On the 4th July Netflix began streaming their exclusive anime from the Spring 2014 season, Knights of Sidonia. Based on the same titular manga by leading cyberpunk author Nihei Tsutomu, I sat down to watch the show which was one of our picks of the season and which marks the 30th anniversary of Polygon Pictures.
The story takes place in the seed ship Sidonia where some of the last remnants of humanity now reside. It follows Tanikaze Nagate who upon surfacing from the bowls of the ship soon enrolls in the military academy to train as a pilot. The Sidonia is under constant threat by an alien race known as Gauna who decimated the solar system and so forced humanity to voyage into space. “Humanity at the brink of extinction” is a set-up done many times over with recent shows such as Attack on Titan, Gantz and the soon to come Terra Formars but Knights of Sidonia manages to hold its own.
With a nice set of characters and an air of mystery surrounding a few, it plants little seeds in in your mind which you’re hoping will sprout as the show progresses. You find yourself in a similar position to Nagato who’s still learning the ropes while trying to figure things out.
The story is brought to life using CG which left me a little skeptical to begin with and the artwork took me a few episodes to warm to. By no means is it terrible but its not brilliant either. It left me feeling as if something was amiss but I’m glad to say it didn’t end up taking away the sense of utter enjoyment I felt whilst watching the show.
Sound wise the anime is simply sublime and out of this world. From the thrilling action filled encounters with the Gauna to the ambiance it creates in parts of the Sidonia. The seemingly off-balance marriage between these critical components, come together and give rise to a great sci-fi story. A story which does not fail to strike a note with all of your emotions; at times ever so gently.
Here’s to you Knights of Sidonia, my anime pick of the Spring 2014 season.