“Gathering Light”

「集う光」 (Tsudou Hikari)

The Set-up – Side Characters and Flashbacks:

When I initially watched this episode I wasn’t really feeling it – I thought it was slow, and the set-up was too long, and it never really got exciting until the final minutes. But after watching it the morning after when I wasn’t totally drained from work (82 hours without a day off is (not) fun!), I decided this episode was much better than I gave it credit for. For one, I actually don’t mind Mumei now. Like last week, we saw her at her weakest, which allowed me to feel some empathy for her, and not just watch her being the supposed badass that she is. We start off by fleshing out that brief flashback from last week, with her looking over a dying girl before we cut to a shadowed figure who I assume must be her brother. If she’s truly being sent on a mission, does that mean she is working for or against this young master? I’m intrigued by that little detail, and it seems it’s going to play a role in the future story. Other than that, we see the moment where her mother suffered a brutal death, lacking any subtlety whatsoever, in typical Kabaneri fashion. As heavy-handed as it all is, it helps make her a little more down to earth, which is much better than could be said two or three weeks ago.

The other part to this episode that I didn’t properly appreciate in my hazy state was how plenty of the side characters got their chance to shine. Their worth to the overall plot isn’t grandiose, but the events of this episode made them feel essential – cogs that were needed to keep everything running smoothly and preventing everyone from meeting an untimely demise. Whether it be Takumi’s sniping skills, Sukari’s personal mission, Suzuki’s glorious thumbs up, or Yukina’s incredible muscles, they all shined for at least a few seconds – enough to make a lasting impression. But damn, Yukina’s muscles! I never thought she was hiding that physique beneath all those clothes. I’ve already seen a ton of fanart over my twitter feed, and I expect to see plenty more over the coming weeks.

The Payoff – As Epic as They Come:

Thankfully, my opinion of this week’s epic climax was in no need of alteration. Epic is a word I’ve used far too many times to describe Kabaneri, but it feels like no other words else will suffice. When it’s on, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the glory of it all. It may not be the smartest show of the season, but it’s certainly one of the most entertaining. It’s an action anime done right, and this battle proved that. We have the effective use of 3D animation, the imposing nature of the shadow kabane monster, and the explosive visuals – the whole thing was glorious. Ikoma acknowledged the idiocy of himself and Mumei, who manages to show off her tricks once again after drinking some human blood. And once you add in their foe seemingly being another kabaneri, that opens up a whole other can of worms. Mumei talked about turning into a kabane before Ikoma came to her aid, but this proves that if these half-humans can be seriously dangerous if they go off the rails.

Overview – What’s Next?:

This was an impressive finish to this two-part story. Thanks to the hints given through Mumei’s backstory, her character is becoming more digestible, and the big baddie not being a traditional kabane was a noteworthy conclusion. I’m beginning to appreciate most of the characters in this show, though it feels like there will be some major tragedies in the near future. For now, I’m keen to see where the story is heading. Hopefully next week they arrive at their destination; this train journey has been a blast, but has gone on longer than I imagined.


      1. I don’t mind either. Old school style with some modern improvements. You don’t see it everyday, it fits the story perfectly and it gives the series a distinct personality. I wish other anime would do the same (I’m a bit tired of the generic LN illustration style).

  1. *watching Yukina’s scene*

    Yukina: Releasing pressure limits.

    Me: Whoa that coat of hers was some kind of a limiter…oh she meant the pressure limits on the train.

    Nah I knew she meant the train, but it’s pretty funny to think Yukina could also mean removing her own limiters. Yukina muscles are the new Mikasa abs. Makes sense since this is the same studio and director.

    Seriously though, I also liked that 2nd half because of the fact that literally everyone did their part to make the escape plan a success. Even those who weren’t fighting also helped when they were in danger of derailing. It wasn’t just Ikoma and Mumei doing all the work, which I thought was going to happen since they were Kabaneri and everyone was going to depend on their exceptional abilities to help them escape. You also can’t forget, Samu, that as of this episode Kurusu returns to the frontlines and he was simply badass. Gotta say too Suzuki stands out for looking so calm in that serious situation.

  2. I have to say that I love the team. Maybe individually they don’t stand out much (except Mumei, but she’s just that badass), but the whole group gives the feeling of a well thought group of characters. They cover for each other’s weaknesses, both in skills and character traits.

    I think that the final scene, with everyone pushing so the train wouldn’t derail, summed it up perfectly. Some of them are the big stars of the show, but everyone is needed in some way or another.

    I still find the other passengers of the train painfully cliched and one-dimensional, though, but I can forget them while rooting for the main cast.

  3. YOWSA Yukina’s hot.

    But damn, I think this ‘releasing pressure limits’ is going to reach meme status. I mean, between it becoming a new synonym for taking off her top, or what it does to our blood pressure, there’s a lot of fun to be had.

    Weird D
    1. Nooo your post broke the Yukina’s muscle chain. Here, FIFY:


      So uh, about the episode itself: Yeah. One of the best episode so far, not much stupidity in script and everyone working together for once is nice. Now finally we could focus on getting sh*t done rather than staying in infighting between the people. The action and graphic as usual is top notch.

  4. One problem I had was why they were trying to speed up the train. The whole point of it was to draw the monster in so they could shoot it and Mumei could finish it off. Then you needed to get the H out of there!

    1. I totally thought the same thing. I saw it more as they were initially trying to speed up to outrun the fused colony, but that became pointless after it jumped on-board when the pressure dropped. I sort of thought that it may have given Takumi the correct angle to shoot the fused colony to explain it away. It’s also possible Yukina and those in front didn’t know the the fused colony had jumped on as they were trying to speed up. Then again, the whole scene gave the directors the chance to add in that physics-defying-near-train-derailment for excitement and excuse to get everyone on-board involved pushing. I mean, hey, for these brainless, action-type shows I’ll let it go since it’s entertaining no matter how you slice it.

  5. Great episode, though two things cracked me up.

    “Evasive manoeuvres!” – You’re on a train, riding tracks. You can shout a lot of things, but “Evasive manoeuvres” is not one of them.
    “Releasing the pressure limiters!” – I’m pretty sure you coat is not a pressure limiter 😛 But holy, she’s impressive!

    1. The only evasive manoeuvre I can imagine with a train is braking/accelerating erratically, throwing off possible attackers. Why would you do that with a huge zombie you’re running from, though… vov

    2. Maybe it’s one of sub misinterpretation. Actually, in japanese Yukina said 「避難線に入ります」 lietrally “entering/taking evacuation line.”

    1. Mumei is the only smart one. What’s the point of “pushing” the insides of the train while you’re inside? It’s only the shift in weight that will counter the momentum of the spinout. So, how fast they tackle the inside wall will help shift the momentum, but pushing on the wall when you are there is completely pointless.

  6. Did also this Female Train pilot released the Limiters to let the Engine accelerate above the safe limit to keep the Train on the tracks? Hope they do not encounter to much curves or they fall off the track…

  7. Great action sequence. Yes all fighting, heavy working anime girls should have the glorious muscles that come with it. And just like men they got to show em off, every so often.

    Hey Japan you might think soft is what makes the sex better, na it’s a women who can put muscles into it that makes sex better. YMMV

  8. OH! And the people switching side could be the needed weight to avoid tipping, unlikely but possible so I buy it every time in action show. Now the trying to push don’t work at all, but if I was on that train I be pushing!

    1. Well pushing would help them from slipping if they just said to stand against one side then they wouldn’t be right up against the wall and pressing against objects that could slide.

      Also psychologically speaking if you push on a massive object that just moves in the direction you push it will actually feel like your pushing it even though that is not what is happening.

  9. Hey Samu, just wanted to let you know that I found the YouTube channel with the next episode preview for episode 7. 15 sec preview, up already and appears to come out on the same day and at least not block here for the US.

    Ep 7 preview: https://youtu.be/anbc6ivUpbU

    Show Spoiler ▼

    And yeah with the whole Mumei not getting bitten before. Wondering if the way they made her was the imperfect way while Ikoma’s way was the better choice since he gets bitten a lot and still stays the same.

    1. I wonder if it’s because of the lighting but Ikoma looked pretty green in that preview. In that scene between Mumei and Takumi, he really stood out. I can’t attribute it to his Kabaneri nature because Mumei looks normal.

  10. So the Iron Fortress lost its caboose and gained a type 48 cannon (on a turret). Fair trade I suppose… (also, not much of a real world equivalent)

    Also, Mumei finally showed her true colours emotions (on Ikoma), and humility – apologizing to the kid from last week. I hate to think when she bounces back to her self-loathing self from last week.

    Oh yeah…


    ps. is it just me or are there a few more train-based animation inconsistencies than usual this week?

  11. I loved how Ikoma acknowledged his errors (and Mumei’s) from last episode.
    Abandoniong the mission and the crane was awful, but at least he has the brains to realize it and guts to admit he was wrong. Thankfully they both improve this episode nad manage to get useful in the “survival machine” that is the train… And where even minor characters haver their important roles to play. Great job! I was always a fan of the stories where it is team effort, not lone hero or few of them , that saves the day!


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