Knights of Sidonia

Common Sense Media says

Thoughtful anime series has subtitles, quirky sex.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Women and men fight equally on Sidonia, which could send a powerful feminist message, but it's subverted somewhat by shots of anime women in lingerie or partially nude, cooing and giggling.

Positive role models

Nagate is reputedly a courageous and noble warrior, but he doesn't seem like a particularly remarkable character.


Violence and menace are ever-present; gore is dialed down. Lots of heavy machinery, big thumps, heavy artillery. Each episode features battle scenes.


Anime characters, mostly female ones, are shown nude from the rear. Sex is referred to and implied. Humans on the Sidonia ship have mastered asexual reproduction. Some characters have no gender at birth but magically transform into one or the other when they pick romantic partners.

Not applicable

This series is based on a popular Japanese comic; viewers may want to read it after watching.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Knights of Sidonia involves characters in constant danger from giant scary monsters. Space battles have deaths and loud pops, swoops, and bangs, which may be intimidating for younger or sensitive viewers. Anime characters, especially female ones, are shown in lingerie or nude from behind. Sex is referred to and includes variations such as asexual reproduction, and some characters are born neither male nor female and change gender when they mature. Depending on which version you watch, the series may be dubbed in English or may be in its original Japanese with subtitles that move very quickly and are difficult for young children to follow. 

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Kids say

What's the story?

On the massive ship Sidonia, created from the remains of an Earth destroyed 10 centuries ago, the KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA continue to fight for the survival of humankind. Giant monsters known as "Gauna" were responsible for the obliteration of the solar system, sending the Sidonia and other ships hurtling into space. With no other home to cling to, humankind then made something of a new start on Sidonia, pioneering new skills such as cloning, human photosynthesis, and asexual reproduction. As the story begins, young "underdweller" Nagate Tanikaze (Ryota Ohsaka), who has been living in the subterranean levels of Sidonia with only his grandfather, has made contact with the rest of the Sidonian population. All the time he's been underground, he's been using an outdated training module to sharpen his space-fighting skills. Now he's swiftly selected to be one of the elite Guardian pilots who defend Sidonia from the ever-attacking Gauna.

Is it any good?


For the uninitiated, Japanese anime can be a little hard to get into. Every character looks alike, females coo and giggle, male characters huff and grimace, and there's a tendency for the animation to freeze on a character's giant-eyed face as his or her hair swirls around the head, which is often meant to convey an emotion that may be a mystery to new viewers. In addition, since Knights of Sidonia is an example of "mecha" anime, which heavily favors visuals and sounds of industrial machinery, it may turn off those who aren't enthralled by huge spaceships squirting firepower. Knights of Sidonia, though, is better plotted than most anime, with interesting quirks such as a main character who's neither male nor female -- its body will transform into one gender or the other once it finds true love.

Alas, Netflix's decision to subtitle instead of dub for American viewers likely will shrink its audience in the States. Even adult Americans grumble about subtitles; it's too much to expect a child under age 12 to be able to read these quick-moving subtitles while simultaneously decoding dialogue loaded with subtext. This is an interesting whole-family watch -- but only for families with older kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the intended audience for Knights of Sidonia. Is it young people? Old people? Men or women, or both? People with particular types of interests or enthusiasms? How can you tell?

  • Compare Knights of Sidonia with an American animation about space battles such as Titan A.E. or The Clone Wars. How are they similar? How are they different?

  • Are you familiar with Japanese anime conceits, such as all the characters looking alike? Do you think being familiar with Japanese animation style helps viewers appreciate Knights of Sidonia?

TV details

Cast:Hisako Kanemoto, Aki Toyosaki, Ryota Ohsaka
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Knights of Sidonia was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written byEh....... August 13, 2014

Very good mecha series

Knights of Sidonia is a mecha series set on the titular spaceship Sidonia. It tells of a teenager who ends up becoming key to humanits suvival. Parents should know that this anime was rated TVMA(Basically R). There are two scenes in the show that feature non-sexual nudity. A lot characters die in very violent ways, but there is no gore. Other than this KoS is a very intense sci-fi anime with likable characters. It's not for the faint of heart.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written byanimeotaku7 July 31, 2014

great show

Has some nudity, but in a non-sexual way, intense fights with aliens and some mild language. should be ok for a mature 12 year old
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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