OP1.1 Sequence


“Unexpected Night”

「明けぬ夜」 (Akenu Yoru)

An Audio-Visual Splendor:

This is the relentless zombie action thriller we’ve all been waiting for. Or at least I have. Is it deep or thought provoking? Not really. Is it especially original? No. Is it subtle in any way? Hell no. Luckily, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri doesn’t have to be any of those things. All it has to do is entertain. If you expect insight into the human mind or are hoping for some transcendent storytelling, then your expectations aren’t aligned with what is intended here. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: this is probably one of the best action anime I’ve seen in the longest time. Sometimes you just want to watch something that grabs you by the throat, straps you in, and screams in your face for 22 minutes every week. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like pure fun to me.

It helps that the series is a feast for the eyes and angelic to the ears. While the quality and detail of the art fluctuates depending on the importance of the scene (and by fluctuates I mean anything between very good to gorgeous), it was the music that caught my attention most this week. The OP is freaking epic (and as I expected, comes with updated visuals), and the ED is serene and lovely, showing a gentler side to this blitzfest. Meanwhile, the OST throughout this episode, especially in the heavy action sequences, was as adrenaline pumping as you could imagine. I’m sure if Kabaneri didn’t look and sound as good as it does, it wouldn’t be getting the attention it has garnered this past week. Thankfully, it does look and sound that good. It makes it a wonder to watch – a call back to 90s anime in the layers of shading and quirks of the character designs, while taking influence from more modern hits, making sure it appeals to as many anime fans as possible.

The Kabaneri Curse:

With that, we get confirmation on what a ‘kabaneri’ actually is. It’s fairly typical, but it’s someone who is neither human nor kabane, but somewhere in between. There were hints last week that Mumei had some supernatural powers with her glowing eyes, but it’s nice to have confirmation that there’s more to her (and now Ikoma) than meets the eye. I honestly didn’t realise she was the same girl as the one in the OP with the head guard on, which seems silly in retrospect. Once I got past that not being another yet to be introduced character, I loved seeing her go all-out on on the invading kabane. While the action was somewhat lessened (and the blood now grey) due to foreign censorship, there were plenty of brilliant moments, all seamless and polished.

After Ikoma near strangling himself to death last week (I’m not going to get caught up in the details), we also find out that he’s become a kabaneri. When his glowing heart is exposed, everyone turns on him, even his closest friend. It’s one of many relentless scenes that are packed into this episode, followed by him being shot off the train and left to die. While his action were admirable, he didn’t get as much time to shine as in the premiere – this week was mainly about Mumei showing off her badassery. They make for an interesting (and amusing) pair, but I imagine from here on out there going to face heavy discrimination and many challenges ahead.

Overview – What’s Next?:

God, that was fun. Part of me was worried the hype wouldn’t continue past the premiere, but I’m glad to see things are just as exciting the second time around. I’m not sure when the third episode will air, as there are delays in the Japanese broadcast due to multiple earthquakes. If any of you kept up to date with anime during the 2011 tsunami you will know that these things are unavoidable. Complaining about waiting an extra week is petty compared to the damage done to those affected by these natural disasters. If we have to wait a little longer for the third episode, then so be it. It will only make its eventual airing even more exciting.

ED Sequence

ED: 「ninelie」 by Aimer with chelly (EGOIST)


  1. Guess someone just won the OP of the Season award! Mumei wrecking the dancefloor is as equally kickass. I honestly never saw this coming – I thought she’s just a master ninja’s disciple or something. And I don’t mind waiting. I’m actually feeling really, really hyped/high about this series and I perfectly got my fix with this episode.

      1. It’s always the just-into-the trades people that are sticker to the procedures and dead serious to their jobs (it’s a complement). I wonder if she is just as deadpanned when she’s off duty.

    1. Mumei is awesome and I wonder if the methods for them to become halfs were different, she seemed fatigued alot and constantly suffering when sleeping where our MC seems greatly immune to pain after bitten and shows no withdrawl symptoms so far.. THIS SHOW IS DANK

    1. I guess as far as looks go, I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t think that’s the point of his design. He’s a humanized manifestation of the conflict that engrosses Kabaneri – from a stereotypical male POV, to be fair, whereas Mumei exerts a far more graceful and nuanced (ie feminine) form of badassery – and his looks are just as rough and tumble as the show itself.

      Ryan Ashfyre
    1. I think it’s more likely that she has a time limit for going all out. Notice that she took note on how long she spent in the field (and all those clocks she has). My guess is that she can only go all out for a short period at one go before the kabane virus takes over her.

      1. I never realised what that timer was for until after I finished the episode. The hints were all there, but for some reason I didn’t didn’t see that revelation coming (though it was more predictable with Ikoma).

  2. The anime website has some important worldbuilding info on the setting.

    -The setting’s an alternate 19th century Japan, called Hinomoto (日ノ本)

    -The winning feudal lords/daimyo from the Sengoku period chose to open up the country instead of closing its borders, and over 300 years built a peaceful and tranquil realm

    -Trade with outside countries meant that Hinomoto was able to bring in a lot of industrial technology, leading to the steampunk meets ancient Japan look

    -Word comes of the Kabane appearing in Western Europe, and the daimyo began preparing their country to face the threat in the off chance that it would come to their shores. The fortress and train network was established as a result. The Kabane eventually arrive in Kyushu and overrun the land

    -The network is the only safe haven remaining in Hinomaru, and no one was able to go against the shogunate that controlled it

    1. That is all very useful/interesting information, thanks! I’m glad they didn’t feel the need to force exposition into the first episode. Hopefully those tidbits will be scattered throughout the series.

    2. A (perhaps) interesting aside as to the basis of the term “kabaneri”.
      Although the term in Japanese is written in katakana (カバネリ), obscuring its meaning,
      “Kabane” is clearly 屍, meaning “corpse”,
      whereas “ri” is probably from an alternative reading of 人, meaning “human” — as in 一人 “hitori” (one person), 二人 “futari” (two people) (and once, long ago, “mitari” 三人 and “yotari” 四人)
      Put together, 屍人 could be read as “kabaneri” and perfectly encapsulates the idea of someone who has qualities of both kabane and human.

  3. Ep 2 will only be officially aired in Japan next week. This early release was due to Chinese distributors mistakenly releasing Ep 2.

    Other anime delayed by the Kumamoto earthquakes coverage include Assassination Classroom and the Magi: Adventures of Sinbad premiere.

  4. These characters really jump out of the screen. Got to love all the little things this episode had to offer. Aside from flat-pulse Hime-sama and her friendzoned, toolbag of a bodyguard every character gives off a natural human like aura.

    Best Bob the builder anime adaptation to date!

  5. God, every episode just makes me wish this character design was more prevalent. This is the kind of design that is so much easier to swallow for “outsiders” yet is still pleasing to watch for someone who can appreciate pretty much anything up to Lucky Star level.

    Regarding the episode though I feel it didn’t pack the same punch as the first one but that’s okay since it’s still delivering an enjoyable experience. Really wasn’t expecting Mumei to be the one in the promo material since the difference was so stark from her appearance in the first episode. I’m curious to know how others managed to become Kabaneri, I imagine their method differs greatly from Ikoma’s since he looks… more roughed up than Mumei(obviously this might be due to wanting actual bishoujos).

    As in the previous episode I have a hard time liking Ikoma though. His voice really doesn’t float my boat, it feels out of place but it’s a very small issue. Looking forward to next week since something might actually happen then!

    1. Shingeki no Kyojin was a massive success as well. I’m sure they’ve got some spare change in their back pocket for future projects. And early stalker points suggest Kabaneri could end up one of the best selling anime of the season, which is awesome.

    2. The show also got money by having it stream online on Amazon Prime and it’s also streaming in China, though I don’t know how much this show got. For comparison though, the staff of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu have mentioned the biggest reason for being able to make a second season despite low DVD/Blu-ray sales is because just the royalties made from the show’s streaming in China made so much money that not only covered for the entirety of season one’s production fees, but also made a profit.

  6. Moderately impressed by Samurai-kun. Obviously he’s the early-season antagonist for Ikoma, but he was 110% willing to eat a heroic peanut and go throw himself on that bridge lever.

    I can’t really hate Hard Men as long as they include themselves in the hard calculus for survival.

  7. Like I said (or more likely predicted) last week, this show’s a blast. Glad I was right about the OP and ED being a great listen.

    BTW, that’s a lot of action sequences being jammed into 2 episodes (so far). are we going to be in a bottle (ie. trapped inside the train) episode soon?

  8. Mumei is already becoming best girl.

    And the way the Kabane virus is prevented from changing the human into a Kabane by preventing it from reaching the brain also further reminds me of Parasyte.

    “After Ikoma near strangling himself to death last week (I’m not going to get caught up in the details), we also find out that he’s become a kabaneri. When his glowing heart is exposed, everyone turns on him, even his closest friend. It’s one of many relentless scenes that are packed into this episode, followed by him being shot off the train and left to die.”

    Sadly, it shows just how society as a whole will, to borrow the Joker from The Dark Knight, “eat each other” when everything just breaks down, their rationality just out the window due to overwhelming fear and what feels like a “need” to justify that fear, like that samurai guy actually suggesting that a Kabane had suddenly learned to speak human language again out of nowhere in order to justify his fear of Ikoma. Though you gotta love Ikoma wanting to at least shame their actions by still saving them despite their treatment of him and giving him the last laugh.

    1. “like that samurai guy actually suggesting that a Kabane had suddenly learned to speak human language again out of nowhere in order to justify his fear of Ikoma”

      They have learned at least to drive a train, so I too would be rightfully paranoid about what those monsters are able to learn.

      1. I don’t think the Kabane learnt to drive the train. Instead, the train was already running when it was attacked and one of the Kabane was, well, chained to the engine pulley.

    2. Don’t forget that the strangulation by Ikoma and Mumei’s ribbons may have the same purpose. So much emphasis on the ribbons always had me thinking that they’re connected to some degree.

    1. boingman
      1. I find myself baffled at anyone who calls this show dumb, just because it’s heavy on action and doesn’t have deep complex philosophical ideas doesn’t make it dumb, it already has a bit of social commentary and lots of interesting ideas (specially the whole “what if” scenario of what Japan would look like if they opened up instead of going for 300 years of isolation).

        Dumb would be more fitting for something ridiculous like Valkyrie Drive-Mermaid or any of the countless harem fanservice laden animes out there, now those are legitimately dumb and even with that said they still can be enjoyable in their own dumb way XD

      2. @hunter-wolf
        no it’s dumb alright; but there’s nothing really wrong with that. This isnt “insult your intelligence” dumb. It’s more like “throw whatever we can at the screen without much cohesion but make it look like beautiful chaos” and that works. Sure there is commentary; but commentary for commentary sake is not smart. Writing isnt intelligent because it points something out. It’s smart because of how it integrates it’s commentary and it adds layers to the narrative. You can have layers without being”super deep”. That’s competent writing but so far, kabaneri uses the idea of fear to make characters act one note rather than say anything worthwhile about it. It only serves as a mechanism to drive actions rather than being an explored theme, at least right now. The story could always improve. In my opinion, kabaneri doesnt have competent writing, but it’s not bad or atrocious either. it’s by the numbers; what it lacks in that department, it makes up for by being an adrenaline rush…..mostly.

      3. If you are going to call something dumb provide some example to what you consider smart action show otherwise you are talking in a vacuum.

        Cause what dumb means is basically “you insult your intelligence by watching this show”, it’s a derogatory term and should be reserved for that actually deserves such a hateful word, something that lacks effort and any semblance of cohesion, something like some action shonen series where heroes power up for no reason because the writers just want them to, ones that have deus-ex-machina solutions to every situations and characters that act without rhyme or clear motivation while spouting total nonsense that doesn’t add up, that’s what dumb is, but that’s also nothing like Koutetsujou which seems coherent so far and delivering in terms of fulfilling what’s expected from any high-end well written action anime from the genre, unless you consider all the action genre of anime dumb (which would be quite ridiculous) then the word has no place here whatsoever.

        For example i’d point you to the comment by Mistic, his remarks about how the story deals with Ikoma’s hubris and reckless ambition are very interesting, point is, there is more to the story and characters than you make it seem.

      4. @sonicsenryaku

        Given what said about the first episode I’d betting you think it is “dumb alright” because it goes against your biology expertise not anything else like internal logic/cohesion/consistency. Note how not getting caught up on the details of the “science” of magic is important since science magic isn’t going to be realistic.

        The story on its own flows quite well and everything from his friend going to look for him their reactions his continued severe underestimation of the fear most people have even including his own friend who takes one step back much more than just a by the numbers thing. From an emotional and internal logic stance everything has been pretty well written in addition to being an adrenaline rush. I’d know also because I manually retimed the subs so no action for me just reading text line by line to make it actually sync up.

      5. @hunter-wolf

        well i disagree that calling something “dumb fun” has to be instantly interpret as hateful and derogatory. I think the fast and furious franchise is dumb fun (and i find immense enjoyment from the movies) and yet there are stuff about the series i respect like how even though most of the cast is fairly one-note, the series is competent in showing how well the characters work together, how well they play off of each other, and that they really do feel like family. Sure the movies have their head-scratching moments, but fast and furious doesnt go out of my way to insult my intelligence. It self aware; it’s clearly the epitome of machismo wish-fulfillment. It’s goal is to make everyone look as badass as possible. It’s a high budget cheesy 80’s/90’s flick and damn does it execute it so well. I appreciate the fast and furious films for being dumb fun; nothing hateful about my opinion of the movies…but at least i can acknowledge that it’s dumb. Dumb does not equate terrible or bad…hell or even mediocre for that matter.

      6. @hunter-wolf

        and if you really feel like it’s necessary that i give an example of a competent action series, look no further than gurren lagann. You want a smarter example, a much smarter example; look no further than FLCL (yes, that falls into the action genre as well). My next show isnt so much an action show more than it is a fantasy/adventure with action but digimon tamers, a show aimed at kids, is logarithmic-ally smarter than this show. Look, im not saying this show is bad (quite the opposite), but it is what it is. Anyone can look at characters and analyze them for deeper meaning. A show illustrates how smart it is by the methods it uses to systematically expand on its premises, it’s setting, it’s characters, and it’s themes. Hey, you may think kabaneri is a smart show and that’s fine; all the power to ya. I just think differently. I see things that are in my opinion, flaws in the shows writing. I dont have to view kabaneri as a smart show to like it

      7. @sonicsenryaku

        Calling something “dumb fun” not literariness negative vs. “it’s dumb alright” definitely negative are two different things. We already know exactly what your “head scratchers” are with basically no basis other than your own call to expertise in the subject of magical viruses. I don’t think anyone is forcing you to call it a smart show but your clearly being very negative about the show while trying in vain to mask over it and hide your completely refuted grievances with technical details.

      8. @hunter-wolf

        oh and i almost forgot; just for the sake of contrast; shows that you mentioned like valkyrie mermaid (and i know you didnt mention this one but boku no pico), those are the kind of shows that are dumb in the “insult my intelligence, god this is atrocious” kind of way (more boku no pico than valkyrie maid…valkyrie maid is on the cusp, but deep down in that show’s soul, even it plays with the fact that it’s stupid)

      9. @sonicsenryaku
        I think the main problem with your argument to opinion is that you are free to have your own opinion but it doesn’t mean the “flaws in the shows writing” you claim exist are correct. Not being able to even defend them or bring the up merely vaguely referring to “flaws” is a telling sign.

      10. It was an off hand comment and wasn’t intended to sound as negative as some like to make it. It certainly doesn’t feel like it insults my intelligence, but given the background (zombie invasion) and certain characters behaviour so far, it’s not thought provoking either. I could have as well just called it an “entertaining zombie action romb”.

      11. @boingman
        An action zombie movie need not be a dumb fun movie is the problem. It is a matter of opinion.

        Also it is your opinion based on some very shaky arguments not “the end” with nothing else to say.

  9. If I disliked Ikoma in the previous episode, I liked him here. Because the series punishes him for his hubris.

    Oh, you thought you had the infection under control? It didn’t work as you thought, even if you didn’t become a kabane. Now enjoy the hatred and fear of those supposed to thank you for your ingenuity and bravery.

    Oh, you thought your machine would be the answer to destroy the kabane? Sorry, but that little girl can kill them by the dozens with her own weapons, and from a safer distance (for more salt in the wound, she does it in front of him when he was planning to show off).

    I think I’m going to enjoy the ride.

  10. “Are you human or Kabane?!!”

    Kind of proof they aren’t avoiding Attack on Titan comparisons huh? Seriously what was the point of that? I mean recreating that specific scene isn’t some kind of coincidence. There are other things in this episode that I could point out but I’d rather not get into “kind of a big part of the story” spoilers territory so I’ll hold off.

    I don’t exactly blame these guys for being trigger happy of course but shouldn’t they know exactly how long it takes for someone to turn into a Kabane? They apparently detain people for 3 days while keeping watch but we know for a FACT it takes people take much less time to turn than that considering Ikoma almost turned in less than the span of several minutes. I feel like they should have a better idea of how this whole process works. I mean they SAW Ikoma being bitten several times and nothing was happening to him. Yet the Samurai guy thinks that he was Kabane since the day before when he was locked up which stupid as all hell. We’ve seen that he’s the most composed out of the other fodder so I kind of expect a bit more intelligence out of him is all. He doesn’t even ask questions like “How the fuck are you still alive don’t look like a zombie fest right now?”. The opening points to him being a good guy on the zombie slaying team later so kind of not liking his intro so far.

    Regardless I’m semi-enjoying the show as of now and am interested to see where it goes. I’m kind of wondering what’s with the zombies sometimes though. I mean sometimes they slowly walk around and others they run like Speedy Gonzales. When attacking sometimes they are slow and easy to predict and other times they seem to actually use their zombie heads thinking “These guys and their wimpy guns can’t hurt me…………soooo I’m just going to bum rush them!”. If only they did that every time huh? I mean are like traditional zombies that respond to sound? We know they smell blood but does that cause them to go on a frenzy? Or is it just the trains? And did the show forget about all the zombies that latched onto the train? Because don’t tell me they all went to fight Ikoma because I’ll punch in the face if you do. I mean sure he WAS bloody and everything but there is no way he could have defeated them all and we saw a BUNCH of zombies haling ass from the forest toward the train before that (which happened after most of the ones in the village were killed by our badass loli).

    Is this going to be a convenient zombie placement for the sake of the script zombies series? I think it’s going to be convenient zombie placement for the sake of the script zombies series 😛

    1. Well what you can say to a people with glowing chest? even if your chest glowing we are still brothers and sisters? :p

      And about kabane chasing the train…I think they are attracted to closest body heat as number one priority and second the smell of blood, if the blood is top priority for kabane, ikoma would already death by mobs when he passed out.

      Well..all the scene almost like a reconstruction of aot first battle(mikasa badass)and here we see mumei then “to shoot or not shoot drama” haha at least ikoma>eren by being awesome at cursing people.

      1. That kind of adds to my point then that all the zombies that were latched to the train and clearly sensed human body heat shouldn’t have all disappeared. Heck we’ve seen that even a train moving at high speed isn’t enough to get them off and they punch through metal pretty easily. I feel like it shouldn’t take them anytime at all to take over a stationary train but eh whatever. Script based zombies as I said :P.

  11. Please keep in mind, since the Earth quakes and the aftershocks some animes will be delayed, and looks like the US streaming companies will hold them back as well

  12. I’ll just wait for next week since even if I get impatient and watch that Chinese leak with horrible subs, the third episode won’t be there next week so it will be delayed regardless.

  13. Being saved by someone you’ve thrown away, I hope you will live with this shame for the rest of your lives.

    I will laugh at you from the other world.

    This Ikoma guy is already climbing like mad my personal “favorite character ever” ranking.

  14. c2710
  15. My condolences to anyone who lives in Japan or knows someone who lives there and was hurt by the Earthquakes, i don’t mind any delays given the circumstances, i didn’t know Koutetsujou will be affected so i watched the version released by the Chinese distributor, i was wondering what happened to the subbing quality and why there is Chinese subs with the English ones, thanks to you Samu i understand now.

    Given the fact not everyone has watched the episode i will limit my discussion about something strongly related to Koutetsujou but a little different, it’s the movie Empire of Corpses, as i watched the first episode of Kotetsujou i felt it’s a bit familiar, that feeling kept nagging me for a while until i went and watched Empire of Corpses, it’s a bizarre movie about a world where zombies are man-made from the dead with punch-cards to program them and then used for labor and war, a very wonderful movie to gaze at but also has a very macabre, bleak and melancholic atmosphere, my real surprise is that it was made by Studio Wit, that explained the feeling i had, Empire of Corpses was made by the same guys who are making Koutetsujou and made Attack on Titan.

    So not only the quality of the art and animation were spectacular (like in Koutetsujou and Attack on Titan) but i realized they were also inspired by some of the elements in Empire of Corpses when they made Koutetsujou (both has an alternate history and some steam-punk tech-too-advanced-for-its-real-world-period), it seems to me Koutetsujou combined the best elements from Attack on Titan with those from Empire of Corpses (which is based on a novel and was made as part of a three movie project turning three novels for the same writer into movies).

    Studio Wit are on the rise and are really proving themselves to be very competent and talented studio, they are rapidly becoming my next fav studio after Madhouse, Production I.G and Bones specially in terms of their artistic quality and great choices of artists and musicians to work with.

  16. This show isn’t really my cup of tea, BUT I really like the two main characters. Ikoma’s determination and willingness to risk everything, Mumei’s disregard of the dangers of the Kabane, are the things that hooked me in. The other character I really noticed this episode was Takumi. It must have been really tough on him. Seeing his best friend turn into a monster. But in the end, he still tried to help after realizing that it is still his friend and not some mindless monster. Gives you some hope for humanity.

    As for the Kabane disease, I’ll just go with tying the neck prevents it it from influencing the brain. Thinking too much leads to nowhere. Technicalities be damned. XD

  17. A solid, entertaining episode placing this show among the best of what I’m watching this season. That’s not to say it’s without issues, but what this show has managed to do so far is provide a fairly thrilling ride with at least above average if not simply good visual quality. The pacing is uptempo which not only syncs well with the action, but helps to keep things moving which in turn distracts from some questionable moments/aspects of the story. The similarities with SnK/AoT remain, but to me the show is still different enough.

    I agree with others that there are times when it’s best not to think too deeply about matters. Granted viewers’ level of suspension of disbelief vary, but it’s hard for me to ignore some things. For example, in this episode Ikoma exclaims to his friend that the solution to his improved… nail gun (not sure what else to call it) was gunpowder. Umm… then why not just, you know, build an actual gun which would fit perfectly well with 19th century technology. Seems like the better solution to me. I get the whole “steammpunk ‘coolness’ factor”, but I’d prefer better balance between “form (“cool” factor) and function” in these stories. On the plus side, the in-universe tech seems fairly appropriate for the setting (if not entirely).

    Overall, so far such matters are not too egregious, and there are positives. For example, last time I mentioned that if your gimmick is one must pierce the Kabane’s “iron cage heart” to kill them, then you need to stick with that. Otherwise, why bother with it in the first place? Be consistent. In Ep. 02, apart from the first Kabane who Mumei kills quickly via decapitation (end result off screen), the rest she dispatched via heart kills. So not 100% consistent, but almost. I also liked how how pissed off Ikoma was for being kicked off the train while lowering the bridge. Very natural reaction IMO. Things like that go a long way to offset other issues.

    Long story short, only Ep. 02, but I’m in. This looks like a fun ride.

    1. I hope this message isn’t too late to post but Ikoma’s nail gun got me scratching my head concerning its practicality in combat. It seems rather unwieldy for combat. I don’t deny its armour-piercing capability but it required its user to get up-close and personal with a Kabane. A steam gun/rifle offers a range advantage. The main problem is the lead bullets having difficulty piercing a Kabane’s heart cage but Mumei demonstrated it’s still possible and steam guns/rifles are still effective. The problem is can a person get the killing shot in time?

      Ikoma may be able to use it effectively considering he’s now a Kabaneri but for normal people? I don’t think so. It seemed that he was so obsessed in thinking of a way to pierce a Kabane’s heart cage that he ignored/forgot to consider a weapon’s ergonomics and handling.

      1. @RedWolff: I agree that Ikoma’s “nail gun” isn’t practical since it’s really a melee weapon. Almost guaranteed to get bit in order to use it (or even be killed). IDK, maybe they can start wearing armor or something (assuming the zombies can’t chew through chain mail or plate). Be heavy to wear though. But yeah, Ikoma’s gun is not practical since ideally you want to avoid close combat.

        As for the air-guns (what they are), I’m not entirely sure how effective they are since the random gunners/guards seem to struggle a lot. I guess the air-guns work well enough (able to pierce the “iron cage” at least at close range), but “normal people” lack ability compared to Mumei. That being said, for some reason, I took Mumei’s pistols as special/hax since she’s a Kabaneri (and I assume you get powers beyond immunity to zombie-ism with that). Everyone else from what I recall uses a air-rifle.

        Still, there are reasons RL guns use explosives as a propellant rather than compressed air. Get a LOT more PSI among other things = velocity which is what you need for AP. It’s not a huge deal, and I get the whole “steampunk” theme. Still, when the main character throws out “the solution all along was gunpowder!”… twice, it’s kind of like the show is throwing the fiction vs. RL discrepancy in my face. JMO, but since they are going with a “steampunk” setting, why not ditch gunpowder/explosives entirely and embrace “steam punk” 100%?

  18. These character designs and the layer of shading are just gorgeous to look at, case in point, Mumei is ridiculously beautiful, those eyes just draw me in.

    As for the episode, I like how things turned out. The main character isn’t going to be understood or appreciated until people understand what he is, but I’m glad that also means he’s probably far stronger than the normal human with his new form. That badass line the MC shouted to everyone was on point, he isn’t some chivalrous knight, he’s just a regular person who gets frustrated if people don’t believe in him, and that made me like him even more.

    Anyway, show continues to be a lot of fun. It’s not deep or complex, but the visuals are on point, the action is intense, and our two main leads are very likeable.

    1. Yeah, the MC’s peronality is interesting and had a way better introduction than Eren, but to me the best character so far is Mumei, i loved how she stood up for Ikoma and defended him not once but twice, even going as far as to reveal her true nature as a Kabanari to everyone to stop them from harassing or outright killing him in their fit of fear and anger.

      That choice she made humanized her a lot, not only is she an adorable badass but she is very brave and looks out for both humans and her own kind as well, if she was a selfish prick she would have kept her identity hidden and wouldn’t have risked exposing her identity to a lot of angry/fearful people while trapped on a speeding train with them, but i suppose she isn’t perfect either, she knew the guy who panicked and was shot and killed wasn’t infected yet she didn’t interfere or try to save him, i suppose she was being cautious and didn’t want to expose her true nature at that point infront of everyone.

      And while the show might not be so complex or deep it still deals with some very interesting ideas, i loved the part where Ikoma tells Mumei that people shouldn’t let their fear make them forget about their humanity (also liked how Mumei smiled at that part in agreement), the series also deals with behaviour during viral outbreaks, the balance between logical quarantine procedures and irrational fear, how entire cities can be lost to infections and turn into wastelands because of one mistake, add to that all the little details that emerged from the situation (like the explosion satchels used by the infected for an honorable suicide), it’s even more interesting because of the steampunk setting and the “what if” scenario of Japan never going through the 300 years of isolation.

    1. Certainly looks that way at first blush, but Show Spoiler ▼

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. Maybe, but Ikoma hasn’t given the impression of that kind of guy. If anything, he’s channeled his feelings about losing his sister into his near obsession with destroying the Kabane.

        Ryan Ashfyre
      2. Kinda like Eren.

        He is also more successful at it. It’s amazing how he treats Kabane bites post-infection as annoyances and just pilebunkered them all out of his way.

      3. Hmmm. You’ve given me food for thought. I have a theory. A possibly wild theory but here goes:

        (I will be operating under the assumption that Ikoma’s sister is Mumei for this theory)

        As a young child, Mumei is bitten by a Kabane, before the infection sets in, she begs Ikoma to “save her”. Due to something in the bloodline, a magical gem or something Ikoma does out of desperation to save her, he tries to save his sister before she turns full Kabane. (Maybe he strangled her like he strangled himself?) Nothing happens and he thinks he has failed and flees to save himself, thus kick-starting his renewed determination and obsession to defeat the Kabaneri. Little does he know, his sister survived. Upon discovering his sister’s survival, he would then realise the method he used to save her would be able to save many people, even if it meant they would become half-human, half-Kabane in the process.

        Mumei’s body is in suspended animation (kinda like how vampires never age), forever in the body of a young child that doesn’t grow up, hence that one guy yells at her, “Hey, no children allowed here!” She is able to stay in human form but if she overexerts herself over a certain amount of time, she runs the risk of turning full Kabane. I have no doubt that we may see a scene where Mumei is forced to go over her time limit, possibly to save Ikoma at the last minute (no pun intended lol!) and she turns full Kabane, resulting in Ikoma recognising that she is the same Kabane from his past and his nightmares, finally concluding that Mumei is his sister. Dun dun dun dunn…!

        Thoughts? Likely? Unlikely? With how vague the flashback/nightmare sequences are, I’d say anything is a-go at this point. So keen for this series, it’s been a long time since I’ve been this hyped.

  19. Is the train really made of pure iron, maybe add some carbon in there so the zombies will not be so easily able tear into the train like a soda can.

    You know I hate zombies to begin with but especially when the Zombies are fast and now this anime has made them strong and worse yet they can THINK and do so strategically.

    On a side note why the hell was the bridge in the down position to begin with

    1. The bridge was in the down position because they were expecting the train according to schedule (the 2nd train was actually on time, except it was overrun with zombies).

  20. Just rewatched the episode again (better visuals and translation)

    Spoilers for grey zoning…

    Though I would bet that there would be a v2 because there’s still some translation still off. (Maybe?)

    Anyway. After watching this and the previous episodes, I can safely theorize that the new weapon Ikoma had “invented” might actually be more inline with a pile driver; given that he has to be in melee range every single time that he’s using it. Also, the word “steam needle” was used (YMMV).

  21. “This is the relentless zombie action thriller we’ve all been waiting for. Or at least I have. ”

    Agreed. Though the zombie’s behavior is a little inconsistent, ranging from standard sluggish zombies to full blown rage virus 28 Days Later zombies/AoT Titan-ish craziness. Regardless, it’s quite enjoyable. So far, best anime of the season, though I still have a bunch of others to catch up on.

    Bamboo Blade Cat
    1. Perhaps with more time we’ll learn more about the kabane and if there’s any reason behind their fluctuating behavior. But even if not, I think its forgivable if they speed up or slow depending depending on how tense of action packed a scene is. It seems to be balancing well so far.

    2. Well our heroine has to cool down after intense activity maybe it the same with the full bloods. They rushed down into town and then went into shamble mode to recover. I would say they normally shamble slow and are only capable of bursts of high speed high energy activity.

    1. To be fair, they’re probably just following protocol. Perhaps they’ve never been invaded by Kabane via an oncoming train – how would they know if they can even drive one far enough to get there?

      And even if they were expecting a train, how can they properly inspect it? The stations don’t seem to be built in a way that allows for that. My guess is this is a freak occurrence that they weren’t prepared for. You could call that bad writing, but I honestly don’t think it matters or changes all that much.

      1. Yep I took it as skipping the pause steep because the train was on time and the crew was tired. Being under constant threat makes people start burning out and getting less careful even in very dangerous situations like being in a war. As a former infantry officer I can tell you it takes constant work to keep things like friendly unit returning to the lines carefully done like it should be done to avoid the enemy faking their way in. And many other things done to be careful it a constant effort to keep the best tactics going as people get weary.

        Of course it could be the first train was only stop because it was off schedule but that would be not cautious enough in a official plan so I take the sniping the stop and clear step a crew skipping policy because on time and whistle going seamed ok.

  22. The scene which the rich girl (couldn’t remember her name) removed her key necklace almost looked like a 3D-cg.

    And the series’s name make me think of habanero pepper every freaking time…

  23. Another case of ‘two parter’ syndrome wherein the more complete package exists from the second episode of a series making both the first and second a more complete experience.

    Just, this is exactly what I wanted out of the first. More teases of something major to come, expanding upon characterization, more tension, better execution and overall, just absolutely fantastic.

    I was reeling in my expectations after that premier but after seeing more of Araki’s ‘touch’ in this episode, I’m on board for the long haul. I’m hopeful for Wit and Araki that they may finally have found a project that will not only end up being financially successful but critically praised. And hopefully even further, maybe this is finally going to be a series with Okouchi’s writing that doesn’t have its core ideas shat upon by a committee or getting cut off at the knees before it finishes telling its story.

    tl;dr We -might- have something legitimately solid on our hands here, I wish Araki, Okouchi and Wit the best of luck making this series a -complete- experience that ends up being deserved of praise, especially if it could end up making up for the lack of full satisfaction past productions like Guilty Crown, Valvrave and (To a MUCH lesser extent since it finished telling its MAIN story) Code Geass.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *