Damn but shizz is about to go down in Sidonia. Really enjoyed this episode – mostly because it featured Izana a whole lot and by now everyone recognises my undying love for him/her. This was, much like the previous episode, full of backstory and background plot that’s already started tying into Nagate’s plotline and the stage has really been set for the finale.
What we learn this episode: Nagate, Yuhata and Izana are off on a small vacation to an old inn, which is also the location of Ochiai’s secret lab, and where a number of lost records about the fourth defensive war may be hidden. It seems, though, that luring them to there was all part of Kobayashi and Dr. Yure’s plans, as once the three misfits make their way underground, they’re shot with tranquilisers by a group of masked men. When Nagate wakes up, Dr. Yure asks him to keep her masked identity a secret from Izana, whom she obviously has a lot of love for, and then shows him just what they’ve been developing underground. In a huge tank is a gigantic but long-dead gauna-human hybrid that Ochiai had attempted to make into a weapon against the gauna during his time in his real body. At the same time, however, the creature emits a type of radiation that attracts gauna to Sidonia, which would be why there are so many attacks once they’ve hit a gauna infested region of space. Nevertheless, the scientists are using the hybrid to extract material capable of penetrating a gauna’s core, much like the Kabizashi swords, in the hopes of replacing said swords and making the weapons more accessible to the pilots. When Izana and Yuhata awaken, Nagate feigns ignorance about how they all managed to get back from the lab. Meanwhile, Kunato and his sister find out information about the fourth defensive war and Ochiai’s part in it but come across a sealed door that the Kunato family are denied access to.
A while later, a colonisation ship filled with those pacifists who no longer wish to live on a militarised Sidonia, have finally launched towards a nearby planet for them to settle on and Izana wistfully entertains the thought of being able to live on a real planet. Nagate and Yuhata are brought to Heavy Industries where the new weapon and a new type of Guardian is being built and finalised before testing, when they receive news that a gauna is headed towards the colonisation ship. Nagate begs Kobayashi to let him pilot the new ship along with the weapons in order to reach the gauna before it destroys the ship. Unsurprisingly, he makes it, with the rest of the pilots watching, although not without a little trouble as he struggles to control the unfinished Guardian. Still, he manages to destroy the gauna, no thanks to his grandfather, who had taught him how to pilot such a Guardian at the young age of three, as this new prototype was apparently modelled off an older design.
But they’re going to need to really fix these new Guardians and weapons up for at the end of the episode a massive gauna, 8,000 times the size of Sidonia is headed on a collision course towards them and I don’t think a lot of people are going to be walking away from that.
Episode Highlights: My favourite parts of this episode were the Izana moments, of which there were quite a few. I really enjoyed how frightened and creeped out s/he was at being underground in the labs without a way out, and there was a really cute moment of her/him having to cling to Nagate because s/he wasn’t wearing her gravity boots. There was a much sadder, foreshadowing scene, though, that really got to me. Towards the end of the episode, Izana blankly tells Nagate that s/he’s been made a pilot and is none to happy about it, knowing the likelihood of new recruits having a short career and lifespan. I think this is completely understandable all things considered, and I really admire how matter-of-fact s/he is about not being as good a pilot as Nagate or the rest of his squad. S/he’s a whirlwind of emotions, both at her anger at Nagate for continuing to visit Hoshijiro’s gauna, and for her/his fear at not being able to have more time with Nagate, who hardly deserves her/his sadness for the way s/he’s treated her lately, in my opinion. He must still really think of her/him as a good friend, though, as when Izana slips off a dodgy platform, Nagate catches her/him and tells her/him firmly that they’re still going to have loads of time together. While I’ve got this irrational anger towards Nagate for a lot of things concerning Izana, not to mention a lot of fear in regards to Izana’s life within the final two episodes, I’ve always enjoyed their scenes together.
The final verdict: A very strong episode in terms of plot and a high level of emotion and adrenaline running through for all 24 minutes. But I’ve got to say that I’ve got a whole lot of concern for a lot of these characters, especially the ones I feel haven’t had enough on-screen time, such as Samari and her squad. I’m just not sure how they’re going to tie everything together with a gauna threat looming ahead of them and so many loose ends. Still, I’m holding out for a miracle, and am both looking forward to and dreading the final two episodes.