The very first review on the blog! This show just completed its run so here are some thoughts on it in the form of a review. Be prepared for some light spoilage.

Knights of Sidonia is a 12 episode space mecha following the pursuits of Nagate Tanikaze as he and others try and defend their massive colony/seed ship the Sidonia from the inscrutable Gauna. As such this is mostly an action anime in the same vein as Attack on Titan or The Pilot's Love Song. Let us get to the breakdown.

Plot

A lively show, the plot starts fast and the pace is pretty steady throughout. This is a show about people struggling to survive in a harsh environment against an implacable enemy and as such very little time is spent on fluff. Viewers of Attack on Titan will find much they are already familiar with. This season does not have an overarching plot, but instead has a few mini arcs throughout. Overall things are hard to predict and the suspense is high enough to keep you looking forward to the next episode.

Setting and Characters

As far as anime goes, the settings is farm fresh. Not many animes are set in space these days and furthermore not many pay service to the realities of operating in a vacuum. Sidonia does and in a big way. Major plot points revolve around the physics of acceleration and the difficulties in regards to resources of running a society in a closed environment. Characters are probably Sidonia's weakest point. Our main antagonist is a bit plain both emotionally and back story wise. The supporting characters (other pilots, officers) are a little better, but some fulfill your standard anime tropes : rival to the main protagonist, bubbly girl classmate, etc.

Animation Quality

The animation quality is high, but viewers may be put off by the heavy use of CGI for characters and the mecha themselves. I do not mind, but if you found Arpeggio of Blue Steel hard to watch because of this, you should probably give this show a pass. If this does not bother you then enjoy the high quality visuals on display here. The Sidonia looks fantastic, clearly this ship has been an evolving home for a desperate people for many hundreds of years. The mechs themselves are well thought out and their cockpits are the most sensible I have ever seen. Battle scenes are lush, dynamic, and well choreographed.

Audio

High marks in this category. The OP is a nice mix between orchestral military theme and high energy JPop. The ED is restrained and brooding and always a good finish to an episode. Music throughout the series complements the action or the drama well, but nothing ever stood out for me. Sound effects wise Knights of Sidonia has a knack for capturing just the right mechanical effects. Consequently all the mechs, ships, machines sound great. Voice work is pretty standard, no one seemed off their game. I do award high marks to the voice actor of the captain who just seemed a bit better than everybody else.

Overall

This is a well done show. If you like mechs, SciFi, or Attack on Titan give it a watch. If you do not like it by episode four you can probably drop it. I award it 18 lead bricks out of five oddly situated bear characters.