Sunday, January 18, 2015

Knights of Sidonia: An Arc in Space protected by valiant knights

So I finally got around to watching Knights of Sidonia on Netflix, which I should use more often since I do pay for it. I sat down this evening and marathoned it. Since it was only 12 episdoes that wasn't to hard to complete in one sitting. I have been aware of the manga for a few years though I haven't read it. And I already had heard the theme song since I am a fan of Angela and when I saw she had a new single I purchased it. Ever since I saw the original Fafner series I have liked Angela and the opening for this series is very unique.

In some places it makes me think of something military and orderly. Then in other places it's exciting and action packed sounding. The song has a dissonance and urgency to it. You have tempo and style changes within the piece. It's not a very happy sounding piece. In fact the lyrics are speaking of going to fight to protect others and having your comrades die. It's about duty and fighting for survival. It's a song that fits perfectly with the series. Not only is the opening song great but the series has a great soundtrack over all.

Now this series is about a young man Nagata Tanikaze, who was raised by his grandfather underground away from everyone else. After his grandfather dies he goes up to the surface and breaks into a factory to steal some rice. He is caught but instead of being punished the captain of the seed ship(this world is one where earth has been destroyed and the remnants are on seed ships going out into space) takes interest in him and becomes his guardian. She asks him to become a pilot and be a hero who protects the Sidonia. He agrees. The surface world though is very different form what he has known. For instance all the others can get nourishment from photosynthesis so they only need to eat food once a week. The other cadets for the most part are jealous of him getting into the program so easily when it's something that is usually very hard to enter. And when the first gauna in 100 years attack they see him as a jinx. Nagata though is much more special then he or his fellow cadets realize. There are many secrets surrounding him in this world where humanity fights for survival.

This is a very interesting science fiction series. The whole young pilot who seems ordinary comes in and shines in battle while fighting the monstrous enemy from space thing is reminiscent of so many other mech series such as Fafner which I mentioned above where you have the Festum. In fact if I understoof correctly the Gauna first attacked earth. The thing with the organic reprocessing plant made me think of Logans Run, when the idea that some people were sent there alive seemed to come up. Everything is recycled here even the people though unlike in Logan's run I don't think they are eating them. And I wasn't entirely clear on what was going on with the organic reprocessing plant because it wasn't explained clearly, Maybe the manga will do a better job. This world though has really interesting feature to it though. The photosynthesis being one. You also have cloning, an immortal council, sped up growth, a new type of gender where gender is chosen by who they decide to reproduce with. The one thing that I wondered about was the talking Bear. There is  only one and it seems random.

There are a lot of questions that come up in the series. Some are explained in this first series while others linger. For instance what are the Gauna? What do they want? What happened between Nagata's grandpa and the Captain? Why does the one guy have an auxillery brain which he can't always access because he is being punished? What is really going on in this world? There is a sense that there is more going on here than meets the eye.

This world is not a very pretty world. You have people who are dissatisfied with the status quo. You have death and destruction. You see people sacrificed civilian and military all for the sake of survival. But you also get the sense that those who die are replaceable except for a few who contain special knowledge.
Overall I have to say I like what I saw. The character design was interesting, though I feel in places the CG looked weird. The fight scenes though were pretty cool. This series is very interesting.  I have no doubts that this series is going to lead us down a painful road but it will be good. I look forward to season 2.