine they used Cloning to recover from Battles. Just look on the surface of the Ship. I dont think that this is all Meteoroids impact holes…

          If my Clone point is false, then i apology

    7. I am very much enjoying this series as well as being amused by all those guesses so far.

      BTW, who’s thoughts went down the gutter during the start of this episode? (very curious)

    8. I think this speculation on cloning needs to be nipped in the bud. 100 years ago there was a disaster on Sidonia. Genetic manipulation was used to boost the population initially. After that the general population was allowed to procreate normally.

      Isana and the other “middle gender” people were a development to increase the chances of the population to reproduce naturally. So far in the current list of secondary characters only the Honoka sisters are artificially raised clones.

      1. So far in the current list of secondary characters only the Honoka sisters are artificially raised clones.

        So far. That you know of.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    9. So, if only “Kabizashi spears” can take out a Gauna… why didn’t they shoot a payload of spears at it instead? Maybe one would pierce it, or the pilots could pick them up and do the rest.

      1. There is a limited amount of Kabizashis available and those would only be given to full-fledged Guardians, not trainees sent to do menial tasks.

        However, remember that Gaunas have not been seen for more than a hundred years, so those dedicated Gauna-killing weapons have been in storage for that amount of time.

    10. The Human Animations went Up, thats good. But dont forget to let them Blink with there Eyes. Even if the are briefing in front of a Officer.

      You can then cut other non-human movements short. But Human faces should get full FPS Power

    11. Why has no one mentioned of the stink and deodorant bullying? Because our main character is someone who stinks and it actually sucks in an embarrassing way.

      I do hope he uses deodorant soon.

      1. It probably has less to do with Tanikaze smelling and more to do with standard school hazing. Every other student can photosynthesize so Tanikaze’s dependence on food marks him as an outsider and outsiders get bullied.

        Also he is seen as being a “less advanced” human so discrimination against people perceived as inferior or primitive plays a part.

        Spoiler concerning Tanikaze biological characteristics:
        Show Spoiler ▼

    12. Aww.. the Spoilers are begin to take my “Curiosity” away of this Anime. Please even if you hide them under the Spoiler tags, and i dont blame you for doing it right. I still cannot hold back to click on them, and take away the fun…

    13. I’m liking this anime, despite the Evangelion and Against the Titans vibes I’m getting.

      But the military ordering the cadets to silence over the return of the human-eating aliens? Any time you withhold communication or evidence, you create a Secret Society-State, which is why the The End of the World old man can say “there is no war” when there is one. Or pilots/cadets can continue the hazing even after a decisive battle.

      1. I’m liking this anime, despite the Evangelion and Against the Titans vibes I’m getting.

        – Pretty much most mecha anime with a post-apocalyptic world, giant alien monsters and organizations dedicated to destroying the said thread will remind you of Evangelion, in one way or another (the brain is trained to pick up familiar patterns, even where there are none). I’m not really feeling the connection myself, though.

        – Sidonia actually predates Shingeki no Kyojin. SnK’s first chapter was printed in April 2009, while SnK’s was later that year in September. SnK’s author, IIRC, found the better bulk of his inspiration in the Muv-Luv Alternative universe…although, from what I hear on Animesuki, Hajime Isayama also happens to be a fan of Tsutomu Nihei’s works.

        As for the Secret Society-state…well,Show Spoiler ▼

        1. Crap. I should reread myself before clicking the submit button.

          “Sidonia no Kishi’s first chapter was printed in April 2009, while Shingeki no Kyojin’s was later that year in September”.

          Should have noticed both series had the same initials.

      2. And revealing info about the recent Gauna encounter and that if they eat & absorb someone they turn into giant versions of them. I can bet some End of the World old dude or conspiracy theorist would rally protest to stop the fight and justify that they “can look like us”, maybe go as far as sabotage which would lead to another disaster like they said 100 years ago when two gaunas penetrating their defenses almost wiped Sidonia.

        Also Nagate suffered from PTSD after witnessing the Eiko looking Gauna up close. Nagate was kinda the “ace” and been training for it by his gramps all his life underground. Imagine the number of desertions among the trainees if they learned what happened there?

    14. I try to write down why i like this Show:

      a) The CGI Art. It gives me a Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell Vibes and a touch of OVA

      b) These First Person POV Camera scenes. It deeps the feeling, as if you are sitting in this Cockpits

      c) The Mystery, about him. And why he stayed underground for that long

      d) Pilot 291 will become his Nakama. Thats for sure

      f) The Rivalry under the current Pros, that an unknown newbie steals his Spotlight
      1) 001
      2) 290

      It show us, even in the distant Future. With Clones and so, the Emotions are still Human

      g) Even if the OP Song is for my to much Patriotisms. It has a Good “Beat”. Someone know if there is a MP3 of the full Song? The speed playing got me. Oh an the Video Sync play in the OP got me hooked. i build some AMV’s

      h) At some of these Sci-Fi things here, seems realistic. Big Mass Cannon, Skin Suits and so on

      I hope i was successful writing here some points, why i like this from the Start

      Summa Sumarum:
      I was waiting for a Good Sci-Fi, and looks like my Prayers where heard

        1. Manga is up to chapter 60, Nihei is still drawing the manga on the usual schedule.

          W.P was talking about the scanlated manga stopped on ch. 50 because nobody was translating it.

          Two unrelated things.

    15. Episode 2 was nicely done, and after reading nearly every single of Niheii Tsutomu Sensei’s works, i can’t help but think about Toha/Toa Heavy Industry’s reference in all of his works. Did he purposely do that, or were there any direct relations to Sidonia? I realized that Toha was never mentioned in Abara though (sorry if i’m mistaken) although it was mention explicitly (is that the right word?) in BLAME!, BIOMEGA and Sidonia. Anyway, the bear reminds me of Kozlov from BIOMEGA. Not so unrelated to Sidonia, the Gauna on the other hand, reminds me of Bydo from R-Type series; nearly impossible to be eradicated. Maybe Nihei Sensei got the idea for his work from that game, who knows? Does it implies the impossibility of destroying something that is completely alien and unknown to us? (the Bydo though, was not completely alien to Humans in R-Type final. Play the game if you want to know).

    16. Hmmm…. after re-watching it several times, the Gauna appears to be less intimidating, less terrifying, less horrendous and even less scary as opposed to the manga… Now i know n understand why some fans cringed and hated at the idea of 3D CGI animation used for Sidonia…

    17. I get the feeling the Guana maybe human experimentation gone wrong with photosynthesis, they certainly have a plant-like look. Their design is pretty good, as it has a slightly grotesque and creepy look, especially in that dream sequence. I def want to see more of them!

      a box like Hippo
    18. Ep 03:
      Nothing there that surprised me. But to avoid here Spoilers, i wait until it’s live

      And.. Give them some Eye blink time.. but okay, i should not think about to much on the small things…


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