It’s interesting looking at Knights of Sidonia’s ending on context of the endings of Blame and Biomega, and the tones of those series overall. Blame and Biomega were stories with a generally small cast. Blame with one person, later 3 people. Biomega with 3 people. Those stories were also generally travelogues, with the protagonists traveling the Megastructure or the World (respectively) to find a solution. Knights of Sidonia on the other hand, has the story more (generally) locked down to a location, and has a much larger cast. So, the question becomes how does the ending pan out. There will be spoilers in this post.

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Negima, Ken Akamatsu’s previous manga, was one that Akamatsu wanted to make as a battle manga, his publisher wanted to make as a fanservice-heavy rom-com, and ended up being both. UQ Holder, Akamatsu’s current manga, starts as a battle manga and has, to date, stayed that way, with plenty of fanservice and some rom-com hi-jinks scattered through the series.

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Oreimo is a manga which starts well – high school boy Kyousuke discovers his fashionable (as in fashion model) and popular younger sister Kirino is secretly an otaku who is really into games with moe little sisters and decides to bond with her through her fandom while also covering for her with their parents – and then hits an ending where the brother ends up in an incestuous relationship where he ends up marrying that sister. One of the supporting characters in that work is Kuroneko – one of Kirino’s friends in otakudom, who also has a romantic interest in Kyousuke. Now, Oreimo Kuroneko dares to ask the question – what if instead of boning his sister, Kyousuke decides to court his sister’s classmate who is also into him instead.

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Cover of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Omnibus 1

Battle Angel Alita ended – sort of – on an interesting note. Due to health issues, the mangaka, Yukito Kishiro, somewhat rushed the manga’s conclusion, quickly moving the story into the floating city of Zalem, before blitzing through the city coping with the revelation that everyone in the city has computer brains – and Alita ultimately ending up in control of the city. The sequel, Last Order, starts there, before going into an oddly different direction.

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Ultraman cover art from volumes 1 & 12

If you think about it, superheroes have been a part of Japanese pop-culture ever since the post-war period, and in particular the 60s and 70s. Astro Boy is Pinocchio with Super-Powers. Characters like Shotaro Ishinomori’s Android Kikaider and Kamen Rider featured protagonists fighting a supervillain organizations and their superpowered minions, and so on. And, of course, there is the tokusatsu classic – Ultraman from Tsuburaya Productions.

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