Knights of Sidonia, Ep 2 & 3: Pull out, Tanikaze

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I sure do love shows with sex metaphors.

Episode 2:

• Well, now that we’ve seen an actual Guana in action, they certainly are quite terrifying. They’re like huge pules of flesh with tentacles that seem to outstretch indefinitely. It gets even worse when they eat Yamano and mimic her appearance for some reason. It’s telling when Shinatose explains how the last Guana “war” was only between two Guana, which broke into Sidonia and nearly destroyed the whole place. It’s not hard to imagine why the humans would be at war with these things. At this point it’s a bit harder to take the old man protester seriously, though like I said the other week, Knights of Sidonia still comes off as a grey versus black morality.

• It’s peculiar how what Tanikaze and the others see in the battle ends up being classified information. The government did tell the populace what basically happened, but the details of the battle and what the Guana is like exactly appears to be kept a secret. Perhaps they don’t want to cause panic until they understanding the shapeshifting powers better, and they don’t want to public to realize just what a difficult win it was. Though consequently, most people don’t realize how well Tanikaze did in the battle, and thus he continues to be bullied. (Poor Tanikaze.)

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• In a dream sequence the terrifying Guana-Yamano is on the floor dying, a strange pile of human flesh and tentacles, making some awfully erotic sounding moans of pains. She exclaims “Yes, Tanikaze! Be my guillotine!” Tanikaze then proceeds to stomp on the abomination repeatedly, but expresses fright and frustration at how it never dies. On a screen his commander than says = “You can’t destroy the core without a Kabizashi! Pull out, Tanikaze!”.

It’s a metaphor about one’s fear of sex and pregnancy. “Destroying the core” either refers to inseminating a woman’s embryo or getting an abortion, and well, you can probably guess what “pull out” is supposed to mean. Basically, Tanikaze is being told not to get a girl pregnant. This dream sequence is one of more fascinating scenes of the series so far, though who knows how much significance it’ll have for the rest of the narrative.

• This show could probably do without the fanservice, though at least it’s minimal. I got a good laugh over the expression of the girls faces as the “skin suits” inserted themselves into them; got start off the episode with some comedy before we get back to the horrifying Guana fight amirite? As well as when Tanikaze later somehow wanders into the girl’s locker room during his safety belt checks.

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Episode 3:

• Gee, it seems like there’s a trend for the third episode of each show I’m blogging to be a notch down in quality from the previous episodes. With the greater focus on characters. this episode highlights a big issue I have with the show: the characters.

None of these characters are really clicking with me, and I find it difficult to care about them. Tanikaze is a pretty bland and boring protagonist, who lacks a real personality altogether. Shinatose’s jealousy over Tanikaze getting close with a girl is awfully annoying; all it is is them seeing Tanikaze hang out with Shizuka, making some assumptions, and then getting angry about it. And hell, all there is to Kurata’s character is that he’s a high-ranking student who acts like an entitled asshole 24/7.

Though taking all that into consideration, I think the big problem here is how the lackluster CGI and same-face character models is failing to add emotion and life into these character. The majority of the characters have the same exact face as each other, with some variation is hair and eye color. It seems like they just used a handful of character models and than tweaked it a bit for each character. Even the breast size of each character is the same!

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This lack of variation is only exasperated by the lackluster character animation. The movements of the characters is too clunky and sudden, and the FPS is rather low. The expressions look more like their features are just moving along a plastic mold, like some animatronic. They seem like robots, simply put. This is where I think traditional animation is superior, since even if the character designs are lazy, a traditionally animated cartoon still has personality and a human touch added with each frame; the motion and feelings they express through the pen of the animators breath life into the characters.

Maybe that’s not completely true since you can still have a poorly animated TV show with 2D animation, but even then I’d argue that these errors tend to be more interesting than these bland, computer generated models. I’m not saying that CGI in general is bad or anything. Just that when the CGI is as it is in Knights of Sidonia, life is taken away from the characters. Granted, I could also just be biased against CGI.

• The failed mission with the subjugation squad didn’t really do it for me either. I mean, it was basically a guy saving his girlfriend and then getting killed himself, and then the girlfriend getting hysterical over his death and getting the rest of her team killed. I mean, I knew that whole team was deathflagged to begin with, and part of the problem was that they underestimated the Guana. But well, it’s difficult to seriously see these as the most elite pilots of Sidonia when they’re so easily overcome with emotions.

• As for the rest of the plot…eh. It was okay. Like I said it largely focused on the characters, whom I don’y have much thoughts except that they’re boring and uninteresting. So consequently I don’t have much else to say here either.

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One Response to Knights of Sidonia, Ep 2 & 3: Pull out, Tanikaze

  1. arkeband says:

    I haven’t seen it said on the internet much (if at all) but you might be into something with the innuendos. My theory is that while Nagate and Hoshijiro are alone in space (they were getting close and weeks later they were rescued), she was pregnant – when she was killed the Gauna rapidly aged up the fetus (that inherited Nagate’s immortal DNA) into the hybrid they bring back (it was attached by an umbilical cord in a placenta… could it be any more obvious). I haven’t read the manga and don’t want to spoil myself if that’s actually what happened, but the things you pointed out here could be foreshadowing.

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