“Take the plunge, do not waiver” Inspirational lyrics (translated) from the militaristic opening theme song for Knights of Sidonia ! I needed inspiration as I binge-watched this anime series on July 5th. It is a “Made for NETFLIX” series, and it is wonderful. I am happy that I found an anime series that I liked … and it is NOT several years old. I’m re-watching again as I type this. I will share the trailer here.
Note to my friends: When I drafted this post I originally included the theme songs. These have been removed from YouTube by RECORD INDUSTRY WEASELS. Sorry. I will re-post in the comments if they ever become available again.
Marathon-watching a series is a good way to watch an anime. It is fun to stay up all night — not intentionally — but when the series is good, you always want to watch just one more episode. By then, you are close to finishing. You cannot leave until the climactic final episode is seen! You could view “NOS” as a six-hour movie, just skip the opening and closing credits/theme songs. The themes are part of the fun however. When an opening theme is good, it fires you up for another episode!
The story is set over a thousand years in the future. Humans have abandoned Earth, after it was destroyed by gigantic aliens known as “Gauna”. These monsters look like giant fleas the size of a city. Oddly, they also mimic the form of other things, such as a spaceship or a human. This series is based on a well-respected manga of the same name, however in the anime, not a lot is explained about who/what the Guana are. Actually a lot of things were not explained, but it is still fun!
Humanity has left Earth in massive spaceships created from the remains of our planet. This anime follows the spaceship “Sidonia” which apparently was the lifeboat which preserves Japan’s culture. There is a lot of Japanese cultural references made here. (One negative reviewer on Netflix complained that there were not any black people aboard Sidonia. Weird.)
Other aspects of the future: Human cloning and asexual reproduction are possible. You know how many characters all look the same in anime? Well, here you have clones, so following the characters may be very difficult at first. There are also some that are “bi-gender”– not male or female … until they choose a mate. I actually found a way to tell the bi-genders from the female characters: If they had big boobs that bobbled around delightfully – they were female.
Also, human bioengineering was utilized to produce human photosynthesis. These future humans do not have to eat, but they often have to take off their clothes and sunbathe. Fortunately they only show the women doing this. Also, they are all light-skinned Japanese. (Another negative Netflix reviewer complained that the series was in Japanese only, and that they “did not read” so they could not watch it. WRONG! You can watch the English dub option, and there is also a Spanish dub available if you habla.)
Anyway, these giant “Guana” are always trying to destroy Sidonia. The main spaceship is protected by anthro-morphic spaceship jetfighters called the ”Gardes”. Young people in the surviving human population are screened and drafted as Garde pilots at a young age — if they are capable of piloting them. The story follows the exploits of Nagate Tanikaze, a gifted Garde pilot. Nagate was actually raised in an “underground” layer of Sidonia. Growing up with his grandfather, he encountered few other humans in these hidden labyrinths. He trains himself in an old Guardian pilot simulator every day, eventually mastering it. After his grandfather’s death he is found by the people above and is eventually selected as a Guardian pilot. The Sidonia’s Captain hopes he will defend Sidonia from Gauna attacks using all the combat expertise he learned. Nagate is bullied by some of the other pilots, because he is not bio-engineered — and cannot photosynthesize. Is there a “harem” for our lovable-loser-anime-male-main-character? Yes, a great looking female pilot (Hoshijiro-san) falls in love with him, and another bi-gender girl (Izana-chan) also loves him secretly, and another trainee (Yuhata-chan) adores him on a professional level. Does he do anything about it? Well how do all of these anime hero-protagonists behave? It is the battles that are the main drama in this series. Someone always gets killed.
Oh, and there is a talking bear. Unbelievably, ANOTHER negative Netflix reviewer complained that “the talking bear did not make any sense.”
Do not let these negative reviews sway you. I will let you see the rest for yourself . NOS is the only “NETFLIX original series” that I have ever enjoyed fully. I have seen some of the other “made for Netflix” series. Meh. While I finished some of them, I felt like I wasted my time with ___. (You can fill in the names of those other made-for-Netflix shows.)
Starlight? No this was Sunlight.