Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine

Season 2 of the Knights of Sidonia anime. If you enjoy season 1 and want to see more funny Tanikaze oblivious moments, more frustrating drama and awesome Garde vs Gauna combat, then you will like this one. The anime’s direction is quite different from the manga so it will be a fresh take even if you read the manga already. With the movie’s BD finally release in less than a month, this is the perfect time to catch up on this awesome sci-fi by Tsutomu Nihei.

Battle for Planet Nine (aka Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki) continues off from season 1, where Tanikaze finally beat Benisuzume. But alas, ghosts don’t go away easily. A piece of Gauna he brought back turned into a clone of Hoshijiro and “it” is always in his head. But Tanikaze’s head isn’t the only one whose head’s screwed up. Kunato also got lots of stuff going on under the hood as well. Not to mention the Immortal Council and Captain Kobayashi. Basically, everyone aside from Tanikaze have a hidden agenda. In the midst of all that, the Gaunas are still coming. Another war rages on as Sidonia sought a stronghold at Planet Nine – one that could become a foothold for humanity to defeat the Gauna once and for all. Will Tanikaze accomplish another miracle as the Knight of Sidonia this time?

+ Plot: There’s a lot of things going on for the supporting cast in this season, but not as much as the budding relationship between Tanikaze and Tsumugi – a Gauna-human hybrid. Seeing those two is pretty heartwarming as well as hilarious due to their massive difference characteristics and also Tanikaze becoming popular with the ladies all of sudden as well. The behind-the-scenes drama also unfold in a way that might get the audience on edge and frustrated even. But that only further encourages our support for Tanikaze and Tsumugi as a whole. It’s like those two are the only pure beings amidst a raging storm of human vs human schemes and alien warfare. Though Tanikaze in season 1 might be an absolute oblivious moron, he developed his “sociability” very nicely and almost become a “normal person”, albeit feeling affection for a 15-meter girl is quite…eccentric.

+ Animation: As mentioned in season 1’s recommendation, Polygon is amazing when it comes to non-human animation, and that applies here too. Luckily, Tsumugi is a non-human, so her animation is great. The Gardes and Tsugumori are fantastic. There are a lot of epic scene with just sheer grandeur that is quite impossible to depict with 2D. 3DCG helps render a lot of units with perfect details that there are no compromises even if the unit is a bit faraway. And of course, the SFX from Polygon is plenty good (although they have J.J Abrams level of lens-flare in this). Character animation are still the same stuff looking one.

+ Mecha Designs: Not much change from season 1, aside from the fact that everyone’s using the railgun now and they are pretty loooooong. It looks really uncanny when next to the mechs, but that’s a unique concept in space as well. In space, physics are different than places with gravity, and from the small details we’ve seen in the anime, they really take some interesting application with that. One other difference is Tanikaze’s mech – the Tsugumori – got an upgrade with more gimmicks and weapons now. The “overall” changes are quite subtle, however.

+ Music: Oh nothing beats Angela’s epic vocal. They return for another heroic OST that really set the atmosphere for the battles. There are a few of just “normal life” episodes though so sometimes it may feel a bit off, but Angela’s voice is awesome anyway. The OST is also very well done during the more intense scene. Ending is a nice, upbeat song by CuztomiZ as well.
Overall, Battle for Planet Nine is a good deviation from the manga which might be a bit too complicated/convoluted at times and went with a more simpler direction. The characters, be it main or side, are able to stir up a wide range of emotions from the audience like happiness, sadness, anger, frustration and anticipation – the whole package. Coupled with awesome mech animations (and less-than-awesome character expressions) and epic music, Sidonia keep up the quality of season 1 and deliver another great Space Opera.