Monday, July 7, 2014

Knights of Sidonia

I just completed the first season of Knights of Sidonia based on the Manga written by Tsutomu Nihei.
The basic gist is the Earth was destroyed by an alien entity named Gauna thousands of years ago that can morph into what ever it consumes. The remnants of Humanity escape in giant ships that look like elongated pencil sharpeners, aboard the Sidonia, we see civilians and military exist within the confines of the Sidonia. The military use mecha called Gardes to defend the Sidonia against the Gauna. A young man named Nagate emerges from deep within the bowels of the ship and demonstrates superior piloting skills. He is immediately enlisted as a Garde pilot by Captain Kobayashi.
After reading Hideo Kojima's praise for KoS, I was intrigued. So I set aside a few hours and watched all 12 episodes.
The Knights of  Sidonia anime has a very sanitized look to it, not meaning everything in the anime has a pristine appearance but rather a minimal use of color. The closest comparison I can come up with would be the game Mirror's Edge. There's a heavy focus on achromatic color....grays, blacks, whites which lends a sense of realism to the show.
Funny thing is aside from the color pallet in Sidonia there are some similarities with Macross, episode 5 "Adrift" totally reminded me of Hikaru and Lynn Minmay's time together in the bowels of the Macross, and by the end I started getting the whole love triangle vibe between Nagate, Izana, and Yuhata....all Sidonia needed was a Miss Sidonia contest....

At first I was overwhelmed by all the different characters and had a difficult time keeping track of who was who but the show did a decent job fleshing out the characters in the short amount of episodes and killing off enough that by the end of episode 12 I knew who was who and how they related to each other.
I also enjoyed the fact that by the end I had many unanswered questions regarding the mysteries within Sidonia, the Gauna, the Immortals, Placental Shizuka, fortunately a second season will be coming that will hopefully expand on this intriguing story.
My all time favorite anime is Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, it balanced the drama and and action better than Star Wars IMO and Sidonia seems to be following the same formula. The battle scenes against the Guana are tense and the stakes are always high. I like that the Gauna aren't just cannon fodder and cast members are all yellow shirts.....I didn't expect Shizuna to die right after being rescued by Nagate, that definately created some believable drama between Nagate and the other characters in Sidonia. And that balance betwenn action and drama is what will set this anime above many others.
There's also some fresh ideas in this series such as gender less humans that will develop into either a male or female based on there attraction to a certain gender, human photosynthesis to aide in food shortages during loooooooooong distance space travel (and what trip in space isn't long? Also I'm not sure how effective photosynthesis is in outer space :/)
I enjoyed Knights of Sidonia it reminds me of SDFM and I think this series has potential. Check it out on Netflix!