「時間を巻き戻すことはできません古城」 (Jikan o maki modosu koto wa dekimasen kojoo)
“The Castle Ruins Cannot Turn Back Time”

The times they are a-changin’

This week, Kuromukuro delivered its strongest installment yet by honing in on its most interesting character. Kennosuke is a man ripped four hundred and fifty years from the past into a time when people can fit into little tiny boxes. A strange world indeed.

The story focused on the samurai’s frustrations and annoyances with a future completely foreign to him. People no longer pride themselves on the honor and modesty he upholds himself by, and he’s left the odd man out in every situation. The fact that they insist on restraining him like a dog doesn’t help. It is Yukina‘s uncle—a kind and empathic monk—who actually sits with him face-to-face and addresses him as a person and not a threat. He tells him that both sides are fearful and—quite frankly—just scared of the whole situation. In the end, they’re all human beings—just placed in different contexts. Kennosuke must understand that he has to adapt and play by their rules—this isn’t the early Sengoku period anymore.

While we’ve seen man-out-of-time storylines ten times over, this one is particularly unique in its incorporation of his samurai lifestyle, and in turn, the nature of “purpose.” Kennosuke acknowledges the need to assimilate to contemporary values; however, this undeniably entails a loss of self—at least to a certain extent. By reforming himself to the present, he’s implored to abandon the beliefs and ideals of the past, which he has defined himself so rigorously by all his life. If he is without them, what purpose does he now serve in this new world? Without the things he was to protect, and the time in which his qualities and personalities were admired, he is without anything to define himself by. He’s left an empty shell of his former self—no good for anything in this time.

However, Yukina’s uncle once again lends some profound and relevant insight. He conveys the notion that one’s purpose isn’t exclusively constructed by his or her surroundings. Kennosuke assumes that just because he’s taken out of his time, he no longer has things to grant him aim and drive. However, almost immediately after accepting the need to assimilate, he meets the oh-so-adorable Koharu—Yukina’s little sister. The two almost instantly form a strong liking to one another in a way that feels genuine. She’s the only person in this world who isn’t scared of him. In fact, she’s enamored with the samurai. In the ensuing skirmish, Kennosuke is intensely driven to safe the little girl—perhaps the only thing he’s come to truly care for in this world. In that fight, he is undeniably filled with purpose, despite being nowhere near any of the things that defined him in the past. Yukina’s uncle is illustrating that one always possess the potential for purpose. We configure it to external objects and ideas, but if these are taken away, we are can easily adapt it to new stimuli. Kennosuke feels aimless now, but he just needs to find new things to care for—new things to give purpose to his life. Whether that be as a guardian, a soldier, a friend, or something else, is left for the rest of the season.

An overall impressive episode that spent some much-needed time on developing its leading man. Yes, I’m still a little confused as to who the main protagonist is, but I appreciate the focus nonetheless. This was a really strong way to address Kennosuke’s no-doubt shocking and distressing entry into the future. It explored the nature of one’s identity in relation to his/her environment, and provided some interesting insight that fleshed out Kennosuke’s character. I’m hoping Yukina gets the same treatment in the coming weeks.





      1. i mean, imagine as if someone swing a sword like an axe, as if you use the sword to do firewood. to work a sword like it used to be, you have to cut like a knife, you pull or push the blade, and this movement cuts

        you saw surly some animes where someone clap their hands together to catch the blade between their hands.. something similar is it here

        i hope i could paint an image in your head

      2. Yea but would you try this at home? The main issue I see is that the material she is cutting doesn’t look so soft. She’s clearing encountering enough resistance to require 3-4 swipes of the blade to cut through the tough material. I really hope you have insurance if you’re gonna try that with a sengoku-era super-sharp katana from Japan.

      3. Why are we assuming a anime person have blood and skin?? are we supposed to think they are real people now, with real world physics to go with it…

        I mean if they invented a cryomachine, that can get a samurai in deep sleep for 450 years, its safe to assume they invented some sort of super thin membrane that doesn’t let broken blades mess up your hand..

        Lets look at plot, not little details, we going to find them on every anime

    1. The katana (and many similar blades) are cutting blades, not hacking blades. While the edge is extremely sharp they won’t cut you very much without movement or enough force. She was also holding it with the blade facing her which meant that most of the force would have been applied to the back of the blade.

    2. Much more likely is the blades are not physically sharp but when they glow they are basically energy blades. It would actually be very illogical to have an sci-fi energy blade also be physically sharp.

  1. hmmm so the “alien droids” are kidnapping people really…
    just like yhe Oni from the legends of Japan (Onikakushi – kidnapping by demons)
    oh and Koharu is so adorable she melts even heart of that battle-hardened samurai!

  2. Interesting how advances in knowledge can change our frame of reference on seeing alien things – like how Kennosuke calls the alien mechs “oni” and the Cubeship a “horse/steed” according to his Sengoku-era viewpoint.

  3. Jumping into a river with bare feet and sliding on top of that, that’s actually very painfull, as a kid that have been playing around on river like that I bet a lot of sharp stones/pebles that hurts the feet so much D8
    This episode is also good by the way, I hope they keep the quality like this until the end.

  4. With every episode, there are more similarities to Inuyasha.

    -Partway through the first episode, main girl finds and releases main guy from some sort of confinement.
    -Main guy is from the Sengoku era.
    -Main guy mistakes main girl for his love interest that is dead (killed in Inuyasha, dead because of the passage of time here)
    -Main guy then makes a point to say that he was mistaken, and the girl looks nothing like her.
    -Girl actually does bear a strong resemblance to the former love interest, is reincarnation (only a possibility in this series so far)
    -And finally, this week, they added a controlling collar that can stop the main character that is controlled by the main girl. (not sure if she still has the remote, but if she keeps it for the rest of the series, that makes the connection even more pronounced)

    1. I got where your opinion came from, some parts does similar to Inuyasha, but I think Kuromukuro managed to make some distinctive differences.
      – Instead of supernatural powers they used sci-fi technologies involving mecha.
      – There’s no back and forth from the past to future or vice versa from the future to the past, Kennosuke simply put on cryptogenyc sleep for 450 years.
      – Aside from the two MC similarity with Inuyasha, the supporting casts are wildly different from Inuyasha, thus they’re giving us a very different character interactions in this series.
      – The script/scenes is written in a way so different with Inuyasha so we have a new experience instead of blatant copy cat. To be honest I don’t see the resemblence with Inuyasha until you pointed that out, and I’m a big fan of Inuyasha, even after that it doesn’t bother me.

      1. Oops, I guess I should have clarified about it. I love seeing the similarities and differences, and love Inuyasha. I pretty much jokingly call this Inuyasha with mechs lol.

  5. Great writeup. Yes this was a very solid episode; even the dialogue felt genuine and well thought. I loved how Kennosuke nods his head to show respect to the monk. Also, them cacti. I want an action figure.

  6. All I want in this episode is Kennosuke yet the show’s pacing is getting a good rhythm right now. Who would have thought this is going to be a decent series after all? Well, aside those Bland CGI robots aside to be fair.

  7. lucky for this sleeping Samurai fighter of the past, his language still stay the same as he knows.. imagine him as an “Maya/Inka” Warrior of the past, awaken in today’s time.. No one would understand his language anymore, and he would see wagons without horses running the street and such..(try a bit of the understanding of the Indians in the US.. what was the Trains for them?)

  8. Jig, official anime website (Link: http://kuromukuro.com – Image: http://i.imgur.com/Fq2BZz7.png) confirms who Kennosuke Tokisada Ouma is the main protagonist featured in Kuromukuro.

    Actually it was quite predictable, besides the confirmation through the official anime website, Kennosuke is the main highlight all over promotional materials, all over official art, interviews and OP. The main genre of Kuromukuro is mecha with his original formula (Super Robot and/or Real Robot), who throughout its story always had a ”Pilot” as his main protagonist (MC), there has never been a case where a ”Non Pilot”, ”Navigator”, ”Suport”, ”Copilot”, etc…. was the MC.

    This also happened in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.
    Yui Takamura the main heroine in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse was the perspective character in the first two episodes for introduce the plot, and her character. Yuuya Bridges the main protagonist featured in Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse took on the perspective and leadership of anime in episode 3

  9. Yukina is clearly the magical key girl that activate the robot in this one, which precludes her from having MC status and confirms his heroine status. Girl keys have been a standard trope in mecha cartoons at least since Nadia while I really can’t recall even a single instance of a boy being the key for a girl pilot on the fly.


Leave a Reply

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