The Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven movie is the conclusion to the sci-fi anime from 2014-2015. It tells the story of humanity’s fight against the mysterious alien life-form Gauna, and all that’s left to protect them is the starship, Sidonia, along with their mecha suits, Gardes. Funimation started streaming both TV anime seasons on August 3, and they will screen the movie in the US and Canadian theatres for a limited time starting on September 13. I’ll share my thoughts while avoiding spoilers to maybe help you decide if it’s worth it.
The movie is a direct sequel to season 2 of the TV anime series, and it takes place 10 years later. There are new trainees with potential, the characters we know have all become more experienced, and we finally get some explanation about Lala being a bear! The last thing we knew was the conquer of Planet Nine, and obviously peace wasn’t going to come that soon. With Ochiai scheming on the inside and the Gauna continuing to evolve on the outside, Nagate and co. have their hands full pretty quickly.
The main story in Knights of Sidonia was never complicated. Humans face Gauna, they do everything they can in their struggle to survive, and Nagate continues to be their hope to somehow win. However, the sheer scale of the setting and the way Polygon Pictures presents it is what made me adore the anime in the first place. The movie does the same, and even expands on it with the improved quality along with more Gauna and more epic fights. While there wasn’t anything groundbreaking and several things appeared rushed, the overall feeling is that we get a satisfying conclusion to the story, with most of the questions answered in some capacity.
The Animation and Artstyle
The first thing that might have driven people away from this anime is the CGI. I’ll admit I also didn’t feel comfortable at first, mainly due to the fact that I have just seen so many more shows in 2D that CGI always feels weird. However, I remember getting used to it in the very first episode. It is mostly limited to the characters’ interactions, and the main part, which are the space battles against Gauna, have always seemed impressive.
Now for the movie, I can only praise both the characters’ art and the space battles. It feels like the ~6 year gap was enough for Polygon Pictures studio enough time to polish both their skills and the movie, and the result felt impressive to me. The overall look is much sharper, the characters feel more natural, and even the battles seem much more clean and ambitious. If you enjoyed the first 2 seasons, there is no doubt in my mind you will love the glow-up in this. Though it’s worth noting that it’s not surprising for a movie to look better than a TV series.
The Voice Actors
Another thing I liked in the TV anime series was the voice acting. Oosaka Ryouta (Sawamura in Ace of Diamond, Staz in Blood Lad, Ikki in Chivalry of a Failed Knight) voices Nagate, and I think he does great as Nagate. The movie gives him some more emotional scenes, which the improved artstyle boosts even more. Johnny Yong Bosch is also back to voice the English dubbed version. More of the main cast includes:
- Tsumugi Shiraui – Aya Suzaki (Japanese), Alexi Shi (English)
- Izana Shinatose – Aki Toyosaki (Japanese), Melissa Fahn (English)
- Yuhata Midorikawa – Hisako Kanemoto (Japanese), Jad Saxton (English)
- Kunato Norio – Takahito Sakurai (Japanese), Haberkorn Todd (English)
- Captain Kobayashi – Sayaka Ohara (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
- Hiyama Lala – Satomi Arai (Japanese), Jane Carroll (English)
- Ochiai – Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Pete Sepenuk (English
The sound in Knights of Sidonia ranges from average to really really good. The sound effects for the Gardes, cannons, engines, are all immersive, and the music while facing Gauna is often exciting. Other than those, nothing stands out much, except of course, the epic opening theme from the first season. Titled “Sidonia” and performed by angela, the song served as the opening for season 1, and was also used in the final episode of season 2. The movie finds the slot to feature it, and it felt both nostalgic and thrilling! Definitely recommend having headphones for watching. You can check out the song on KING AMUSEMENT CREATIVE YouTube channel:
And finally, a couple of random reasons why I think you should watch Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven in the Stars Movie.
Born as a hybrid Gauna/human, Tsumugi already ends up as an adorable creature you can’t help but love in season 2. Her personality is kind, and she’s ready to give her all for the humans all the while completely disregarding herself. The movie has her in the spotlight more, and both her cute and serious moments just increase the love for the character.
An antagonist who aims for immortality. He wants to become the ‘perfect being’ without hesitating to hurt both humans or Gauna along the way. Japanese voice – Takehito Koyasu (Dio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). Although this might not make sense to some, JoJo fans might find it funny to hear almost the exact same philosophy in another anime, preached by the exact same voice!
I find the Knights of Sidonia movie and franchise overall to be very enjoyable to watch. Once (if) you get used to the CGI, it’s easy to appreciate everything else. The movie makes it a lot easier, and it concludes the story in a satisfying way. There are still questions I wish were answered, and some parts were obviously rushed due to the movie covering enough material for an entire TV season, but it looked great and rounded up most of the important topics. It’s obviously best to watch the first 2 seasons first as they are direct prequels though, and then the movie will be more understandable.
About Polygon Pictures
Polygon Pictures Inc. (PPI) is possibly one of the oldest CGI anime studios. They were actually founded in 1983, and have worked on several anime titles besides Knights of Sidonia. Some of them were Ajin, Star Wars: Resistance, Godzilla, Transformers, among others. They have around 300 staff members, 15% of which are foreigners. They shared this information on their official Twitter account recently, and they have staff who speak English:
Polygon Pictures Website: www.ppi.co.jp
Funimation will screen the movie in theatres across the US and Canada starting September 13. It will have both English-subbed and dubbed versions. In addition, the platform also streams both anime seasons for the US, Canada, UK and Ireland.
©Tsutomu Nihei, Kodansha/KOS Film Partners