A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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 & Scariness
Violence and menace are ever-present; gore is dialed down. Lots of heavy machinery, big thumps, heavy artillery. Each episode features battle scenes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Products & Purchases
This series is based on a popular Japanese comic; viewers may want to read it after watching.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.