The first episode ended with the attack of the Gauna, a giant tentacle space monster. Our hero, Nagate Tanikaze was left injured in battered space mech during the attack. We start the second episode backtracking a bit, moments before the attack, where we get to know Nagate’s fellow pilot Yamano a bit better. We learn that she comes from a poor family and her selection to the academy was a stroke of luck. During the mission Yamano gets flashbacks of her past life…and then she gets swallowed by the giant squid monster.
The first casualty in the show is brutal and shocking. It feels that the show is working around the PG-13 rating, but damn, the show is really pushing the limits of the violence. After Yamano’s demise (although I have a feeling that we’re not totally done with her character) Nagate lies in his mech with injured and dying. His heart stops beating but for some reason I’m sure we’ll delve into later he gains consciousness and puts up a decent fight against the Gauna.
During this battle I finally came to understand Nagate’s character. He is socially awkward and clumsy with other people, but in the controls of a mech, he’s fucking hardcore. His character yells and growls at his opponent and is scary efficient when using his Tsugumori mech. I really like this dude now. He gets to evade the beast and return back to Sidonia, where we get to breathe in for a moment and further understand the world and the characters a little better.
The show throws a lot of characters, and it can be distracting. Back in the academy, Nagate has to deal with at least three girls (excluding Yamano) who are romantically interested in him and it’s especially hard to identify the characters from each other because their character models basically differs through slight changes in hair styles.
The science fiction elements are starting come out clearer in the second episode, but the technobabble still feels a little far-fetched. It seems almost every human on the station has developed photosynthesis which enables them to go without food for weeks. Nagate however lacks this skill, and gets teased for it by his fellow academy students.
But his skill in the mech attract the attention of Akai, the leader of the elite team of Garde pilots, who seek Nagate’s attendance. And this pisses off the douchebag pretty boy of the show, Kunato, who obviously thinks he’s earned the right to join Akai’s team. Akai’s team gets ordered to fight the approaching Gauna, and I believe it’s Akai’s intention to evaluate if Nagate is good enough to join them for the battle.
I appreciated the fight scene at the beginning (showing off some impressive animation and editing) and the world and character building here. The show’s heavy science fiction elements are a bit overbearingat the moment, but the show still keeps going forward nicely. Even if the show is a little too quickly paced.
But could somebody please explain why there’s a talking bear at Nagate’s apartment!
Best scene: The opening fight scene. Nagate showed his true colors in that scene.
Most memorable bit: Yamano’s death. That was terrifying.