I’m not what you would consider a huge Anime fan, in fact, the only reason I came across Knights of Sidonia was by accident. I tried searching for Final Fantasy films on Netflix and happened to cross paths with this unique Netflix series. I will admit to recently absorbing Attack on Titan in just a few weeks and I consider it a brilliant piece of Anime and will use it as a reference point in my review of Knights of Sidonia.
Let’s start with the negative first. Knights of Sidonia gives a bare minimum to certain background details concerning Nagate Tanikaze, our mysterious hero from the underground. He appears to be the only person living in the underground of Sidonia and we are only given bits of pieces to why he is living underground. Also, as soon as he arrives above ground, instead of being treated as a mysterious stranger, he is instantly given a garde (think mobile space-flight suit with attachable swords and/or guns) and made into a pilot to fight against the Gauna (odd space alien beings seemingly intent on destroying Sidonia). Yes, it is a tad confusing and it can get even more confusing because of the lack of information of these details along with the fact that the entire story line seems to revolve sporadically as if the writers suddenly thought: Hey this would be a sweet idea to give gardes guns and now the garde units are using guns instead of swords or all the Gauna are these tentacled, massive creatures but wait, let’s morph them into previously devoured Sidonians and fight them against their former friends.
The next issue I have with the series is the female characters. I’m not trying to be racist in the least but I can barely distinguish any of the different female characters in this series and all of them have the exact same storyline! They pop into Nagate’s social life looking for attention and then end up dying in battle. This happens multiple times.
Moving on to why you should give this series a chance, while I’ve said some of the writing is sporadic, it does have some massive potential with the scale of the Universe. Sidonia is one mobile refugee ship that contains the remnants of a destroyed Earth; apparently there are other ships like Sidonia, however, we haven’t encountered any of those yet. Another interesting tidbit is that most of the people currently in Sidonia are some sort of genetically enhanced humans; they don’t need to eat much and they can photosynthesize for nourishment to a degree. As you get further into the series you are given some explanation into the mysterious leading council and their origins which also could be developed into another special few episodes.
The entire Sidonia storyline has some very interesting dynamics and relationships between Nagate Tanikaze and a captured Gauna. Also, the entire population of Sidonia with their enhancements, along with the leader council, might not be as they seem.
On a whole, when I compare Attack on Titan to Knights of Sidonia, I do see similar traits. I think Attack on Titan has a large upper hand in its story telling ability and I also prefer the animation. But there is just something so oddly unique and addictive with Knights of Sidonia that you can’t seem to stop watching. If Knights of Sidonia gets a Season Two from Netflix, I really hope they flesh out the back-story and work on creating some consistency with their female characters instead of using them as pawns to move the storyline along with their deaths.