Knights of Sidonia 10 is a hodge-podge of little things to set us up for the next story arc, or the finale. I don’t know how long it’s slated for.
First off it’s time for a “harem characters visit an inn” scene, Sidonia-style, where the lake is a concrete pond, mixed in with a haunted house scene. Only here, the haunted house is actually a back door to a super-secret installation where a human-gauna hybrid corpse is floating. And so we get to some more backstory. One thing strikes me. The hybrid actually attracts gauna. But they’re using bits of it to test new weapons. So if they jettisoned that thing maybe the gauna would leave them alone? But they’re using it to make weapons to fight the things? Isn’t that self-defeating? That’s what struck me at first, but later events disprove that theory.
It strikes me that this part of the tale could be another chapter in that book of legends. “And so the hero, with his harem unlock a door and encounter a great wizard/scientist, who offers him a chance to use enchanted weapons to fight off the monsters.” Maybe that will make it into the next edition, once it clears security. Anyway, after that business, off go the pacifist group, to set up their own utopia on a planet, whereupon a gauna shows up and attacks them. So much for the theory! But using some of the experimental weapons, Nagate kills it. In other news, Izana is promoted to pilot, meaning she will probably die next week, when (the big news), a friggin’ HUGE gauna appears. Looks like LOTS of death and mayhem next week. Oh, and the Shizuya-gauna is more adorable than ever! I can’t wait for her to turn on them.
Mahouka 11 finally gets around to the Nine Schools Competition, though we are told of only two of the schools. We get scenes involving Mayumi winning her magic skeet-shooting and tennis-with-guns competition, Kanon advancing in the ice-pillar-breaking competition, Mari winning the surfing event by starting in front of the others and tossing big waves at them so they can’t catch up, and Honoka advancing in the battle board competition, well, we don’t see any of that last one. Nonetheless, we learn that the school needs to win four of the last six events if they’re to win, because the boys have let them down, I guess. They should have put Tatsuya on the team. He’s wonderful! But instead he watches, comments, and shrugs off the odd come-on by a girl or two. When not watching First High obliterate the competition we see Tatsuya meet about those intruders (which he dispatches, and follows with a lecture for Mikihiko about self-esteem) and chat with military folks about what it’s about. Maybe we’ll get to it next week. The sooner the better. So far, this tournament has been a snooze.
Mekaku City Actors 10 tells us Marry’s story. As usual, the story looks beautiful, but the story itself isn’t very pretty.
We know the first part of the story already without knowing it; it’s in the fairy tale the show’s been telling us ever since the start. Now it’s caught up enough that the episode is devoted to it. The monster is living peacefully with her husband and daughter, Shion. But the outside world, in the form of ignorant villagers, intrudes by capturing the husband and then trying to kill the monster. At least that part ended well, i.e., badly for the invaders, but the monster decides she’s putting her loved ones at risk and leaves to that world beyond time, where, frankly, I thought they were already. The fact that the husband and daughter couldn’t possibly be as happy without her doesn’t seem to register.
Flash forward to Shion as an adult and Marry, a little girl, as her daughter (who’s the father?). More intrusions from the outside, or rather, the moment Marry risks going outside they nab her, and more unpleasantness and death. Here’s where it gets interesting. The two wind up in the same timeless world that the monster dreamed up, except the place is actually closer to hell. It raises questions about the nature of such escape wishes. The story takes the position that it’s selfish to wish yourself away from reality, or at least that’s what the snake believes. I’m not so sure about that. Also, while the snake says it’s a hell of the monster’s own making, I wonder if the snake isn’t an intruder, an outside force that forced itself into monster’s life. Or is it the part of the monster that is monstrous?
The monster makes a sacrifice of some kind and Marry is returned to that lovely tower by the lake they all lived in. The reasons and the mechanics of the story’s supernatural angle still elude me, but the snake thinks it significant. After that they tidy up by introducing Marry to Seto, and then to Konoha in the present day, but we’re as full of questions as we were before. As lovely and melancholy as this episode was, it’s still all prelude. I wonder if we’re even at the beginning of the actual story yet.