And here we are. Two episodes from the end, we’ve got a recon mission gone terribly wrong, and a rescue attempt heading toward a similar conclusion. Izana might’ve done well to ensure the survival of her squad for the time being, but as with things in the Sidonia universe, what could go wrong usually does. We just didn’t know how bad it could get, and the return of Benisuzume highlights just how much is riding on this one fight—the lives of Sidonia’s top two pilots/weapons, the establishment of a base to combat the large hive cluster, and (indirectly) the entire Sidonia’s livelihood to boot.
There is a silver lining to it all however, and an alternative viewpoint is that things arguably can’t get any worse. Given the possibility that she could’ve shown up in the middle of combat with the large hive cluster instead, the fact that the recon and subsequent rescue discovers her first makes it a successful mission despite it being far from the original intention, and it’s a golden opportunity to finally take her down while simultaneously taking the battle data to modify their own weaponry (including the Hayakaze and the Tsugumori Mk. III).
That is, of course the optimistic view on things, and the question remains: how exactly would one go about defeating an enemy that nearly single-handedly demolished you the last time? The fact that she’s in a new, possibly more agile form makes the degree of difficulty that much harder, and it doesn’t help that she seems virtually impervious to even direct hits from Tsumugi. One would think that the new weapon that Kunato/Ochiai’s been constructing would come into play at this point, but judging from the way he’s reacted so far, it may not even be ready at this point. The fact that an early unveiling could jeopardize its usage in the hive cluster mission could loom large, and it’ll be quite something to see if Tanikaze + Tsumugi can find a way to turn things around. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take the death of one of major cast members to do it…