Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia anime cover art featuring Nagate Tanikaze
Knights of Sidonia Cover Art

Overview

Knights of Sidonia is a mecha anime which takes place over 1,000 years in the future after the destruction of Earth. Humans now live on giant space ships, the last known of which is the Sidonia, and have been genetically altered so that they reproduce asexually and can use photosynthesis.

The reason for Earth’s destruction is an alien race known as the Gauna which have the ability to shapeshift. The Sidonia defends itself from the Gauna by dispatching mechs known as Gardes. I don’t remember the exact mechanic from the anime, but the Gardes become faster or more powerful or something if they are connected (classic mecha anime trope).

I’ve mentioned in the past that mecha anime generally aren’t for me, and this is a fairly typical example of why. While there are some mecha anime which I like such as Gurren Lagann or the new series, Darling in the FranXX, generally mecha anime I come across don’t have the quality of animation I’m looking for.

Knights of Sidonia is a prime example of this; it uses 3D animation which is never as good as 2D animation. I’ve watched other series that use a mix of 2D and 3D animation and even in those you can see the drop in quality whenever 3D animation is used (Sailor Moon Crystal and Overlord are just two examples of this).

Generally, when 3D animation is used in anime, it looks like it only has half the frames per second (FPS) that it’s supposed to which makes it look choppy and awkward.

Other than my issue with the animation of this series, I found that the plot reminded me somewhat of Sword Art Online which typically isn’t a good thing. I don’t remember exactly when the switch happened so we’ll assume it was the swap from season one to season two, but the anime changed from a mecha anime to a “playing house with a tentacle alien” anime.

If that sounds like a bad change of story, that’s because it is.


Characters

Nagate Tanikaze is the protagonist of the series. He grew up in the depths of Sidonia, cut off from the rest of the citizens except for his grandfather, only emerging to the “surface” after his passing. While in the “underground” layers of Sidonia, he spent his time by piloting an old Garde training simulator until he mastered it.

Because of his mastery of the Garde simulator, he was chosen to be a Garde pilot upon going to the surface.

Izana Shinatose is the female lead as far as I’m concerned. She is, however, technically not female, but instead a non-binary third gender which has the ability to choose to be whichever gender (their bodies physically adjust to this choice). Anyway, she ends up basically being female so that’s what we’ll go with.

The final character I’ll mention is Tsumugi Shiraui, the tentacle alien. She is a Human/Gauna hybrid who typically takes the form of a giant, fleshy, pink mecha; however, as part Guana she can alter her appearance as well. Typically when not acting as a mecha she interacts with the other characters in the form of a tentacle alien which is something that should never be in any anime.

Nagate and Izana (probably) landing on a Garde
Nagate and Izana (Probably)

Conclusion

Somehow I gave the first season of this series a 5, but the second season a 4 so we’ll pick the 4/10 as the rating for both seasons combined. This anime is actually rated pretty highly on MAL for some reason so I guess there are just a lot of die-hard mecha fans out there.

Maybe one day I’ll watch some of the old Gundam anime from before 3D animation ruined the mecha genre to see if it’s actually the animation I dislike or the genre itself.

I couldn’t find a good version of the OP from the first season, so the OP from the second season is available here.

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