Knights of Sidonia
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Nagate Tanikaze on top of the hand of his mecha, the Tsugumori
(Shidonia no Kishi)
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
English publisher
ImprintAfternoon KC
MagazineMonthly Afternoon
Original runApril 25, 2009September 25, 2015
Volumes15 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
Written bySadayuki Murai
Music byNoriyuki Asakura
StudioPolygon Pictures
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Original networkMBS, TBS, CBC, BS-TBS, AT-X
English network
Original run April 11, 2014 June 26, 2015
Episodes24 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Directed byKōbun Shizuno
Written bySadayuki Murai
Music byNoriyuki Asakura
StudioPolygon Pictures
Licensed by
  • NA: Sentai Filmworks
ReleasedMarch 6, 2015 (2015-03-06)
Runtime134 minutes
Anime film
Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven in the Stars
Directed by
  • Hiroyuki Seshita (chief)
  • Tadahiro Yoshihira
Written by
  • Sadayuki Murai
  • Tetsuya Yamada
Music byShūji Katayama
StudioPolygon Pictures
Licensed by
ReleasedJune 4, 2021 (2021-06-04)
Runtime110 minutes

Knights of Sidonia (Japanese: シドニアの騎士, Hepburn: Shidonia no Kishi) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei. It was serialized by Kodansha in their seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon between April 2009 and September 2015, with its chapters collected in 15 tankōbon volumes. It tells the story of Nagate Tanikaze, an "under-dweller" destined to become a Garde pilot, whose mission is to defend the massive starship Sidonia from a hostile alien species called Gauna.

The manga was licensed for English release in North America by Vertical. An anime television series adaptation was produced by Polygon Pictures. The first season aired from April to June 2014; the second between April and June 2015. An anime film sequel titled Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven in the Stars premiered in June 2021.

In 2015, Knights of Sidonia received the 39th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category, as well as the 47th Seiun Award in the Best Comic category in 2016.



The story is set in the year 3394, a thousand years after mankind flees from Earth after it was destroyed by a race of shapeshifting eldritch aliens, the Gauna (奇居子ガウナ), aboard hundreds of colossal spacecraft created from the remains of the planet. One such ship is the Sidonia, which has developed its own human culture closely based on that of Japan where human cloning, asexual reproduction, and human genetic engineering, such as granting humans photosynthesis, are commonplace. It is also revealed that the top echelons of this society have secretly been granted immortality. With a population of over 500,000 people, Sidonia is possibly the last human settlement remaining, as the fates of the other ships are unknown.

Little is known about the true nature of the Gauna or their motivation for attacking humanity. At any given time, a Gauna consists of a nearly impenetrable core protected by a dense layer of malleable flesh known as "placenta" (胞衣, ena). Once the ena is shed away and the core is destroyed, the Gauna's body disintegrates.[2]

While Sidonia itself is heavily armed with an arsenal of high-output beam cannons and mass cannons including slow but powerful planet-destroying warheads, it is primarily defended by large mechanized weapons called Gardes (衛人, Morito) whose weaponry and mobility is powered by "Higgs particles" (ヘイグス粒子, Heigusu Ryūshi),[3] armed with a high-output beam cannon for long range assaults and a special spear known as "Kabizashi" for close combat. The tip of the kabizashi is made of a rare and little-understood material which has the unique property of being able to destroy a Gauna's core. Later the Gardes are also equipped with firearms whose ammunition have the same material of the Kabizashi after a means to artificially mass-produce it is discovered. Most people in the surviving human population are screened and drafted as Garde pilots at a young age, if they are shown to be capable of piloting them.


See also: List of Knights of Sidonia characters

The story follows the adventures of Garde pilot Nagate Tanikaze, who lived in the underground layer of Sidonia since birth and was raised by his grandfather. Never having met anyone else, he trains himself in an old Guardian pilot simulator every day, eventually mastering it. After his grandfather's death, he emerges to the surface and is selected as a Garde pilot, just as Sidonia is once again threatened by the Gauna.



See also: List of Knights of Sidonia volumes

Knights of Sidonia, written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei, was serialized in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon from April 25, 2009,[4] to September 25, 2015.[5] It was compiled in 15 tankōbon volumes. The manga has been licensed in North America by Vertical,[6] who released all 15 volumes in English between February 5, 2013, and April 26, 2016.[7][8]


See also: List of Knights of Sidonia episodes

An anime television series adaptation, produced by Polygon Pictures, premiered on April 10, 2014, and ended its first season on June 26, 2014, on MBS and later on TBS, CBC and BS-TBS.[9][10] The series was directed by Kōbun Shizuno, assisted by Hiroyuki Seshita, with scripts by Sadayuki Murai and character designs by Yuki Moriyama.[11] The series has also been localized and streamed by Netflix in all of its territories since July 4, 2014, becoming the service's first original anime,[12] as well as the first anime series on Netflix available in Dolby Vision/HDR.[13] The first season has been licensed for home video release by Sentai Filmworks.[14] The opening theme is "Sidonia" by Angela, while the ending theme is "Show" () by Eri Kitamura. A second season aired from April 10, 2015, to June 26, 2015, with Kishi Kōshinkyoku (騎士行進曲, Knight March) by Angela as the opening theme and "Requiem" by CustomiZ as the ending theme.[15] The second season was released on Netflix on July 3, 2015,[16] and has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for home video distribution.[17] On June 16, 2017, a third season for the series was confirmed to be in development by director Hiroyuki Seshita.[18] In July 2021, Funimation announced they acquired the streaming rights from Netflix to both seasons.[19]


A compilation film of the first season with additional scenes and re-edited sound effects was released on March 6, 2015.

A new anime film, titled Knights of Sidonia: Love Woven in the Stars, was announced on July 3, 2020. Hiroyuki Seshita served as chief director, while Tadahiro Yoshihira served as director for the new film, with Polygon Pictures returning for production. Sadayuki Murai and Tetsuya Yamada returned to write scripts, while Shūji Katayama composed the music. The rest of the staff and cast returned to reprise their roles.[20] The first four minutes of the film were shown on YouTube on April 28, 2021.[21] The film was set to premiere on May 14, 2021, but was delayed to June 4, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[22][23] Funimation screened the film in international theaters starting on September 13, 2021.[19]



Knights of Sidonia won the 39th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category in 2015.[24] The manga won the 47th Seiun Award in the Best Comic category in 2016.[25] It also won the Best Seinen category at the 26th Salón del Manga de Barcelona in 2020.[26] It was one of the Jury Recommended works in the Manga Division at the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2013.[27] The Young Adult Library Services Association listed Knights of Sidonia in its 2014 list of Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens.[28]

Carlo Santos from Anime News Network gave the first manga volume a B, stating, "It is got a young man piloting a giant robot against alien enemies, but Knight of Sidonia is no Neon Genesis Evangelion. Yet it is not as bleak or incomprehensible as Tsutomu Nihei works like Blame! or Biomega, either—rather, it is the best of both worlds, bringing Nihei's hard sci-fi mentality into a more conventional space-adventure environment".[29]


The anime series received positive reviews, even from famous members of the Japanese anime/game industry, like Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, who claims that "It's a kind of anime that we haven't seen for a while that has that sci-fi spirit. Using digital technology cultivated through games, it creates animation that encapsulates Japan's cultural assets like manga, cel animation, kanji, giant robots, etc. What's born is a unique made-in-Japan work that could never be cooked up in Hollywood. Japanese culture has lost its 'cool', and Knights of Sidonia will be the white knight that saves it". Other industry pros left acknowledgements as well, including Akiko Higashimura, Digitarou and Yoshinao Dao.[30]


  1. ^ a b Eisenbeis, Richard (July 11, 2014). "Knights of Sidonia Is a Mecha Anime with a Realistic Twist". Kotaku. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (2014). Knights of Sidonia Vol. 2. Vertical inc, New York. p. 89. ISBN 9781935654810.
  3. ^ It's different from Higgs Boson (ヒッグス粒子, Higgusu Ryūshi) in Japanese
  4. ^ 弐瓶勉新連載「シドニアの騎士」、アフタ6月号から. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. March 25, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2022.
  5. ^ Ressler, Karen (August 23, 2015). "Knights of Sidonia Manga Ends on September 25". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  6. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (June 11, 2012). "Vertical Adds Tsutomu Nihei's Knights of Sidonia Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  7. ^ "Knights of Sidonia, Volume 1". Random House. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "Knights of Sidonia, Volume 15". Random House. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (May 16, 2013). "Tsutomu Nihei's Knights of Sidonia Manga Gets Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "シドニアの騎士|放送・配信情報". Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  11. ^ Loo, Egan (July 5, 2013). "Knights of Sidonia Anime's 1st English-Subbed Promo Streamed". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (December 12, 2013). "Netflix to Stream Knights of Sidonia Anime in Summer 2014". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  13. ^ McAlone, Nathan. "HDR is going to change how you watch TV — here are the movies and shows currently available, and where to find them". Business Insider. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Ressler, Karen (February 23, 2015). "Sentai Filmworks Licenses Knights of Sidonia for Home Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "'Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine' coming April 2015". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  16. ^ Ressler, Karen (June 4, 2015). "Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine's English Trailer Unveils Netflix Premiere Date". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  17. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Licenses, "Knights of Sidonia Season 2: Battle for Planet Nine"". Sentai Filmworks. January 19, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  18. ^ Green, Scott (June 16, 2017). "More Blame and Knights of Sidonia Anime in Development". Crunchyroll. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Mateo, Alex (July 29, 2021). "Funimation Screens Knights of Sidonia Anime Film in Theaters on September 13". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  20. ^ Rafael Antonio, Pineda (July 2, 2020). "Knights of Sidonia Gets 2021 Film With All-New Story". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  21. ^ Rafael Antonio, Pineda (April 28, 2021). "Knights of Sidonia Anime Film's 1st 4 Minutes Posted". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  22. ^ Rafael Antonio, Pineda (January 14, 2021). "Knights of Sidonia Anime Film's Trailer Reveals 4 New Cast Members, May 14 Opening". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  23. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (May 10, 2021). "Knights of Sidonia, 100 Nichikan Ikita Wani Anime Films Delayed". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  24. ^ Nelkin, Sarah (May 12, 2015). "Yowamushi Pedal, The Seven Deadly Sins Win 39th Kodansha Manga Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  25. ^ Loo, Egan (July 9, 2016). "Girls & Panzer Film, Knights of Sidonia Manga Win Seiun Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  26. ^ Serra (October 30, 2020). "Ganadores de los premios Manga Barcelona Limited Edition". Ramen Para Dos (in Spanish). Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  27. ^ "Knights of Sidonia | Japan Media Arts Festival Archive". Japan Media Arts Festival Archive. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  28. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (February 1, 2014). "Strobe Edge Ranks in YALSA's Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  29. ^ Santos, Carlo (February 12, 2013). "Neverwinter Knights". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  30. ^ Dong, Bamboo (June 21, 2014). "Metal Gear's Hideo Kojima Praises Knights of Sidonia Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2014.