Friday, 25 April 2014

Knights of Sidonia - Episode 3

With a frame tournament going on in Sidonia, the fact that Tanikaze's injuries prevent him from competing is a disappointment to more than just the man himself - still, at least the festival that coincides with said tournament offers plenty of food for him to take his mind off that fact.

The aforementioned tournament also boasts some surprises, with hotly-tipped favourite Kunato bested thanks to some smart thinking by opponent Akai Mochikuni, who seems to have learned the trick of the trade that brings him his victory from Nagate's fight against the (now-returning) Gauna.  However, all of this is missed by Tanikaze himself, as his mission to find good food is helped along by Hoshijiro, before a tussle between Shinatose and a decidedly pissed off Kunato brings any merry-making (or sulking, on Shinatose's part) to an abrupt halt.

In fact, the fun is very much over outright (aside from a brief trip to the "sea" that is Sidonia's massive reservoir), as it's time for us to move on and watch Sidonia's best frame pilots embark upon their sortie to take out the Gauna which is now pursuing them through space.  The plan to tackle the Gauna is a simple one that looks all set to be effective... until Momose is caught by the monster's tentacles.  From this point onwards, the mission quickly goes to pot, as boyfriend Mochikuni seeks to save her before ultimately sacrificing himself so that she can escape - something which she has no interest in doing having seen him devoured by the Gauna.  Before we know it, the entire four-person squad has been wiped out... what next for Sidonia?

After feeling like it was merely spinning its wheels for the most part, Knights of Sidonia once again proves that it knows how to close out an episode to keep you coming back for more - as per episode one, it gleefully decides to throw some characters under the narrative bus to shake things up, and the series feels all the better for it.  With the promise of some epic destruction and trauma ahead, hopefully this is the point where the show really takes off and pushes some of its harem nonsense into the background for a while, as it's clearly much better at handling its monster-driven space crisis than romantic comedy in both animated and narrative terms.

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