Review : Knights of Sidonia

Knights Of Sidonia is the work of Nihie Tsutomu, one of the leading manga authors of cyberpunk genre and its work was picked up by a new animation studio so I decided to give it a try. When I began it's first episode and saw the CGI, I felt a little underwhelmed and my opinion on the show began to waver. But, I decided to watch a few more episodes of it and that made me realize that I could never have been so wrong about an anime!


The anime was a post-apocalyptic sic-fi which is Nihie Tsutomu's niche and the story, rather than being ambiguous, was more straightforward. The human race is forced into space due to a predatory and mysterious enemy called the "Gauna" and in order to defend the last bastion of the human race, an enormous space ship called Sidonia, the humans make use of giant mechs called Guardes to do battle with the Gauna. This setting allows for more dramatic turns to take place as humanity scrambles to face off against an enemy that they hardly know anything about. The technology was advanced, allowing for interesting views upon population control and reproduction along with the scientific breakthroughs with a certain energy called "Higg’s Particles". This energy is in fact a real thing, and not out of the realm of possibility. Thus, It was evident that a lot of research went into the creation of the way of life on the ship of Sidonia.


The characters of the anime were very interesting though I'll not say that all of them were completely original. Each of them had unique characteristics to separate them from most of the other characters. Each character evolved in his or her own way and it was very interesting to see the conversations that took place between them after some course of events had taken place. It was really due to the sci-fi setting that allowed for such diversity among them and while you may not appreciate every character, you have to accept that every character we were introduced to had their own role to play in the story. Though I had one problem, the intense battling at times, seemed a little too lax for my taste and let’s say you are on a mission where you lose twenty five lives in the process and instead of mourning after it, you go to the beach or a festival. I know it’s to take away the stress of everyday life, but if that was going to be done, I didn't like the small struggles that happened while they were on that break. Overall, it has a solid base to segue forward from here into the next season.

Animation and Sound

The animation and artwork was where the anime the distinguishes itself from every other anime out there. Everything, literally everything, from the scenery to the props, even the characters, is CGI rendered using 3D models. By no means the CG work used here was bad, in fact it was rather good for the series. However, it did have its bouts of awkwardness from time to time, and they were rather noticeable. That said, Kōbun Shizuno’s direction compensates for most of the show’s technical deficiencie. He knows how to frame a shot, and can choreograph action extremely well. All of the show’s action sequences and other set-pieces are executed cleanly and are in spectacular fashion; never getting too busy or muddled.

For the sound, it completely exceeded my expectations. The First OP "Sidonia" by Angela was amazing and I highly recommend, if you have a pair of fantastic headphones, use them. The quality of the sound during the encounters versus the Gauna were some of the best I have ever heard. Once I put on my headset and listened, I was completely immersed. The engines roaring, weapons firing and so-on, you could tell the studio payed especially close attention to the details and it was phenomenal. 


Knights of Sidonia is my favourite piece from Nihei Tsutomu and it was definitely enjoyable. Though it is hard getting all the nuances in his drawing into an animated format, the animation studio did a great job. The characters were as strong as I remember them from the manga. The gravity of the situation is mediocrely communicated compared to the manga, but the overall atmosphere is very cyberpunk, playing well to its genre.

Overall, It was an amazing anime that should not be simply overlooked. The CGI, may take some time getting used to for some, is an integral part of the anime and those whom give it a chance will see why. Even for those with a dislike of mecha I'd recommend this to as the major focus on character interactions, fantastic sound and breath-taking action all put into one package makes this one of the great sci-fi mecha anime out there to look out for.



  1. I'm very interested to see what CG animation can do after having watched Arpeggio of Blue Steel a while back, so i'll be adding this one to my list.

    1. Let me tell you, It isn't one bit like Arpeggio of Blue Steel! I actually dropped the anime after watching it's first episode because I just couldn't bear to watch it's CG work. But, in Knights of Sidonia, by no means was the CG work used here was bad, in fact, it was rather good for the series and it also distinguished itself from every other anime out there.