Lately, it seems as if Netflix can do no wrong. With hits such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, they’ve continued to pump out hit after hit series. Now they’ve exclusively released a twelve episode anime series from Polygon Pictures called Knights of Sidonia, which reminds me a lot of Macross and Gundam where the focus is on people in space trying to survive their way through war and drama while also fighting in cool looking mecha to boot.
The setting takes places in a future that has the last remaining humans on board a huge spaceship called Sidonia, thanks to alien monsters called gauna that have destroyed Earth. Preparing for their return, the humans create giant mech suits called guardians to fight the gauna and keep humanity safe. Deep below the city, a young man named Nagate Tanikaze has been living underground and gets caught by police while coming to the surface scavenging for food. Luckily it just so happens he’s also been training on a virtual guardian simulator while underground and is given the chance to become a pilot and fit in with the rest of society. Not long after Nagate joins the guardian pilots, the gauna begin to attack the humans for the first time in a hundred years, and without giving too much away, it’s up to him and his fellow cadets to find out exactly what the gauna want and to stop them any way they can.
It’s obvious Netflix did a lot of careful planning on choosing Knights of Sidonia as the first exclusive anime series they’re distributing. From what I’ve seen so far, the series has all of the classic elements that make Japanese animation worth watching. A great storyline, character development, along with action and drama touched with a bit of comedy really help pull viewers in and keep them there. Also trying to figure out the mystery of how the human and gauna are connected, as well as why they just showed up when Nagate came along had me coming back for more as well. I was reminded heavily of other classic space drama anime while watching this, such as the Macross (aka Robotech here in the U.S.) and Gundam series.
As with most of the anime on Netflix, it was nice being able to have the option to view the show dubbed in English or Japanese with subtitles. The widescreen, high-definition presentation is a nice bonus as well, but not surprising considering how new the series is.
If you’re looking for something interesting to (binge) watch on Netflix, or if you’re a fan of classic space-saga anime, you’ll probably enjoy Knights of Sidonia. Anyone who watches will agree that the great story, characters, drama and action show that Netflix is dedicated to releasing the best shows available. Hopefully this is just the beginning of something greater, and I for one can’t wait to see what they’ve got lined up next.