The Sci-fi Fantasy Reader's Review

My Comments on Science Fiction / Fantasy Books and other related media.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Netflix Produces Anime

If your like most people, Netflix has become the top streaming Internet viewing source. It has also become a producer of original programming especially in Anime. The Knights of Sidonia is an anime acquisition by Netflix with sole licensing for streaming. It was first released in Japan then release in the U.S. a month later probably so we had all the episodes available. It is a manga by Tsutomu Nihei who is also the artist for Blame!, NOISE, and Biomega.

The Knights of Sidonia is about the future of the humans where Earth was destroyed by alien beings called the Gauna. Sidonia is their ship and is a piece of Earth where inside humanity resides.  The people have been in space for a thousand years and have been genetically engineered to photosynthesize, are asexual, and the youngsters are trained as pilots to combat the foe.

The hero is a low-born youth, Nagate who has lived with his grandfather underground. The series follows him as he navigates through Sidonia's culture and his inevitable recruitment as a pilot. As the series unfolds we learn more about him and about the original citizens of Sidonia.

I would recommend this fast pace anime but it's not care free, funny, it can be very heartbreaking with the deaths of Nagate's fellow pilots.

Another Netflix anime series that I really enjoyed is The Devil is a Part-timer. It's a funny anime about the Devil King (Sadao Maou) who is from another dimension called Ente Isla where he is moments away from conquering the world when the Hero arrives and foils his plans. He and his General Alciel are caught in a vortex that transports him to modern day Toyko. He soon realizes that he has no magic in Tokyo but his ambitions are the same take over this new world. It's not until he has to live among the common folk that he starts having feelings that he's never had before. He cares what happens to them especially Chiho Sasaki who is a fellow employee at McDonald's fast food restaurant. With his personality for domination he becomes a conscientious employee and he works hard for his pay. General Alciel (Shiro Ashiya) becomes the house caretaker with duties of grocery shopping, making dinner, and still on the Satan's beckon call while on a budget.

Meanwhile the Hero (Emi Yusa) is also in modern day Tokyo and is following Satan. She can't believe he has changed his ways from Ente Isla. She is quick to temper, suspicious, and has a job as a call center agent.

There are other characters that are pieces of the ensemble that become friends. The dichotomy of the characters from Ente Isla are shown with them working together in modern day. The Hero sees the irony of their life as they struggle with the day to day business in Tokyo.

Psycho-Pass is another anime I would recommend. It's set in the future of Japan where your psyche is measured daily by monitors on the streets of the city. The system is called Sybil.  There is a range that registers the individual as normal but if the number gets too high that person is now deemed dangerous to society is either locked up or terminated on the spot with a gun the police carry that changes power from stun to death. The main character is Akane Tsunemori, a rookie cop who also has a perfect psyche no matter what her emotions are. The force is made up of people with perfect psyche and enforcers who are used as police dogs. It's that adage of "It takes one to know one" is why these people are enforcers. Their criminal mind can profile the ones their after. Akane, is that caring individual who has feelings for an enforcer,  Shinya Kogami who was once a police officer but his psyche went too high. He thinks like a criminal and is also a "Dirty Harry" type that takes things in his own hands 

I'm hoping Netflix buys the rights for the next seasons of these animes.

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