Story & Art by Tsutomu Nihei
Translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian
Production by Grace Lu, Daniela Yamada, and Anthony Quintessenza
The battle for the fate of humanity rages on in Knights of Sidonia Master Edition Volume 4. When the Gauna kill the migrant residents of the planet Seven, the Sidonia decides to go on the offensive. Using the planet Nine as their foothold, the soldiers of Sidonia launch an attack on one of the Gauna’s Greater Clusters.
The majority of the volume focuses on the preparation and subsequent battle on Nine. Following Kobayashi seizing sole authority on the Sidonia, the ship has taken a heavier military approach. New garde units and hybrids are in production to attack the Gauna, creating more uncertainty within the Sidonia. That said, given Tanikaze’s position within the Sidonian forces, these changes aren’t all that apparent to our protagonist. We see this best when one of the lower rank soldiers speaks up about how they are being treated as sacrifices in the Guana battles, prioritizing more effective equipment and resources to higher rank pilots like Tanikaze. This creates tension in the narrative, making the social unrest among the soldiers widely apparent. As the battle on Nine begins, the Hawk Moth once again makes its return. While there have been numerous battles with the creature at this point, what makes this encounter interesting is the involvement of Tsumugi. Due to the Hawk Moth and herself both originating from a placenta of Hoshijiro, Tsumugi feels that it is her responsibility to defeat the creature. Seeing both Tsumugi and Tanikaze face the Hawk Moth is a spectacle to behold, resulting in a battle filled with excitement from start to finish. As the battle reaches its conclusion, it appears that the Hawk Moth may be defeated for good. Still, despite finally getting his vengeance, Tanikaze’s longing for Hoshijiro still remains.
Outside of the action, the manga takes its time to showcase daily life on the Sidonia. Tanikaze, Izuna, and Tsumugi move into a house on the Sidonia’s perimeter wall. Through this, we see Tanikaze and his friends enjoy their free time, not worrying about the harsh reality of their situation. While the core focus of Knights of Sidonia is the battle against the Gauna, these moments remind us of the humanity of our cast. In the end, Tanikaze and his friends are fighting towards a future where they can live peacefully with their loved ones.
Once again, Tsutomu Nihei goes all out with his artwork for the series. From the destructive combat with the Gauna to the quiet moments on the Sidonia, there is a constant sense of awe on every page. During the massive scale of the series’ combat, Nihei ensures that panels are not cluttered, providing distinct focus on the primary figures while still consistently progressing the pace of the story. Conversely, in the residential environments of Sidonia, Nihei’s art becomes heavily detailed, emphasizing the overwhelming scale of human society. Knights of Sidonia is able to perfectly balance its artwork based on the situation, making it an engrossing experience.
As with previous volumes, one of the biggest draws of the Master Edition release is the book itself. This large-sized release lets you take in the world of Knights of Sidonia with even greater detail, allowing Nihei’s beautiful artwork to truly flourish. The inclusion of color pages is a great addition as well, further providing the book with a premium feel. There’s no denying that the Master Edition is the best way to both collect and experience Knights of Sidonia.
Knights of Sidonia Master Edition Volume 4 is a fantastic read that continues the strong momentum of the series. While new readers will be drawn into the series’ solid action epic, verteran fans will be enthralled with the premium quality of the release itself. You can’t go wrong picking up this book, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.