Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine

Alt title: Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki

TV (12 eps)
4.211 out of 5 from 4,473 votes
Rank #721
Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine

After the events of season one, the authority of Sidonia plans on turning the tables and strike at the enemy's heart. Ace Pilot Nagate Tanikaze and company again must put their lives in the line protecting Sidonia, but now in company of an unexpected ally; a sentient Garde-Gauna hybrid.

Source: ANN

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Reviews

bmcafee
8

This review is for the second season only.  I have already reviewed season one HERE.  Synopsis:  The scientist Ochiai is up to something.  Whether or not it’s good or bad is somewhat ambiguous.  He’s definitely obsessed with creating a human/Gauna hybrid, one of his old projects that he never was able to complete before, and there’s no time like the present.  The Gauna are headed for the Lem star system, where a human colony will surely be destroyed if they aren’t stopped.  Captain Kobiyashi is dead set on exterminating the Gauna, unfortunately, nobody is quite sure how they will accomplish such a feat.  Never the less, she has set Sidonia on an intercept course.  And don’t count the Crimson Hawk Moth out, cause she’s back and still obsessed with Tanikaze.  But whether or not she wants to kill him or kiss him is a little unclear. Animation:  9.0 Nothing new to report.  It looks exactly like season one.  All 3D CGI, a little bland in the pallet, but overall still very good.  One good point is in character and mecha design.  The new character, the Hybrid Tsumugi, is an absolutely fantastic and original design.  Basically an unbelievably long worm, she can snake her way all around Sidonia through tunnels and pipes in the walls, one end of her must always be attached to her main body which must stay in a hangar sized room.  Tsumugi’s mecha-like body is as large as the garde units and has a humanoid form which is refreshingly organic and feminine, which is nice in an environment where everything is mechanical and uniform. Sound:  7.5  Same voices, of course, and the music is similar but different.  I am knocking off a half point from my season one review because the opening credit song is nowhere near as good as that from the first season.  It left me wondering, “Where is that fantastic march from the last season?”  I have to admit; it was used to grand effect.  It does reappear, in the final episode of the series, just at the climax of the episode and adds an epic feel to the scene.    Story:  7.5  I am giving the story a two and a half point upgrade from last season.  I complained a lot last season that characters were killed off too quickly, and even the ones that lived were never developed.  Not so here.  The death rate for characters is way down, they live longer, and we get to really see them interact and share their motivations and back stories.  Season two is everything that season one lacked.  Well done!  Not only that, but this season is far more original, departing from the cliché origins of the first season.  Unfortunately, we still get no explanation for Lala, the robotic bear who serves as a cook and was apparently a fully human pilot back in the day.  Seriously, why are we ignoring the obvious elephant (bear?) in the room? Characters:  8  Yet another upgrade here, almost entirely due to the hybrid Tsumugi.  However, I must factor in that the pre-existing characters were also made far more interesting than they were in the first season, but the introduction of Tsumugi eclipses them to some extent.  Tsumugi is one of the most alien characters I have seen in any science fiction, although the criticisms that she looks a bit phalic are justified.  She has a distinctly alien form, the design of which is very original. She is likeable and believable, and engenders an emotional attachment which only enhances the story.  Kunato, who was a self-centered egotist in the first season, practically two dimensional, is now a highly mysterious character, with a hidden agenda which will keep you interested.  Would you trust him, or not?  I wouldn’t, but he does often come through in a pinch to help out in some unexpected way. Overall: 8.0  The second season of Sidonia is a dramatic departure from the first.  Sure, the same environment, but a completely different treatment of the story and characters, all of which are upgrades.  If my review of the first season turned you off to the series, you may want to re-think that.  This makes up for nearly all the flaws of season

PowerUpOrDie
4

*This review is for both seasons of KoS* One of my 'Fast Food Anime'. An anime series watched not because of particular quality or merit, but simply because it's easily consumable. Shows like 'Akira', 'Neon Genesis Evangelion', or 'Perfect Blue' may be far superior, but you do need to be in a particular state of mind to enjoy them properly. 'Knights of Sidonia' fills that niche for when you just want to veg out and enjoy an anime without having to put much mental effort forward. If something like 'Evangelion' is a fine meal at a top Italian restaurant, 'Sidonia' is a drive-through Big Mac (but sometimes you just want a Big Mac anyway).STORY Pretty bare bones here, 'Battlestar Galactica' crossed with 'Attack on Titan' is probably the easiest way to describe it. There are hints of deeper conspiracies and unseen forces at work that could complicate things, but those elements only pop up too sporadically to truly drive the plot. You're signing up for a bunch of cool battles as mecha slug it out with aliens, the rest is just fill time or set up the next fight. The set-up is basic: we have a teenage male protagonist who's a crazy good pilot, gets to fly a special mecha, and is tossed into a full-scale war for survival on short notice- hardly something we haven't seen before. The second season suffers from a badly sagging middle as 'Sidonia' spends time frittering around in fan-service and slice of life and a small harem- as if the next logical season end point was too far away to fit into 12 episodes so they just decided to strech the current arc out. It isn't a good thing when a story that depends on spectacular events forgets it needs to show spectacular events.ANIMATION  I don't hate CGI simply for existing, it's a tool and like any tool it can be used well or poorly. Studios like PIXAR and Dreamworks have delivered top-quality works in CGI, but the catch is that those studios are devoting huge budgets, large staffs, and years of development time to 90-minute to 2-hour films. TV anime means developing several times the content on a much shorter production cycle and with less money. All that to say, the animation here is far from impressive. The human characters move and emote like puppets- and frankly that's probably an insult to some elite puppeteers out there. The aesthetic is pretty standard 'Used Future Sci-Fi', with nothing to make it stand out. The only real standout point is where CGI does its best work: machines in motion. The mecha battles are cool, fast-moving, and fluid. Otherwise, the all-CGI animation is a miss. SOUND The best area of the anime. I LOVE the two techno openings, and the sound effects used during combat are very good. I can't say I'm a huge fan of Johnny Yong Bosh's voice, for some reason it's always rubbed me the wrong way, though I can't chalk that up to much more than personal preference. The English dub is passable. I feel I can't be too critical of the voice actors because the dialogue is so basic, there's only so much you can expect people to be able to do with lines and characters like this. CHARACTERS Swing and a miss. Predictable and bland. They're serviceable for a story centered on action and special effects, but when the plot slows down and they have to carry the show themselves, the generic writing becomes all too obvious. Tanikaze is a textbook example of the a bland protagonist, but at least he does an OK job as a fish out of water so that all the infodump explanations everyone gives him are bearable. Then you have the Captain, who could be cool if she got enough screen time to make her mysterious actions seem like part of a master plan and not random plot contrivances. The White-Haired-Pretty-Boy is already in a hole from the start, given that he's an archetype I've never been particularly fond of, and despite supposedly also having a master plan he just sort of fades into and out of the story. The rest of the cast is largely female, and before long you'll realize they're just filling slots in the harem. So the cast is largely a dud. OVERALL I gave 'Knights Of Sidonia" a pretty good thrashing here, but I can't bring myself to dislike it. The enjoyment factor was still fairly high for me. That doesn't change what I think about this show from a critical standpoint, but I will tack on an addendum saying when I watch "KoS" I'm not approaching it from a critical standpoint. I try not to think too hard about the individual components of a Big Mac, I just sit back and enjoy it when other foods are too much effort to get. Same for 'Knights of Sidonia'.

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