Knights-of-Sidonia-Coversby Michael Brown, staff writer

Netflix will add its first original anime series to its lineup in July, joining the ranks of its highly popular series such as the political thriller?House of Cards, the prison drama?Orange Is The New Black, and the supernatural drama?Hemlock Grove. The?new Robotech-styled, space opera?series, titled?Knights of Sidonia, is based on the best-selling manga series of the same name written by Tsutomu Nihei, published in Japan by Kodansha, and in the United States by Vertical.

The series has already aired 12 episodes in Japan and has been highly acclaimed, mostly by members of the Japanese game industry. Hideo Kojima, creator of the?Metal Gear?video game series, said, ?”It’s a kind of anime we haven’t seen for a while that has that sci-fi spirit … a unique, made-in-Japan work that could never be cooked up in Hollywood. Japanese culture has lost its ‘cool’, and?Knights of Sidonia?will be the white knight that saves it.”

Erik Barmack, Netflix’s Vice President of Independent Content said, ??Netflix has a huge base of anime fans and we are thrilled to be bringing exclusively for the first time them a first-run anime series, especially one as well-plotted, humorous and beautifully animated as Knights of Sidonia.”

Knights of Sidonia?is set in the distant future, a thousand years after Earth is destroyed by giant shapeshifting aliens called Gauna. One group of survivors has fled aboard the spaceship?Sidonia, a massive vessel created from the remains of the planet. The humans aboard the Sidonia have created their own culture while aboard, modeling it on Japanese culture, and things like human cloning, and controlled genetic engineering (human/animal hybrids for example) are commonplace. And the humans aboard?Sidonia? may be the last humans in the universe, as the fate of the rest of humanity remains unknown. Enter Nagate Tanikaze, who lives in the bowels of?Sidonia, away from the rest of Earth’s survivors, and practices everyday on a Guardian (the piloted mechs that defend?Sidonia) pilot simulator until he completely masters it. After he and his combat skills are discovered, he is selected to become a Guardian pilot, assisting with the defense of what may be the last of humanity against the Gauna.

Knights of Sidonia? is produced by Tokyo-based Polygon Pictures, winner of multiple Daytime Emmy Awards for Hasbro??s television series Transformers Prime?and the animators behind the Disney XD series?Tron: Uprising?and several episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The series is directed by Kobun Shizuno, who worked on G.I. Joe, ?and co-directed by Hiroyuki Seshita, a veteran of the Final Fantasy?video game series.

Viewers will have the option of watching in Japanese with the choice of subtitles or dubbed local language dialogue.?Knights of Sidonia?will premiere July 4 on Netflix with all 12 episodes of the first season.

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