Enter a New Generation…

Knights of Sidonia vol.8There is no denying that Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia is a departure from what this veteran comicker has previously worked on. But when comparing it to most of the science-fiction that is available in the market today, it is clear that this series is something unique on many levels. From its setting to its growing cast of characters, and even its impressively rendered world and mechanical designs set it apart from anything out there.

In the eighth volume of Knights of Sidonia a new generation of mechs are almost ready for combat and this new advancement in technology is just in time as a Gauna clustership has recently been spotted devouring a moon of a potential colony planet. With a new more aggressive stance to take the battle to the space monsters, and a new hybrid ally among them, the crew of the Sidonia may soon find themselves taking Planet 7 from the Gauna’s collective grasp.

As the manga moves towards a more action intense arc of this series, and with a new anime changing the scope of Japanese sci-fi animation, now is the time to dive into Tsutomu Nihei’s new flagship work. The culmination of more than a decade of comic work is now redefining many genres for this generation of seinen readers.

Reconfiguring the Space Opera

Knights of Sidonia vol. 6Now in its sixth volume Tsutomu Nihei’s science-fiction showpiece Knights of Sidonia continues to shock and inspire, through its thoughtful artistry and well-plotted story-building. And as the series begins to place on many Best of 2013 lists while videos of its animated TV series are repeatedly distributed on the internet, readers of the source material can experience a turning point in this epic’s narrative.

Nagate Tanikaze and his fellow Garde pilots know they are the vanguard in the fight for survival against the Gauna. Every time they sortie, the likelihood they will return to their homes becomes less and less likely. And when dealing with whole clusters of Gauna the odds become even more minute. So when Nagate and crew face off against the most recent evolution of the Gauna defense mechanism, it does not come as a shock to see mass destructions on both sides of the conflict. How the survivors deal with the tragedy and the aftermath will be critical as repairing a mobile suit, which adds plenty to this already engrossing drama.

Whether being read for the space opera or the unique twist on a gender-bending harem comedy, Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia satisfies in ways photosynthetic organisms can never fully realize.

CLONE WARS

Summer is here and with it come the big blockbusters: Superman, Ironman, Gundam and Pacific Rim! Wait Pacific Rim and Gundam…

Anywho, while it may be early to call Tsutomu Nihei’s latest a blockbuster, with an animated TV series recently announced for 2014, the folks at Vertical feel we may have next year’s summer hit in our grasp right now.

This month we released the third volume of Nihei’s attempt at a space opera. Tensions are high as the Sidonia have encountered a new form of alien foe. The shape-shifting Gauna have launched an attack with a new look and feel that may be eerily familiar to the Sidonia’s young heroes. This new approach is meant to cast doubt in the hearts of the many fighter pilots that engage with the Gauna, so will Tanikaze and his colleagues be able to vanquish this new threat and will they be able to capture a specimen to figure out how far these aliens have come over the last few hundreds of years?

And then, talking bear and den-mother, Lalah Hiyama recalls memories of early encounters with the Gauna. These memories all triggered by her new found moments with Nagate Tanikaze.

Before Nihei’s new hit takes to the small screen next year, why not dive into the depths of science-fiction story-telling and comedy that is Knights of Sidonia!

Zero G-Love

Happy Valentine’s Day readers!

As a gift to the best manga fans in the English reading world we have two titles to share with you today. First is the debut of Vertical’s newest manga series, Knights Of Sidonia. The most recent work by renowned comicker and world-builder, Tsutomu Nihei, of Blame and Biomega fame. Fans of Nihei’s previous works won’t be let down by Knights Of Sidonia.

As an homage to the space operas of the past, Sidonia is a tale of the last of humanity struggling to survive while on the run. Trekking through space fighting off aliens who have destroyed most of their kind is rendered with love in Nihei’s unique and haunting visual style. Yet, unlike some of his earlier works, this manga is noticeably more cohesive and concentrated, paying plenty of attention to its characters and story. Here, Nagate Tanikaze, a young man who has lived his entire life up until the start of this story in isolation, is the newest soldier in the battle against a race of space giants called the Gauna. He is alone in this new world where humans now photosynthesize and new biological genders have come into play. Will lonely, passionate and hungry Nagate, be able to function within this futuristic society?

The idleness and desperation of space is portrayed to a subtle degree in Knights Of Sidonia, and it becomes increasingly haunting as it progresses. You’ll feel for the characters trying to get by day to day in this cold reality. Between the crippling loneliness of space and the nauseating alien life forms trying to kill everyone, Knights Of Sidonia makes for the perfect Valentines Day present. …Really.