Series Recommendation: Sidonia no Kishi – Ai Tsumugu Hoshi

Even if our sizes differ by 15 meters, I will still love you!

After many years, both in-series and in real life, the saga of the Knight of Sidonia finally comes to an end. The sequel to the tv series “Battle for Planet Nine” – the movie that serves as the conclusion to the anime saga of the series – has finally been released as of last year. “Ai Tsumugu Hoshi” or “Love woven in the Star” – is truly a poetic title for this journey through the endless void of space. The movie aired in Japan on the 4th of June, then get theatrical screening in the US and Canada. Finally, international fans can enjoy the movie with the release of the Bluray in December 15th 2021.

After Battle for Planet Nine, 10 years have passed, and Nagate now has become an adult and obviously a true Knight of Sidonia – being the best ace of the entire ship. During those 10 years, the people on Sidonia has lived in peace, including Nagate with Tsumugi and Izana, but peace cannot last forever, not when the Gauna is still out there. A decisive weapon, a grand plan to wipe the Large Gauna body from the Lem Star System was conceived. Sidonia head to the final battle to protect humanity’s survival.

+ Plot: The movie differs from the manga in that it cut out some parts, but still follow the general plot as a whole. In my opinion, the movie chose the right events to portray and the cut-out part can be enjoyed by reading the manga. The most important parts is to develop the main character’s after their growth in 10 years. And being 10 years, you can notice some changes but to be honest not too major. Tanikaze is still a dense guy who hasn’t really conform to societal standard, but he’s come a long way from his old self in the tv series. Tsumugu also has grown to be more…humanly with her mentality being that of a young teenage girl. The dynamic between these two sorta pulled everyone along and created a very interesting dynamic.

On the other hand, the Kunato/Ochiai situation also get resolved in the movie. And to be fair, it is really hard for viewers to do that whole “oh he was brainwashed. It’s all good now” sorta redemption (like Mu la Flaga in Seed Destiny). But still, it is about the only way they can go about it, and at least there is a proper redemption arc for him although quite short.

+ Animation: Even more zappy zappy and particle effect than the first two seasons combined. Polygon really love the Garde’s high-speed movement and Higgs particle effect. The fight scene is extremely fast-paced that will give you both a Macross-y feel along with some Trans-Am effect without the afterimages. The strong suit of CG is the ability to copy paste mass-produced mech and they really used it to its fullest in the movie. Aside from the main characters’ unit like Tanikaze’s and Tsumugi, the amount of Gardes they feature in the movie is impressive (just like season 2). It is definitely one of Sidonia’s iconic point and I’m glad they did it. The human aspect is still the same as the tv series however, with some funny looking facial expression but we’re mostly used to it by now. It’s serviceable at least.

+ Mecha Design: There are about two brand-new designs for this movie (that hasn’t appeared in the anime just yet). First is Tanikaze’s new unit – the Yukimori. It’s mostly a modern combination of the Tsugumori Kai Ni with the High-speed Prorotype unit (featured in the manga). It’s very slim with more mechanical parts compared to the standard Garde. Binders have been added to give the design some new elements to distinguish it from the other nits. It still sports the traditional rail-cannon by the other Gardes.

The other new design is Ochiai’s. Tsutomu Nihei’s imagination and Polygon “monster design” skill blend quite well together. As the design is both grotesque and intimidating. It looks quite different from the manga which isn’t a bad thing.

+ Music: The movie only has two songs – one is the theme song Hikari no Disco performed by CAPSULE that plays at the end (as usual with most mecha movies). And the other is a secret that I won’t spoil – but it is indeed a song by Angela – who sung the OP for the entire franchise.

+ Conclusion: Ai Tsumugu Hoshi is definitely a good conclusion for the animated saga of Sidonia. With 2 tv series and 1 movie, the series definitely encapsulated the core parts of the series by Tsutomu Nihei. Although the manga included much more stuff, most of them are flashbacks, lores and side character development that isn’t too critical for the plot, and the anime has managed to get the most out of them. Not only does the movie end the plot well, it also gives us a satisfy conclusion to the relationship between characters in the series, which is something we really need just like in the manga.

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