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Knights of Sidonia

April 28, 2014

The promotional trailer for “Knights of Sidonia”, the anime adaptation of the “シドニアの騎士” manga by Nihei Tsutomu, looked very promising, so I was anxious to watch this new science fiction anime.

Although I have not read the manga, after these three first episodes am quite impressed with “Sidonia no Kishi” and cannot wait to see the rest. Have high hopes for this show and am curious to see how the political intrigues, the various character interactions, sci-fi mysteries and its mecha action will all play out.

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Looking at the basic plot and some of its core elements, one could suggest this series is somewhat similar to “Shingeki no Kyojin”, but in “Knights of Sidonia” mankind is technologically very advanced, though that did not prevent them from being driven to the brink of extinction, cursed to forever wander through space, on the run from an alien threat.

Like “Shingeki no Kyojin”, there’s much more to the story than the continuous threat of a horrible death at the hands of an impossibly powerful foe, there’s also internal strife, political intrigue, machinations hidden behind the scenes and unethical experiments. Plenty of elements to make a thrilling sci-fi story.

Last year’s “Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova” anime proved that CG rendered anime is viable when used for a franchise that visually would fit with its typical look. “Sidonia no Kishi” is definitely a show where this animation method is a suitably fitting style.

Obviously the mecha and spaceships benefit from such CG rendering, but for this franchise, having the characters fully rendered in CG also fits well enough, especially considering the cast features clones too.

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Whereas in “Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova” the CG rendered animation style seemed to have quite the challenge in rendering colors similar to anime made with more traditional animation, here in “Knights of Sidionia” the stark contrast of light and dark, the lack of color in most of the spaceship interior backgrounds are emphasized thanks to the CG rendered animation.

Aiding the overall atmosphere, the haunting feeling of the alien threat and the brooding, depressing colorless interior of Sidonia, the exodus ship that may be mankind its last home and hope, become much more tangible thanks to the absence of bright, lively colors. Instead, the abundance of identical, faded colors or tones of white, gray and black, helps set the mood for the show’s rather dark story.

Shizuka is voiced by Suzaki Aya who also voiced Mako in “Kill la Kill”, Tamako in “Tamako Market” and also voices Kana in this season’s “Gokukoku no Brynhildr”.

Toyosaki Aki voices Izana, she previously voiced Yui in “K-ON!”, Yoshino in “Minami-ke”, Chitose in “Yuru Yuri”, Uiharu in “To aru Kagaku no Railgun”, Megumi in “Servant x Service” and this season also voices Seitenshi in “Black Bullet” and Tsumugi in “Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara”.

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Yuhata is voiced by Kanemoto Hisako, she’s tackled roles like Ika Musume in “Shinryaku! Ika Musume”, Makoto in “Gingitsune”, Amy in “Suisei no Gargantia”, Kanata in “So-Ra-No-Wo-To” and she also voices Sayaka in this season’s “Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou”.

Kitamura Eri voices the Honoka clones, she also voiced Yachiyo in “Working!!”, Uchida in “Minami-ke”, Allean in “Queen’s Blade”, Karen in “Bakemonogatari”, Miu in “Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai” and Ami in “Toradora!”.

Dorm leader Lala is voiced by Satomi Arai who previously voiced Kuroko in “To Aru Kagaku No Railgun”, Hata in “Seitokai Yakuindomo” and Kozue in “Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~”.

I will definitely keep on watching “Knights of Sidonia” and highly recommend it to fans of science fiction and mecha anime.

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