One year later I’m retuning to review the second season of one of the original 6 anime I reviewed when Anime Corps first launched. Wow, coming full circle here, eh? After a delay off the start I’m proud to bring you my double review of the first two episodes of Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine.
Here’s my review!
It’s pretty cool that I’m back to review this anime once again. I really enjoyed the first season a lot, the animation being something that really stood out for me, along with the action and story too. I can’t imagine this anime not being CG as it wouldn’t have the same feel that it does. What the use of CG does is that it gives the anime so much more depth and it really makes space seem like the huge, open, scary, black, world that it is. Plus the action scenes look absolutely fantastic thanks to that CG. Honestly I’ve got nothing against CG in anime (unless if it’s done poorly) but Sidonia is a prime example of very high quality production using all CG. Alright then, with my quick CG rant out of the way, I guess I should start talking about the two episodes now.
For the most part, if season 1 & 2 air a year or more apart a recap is usually best to have because viewers (myself included) don’t always remember the key points from the previous season. While I always could’ve gone back to rewatch S1, I didn’t. Mostly because Monogatari happened and that took some time to get through. Then Kiniro Mosaic as well. Anyways, I was a bit lost off the start as to why Norio Kunato was standing in front of this huge door, about to enter. Anyways, after stating he’s got no future whatsoever he may as well go through this door; so Norio and his sister Mozuku enter the darkness.
Turns out where they’re going is none other than Ochiai’s lab. Ochiai being some guy from back in the day who tried to build a Guana-human hybrid that nearly killed all of Sidonia. I remember that ep being confusing for me, but then again I was just starting out and getting used to things. Anyways now inside Ochiai’s lab, Norio and Mozuku are only looking around for a few minutes before being attacked by something. In quick succession Mozuku loses a finger and her head (not like flipping out but her head is actually sliced off) and both are taken over by parasite like Gauna. Yeah this was pretty cringy to watch at 1:30AM. More so because my brother recently showed me this skin crawling gif of an actual parasite exiting a bug, and let me tell you it was pure nightmare fuel right there. Literally some of the nastiest shit I’ve seen in a very, very long time. So yeah, I don’t do good with this kinda stuff; it’s too gross and nasty and I just can’t deal. Not very manly of me, but I’m only human.
We later see the invaded Norio and Mozuku adjusting to their bodies and trying to act normal now. And as if the parasite stuff before wasn’t gross enough, the close up on Mozuku’s eye and a small tentacle is visible moving across her eyeball, holy fuck that was too much for me. Totally uncalled for and I did not want to see that late at night or ever again. So fucking gross. Thankfully I didn’t have any dreams related to that though. Things continue to get bad as Norio and Mozuku pay a visit to the exobiology division where the placenta that resembles the deceased Shizuka Hoshijiro is being held. Keeping watch over this placenta is Numi Tahiro, a female scientist who’s friends with Nagate Tanikaze and Izana Shinatose. Anyways, Numi is sadly also infected with a parasite courtesy of Norio and they take the placenta for some sinister purpose that will later be revealed.
Before things heat up by the end of the ep, we have a calmer moment which is a bit more dialogue heavy. Nagate has been having some bad dreams lately of Hoshijiro and it’s really disturbing him quite a bit. This is noticed by Izuna who questions him about it, but he’s unwilling to talk about it. Running across Norio, he’s told by him to forget about Hoshijiro as she’s long dead and not coming back. Norio goes to on mention that they’ve taken the placenta to the Kunato Development to research it and help use it to make Sidonia better. After skipping a shrine visit with Izuna because he’s been called to go speak with Executive Officer (XO) Yuhata Midorikawa, Nagate is also informed by her that he shouldn’t let the placenta weigh in his mind too much as the captain, Kobayashi, is concerned about his well being. Complying with this order, Nagate is able to still meet up with Izuna to eat a few rice balls before visiting the shrine.
Okay, fun times are over now and the Gauna are back. Once again the CG is showcased here as the command center really looks quite amazing, all the detail on screens, the lighting and everything. Another area where the CG shines is during the action scenes. As the Gardes are launched it really feels like you’re in the cockpit and are being shot down that launch tube and into space. The first person shots really put you into the scene and you feel part of it. Also the OST picks up here and it accompanies the battle sequence perfectly. In the AV department, Sidonia stands apart from most anime as these cinematic sequences are so well done that you feel you should be watching this on a big screen rather than a laptop.
The battle sequence is classic Sidonia, bringing the vibe from season 1 back again. Like always, the enemies are stronger these days and it’s not as easy to kill them as it used to be. This Gauna has a tougher outer shell and is harder to kill with a single shot. What’s more is that it’s also shooting back with Hyggs lasers as well. And to make matters worse, another Gauna has shown up on the scanners. But what’s this? It’s not the usual type Gauna, and it’s even firing on it’s own! Then to cap it off, it introduces itself, herself, as Shiraui Tsumugi. What the hell is going on?
Episode 2 of Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine picks up right where ep 1 ends. Nagate and the Gardes are all still in space, shocked that a Gauna has fired upon one it’s own. What’s more is that the Immortal Council, those group of people who wear masks and sit in those weird pods complaining about everything, aren’t pleased with the sight of this Gauna. Just what exactly is going on right now?
Thankfully there is some back story as to where this Gauna came from and why Norio is piloting it too. Turns out this isn’t just a Gauna, but rather a chimera which seems to be some human-Gauna hybrid thing, bring the “best” of both worlds together into one. This is also the cause of the huge disaster that happened 100 years ago that resulted in nearly every single person on Sidonia dying. It’s what Ochiai was trying to do and clearly it didn’t work out too well. So here we are 100 years later and so far things aren’t going too bad, not yet at least. With the help of doctor Yure Shinatose, Norio is able to convince Kobayashi that what he’s doing is safe and controllable. We’ll see how well that goes later on.
Back to the battle now, Norio and Tsumugi finish off the damaged Gauna, showing the destructive capabilities and raw power of the chimera. While everyone is still stunned about the fact that a chimera has been built (again) and it now out fighting with the Gardes, the Immortal Council is furious and decide to remove Kobayashi from her position, feeling that she’s unfit for duty any longer.
After the battle we have a moment with Nagate and Izuna as they sit and enjoy some more rice balls. Somehow Nagate ended up breaking his arm during the battle, not exactly sure how be he did, so it’s currently in a cast healing. What’s weighing on Nagate’s mind though, other than the fact that Tsumugi sounded like Hoshijiro and even had similar mannerisms, is that she’s fighting and killing her own kind. Seems kinda strange to be thinking about that, but nevertheless he doesn’t feel it’s right.
The second half of the ep is a press conference with Norio and Tsumugi as he talks about what chimeras are and how they are the future of Sidonia. While everyone is far from convinced, it’s worth noting that Tsumugi came across as extremely polite and courteous, addressing everyone in what I’m guessing might be a more formal way. But when Nagate arrives, the feminine side of Tsumugi takes over and she gets very excited to see him. This only further adds to everyone’s hatred of her as her way of showing interest is to start moving around, and because of her size it causes the whole auditorium to rock like an earthquake.
The final couple scenes are of Nagate and Izuna going to visit Tsumugi, where they get raped by tentacles (not actually, but they are touched all over by tentacles) and spend some time with Tsumugi, as she is part human after all. While being so big though, Tsumugi does have some smaller tentacle thing she puts out that is more the size of a person, so it’s easier to communicate that way.
And lastly we have an important scene with the Immortal Council. They’ve all voted for Kobayashi’s removal, but just as one of the members exits his chamber (thought that’d never happen) the Ochiai clone guy (you know that guy in the black suit) walks out of the shadows and proceeds to kill every single council member. Wow, no more Immortal Council now. Kobayashi also steps out of the shadows once all the members are dead and it’s clear that she’s got her own plans, plans that don’t involve the Immortal Council being alive.
So as far as the opening 2 eps go, man I really enjoyed them a lot. Knights of Sidonia is back again and it’s continued on from season 1 perfectly. The plot is set right off the bat with Norio and Mozuku getting taken over, and now with Tsumugi seemingly on the human’s side, I’m sure things will get interesting. Kobayashi is also got a plan too, one that I’m interested in seeing how it’s going to unfold in the coming eps.
As for other things I enjoyed about the first 2 eps, the amazing CG animation, the battle scenes and the thrilling OST as well. Knights of Sidonia did a fantastic job with those three things in season 1 and so far they’re carrying that on into this second season too. I’m so glad that Underwater was able to sub this one and get it out as I really was looking forward to watching and reviewing this one again.
So that’s it for the first 2 eps of Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine. If this one is also on your watching list for the spring season, and you’ve seen the first 2 eps, what are your thoughts on them so far? Let me know in the comments below!
Alright so as Knights of Sidonia is a Friday anime (at least I’m pretty sure) and Underwater can sometimes have a delay or two, I’m going to push Plastic Memories from Saturday back to Sunday/Monday and use the caffeine release for it as well. Why? Well I’m going to use Saturday as the writing and posting day for the Sidonia review so instead of watching and reviewing Plastic Memories on Saturday as well, I’ll move it to another day and use another sub group too. So how things should look now for my review will be: Hibike! Euphonium on Tuesday/Wednesday, Sidonia on Friday/Saturday then Plastic Memories on Sunday/Monday. I’ll also try to keep my reviews shorter and focus on commentary more (I know I say this a lot, but I’ll be really trying from now on) and summery less. Okay that should be all so I’ll bring this to a close.
Much like season 1, there isn’t any decent artwork out there so I’m not going to have a bonus pic. Instead I’ll have a couple pics and the title for the next ep. So enjoy that and I’ll cya next time!
Next episode preview!
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