Sidonia no Kishi: Episode 09

“Gaze”
“Manazashi” (眼差)

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Pretty steady and easy-going episode, but with a fair bit of mounting tensions politically, in Sidonia’s society, and in terms of danger from both within and outside of Sidonia. There was also an interesting little scene with Ochiai and Kobayashi, which was very intriguing, but still left me a tad bit confused as to the purpose. Still, a decent episode and a deceptively good breather for these unsuspecting citizens of Sidonia.

What we learn this episode: First and foremost, Sidonia has Dr. Shinatose Yure, yes, the same one who cloned Nagate, and Izana’s grandmother, for developing human photosynthesis alongside exponentially increasing Sidonia’s dying population after the fourth defensive war. And it just so happens that she’s one of the immortals, like Lala, Kobayashi and Ochiai and therefore looks only old enough to be Izana’s mother or even his/her sister. I’m really interested in Dr. Yure and what other secrets she’s helping keep from the citizens of Sidonia, and what other sort of crazy but incredible ideas she’s got floating in the very dungeons of Sidonia.

Nagate has developed an unhealthy fixation on Hoshijiro’s gauna and has taken to visiting her practically everyday, at the request and under the supervision of EBD scientist, Tahiro. She bluntly tells Nagate that no matter what sort of human developments the gauna is exhibiting, she’s still just a mass of gauna cells and will never be human, even if she’s slowly learning how to speak and stand and move like a human. Izana and Yuhata are worried about Nagate’s obsession with the Hoshijiro gauna and hatch a plan together to get him to take a break from all the fighting and most especially the deceptively oblivious specimen he’s so interested in. I still dislike Yuhata when she’s off the bridge, because I find her obsession with Nagate irritating at best but, eh, it looks like the writer steered this on a love triangle-square path from the beginning, which is kind of a bummer. Still, there were brief sortie scenes – like, super brief – where Nagate’s become a squad leader with Seii, Izana and one of the Honoka sisters, whom I’m assuming is En. At least his team’s been victorious but I have a feeling that’s going to change soon.

Kunato’s been slowly driven to the brink of an emotional and mental breakdown as he continues to have nightmares and flashbacks about Hoshijiro’s voice over the radio feed and I think the guilt is definitely getting to him. During one of his afternoon brooding sessions, though, Kobayashi, Dr. Yure and Ochiai arrive at his mansion and he watches with the help of his sister, as they descend into a secret basement he obviously had no idea existed. While in the basement, Kobayashi retrieves the original Ochiai’s brain and personality and temporarily houses it inside his clone in order to gain some unknown information from the database that only his brain can access since he destroyed all their records in the fourth defensive war. Before Ochiai is put to sleep again, he tells her with surety that she’s going to need him before the end, and if that isn’t foreshadowing I don’t know what is.

Meanwhile, Tahiro has been looking at all the images of the Hoshijiro/gauna hybrid and comes across a terrifying discovery that she’s been looking towards a single area in Sidonia when she’s not conversing with Nagate: towards where the Kabizashi swords are being kept. It seems to suggest that she’s relaying information to the Benisuzume, who has her own gaze fixed on Sidonia and the Kabizashis. 

Episode Highlights: I was very intrigued with the Ochiai scene; it was the most interesting and enlightening this episode, especially now that we’ve figured out that it’s been Dr. Yure behind that unknown mask. She and Kobayashi are obviously in on something very big, possibly behind the council’s back. With over 50,000 Sidonians leaving Sidonia to start their own colony, I’m wondering whether whatever secret Kobayashi and Dr. Yure took from Ochiai’s brain will have to do with that. I really like the twisted background plot as while I enjoy watching Nagate and Izana, there’s not nearly enough Izana and Nagate has gotten a tad boring with his obsession with the Hoshijiro/gauna hybrid. Still, that peace isn’t going to last for long, seeing as we’re nearing the end of the series, as sad as that is.

The verdict: A pretty interesting episode, especially with the backstory. I like the fact that Nagate’s got his own squad, but I’d still like more Izana and less Yuhata please. All in all, though, not bad for filler-but-important episode~ Now it’s just the homestretch as we reach the finale! Wow, how time flies!

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