After every great battle comes an aftermath filled with grim reminders. The treatment of the injured, the remembrance of those that didn’t make it, the realization of the fight still yet to come. For some, it’s an important time to rest and recover for the next fight—to take solace in being able to be with friends or family one more time. For others, it’s a time they’d rather not have, the battle preferable to the mental struggles and survivor’s guilt. Whichever boat you’re in, it’s never a great time dealing with the conclusion of such events—even if the battle ended in your favor—and this episode highlights almost everything about what the Sidonia crew are dealing with, especially after Tsumugi’s valiant solo-defensive show.
The thing is, the gloom and doom need not be the highlight in every situation like this, and there’s much to be discussed about how some light-hearted moments, a little bit of encouragement, and some distractions from the big picture are not only welcome, but necessary—both in the context of people fighting and series depicting them as well. If there’s one thing the series does well in particular, it’s the ability to split off serious moments with those of a more comedic nature, and there’s been no shortage of hilarious moments this second season. And while I don’t think any moment’ll beat the rice ball/door moment from a few weeks ago, it doesn’t change the fact that seeing Nagate get smashed in the face and choked half to death was pretty funny in and of itself—serving as a great setup to showcase the kind of person he is and the touching scene of Tsumugi getting a chance to “sneak out” and see actual people going about their daily lives.
More importantly though, the scenes highlight the rapid change in opinion in regards to Tsumugi in general, and it’s a rise that’s not unlike Nagate’s own rise from the title of “rice thief.” Then again, that’s just the kind of place the Sidonia is—one where opinions can change dramatically depending on your heroics in battle—and it’s great to see the parallels between Tsumugi and Nagate—even if the former will likely still have to deal with her physical body being too different to ever live with regular humans in the residential area.
Still, despite all the extra firepower and the recovery of both Tsumugi and Izana, it doesn’t change the fact that Yuhata believes the Sidonia has no chance against the large Hive Cluster. What this dictates is the inevitable reveal of yet more weaponry by Kobayashi, Ochiai, and Co., and it looks like that’ll be exactly what happens if the preview’s to be trusted. Looking forward, it looks like the fireworks are just beginning, and the timing couldn’t be better as we begin to reach the midpoint of the season. Here’s to more Tsumugi heroics and to the power of rice balls! Before that though… please tell me that they’ll show what happens when Nagate stays over at Izana’s house. Because that’s material for comedic gold if I’ll ever seen it…