Anime Vice News

KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA -- The Future of Anime in America?

The Netflix original anime takes flight.

Tomorrow, KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA will be available on Netflix, in its entirety. While plenty of anime series come up and down from that selection slate without needing much comment, what’s noteworthy about this is that the show’s being presented as a ‘Netflix Original.’ And that’s a matter of semantics, obviously. It already ran in Japan throughout the spring, and Netflix didn’t actually produce the show -- it’s just making the sub available in America faster.

The blurb for this ran quietly on Gizmodo last week, but I really find it to be one of the most intriguing bits of news going into Anime Expo this weekend. The fact that Netflix would make a big deal of this acquisition, going so far as to label it a Netflix Original, shows that their anime section must be getting a response positive enough to take seriously.

Check out the trailer...

Since RWBY ran last year, it’s felt like we’ve been on the cusp of American-produced anime becoming a more regular occurrence. It might’ve seemed impossible before, but having seen Netflix re-write a lot of rules of television between HOUSE OF CARDS and the upcoming, darker DAREDEVIL series, the prospect of this being done well seems realer, and very exciting. Hell, the network’s method of zeroing in on niche audiences isn’t all too different than it’d be if they were making OVA’s.

Honestly, I wish that KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA would’ve been rendered in a higher frame-rate. The models look beautiful, and actually have a bit of gestural flair which you generally just see in 2D animation. They just look… jerky in motion.

But that’s just a quibble. I’m excited about where this could go. So I’ll turn the topic to you, Vicers. How many of you watch anime on Netlfix? Are you going to binge-stream KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA this weekend? Do you hope this leads to more involve East/West anime co-productions? What would you like to see? Let your opinions be known in the comments.

Marshal Victoryon July 3, 2014 at 6:06 p.m.

Netflix may edit it. They are known to edit movies on run times etc. Overall its a pretty good story has some hick ups plot pace wise. But Netflix is lying about it being a original by them. Not a quibble just a lie.

zaldaron July 3, 2014 at 8:10 p.m.

I love watching anime on netflix really the only reason I have it. Many things crunchyroll doesn't have Netflix does. Mostly older shows. So can we get more detail about the actual setup here? Did they produce the subs? Did they just buy the rights to the show? I mean I'm a lawyer so quibbling with language is what I get paid to do (Was the light red...well that depends on what you mean by light, or red) but far I am with Marshal here...this seems like a bold face lie.

As for the show never heard of it but I love space sci-fi stuff so will most likely check this out. Especially since the trailer makes it look like it could take a harder sci-fi look at a gundum type premise.

takashichea moderator is online on July 3, 2014 at 8:24 p.m.


I find Netflix's anime library smaller than Crunchyroll. I never knew Netflix had one strength: having older titles and all of them in dub. CR has mostly subbed titles. For me, I was always on the lookout for newer anime series. That's why I used both HULU and Crunchyroll.

Knights of Sidonia was on the Spring 2014 Anime Guide. Did you check out our guides?

zaldaron July 3, 2014 at 8:31 p.m.

Yup check out the guides. But don't always remember all that is there especially as they focus on everything and not only what is being legally released in the US (which I have some issues with). If it was listed there though will go check it out again to get a plot synopsis of sorts.

takashichea moderator is online on July 3, 2014 at 8:34 p.m.


If you want the simulcast, here's the Spring 2014 Anime Simulcast Guide.

I would definitely recommend you checking out Knights of Sidonia if you love horror and mecha together. It's one of the underrated titles for last season.

zaldaron July 3, 2014 at 8:37 p.m.

Hmmm mecha and horror interesting combination not sure how that would work. Generally like mecha as long as it focuses on character more than oooo shiny robots lets spend 2 hours discussing how they work and showing off the shiny eva yes...Gundum..not so much. The plot synopsis though is rather interesting.

Honestly....I wish what isn't being released legally wasn't even mentioned as supporting piracy is not something we as a community should be doing. *steps away from big can of worms that suddenly appears* wait where did that come from.....?

takashichea moderator is online on July 3, 2014 at 8:40 p.m.


It's a gray area, but I hope companies will try to cover as much anime series as well as reaching other countries such as Central, South America and Africa. I met a user named Katmic who was from Uganda who hoped to see licensed anime series in his region. See AV MOD MATERIAL: The Anime Fan's Experience in Africa.

zaldaron July 3, 2014 at 8:43 p.m.

@takashichea: Ah yes true that....we do reach countries other than America....yeah that was silly and way to America centric of me and I apologize.

takashichea moderator is online on July 3, 2014 at 8:48 p.m.


It's okay. Don't be sorry. Sometimes, we forget. I thank Tom for letting me do the cultural interview project that made this community proud of being international. I don't think you find another site like Anime Vice that reaches internationally and to its cultural roots.

Marshal Victoryon July 4, 2014 at 4 p.m.

@zaldar: Given what I know on your tastes I would say their is a good 50% chance you may/may not watch the second episode!

Naw seriously you should check it out. Its more "hard" sci fi than most mech series. Its not with out some flaws but as @takashichea: said it probably was the most underrated show for spring. For sure the series of spring that took it self seriously an did not look silly for doing so.

Also if the second season is as good as the 1st its on my to buy list.

sickVisionz moderator on July 5, 2014 at 6:16 a.m.

I don't think this is the "future" of anime. We're already more advanced than shows coming out a while after they've finished up in Japan. Crunchyroll gives you stuff hours after an episode airs and Space Dandy actually airs in English in America before the Japanese episodes. It being a "Netflix Original" would be interesting but it's not actually one where they are the producers like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black. It's like Clone Wars where they produced 0% and simply acquired broadcasting rights before anyone else, which may be new for them but Crunchyroll, Hulu, Funimation, ANN, Daisuki, and others have been doing this for years.

There's also been other legit attempts at US production (which KoS is not imo) or aiming stuff at the west like Heroman, the second cour of Big O, Space Dandy, Kuokami, IGPX and another series that slips my mind at the moment. Some of that was like a decade ago. I wouldn't read much into KoS. It's not doing anything new in the world of licensing or anime production and if anything, Netflix's insistence on every episode coming at once seems a bit archaic vs how practically everyone else streaming recent anime would have handled it and led to a multi-month delay that other services would not have had.

As far as the show, I probably won't watch it. Netflix's prediction algorithm is spot on for me. It's never presented me with a show it thinks I'll enjoy that ended up being one I didn't and vice-versa. They think I'll only give it a 3/5 and that's not worth my time when I have a 100+ queue of 3.7+ rated stuff to finish up and new higher rated content constantly coming.

Marshal Victoryon July 5, 2014 at 4:18 p.m.

@sickVisionz: If an I say if Netflix has not edited the show then its worth a look at. If they have edited the show then their are "other" options.

sickVisionz moderator on July 5, 2014 at 9:25 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Editing doesn't bother me. Most of the anime I watch on sites like Crunchyroll and Hulu is edited. Out of the dozens and possibly hundreds, only one had edits that bothered me. Plus if they say it sucks then I trust them. They've never lead me wrong before. I've rated enough stuff and their algorithm is good enough to where it actually knows my taste better than I do.

zaldaron July 6, 2014 at 10 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: Forget what cam out during the spring but not anything that I remember watching was fool spring? That I enjoyed along with the other nobo show. Mostly I end up watching older stuff though as still haven't gone through all the older classic shows. Just finished up future diary which is going on my list of best anime. If you have not seen this you should now. Will certainly make it on your list!

Destinyheroknighton July 6, 2014 at 11:42 a.m.

Can't really say, if Knights Of Sidonia is the future of Anime. We have to wait if it a success or a bomb. Anyway, I think I'll past watching Knights Of Sidonia, I not a big fan of the Mecha design

But, I hope it a success, like Space Dandy. I think it would be sweet if they make 20th Century Boys into an Anime as a Netflix Original, that be so awesome :)

Marshal Victoryon July 6, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.

@zaldar: Eh watched about half way threw Future Diary. Just got bored with the gore an attempts at shock value for chock value. One might try again later on but atm got other stuff to watch.

@sickVisionz: Wait maybe i misunderstood ( more than likely ). So your Netflix guide tells you it would suck for you then? So your not gona try it because of that?

sickVisionz moderator on July 6, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

So your Netflix guide tells you it would suck for you then? So your not gona try it because of that?

Not that it would "suck" but that it's only 3/5. There's a ton of much higher rated stuff I could watch and 3.5 is generally my cutoff point for quality. But yeah, Netflix says I won't like it that much so I won't watch it. I was familiar with like maybe 5% of the stuff on Netflix I've seen and loved. The other 95% is them running all the movies I rated through their algorithm and making suggestions. For some people, maybe they don't rate stuff in a way that makes the algorithm work (like maybe they'll like a dumb movie but rate it poorly because it's not like some Oscar-caliber stuff) but I have and it has yet to steer me wrong, and those across foreign films, indie films, Hollywood movies, and genres I never thought I'd be interested in.

Marshal Victoryon July 6, 2014 at 6:58 p.m.

@sickVisionz: Spooky but kinda neat. Thanks for the info. None of my friends that use Netflix ever pay attention to that or at least never thought it was accurate enuff to mention how good it is for them.

sickVisionz moderator on July 7, 2014 at 7:04 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: Additionally, I read the description of a teenage [insert occupation] lives at the prestigious [insert academy/institution] and turns out to be a savant at [insert occupation] and fights to save humanity against [insert enemy] and I'm immediately turned off as I've seen that Mad Lib too many times to find it interesting. While it was airing I didn't hear internet buzz that made me think it was a cut above the rest so combine that plus Netflix telling me it's meh and that's as much of a sign as I need.

Marshal Victoryon July 7, 2014 at 9:18 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Eh one thing I have learned a summery of anime story is more often wrong than close to what the show actually is. If the program is doing a check list based on your tastes learned thus far but has what a shows tags are wrong, then it can be wrong. Remember anime often gets tags that are wrong for the content of the show.

Also your Mad Lib does not fit the show were discussing. Not even sure how to jig saw all of that into the show plot. Watch or not up to you, but for me no program or review will keep me from watching something that at a glance appeals to me.

Oh an internet buzz does not determine if I will find a show enjoyable. Fairly sure you have shows you enjoy that never gained said "buzz" as well.

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