「神通の川原に舞う」 (Jinzuu no Kawara ni Mau)
“Dancing on the Bank of the River Jinzu”

First contact.

This week’s episode of Kuromukuro picked up right where last week’s left off. After weeks of dillydallying, our leading duo finally steps into their next grand mech battle. What entails is surprisingly impressive spectacle, as well as an exciting prospect of things to come.

I’ve not been shy about professing my disgust with the onslaught of CG in this modern age of mecha anime. I perfectly understand its practical financial worth, but it usually makes for visually cluttered and awkwardly choreographed action. However, despite all that, Kuromukuro’s action this week was surprisingly engaging thanks to well-framed action, exciting intrigue, and cool mechs.

The action is crisp and contained, without ever getting overblown or convoluted. There’s a good amount of general fascination which comes with not knowing about these foreign alien mechs. Though I think more could have been done with dropping hints ad clues here to build up the mystery, there’s enough to chew on here to make it engaging enough. Also, the mechs themselves are far more interesting than I initially expected. The big bad from weeks past came back spruced up and ready to fight. While his extra ligaments felt a little out-of-place, they nonetheless lend themselves to some interesting fight choreography.

And that’s the thing too—Kuromukuro contains actual fight choreography. A lot of the reason why big CG mech battles don’t work is because the warriors are flying around in the air, awkwardly clashing against one another. Here, they’re actually engaging in well-thought out swordplay. The action is thus far more engaging and multi-layered than usually seen.

Also, it’s refreshing to see that the grunt human mechs are actually viable in battle. They’re not just uninteresting cannonfodder, but can actually hold their own in a fight. Good stuff.

What continues to be fascinating is the semi-organic nature of the mechs. We found out this week that our own protagonist’s unit is itself semi-organic, as we saw blood drip from the cabin’s exterior. One might posit that this is Kennosuke’s own blood, but I don’t think it matches up all that well with the sheer quantity of blood that we saw being shed. I’m curious to know why this is the case as the series continues—hopefully more will be said about the lore.

Speaking of which, we haven’t even gotten to the episode’s biggest moment. We finally get to learn a little bit more about our big bads—they look just like us! Though this episode doesn’t elaborate on this development, I’m excited to see where it leads us. Is it a little predictable? Yeah, all the way down to their weird pseudo-European jargon. Regardless, I’m happy that the show is committing more to scifi history drama as opposed to—you know—derivative high school antics *cough* *cough*




  1. https://randomc.net/image/Kuromukuro/Kuromukuro%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    One possible reason why the alien pilot looks human is that he could be human, descended from the Sengoku era Japanese taken by the real aliens and raised as their loyal army/servant race. It might also explain his ability to speak old Japanese.

    An older TV series, Stargate SG1 used this same plotline, where alien warlords brought ancient humans to other planets to be their slaves/soldiers, and their descendants remained in that role ever since.

    1. or, alternatively humans are actually descendants of aliens…(Danicken theory)
      or, both humans and aliens are coming from same protoculture (Macross idea)
      anyway this explains why humans are able to operate the obviously alien-origin artifact

  2. Welp, I wasn’t that far off from my own guess from episode 2 about how the defenders stole the artifact to repel the invaders. Also, nano-machines.

    OTOH, kind of a shame that the ‘yellow crab’ self-destructed. Would be a great secondary reference instead of the artifact that only follow Kenny and Yukina’s combined control.

    ps. anyone want to bother look for the meaning for the symbols floating in front of Yukina during the battle?

  3. Named characters doing well in grunt suits is nothing actually new and has been done many times (Gundam Wing and Aldnoah are examples). Now nameless pilot doing well in a grunt suit…now that is different(the only example I can think of is that Stark Jegan pilot in the very first episode of Gundam Unicorn)

    1. Well, there is quite a huge difference between this and Wing grunts really.

      Wing’s grunt mobile suits were laughably bad even against other grunt mobile suits (most of which were already twenty years old and extremely nerfed from their Tallgeese originator) while all of them, unless, as said, piloted by main/important named characters, were basically made to be nothing but cannonfodder for the main/named characters or main mobile suits. Even Zechs, who turns to be the final main antagonist, could only muster a not-even-quite-stalement against the Wing Gundam in the first episode only by sacrificing his entire Leo in a collision to make the Wing Gundam merely unable to stay airborne (Wing Gundam survived without a scratch though).

      Not to mention the plot armor for Gundam Wing was ridiculously high for main/named characters.

      Here, while there is a slight tech advantage in favor of the opponents, it’s pretty clear that the tech used for the GAUS units isn’t exactly that low either (most likely taken from Kennosuke’s unit). Their only real disadvantage is, as was said in the episode, their lack of good firepower that could break the opponents’ gravity shield, but once they got up close, they were pretty easily able to stand toe-to-toe with at least the smaller ones.

      Definitely more comparable to the Universal Century grunt types though.

  4. It intrigues me how this Oni haven´t attacked any mjor military instalations despite having th upper hand, what is it that they´re searching in the first place?.


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