Story/Art: Tsutomu Nihei
Translation/Adaptation: Kumar Sivasubramanian
What They Say
“A SERIES 15?!”
Already cohabitating with a formerly neuter friend, a human-monster hybrid, and the ship’s assistant commander, unlikely playboy Tanikaze appears fated to pick up yet another very special companion.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It has been a few volumes since the group of Settlers that broke away from the Sidonia was destroyed by the Guana while trying to settle on a planet. The short scene back then showed a woman stranded in an ocean, floating on a piece of a shuttle debris, wondering how her people were faring in their spaceship orbiting the planet.
Flash forward to this volume and the Sidonia picks up that sole survivors transmission from her planet’s surface. It is a shock to the Sidonia crew, and a disappointment to learn all those Settlers were killed by the Guana. However, the sole survivor, Teruru Ichigaya, is only a robot, so no reason for the Sidonia to risk their lives to save her from the Guana orbiting that planet. At least, that’s how the humans feel, but Tsumugi doesn’t understand that reasoning and begs to be allowed to save the girl robot.
This raises a lot of ethical questions. Is it worth risking multiple human lives to rescue a robot from the Guana? That question is magnified by the fact that the Guana are leaving Teruru alone since she isn’t human and isn’t using any Higg’s particle emitting equipment. However, the crew of the Sidonia has spent a lot of time trying to teach Tsumugi the value of life. So how do they explain to Tsumugi that one life is more valuable than another?
Being clinical and scientific, I would side with most of the Sidonia crew and leave Teruru alone on that planet, but not Tanikaze. He convinces his superiors that he can take an old Series 15 from before the Higg’s particle engine creation, and rescue Teruru. It is completely insane, but with a small volunteer crew, he might be able to pull it off.
This is another volume that allows the characters to develop without the constant threat of Guana battles. I like these interludes as they allow the reader to catch their breath from the frenetic battles that force the Sidonia to fight for every inch of survival under the Guana onslaught. We also get a glimpse into the “Bear” character, Ms. Hiyama. Ms. Hiyama is a very old character and very much the matron of the Sidonia crew. So when she volunteers to join Tanikaze on his rescue mission, we get to learn more about her and the reason she looks like a bear.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Vertical, Inc.
Release Date: October 7th, 2014