As you sit there and watch your daily dose of anime, you’re inevitably going to run into one of those “stranded on an island” episodes at some point. It’s akin to the obligatory swimsuit/hot springs episodes you tend to see a lot of, and in general, it’s something many series use as a foundation (an easy one at that) to give some added depth to their characters and/or the story line. After all, when you’re stuck on a deserted island with someone and no obvious way out, what else is there to do but talk as you wait for help? In this sense, Sidonia no Kishi doesn’t exactly stray away from this formula in terms of what it does, but there’s much to be said about how differently it’s executed here.
Granted, some of this may have to do with the notion that they’re literally adrift in space, but that doesn’t change the fact that this episode is the kind of “stranded/adrift” episode I want to see more of. Because when it’s all said and done, it was beautiful how they tied everything together, and they really get through a lot with this singular episode. Not only do we get the obligatory stuff (i.e. the romance and the photosynthesizing scenes), we get a lot of revelations about the Sidonia universe, and best of all, we get perhaps the most epic retrieval of stranded cast members I’ve ever seen. I mean, really? All 256 frames coming together in formation to rescue them against orders? That’s just INSANE.
To say the least, I had chills running down my back after that whole end sequence, and it really hammers in the kind of epic space opera Sidonia is. That said, it’s amazing how much there is here. As it turns out, the conflict with the Gauna spans over a thousand years, the Kabizashi’s were apparently recovered from an alien ship of some sort, the ship Captain and dorm head are still survivors from the initial expedition that got them those spears six centuries ago, and it’s just a laundry list of revelations that demonstrate the sheer scope of everything here. At the same time, it highlights how they’re able to give us much in terms of information yet leave us in the dark with even more questions, and it’s an impressive piece of storytelling that hooks you in and leaves you wanting more. Are the Gauna trying to communicate? Who created those spears? Where are those aliens now? How many Gauna are left out there? What is their purpose? How are members of the expeditionary team still alive? Talk about mysteries.
Indeed, I can say with confidence that there’s no way the manga sales won’t rise after this—it’s BD’s were in the top 10 in pre-orders recently as well—and the show’s definitely doing something right in the eyes of the general populace back in Japan as well. I guess it only figures though, because Sidonia gives you virtually everything that a good Sci-Fi should have: a grand tale, great execution, an interesting main character, and a prevalent usage of technology in some shape or form. The latter ends up showing up multiple times this week in particular—filtration systems, Hyggs collection membranes, photosynthesizing to reduce ration requirements, the use of 256 mechs to provide enough thrust to collect our main cast while ensuring they didn’t run out of Hyggs particles… the list goes on—and it’s interesting to note that we had already seen some of these in action before, and I should’ve expected that we’d see them applied to different scenarios this week.
Ultimately, it was a great episode through and through—despite there being no combat of which to speak of—and gosh darn, I still get goosebumps looking over some of the screenshots. Looking forward though, it looks like this week’s only a temporary reprieve from the Gauna and for one reason or another, I’m getting really, really bad vibes about how things may not work out between Hoshijiro and Tanikaze… Ugh.
Author’s Notes: As usual, please keep spoilers to a minimum and use the spoiler tags where necessary. If possible, please also try to keep your spoilers to only responses to questions people ask as well, as there were some spoilers posted in the past few weeks that really didn’t need to be put up.