In the realm of human nature, there are few things that are certain. You could probably spend multiple life times arguing about what it means to be human and not agree, and it’s just a representation of both the tangible and intangible elements we possess. Inevitably though, there are things even the most stalwart of radicals could agree on, and some of those things are the notion of death and the impact it has on us, as well as the notion of time and the fact that things can change in the blink of an eye. In this way, humanity (and life in general) is a kind of fickle thing, and this episode of Sidonia really highlights this notion.
In the span of just one episode, Tanikaze goes from hero to zero, and it’s a meteoric rise followed by an equally swift fall from grace. It all goes to show how quickly things can change when it comes to the opinions we can have of one another—especially when there’s a death involved—and really, you just can’t help but feel for Tanikaze. One moment he’s on top of the world, and the next moment he’s stuck in a hospital with his “friends” glaring at him and the revelation—from a TV report no less—that he might’ve played a big part in the death of someone he obviously cared for. Needless to say, it’s an extreme example of how fickle life can be, and it’s doubtless that things won’t get any easier from here.
With that in mind, there’s a growing sense of darkness coming from the Sidonia itself, and there’s a lot that could be said about the elements running it from the shadows. To some degree, the anti-military demonstrators are definitely on to something—after all, even the wildest stories typically have some real-life basis—and it could very well turn out that some of the leadership may actually not care for anything aside from prolonging their own lives. Combine that with the Captain seemingly having some plans of her own, the threat of a full blown riot in the Sidonia, and the feeling that Kunato was probably involved in Hoshijiro’s death (and Tanikaze’s “failure” by extension), and there’s a lot that can be said about how the greatest threat to humanity may not even be the external threat posed by the Gauna.
Ultimately though, even that’s just another representation of how fickle human nature is. You’d think with the end of humanity at hand, everyone would be able to put aside their petty differences and fight as one, but the fact is that it’s rarely ever that simple—I’m not saying that can’t ever happen given the right circumstances, just that it’s quite slim chance wise—and I really wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being the case on the Sidonia. That said, if Kunato really was involved… phew* That’s one easy way to make my “most hated characters”/”deserve to die a brutal death” lists.
Overall, it must be said that this episode was just another in a long line of superbly executed ones. It feels like they’ve definitely cut things out or moved some events in sequence to get it to fit the animation’s time/episode constraints, but it’s clear there’s a lot of greatness in the source material, and it’s something that shines through even if we may not be receiving the entire picture with this adaptation. Indeed, the fact that they didn’t actually show the fight with the hive-type Gauna is just one example of this, and there aren’t enough accolades I can give to the author (I’m assuming this was written this way originally, if not I applaud the director for changing this) for making this choice. It was something that really emphasized the sense of foreboding that came with Tanikaze’s whole “what the hell is going on” moment near the end, and the contrast it made with the first half of the episode really came together to produce a superb range of emotional reactions.
All things considered, there really is nothing else to say here. I’m really excited to see what else is in store for us here, and even though it’s initial run is likely to end with many questions still unanswered, there’s no question in my mind that Sidonia no Kishi’s easily one of the better shows of the year so far.
Until next week! Let us depart, my knights!
Author’s Note: As usual, please refrain from spoilers, especially if they’re not in response to a query of some sort. If you must, please remember to use spoiler tags.