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Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13

And we’re back… again. Sorry about the surprise skip day on Monday. Delayed con crud hit me hard and left me reeling. Hopefully now things will be back on track though! This week I’ll be taking a look at Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13 from Vertical Comics, but first… an anemic looking news section!

And now, onto the featured review of Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13!

Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13
By Tsutomu Nihei
Vertical Comics, 192 pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

As Nagate and the hybrid, Tsumugi, take part in a dangerous attempt to harness energy from a nearby sun, the Sidonia faces threats from ever nearing Gauna cluster ship and treachery from within as an old enemy makes his return. Tsutomu Nihei’s bizarre sci-fi, mecha, harem mash up series continues with Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13!

One of things that drew me to Nihei originally was his penchant for absolutely stunning vistas and completely insane action sequences. Knights of Sidonia has quite a bit of each, but it has also exposed me to a completely different side of him I hadn’t encountered before by exposing me to his sense of humor. The whole series has been peppered with some really wonderful slapstick moments courtesy of the abuse he heaps upon Nagate, but this volume really gives him a chance to show off his sense of the absurd when Nagate declares his love to Tsumugi, a massive techno-organic sentient garde unit developed by Kunato earlier in the series. The juxtaposition of the two figures and Tsumugi’s lovestruck teen girl act just highlights the silliness of the situation, but at the same time Nihei allows Nagate and the rest of the crew to approach this relationship like any other, giving it an awkward tenderness that feels genuine despite the fact that it involves a giant gauna hybrid.

Right there with you Tsumugi.

Right there with you Tsumugi.

Nihei’s visuals have always been one of his high points, but the shift in style that’s occurred as the series has progressed still isn’t clicking with me. It’s a little rougher around the edges with a slightly more organic feel to it, which makes for some nice looking gaunas and hybrids, but I feel like the hard straight edges that helped define the Sidonia and it’s grade units suffer under this new style.

With much of the volume taken up by the burgeoning romance between Nagate and Tsumugi, Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13 really feels like the calm before the storm. This is especially true given the last 12 or so pages which promises a very eventful next volume! With it’s weird mixture of hard sci-fi, harem comedy and mechs elements, Tsutomu Nihei’s Knights of Sidonia continues to be an intriguing and enjoyable read.

Knights of Sidonia, Vol. 13 is available now from Vertical Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.

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