The visuals in Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine play just as important a role as the story and characters, and this week we’re given a treat in the audio/visual department.

Here’s my review!

I can’t imagine this anime done with traditional hand drawn animation, it just wouldn’t work. Take an episode like this week’s and try to visualize it in a more conventional way and it just doesn’t compute. This is why CG can’t always be ruled out because there isn’t another way to bring an episode to life and give it the amount of depth as this episode had without it. Also I still need a bigger screen to watch this on, it’s so cinematic!

So this week we don’t have much in the way of plot progression as it’s solid action from start to finish. If we recall back to last week, Tsumugi detected a large Gauna, G550, that was headed towards Sidonia so she went out to intercept. Turns out it was a trap and now it’s up to the 96 frame squad to fight the incoming Gauna threat. Given the numbers I’m guessing they went in knowing there will be casualties. So how did they fair in this battle?

For the most part the Gardes were able to keep the Gauna at bay, attacking them at a range and avoiding CQC. As for Tsumugi though, she was out of commission for the first bit, being trapped inside a ball of placenta. But if the Gauna had done their homework, they’d quickly realize that it wasn’t enough to hold Tsumugi and she bursts out. Uh oh, now the Gauna better watch out as Tsumugi is very upset about getting captured like that.

Going into full rage mode Tsumugi disobeys orders and starts single handedly killing all the Gauna. I guess Kobayashi finally gets to see her true potential in dealing with Gauna. But as Tsumugi is still going against orders, and Norio is inside her as well, she needs to be stopped. At this point the Gauna are starting to push closer and attack the Gardes at closer range, causing some real havoc for the pilots now. In the process of trying to stop Tsumugi, Izana’s frame is heavily damaged and she gets injured. Normally I’d expect the main guy to abandon his post and rush to help his friend, but this time Nagate didn’t break formation to help Izana. Honestly I liked this as it’s far too common for the main guy to just leave right in the middle of a battle, disobeying orders, to help his friends out. Yeah I understand they’re his friends and all, but there comes a point where if you fall out of position then you’re putting lives at risk and potentially could be the cause of a disaster. Sure that’s not always bound to happen the moment you leave formation, but anything is possible in the heat of battle. Plus, Tsumugi ends up going to Izana’s aid.

With the Gauna now all destroyed, it’s time to pack up and head back, right? Wrong. The massive Gauna, G550, is still alive and en-route towards Sidonia and it needs to be stopped. The next phase is to kill this guy next. Getting into a ring formation the remaining Gardes open fire on G550 and slowly begin to chip away at the tough outer layer. But things aren’t ever that easy, what’s gonna happen next?

The Gauna begins to change, opening up and revealing a massive Hyggs cannon in the middle. Not good. It’s looking like Sidonia might have to do some evasive maneuvers. Remember what happened last season when they fired up the jets to move out of the way? How many people died again? Well this is about to happen all over again. Hopefully they’ll stay strapped in this time. XO Yuhata gives the order to stop G550 from firing as the damage will be too great if it hits Sidonia. But can all the Gardes really stop this massive Gauna from firing it’s cannon? It’s worth a try.

But as is the case, there is no ‘try’. You either do and do not. The Gauna fires it’s Hyggs cannon and now Sidonia’s final moments are here. But wait! What’s this?! Tsumugi was carrying the damaged Izana back when the shot was fired, and is currently in the way. Covering Izana in a protective shell, Tsumugi turns into a shield and deflects the shot off course just enough to miss Sidonia. They still get rocked pretty heavily, but they’ve made it through.

Now it’s time to finish the job and stop it from firing again. Nagate realizes shooting it won’t work as the cannon is too far inside to hit, so he decides to do things a little differently. Flying back a distant, he gathers a lot of speed before detaching his thrusters from his Garde and let’s it fly into the Hyggs cannon while he’s able to dodge under G550. It’s a risky move but it pays off as the explosion that follows is enough to make the core visible. The remaining Gardes are easily able to take it out now. Finally, it’s over.

We end on a cliffhanger as Izana is shown extremely hurt; I’m guessing her leg and arm are broken and she’s probably got some other injuries as well. Can they get to her in time before she dies? We’ll have to wait till next week to find out!

So like I said at the outset, this wasn’t an ep where the plot would progress a whole lot, but mainly an ep for those who love action and high quality audio/visual stuff. Looking at it like that, this ep was fantastic and I really hope we see more thrilling eps like this in the future. Next week looks to be back to the story, which is good too as the fate of Izana is lying in the balance now!

Not much to say this week as it was just lots of action. Either way, what did you think of this week’s episode of Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine? Let me know in the comments below!

Up next it’s Plastic Memories ep 5, where things are taking a dark turn in what’s probably the best ep yet. I’ll have lots to say in that review so be there to check it out!

And lastly regarding next week’s Hibike! Euphonium review, I’m going to be out of town on Wednesday till maybe Friday, so I’ll be aiming for a Tuesday release for that one. If I can’t get it out then, expect it out Friday when I’m home again.

Alright then, I’m off to work on that Plastic Memories review, so I’ll be on my way. Thanks for reading, here’s what you can expect to see happen next week!


Next episode preview!

[Underwater] Knights of Sidonia S2 - The Ninth Planet Crusade - 04 (720p) [F0B9EA30].mkv_snapshot_24.26_[2015.05.02_20.08.56]

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