I had the strangest experience with the first episode of this science fiction-mech series about a post-apocalyptic universe.
I laughed my ass off for about ten minutes straight. But this did not occur until two days after I had seen the pilot.
I was attempting to give my anime friends a quick blurb about it, when I crafted this wholly accurate sentence, “The dorm monitor is a talking bear with a robot arm”.
Realizing that this was dead serious, I completely lost my composure, almost waking up my wife in the process. And thus I knew it had earned its place in our line up.
But not just for itself. “Sidonia no Kishi” shares lots of common elements, it would seem, with Black Bullet, another show we’ll be getting into. And yet they approach their subject matter from completely different angles. Comparing and contrasting may be in our future…maybe. I’ll give it another week or two.
But Knights of Sidona wins by being a science fiction piece, and there is no doubt that it is. And despite my blog name having origins in a camp sci-fi show, I haven’t REALLY gotten to explore the genre in great detail. Knights offers me that opportunity, so here you have it. It’s also combined with mecha, and I still feel bad not having a good “comfort zone” series to test my boundaries. So this also happens to help fill that role, a mixed blood series to ease my temperament, if you will.
Judging by a lot of the imagery and themes involved, along with one not entirely subtle nod, I think it’s safe to say this series is inspired, at least in part, by Battlestar Galactica (which, if you haven’t heard, is getting ANOTHER reboot).
You may be familiar with the premise, as Ron Moore’s version was quite popular some years back. But in case you aren’t: Humans created AI called Cylons. They rebelled, and after a back and forth conflict, the Cylons retreated into uncharted space with a tenuous peace treaty with the Human colonies. At the start of the series, they’ve broken the treaty, and nuke the entirety of the Human race, some few thousand survivors escape with the only Human warship left, the Galactica. They are pursued by the Cylons, trying to find refuge at a lost Human colony called Earth.
Knights of Sidonia takes that initial concept, and runs it to its most extreme conclusion. That this chase after the essential extermination of the Human race just keeps going and going, with no safe haven to be found. There are obviously some changes, the big one being Earth isn’t a haven, but the seat of Humanity wiped out during the apocalypse.
And the enemy is not robotic, but biological. This is mostly just a reflection of the times. AI was a pretty big issue. It dominated science fiction from the late 60s to the 1980s. 2001: A Space Odyssey had HAL9000, there were the Terminator movies. And even the original Battlestar Galactica itself.
Today, our fears are less that technology will overthrow us, and more directed at the biological. Super viruses, zombie apocalypses, these are what our doomsday scenarios look like these days in media. So thus in Knights we have a reflection of that, with an organic menace decimating the Human race, rather than robotic. They’re made of tentacles because….it’s Japan. Continue reading