zondag 28 september 2014

Sidonia no Kishi anime review

Okay, let`s kick open the door on this one, just listen to the opening theme music and your already halfway hooked.

Sidonia no Kishi, or Knights of Sidonia, is a 12 episode long mecha series, with a very sweet and soft drawn animation style, in the trend of Studio Ghibli style drawings.

Humanity now lives aboard `seed ships` after Earth had been destroyed by a race called the Gauna thousand years ago.  One of these seed ships is the Sidonia, which looks as a large rectangle vessel apparently sculpted right out of our moon.

Almost all people on board are clones, and a third gender has been created over time.  Through genetic modifications, they can now photosynthesize, as such requiring only a single meal a week. 

Enter Tanikaze Nagate, a 14 year old boy that has lived in the deep confines of the ship and is apparently a normal human like me and you.  As such, he has a more natural flair to pilot one of the older generations Gardes (the name the mobile suits are called in the series), as he was trained by his grandfather on a simulator representing the older type 17 compared to the newer, more automated type 18`s.

But there are odd things going on with Tanikaze as well.  During a first mining sortie, the Gauna reappear and a 100 year old peace is broken.  Tanikaze is apparently killed in this engagement... only to suddenly revive and take on the Gauna single handed allowing his copilots bar one to escape.

When Akai and his team of ace pilots are killed by the Gauna, Tanikaze, piloting the legendary type 17 Gardes Tsugomori of an hero of the Defense War 100 years ago (a bare 2 Gauna managed to gain entrance back then to Sidonia and nearly wiped out all the population, starting the genetical manipulation process), Hiroki, are set out to recover the spears able to defeat the Gauna.

Tanikaze snatches up the spear and kills the Gauna single handedly, becoming the hero Sidonia looks for in this heavily Gauna populated region of space.

Slowly it gets revealed that all the clones have memory implants of previous occupants, and Tanikaze was indeed intended to become a new host for Hiroki.  He didn`t want this however and stole the baby to disappear in the depths of the ship.  A first generation `grown` baby, he didn`t have the ability to photosynthesise, but did heal at an increased rate.

Here, Hiroki took upon him the role of grandfather and trained Tanikaze in the conventional ways, passing on his warrior skills while allowing the boy to grow and develop his own personality.  When Tanikaze`s growing love intrest falls in battle, she is copied by the Gauna and a idea comes up that perhaps the two races might be able to communicate with each other, but before this can be exploited a Gauna Hive Ship turns up.

The Knights set out and manage to defeat it, but the captured Gauna apparently has escaped during these trials, setting up the premises for the announced series 2: The Ninth Planet Crusade, set out to be released around the year`s switch.

The series has a big Battlestar Galactica feel to it, with the last remnants of humanity fleeing from an overwhelming alien menance, including the death of characters you expected to never die, in-ship intruiges and politics, hidden agenda`s and a sweet drum style music when the Gardes go out to battle.

A very entertaining and `raw` series, and if I where you: GRAB IT!

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