“Begging the Heavens”

「天に願う」 (Ten ni Negau)

A Happy Slice of Life:

Surprisingly, Kabaneri handles this quieter episode just as well as its loud, bombastic ones. This was exactly what we needed after spending so long on that train, watching our characters screaming and killing kabane; and after last week’s dramatic events, it feels earned that everyone who is now working together could be considered friends. I appreciated that we got a chance to see these characters just having a good time, exploring a new city, partaking in festival traditions, and providing some timely comic relief. What’s most amusing is half way through this episode I almost forgot about the threat of the kabane, which I think is exactly what the intention was. We finally got to see what it means to live peacefully in this version of Japan, and things don’t seem too bad. But of course, these are likely to be the final moments of happiness that these characters are going to experience. Dark things lie ahead, and just as I said last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing some of the gang getting killed off in the fights to come.

I’d like to take this time to point out that Mumei is only 12 years old! Did any of you know that? While I was looking over the background information of the series, I came across that number and was honestly taken aback. It puts her earlier recklessness into perspective, but I’m glad she’s much more likeable now than she was at the start of this journey. Similarly, I love seeing Ikoma being the dork that he is. For all the screaming he does when he’s caught in his battles, I like that he’s still capable of having fun and enjoying himself, even if he and Mumei have to drink human blood regularly in order to keep themselves sane. Their discussion at the temple was my highlight of the episode (as well as Ayame stuffing her face and Kurusu’s many blushes), as they discussed what it means to be human despite their kabane tendencies. The line about eating rice sounds ridiculous on paper, but given their circumstances it was sweet that that’s what Mumei wrote as her wish.

The Shogun’s Son and the Hunters:

While I would be fine with this episode ending on a happy note, the final minutes saw the formal introduction of Mumei’s brother and son of the Shogun, Biba. His gentle appearance contradicts the menacing figure we saw in Mumei’s earlier flashbacks, so I’m with Ikoma when it comes to not trusting him. I’ve got to admit, however, that seeing the “hunters” return felt very much like a scene from Shingeki no Kyojin. These past few episodes have managed to distance themselves from the show’s spiritual predecessor, but this was basically Levi and his gang returning from their expedition. That’s not a detriment to the series, but rather a reminder of Kabaneri’s origins, in case you had forgotten.

Overview – What’s Next?:

I’m glad things are moving along nicely, as Mumei’s brother has now made his grand entrance, which is sure to shake up the peace this episode established. It was fun while it lasted, but drama, death, and despair lingers on the horizon, so I won’t be expecting many smiles or goofy gags from these characters in the weeks to come.


  1. Wait, Mumei is only 12? For some reason I assumed that she was at least 15 or 16; well, it doesn’t make her any less lethal.

    That aside, the Ayame and Kurusu moment was quite cute to watch. They might have a happy ending if one of them doesn’t get killed off. A nice, relaxing episode (beautiful fireworks!!), though the grave threat to humanity is still palpable; things will probably pick up in the coming episodes.

      1. Shame, given the fanart depicts her being much older than 12 (i.e. stupid art boorus trying to make girls more older than they are stated to be). Also, since this episode gave a nod to AoT being its inspiration, most of the female characters are older than 12. From the manga’s standpoint, you’d have to be at least 16 or so before you can even enlist in the survey corps.

  2. Yep, that wish about rice may sound stupid, but when Mumei explains the situation behind it, the smile disappears. Just imegine it: in this version of Japan, people don’t eat rice. The places where they have to live now are not suitable to grow it.

    Now, with Enoku apparently changing sides, I think we are in for a “humans are the real monsters” arc.

    I’m still confused, though. It looks like it’s the Shogunate doing shady things, but that Biba is said to be the shogun’s son. Maybe it’s a succession crisis? A son second in line but madly popular thanks to his Liberators (the parallelisms with SnK are heavy, but the difference seems to be that these Liberators are actually having some success) could be a threat.

  3. I’m also watching Ushio and Tora 2 this season, and I find Ushio and Ikoma to be really alike. They’re both hot-blooded, wear their hearts on their sleeves, and incredibly optimistic in the face of danger. It also helps that they’re voiced by the same seiyuu.

  4. A brief reprieve this week allowing the crew of the Koutetsujo to address some very pressing needs: food, metals, and Ikoma being half naked most of the time. The Ayame eating gag was unexpected (and hilarious as a result), and I liked how she leveraged the negotiations with Ikoma’s jet bullet schematics.

    1. It also shows that despite her age, she can hold her own in the game of politics. Using their new weapon as barter for much-needed food and medical aid, while unleashing her sweet charm upon their hosts… Truly terrifying, milady XD

      1. Jet bullets are armor piercing. The older guns might actually do more damage to humans. Sort of arm most troops with traditional and one in four with the Jet’s to hit people hiding behind hard cover. Thus soft tip and hollow point in traditional bullets, rounds that don’t go all the way though wasting energy past the target.

  5. A very nice change of pace episode and very needed. It often makes thing better to have slow and soft movements in-between the loud. One thing that made me a Metallica fan was them going from supper hard to soft tones during songs always reminded me of classical. Of course a 4 man Cello group named Apocalyptica got their break playing Metallica on Cello’s.

    If the Liberators are killing and retaking places they got something like jet bullets as well and Mumei has been using them, so why are they not sharing with the rest? After all dead humans don’t pay taxes and I’m sure the Kabane are not paying taxes either.

    Fun think I’ve read, the Mongels were going to kill off all the Northern Chinese after defeating them in order to get more land to graze horses. A Chinese scholar they had picked up though pointed out that live people can pay taxes thus sparing a truly huge number of lives.

    1. I think the implication is that a portion of the Hunters unknown to the public are Kabaneri. Thus having a fighting chance but as we see with Mumei are a double edge sword due to operational time and need to feed.

  6. Oh want a way better look at the monster armored train the Liberators have. Front is not set up as well for ramming so I figure they plan on fighting not ramming.

    1. Now that I think about it this troops coming into town is a common trope but mainly in way older works, the ones I can think of are movies and plays. In older westerns the Calvary parading into town often was a thing, HBO show Deadwood even had it more recently. What people think of copying Attack on Titian is often just what Titian copied from older works. There are very few and rare original things often it just you have not seen it or it been awhile sense the trope been used.

      Now the Japanese Steampunk might actually be original or only found in way less seen works before now.


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