08 – Undead
… in which there’s a creepy new gauna and a lot of backstory
Episode 8 is by far the best Sidonia has dished out. It makes almost glad that I stuck to it.
There are a trio of gauna that resemble gardes frames which I think shows off their incredible ability to adapt. It gets even more impressive when one of the frames have a fleshy mess of a pilot inside of it, speaking in Shizuka’s voice, giggling randomly and calling out objectives in her voice. The attacking force finds it unnerving as well, especially Kunato and Nagate, the latter of whom believes there’s something of her in the gauna. Kunato, on the other hand, seems to have a minor breakdown at the sight. I imagine the guilt is finally catching up to him. Serves him right.
The Shizuka-gauna – later named Benisuzume by Sidonia – tears through the Grades pilots. It even seems familiar with their attack patterns. Naturally, there are heavy casualties. Nagate volunteers to collect a sample of the new gauna for Sidonia and does so successfully. By the time he returns to save a comrade, Benisuzume retreats which is lucky for Sidonia.
Back at Sidonia, we get some much needed flashbacks focusing on Nagate’s grandfather Hiroko and the ‘Immortal Council’.
The skull things as well as those like Kobayashi and the Bear Cook are part of it. They’re kept alive via medications and spare clones to transfer memories to. But Hiroko’s clone was lost 100 years ago when two gauna penetrated Sidonia and he ran away before another could be made. By the time he returned, his body has deteriorated considerably. Did I mention that Hiroko when young looked exactly like Nagate?
Yeah, Nagate’s his clone and has inherited his immortality due to the cloning process. Kobayashi cloned Hiroko without his permission because they couldn’t lose his fighting abilities and he took the kid and ran because he didn’t want Nagate to be stuck in a tank till adulthood. Bear Cook helped him escape which might explain why she’s no longer a pilot.
There’s also mentions of Ochiai, a scientist whose ahiled as being responsible for Sidonia’s fall. Yure says she can retrieve Sidonia’s main archives by extracting them from his auxiliary brain.
The episode ends with a shot of a gaunafied Shizuka lookalike in a tank, calling out for Mom and Nagate. Are they making some kind of human-gauna hybrid from that sample placenta Nagate got?
Finally, some answers.
First, let’s tackle the immortality thing. They say it’s a matter of medicine and that the Council is careful who they allow into it but that makes me wonder how Nagate’s functioning then. He’s been heavily injured multiple times but always heals. So either Kobayashi’s been shooting him up with chemicals or the medication doesn’t need to be taken regularly. Some details would be nice. All the same, I’m happy to know more about Sidonia’s past.
Benisuzume was one hell of a surprise and at this point, she’s the best thing that’s happened to this show. We still don’t know much about the gauna but they’re very clearly smart and it’ll be interesting to see what a gauna based on a high-ranking Gardes pilot will be able to do.
The art has improved though the characters’ faces remain odd to look at. That one scene with the gaunafied Shizuka lookalike looks smoother than the character designs untilt his point combined. I guess Sidonia’s at its best when it comes to monster designs.