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Goin’ Japanesque!

Sci-Fi Anime “Knights of Sidonia”: Mankind 1000 Years into the Future

Recently in Japan, animation is dominated by fantasy and science fiction is less frequently seen. Against such a trend “Knights of Sidonia” shines as a high quality Sci-Fi work, establishing distinction with three-dimensional computer graphics (3DCG).



Due to an assault by unidentified life form Gauna, mankind has abandoned the earth by 300 immigrant ships in order to look for a new home in outer space.

1000 years since then, Nagate Tanikaze has been living with his grandfather in the lowest level of the immigrant ship Sidonia in isolation from the community. After his grandfather’s death, Nagate is caught by Sidonia crew for stealing rice.

Nagate is not qualified to join the crew of Sidonia and he becomes a pilot in training of Morito, a giant guardian robot of the ship with Captain Kobayashi’s backup. But the giant robot Morito is tasked to fight Gauna on the front line, the ultimate enemy of mankind.

This science fiction story depicts Nagate, who has become a pilot of the giant robot Morito, the battles for existence by his friends who are aboard the immigrant ship Sidonia, and the fate of people living on the ship.



This piece is unusual as it was created with 3DCG, which is rarely used by anime focusing on story development.

The first season aired in 2014 and the second season of the story, “Knights of Sidonia: The Battle of The Ninth Planet”, a sequel, was broadcasted in 2015.

This anime features a giant robot, a familiar pattern in Japanese anime, but the robot is amazingly realistic thanks to the addition of 3DCG characteristics, and its action scenes are impressive.

And unlike 3DCG animations created by Disney, this anime reproduces characters’ drawings just like original anime with 3DCG technique, and viewers are likely to feel the work retains a Japanese touch.

The story depicts mankind in a distant future over 1000 years later, including girl soldiers called Honoka series created by cloning, hermaphrodites and people who can photosynthesise in order to reduce demand on food intake.

In particular, human beinga with photosynthetic ability is a current subject discussed seriously in the scientific community.

As expected of a science fiction story, this piece depicts mankind that has evolved into a distant future, utilizing the latest scientific findings.

In addition the design of the immigrant ship Sidonia, the stage of the story, has a sophisticated design focusing on the functionality, a simplistic rectangular shape merged with a small asteroid that supplies mineral resources.

It’s a stately Sci-Fi drama by the setting of the story, but the characters of the story are similar to us, unfolding human relations as seen today.

The main character Nagate is an innocent youth with superior combat abilities, but he is a little bit goofy and careless in everyday life.

The characters include his friend Izana Shinatose who is secretly in love with Nagate and Captain Kobayashi who can act sometimes coldly and ruthlessly for survival of the immigrant ship Shidonia. These people sometimes show a humane side and personal bonds and conflicts in the community of Sidonia are intriguing.

The first season of the anime proceeded by following the original faithfully, but the anime loosely took off from the original starting with the second season.

The second season has concluded, leaving us strong anticipation for the third season.

The original manga story has already completed, and we are eagerly awaiting the production of the third season of the anime series.

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon