Knights of Sidonia 4 is just amazing. It’s loaded with action, carnage, and hard decisions, which is why the episode is called “Choice,” I suppose.
First, we have the aftermath of Akai’s squad being killed by the gauna, well, we actually watch it again during the intro. They fire another big pill at it, but this particular beastie has some new tricks up its sleeve, evades it, and heads straight for Sidonia, so Kobayashi makes Hard Decision #1 and orders evasive action. The next couple of minutes, where everything in the ship undergoes violent, extended shifts of gravity, is rendered so well that it’s both difficult to watch, yet fascinating. The endless screaming was the perfect, macabre touch.
So it’s a rotten day in Sidonia history already, but it’s looking to get worse when it becomes clear that the gauna is shifting to make another head-on attack. All available pilots are sent out, and Nagate is sent with Shizuka, Kunato, and, er, some other guy, to retrieve the Kabizashi. Why those four are chosen for what seems to be a simple retrieval job isn’t known. But off they go, Nagate locating the kabizashi but Kunata (the asshole) grabbing it first, etc, sort of a breather after what we’ve already seen. But then the gauna changes its mind and decides to go after the retrieval team. I guess the story’s going to follow Nagate whether he wants it to or not.
The monster whips out a NEW weapon, a particle beam thing, and I’m wondering if it didn’t learn something from the humans it absorbed earlier. Afterwards, only Nagate’s robot is functional, and it’s here that he makes the show’s Hard Choice #2 (#3 comes at the end and may leave our hero and Shizuka adrift forever). The fight is vivid, and the direction makes it clear and more intense by the minute, while the soundtrack practically screams with computer sounds and orchestra blasts. The entire scene is magnificent. After it was over and my heart settled down I began to wonder if maybe the disasterous evasion tactic was necessary when there were so many fighters ready to go, but I have hindsight. I wonder if they’ll get to that thought. Well, it did give us a fantastic episode. Next week looks to be quieter. That’s okay; I think the characters (and the people animating them) deserve one.
Mekaku City Actors 3 decides to spill the beans, and so the series feels a bit less lackluster now. Momo meets Kido, who has the exact opposite ability from her: she can be invisible. After a scary introduction Momo quite rightly faints, and wakes up at their headquarters where she meets others with powers when their eyes turn red. The usual Shaft looniness can’t hide a rather dull infodump, and if I was Momo I’d be running away as quick as I could, but I guess she wants an answer to her powers. Thanks to Marry’s adorably clumsy efforts to serve tea they go off to get Momo a new cellphone, and the story gets a little ridiculous when they wind up in the same mall that Shintarou’s at, and, would you believe it, Shintarou’s her brother. Their efforts to rescue the hostages from ep1 looks great, but I have no idea what any of them actually did. They pushed stuff over, Momo started running, and, er, stuff happened. Not a great episode by any measure, but maybe now that the intro stuff is out of the way they can do something more interesting.
Meanwhile, M3 is turning into a mess after only two episodes. We are rudely introduced to another kid, Heito, as he escapes from wherever he was, rather easily I might add. Considering his bloodlust you’d think they’d have extra security on him. Then we switch back to our team, where Emiru is still after Akashi, who seems to have gone total asshole on her. Meanwhile Mahmu fantasizes about their demise, which comes back to bite her when her first victim, the sadistic drill sargeant, gets killed by a beastie. Then Heito shows up and drags Emiru and Mahmu into an abandoned hospital where they just happen to keep a big robot, called Argent. Just like wherever Heito escaped from, there is no security at all, even though the organization is monitoring every moment. Did they even know that Heito escaped? Anyway, he climbs into it and gets an unpleasant flashback. Later Akashi climbs into it and has his own flashback, but he stays in control, so you know who the boss is. It’s making less sense by the minute.