Knights of Sidonia was one of Netflix's first big success stories in terms of anime, and the franchise as a whole is fairly well regarded. The anime will soon be coming to an end, marking a milestone as viewers look back at how far the streaming service's anime library has progressed. Unbeknownst to some, however, the anime and even its manga source material have subtle connections to another title.
Created by the same mangaka, the anime for Knights of Sidonia and Blame! exist in the same universe, but not in the way viewers might expect. Here's the hidden history between two of Netflix's anime exclusives and how they both connect to each other's stories.
Blame! and Knights of Sidonia's Manga
Both the manga for Blame! and Knights of Sidonia were written and drawn by Tsutomu Nihei, with the former running from 1997 to 2003 and the latter from 2009 to 2015. While both are science fiction stories, they feature notable differences. Blame! is a cyberpunk series about a man named Killy who searches for Net Terminal Genes. These will allow him and other humans to gain access to the Netsphere, which is central to accessing the City. Many are locked out of said City, making the possibly extinct Net Terminal Genes highly sought after.
Knights of Sidonia, on the other hand, is more of a space opera and much less of a grounded, city-based series. It follows Nagate Tanikaze, a wannabe Garde pilot. His eventual mission involves defending the Sidonia spaceship against the Gauna aliens, who have already destroyed the Earth. Similarities between Blame! and Sidonia exist in that humanity is heavily altered in each future, with cyborgs, synthetic humans, clones and humans who can use photosynthesis showing up in their narratives. However, this isn't the only other connection between the two, given the aforementioned Netflix connection.
Blame! and Knights of Sidonia on Netflix
Blame! first appeared on Netflix not through its 2017 film adaptation, but through the second season of Knights of Sidonia. In an episode of Season 2 of the Netflix anime, characters are seen watching some other production on TV. The characters in this show resemble those in the Blame! manga and a character even refers to Killy by name after being swept up in the story.
Although this anime-within-an-anime framework was done as a sort of gag or homage to Nihei's other popular series, it turned out to be a kind of backdoor pilot. “People were talking about this piece so much that we decided ‘Why don’t we do a movie?’,” said Knights of Sidonia director Hiroyuki Seshita. This led to Blame! getting its own Netflix adaptation, which was fairly received. With Knights of Sidonia's film series coming to an end, it may well be time for Netflix to take another stab at the other series that Nihei created.