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:
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.