“Fang of Ruin”

「滅びの牙」 (Horobi no Kiba)

The Chaotic Biba:

Last week I discussed the possibility that Biba could perhaps not be as evil as he appeared, and that there may be more tactics at play, and he may be fighting for the greater good. Well… after this episode I think it’s fair to say whatever say the dude is evil, in the middle stages of a villain mode. At this rate, by the end of the series he’ll be a full-on supervillain without any reasonable motive, who needs to be stopped by any means necessary. But for now, his ideals are still somewhat sensible, even if his actions are nothing short of chaotic. Whether it be him killing the higher-ups of the current system, breaking down the walls that keep the civilians safe, entrapping the main characters by the end, or turning his own allies into raging monsters without any remorse or care for their sacrifice. His sin count is rising by the minute and Mumei has finally saw him for who he is. To a 12-year-old girl who was saved from death, it’s completely fair that she would think him a better man than he actually is and try to justify his actions up until the bitter end. But in the final minutes of this episode it’s clear that Mumei regrets what she’s been involved with, blaming herself for the death of innocents after she signalled for the bridge to open. I’m sure going forward his guilt will be the driving force to take down her brother and find justice in this disaster.

The Destructive Kabaneri:

A few episodes ago when the ignorant travellers were screaming and freaking out over the kabaneri it seemed like they were overreacting and didn’t have to fear for their lives. But as time has passed, we’ve that these half kabane live a twisted life, having to drink blood to keep their sanity. And now we see that with that extra push, they can truly become monsters – perhaps even more devastating than the original kabane zombies that plague the land. I like that the events of this episode ties back to the earlier fight with the giant kabane monster, hinting that it was perhaps Biba who caused that girl to turn into that beast, similar to what happened here. If so, there’s a fair chance he would do the same to Mumei, as she is another artificial kabane who is under his wing and has much less agency than she assumed she had. I’ve grown to enjoy her character over the weeks, so I do hope the predictions that she will turn into a monster or be killed off in the coming weeks turned out to be false. All things considered, Kabaneri has succeeded as an action thriller, presenting an antagonist that is easy to hate and who we’d all love to see taken down. Whether it’s Ikoma or Mumei (or both), I hope their revenge is sweet (and well animated).

Overview – What’s Next?:

Apologies for the lateness of this post, this current season has been a difficult one for me, but thankfully both my shows speak for themselves and are more entertaining than intellectual. Kabaneri has proved that it can be compelling when it wishes – and I like that side of it – but this episode was more of the Kabaneri we’ve come to expect, and I’d consider that a positive. Earlier fears that production or narrative would collapse have thankfully been proven wrong, as Kabaneri’s storytelling consistency has been impressive, and I don’t expect that to chance in the final three episodes.


  1. This episode makes that glance Mumei made when she saw the “kabane” at the heart of the previous black cloud suddenly more poignant. Clearly she recognised the person!

    I knew there was more to it !

  2. I love Mumei as a adorable badass but my God does she really need to die.

    If you count it all up she’s directly and indirectly been responsible for the majority of onscreen Human deaths in this series either by her own actions or creating circumstances that lead to people dying.

    Early on in the series her acting like a inhuman heartless monster to the scared refugees led to them understandably trying to kill her which got loads of people killed which all could have been avoided had Mumei took the advice and just acted normal around people and explained herself

    And now she’s caused the death of an entire city just because she refused to listen to people and think things through.

    She may only be 12 and love her brother but good God, even Eren and Mikasa in Attack on Titan were more savvy at that age even before their training.

    1. To be fair, her opening the gate is just going along with what she was instructed to do. She isn’t the mastermind behind this or someone who even thought she was doing the wrong thing. I see her as another victim of the world they live in and think it’d be a shame if she didn’t survive till the end.

      Now I’m out here defending Mumei. Whowouldathunkit?

    2. Let’s speak hypothetically here, but unlike you, I doubt Mumei has had the luxury of growing up with what we would consider a “proper” education and social interactions. I’ve met people who haven’t had those until they were 17 and let me tell you, Mumei is a sweet angel in comparison. You’d be surprise how growing up in less than ideal environments can mess with children or teenagers. Now imagine if they had to grow up in the crapsack world of this anime.

      Goodwill Wright
    3. Wait, wait. Mumei was deceived here, and her previous actions? I put the onus on the ungrateful bastards who weren’t willing to listen and be patient with the person who had just saved their lives. Their mistrust was understandable, but understandable doesn’t mean fair or that they had the right to expect a nice saviour. Contrary to the bushi, she didn’t have any obligation towards them to begin with.

      Paraphrasing doctor House: “What would you prefer – a hero who holds your hand while you die or one who ignores you while they rescue you? I suppose it would particularly suck to have a hero who ignores you while you die.”

    4. @Hellstorm901: I can understand what you mean. I was a Mumei fan early on, but it’s hard to really like her lately. Yeah, she’s 12, and ass-hat “brother” tricked her again, but at the end, when she sees the ridiculous bloodbath (including mother & daughter dying before her), massive wide-spread destruction, and ass-bro killing Horobi (???) without ANY emotion right in front of her, she’s still doesn’t appear to add up 1+1. The evidence that evil insane ass-bro is evil insane ass bro is overwhelming by that point. Maybe a shock, but still…

      I don’t think it can be whitewashed with “she doesn’t know better” when it sure seems she does. Didn’t she learn a lesson with her dog dying comment? Didn’t she learn things traveling with Ikoma & crew? Didn’t she go through the whole “I’m a weapon -> I’m not a weapon” character growth before? There’s a limit to staying naive to the facts in front of you.

      For me, she needs to face reality pretty darn quick and act according. She sure as hell should know better at this point.

  3. Ayame is probably of significant value since Biba’s ultimate revenge target is her uncle. I’m surprised it took so long for Biba to finally get to her.

    Don’t hate on Mumei too much, it’s just blind faith. It’s a very real human trait.

    Biba’s (supposedly) just a normal skilled human with a brainwashed loyal army and a Kabane-infused weapon, so he shouldn’t be that much of a threat in combat now would he? I’m pretty sure even if he were to die, he probably has a few bad parting gifts left up his sleeve to scar Mumei for life.

    It has now piqued my interest as to what Biba had gone through personally to want vengeance this badly.

  4. Biba needs to hear those words, preferrably from Mumei herself:
    “You have committed the ultimate heresy. Not only have you turned your back on the Emperor and stepped from his light, you have profaned his name and almost destroyed everything he has striven to build. You have perverted and twisted the path he has laid for mankind to tread. As your own decrees have stated, there can be no mercy for such a criminal. I renounce your lordship, you walk in the darkness and cannot be allowed to live. Your sentence has been long overdue and now it is time for you to die.

  5. I’m pretty sure Biba is an expy of Sanetoshi Watase from Mawaru Penguindrum. From the pink hair and the pretty manners to the evil mastermind obsessed with the survival of the fittest.

  6. Looks like they actually provided a way to “save” Mumei and possibly the other Kabaneri.It was shown in this episode but to be on the safe side, I’ll add a spoiler tag..
    Show Spoiler ▼

    That case that contained the “white blood” seems to be a cure of some sort or, at the very least a way to bring a Kabaneri back to a more human frame of mind when they go full blown Kabane.
    I’d guess that something will trigger Mumei into a full blown monster and the “white blood” will be used to restore her, either to full humanity or back to a normal Kabaneri.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    This has been one of my favorite anime this season. I really hope they make another season with the same quality.

  7. Biba’s basically a bandit pillaging villages, only his evil is twisted so much because it’s wrapped in his warped ideology. Overall it’s a pretty passable villain setup, although I don’t have a clue how Biba expects his “fittest” to survive without any secured land for food cultivation. In fact, there are just enough flaws in his grand plan that I wonder if it’s just lip service to justify his sheer desire for vengeance against the shogunate.

    Also calling it: Kurusu falls off the platform with the scientist to save Ayame, and Ayame drops the white blood case in surprise. By all rights Kurusu should be dead or at least critically injured from such a fall. End result: white blood-infused Kabaneri Kurusu.

  8. I think I’m too old for villain that destroys everything because revenge. I don’t like those beyond dumb concepts. Want to kill the leader? Go on, kill him and leave. Want to test hybrid’s power for whatever he was testing it? Great, do that in abandoned station/city. Destroying everything in sight like a mindless beast? That instantly changes character into force that needs to be stoped and makes it hard to belive that anyone would follow him or do anything he wants from them. What for? He kills innocent, he kills allies and it’s miracle that he doesn’t eat infants for breakfast just to look more villanous. Meh.

    1. Want to kill the leader? Go on, kill him and leave.

      I don’t like the guy either, but to be fair that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. They explained in the episode that he’s persona non grata and that they’re blocking him and his army on the shogunate’s orders. If he wants to get to the shogun’s place, he has to break down the defenses. And if he hasn’t got a big army, well, he’ll create one with Kabane.

      The rest? Excuses, excuses and more excuses to paint what is basically a ruthless (yet effective) military strategy as a “just” cause.

    2. 12 episode acton flick, you can’t go that deep and keep the action moving. So I greatly enjoy the story.

      Now the real world shows that villains have even poorer excuses for being a villain, Hitler in part was driven for revenge on the Jew for what he thought they had done to him, that sometimes kill millions. There are crazy villains brain washing child soldiers out the jungles of Africa right now and their actions often make no logical sense and only the weakness of the forces against them save them.

      Now I understand you, real world villains are often a sad bunch and I prefer the well written villain more often found in fiction than reality. Successful smart non crazy villains in real life don’t make the news much and so not as great a story, in my Tampa Bay Florida area the Trafficante mafia family was very successful and the leaders died of old age, few outside of the area know of them. Henry Avery was the most successful pirate of the golden age of piracy, and although massively famous for a time, very few know him now because he actually retired with his wealth and lived.

      So as the hit this is leaves a chance for a 24 season show I hope we do get some more character development time, but the action fans might be unhappy as complex villains take away from the action.

    3. You can go deep enough in 15 minutes. There are short specials that have more depth than this show. And I don’t buy that he needed to kill everyone in that station. Even if he wanted to destroy all the forces just in case to not be forced to deal with them later that doesn’t excuse him from killing innocents. After all he ordered them to shoot normal citizens. It’s just poorly written character. That’s all. This show still looks great and has good moments and ideas from time to time but it mostly become such a mess that I just can’t like it. Probably will end it but it will be forgotten soon like for example Guilty Crown was.

    1. Well, other characters also make no sense. Just an action anime. Just an anime with 12-years-cool-bishoujo and long-hair-smart-bishojo and ugly looking mc who will attract both. And some other guy who will be the third. And cool looking villian who is villian cause he is cool looking and our mc is ugly but kind.
      Nothing new. But visually it’s good.

      1. Yeah, his plan didn’t make a whole lot sense to me. You wanna free everyone from their iron cages, that’s great, as these little forts end up being pits of corruption and cowardice, but like the world is full of kabane, so, yeah, world burning, huh.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
    2. @Adam: I have similar thoughts. It’s like the script writers went: “Eh, zombie apocalypse is fine… as a starting point but kind of boring. Need to amp it up. I know! A crazy villain bent on revenge!” O.o One would think the setting alone would be plenty for an exciting story. Have to say, I liked the show better before all this extraneous stuff.

    3. His motives make sense, they are in fact very clearly all centered about revenge against the Shogunate, something happened 10 years ago, a betrayal perhaps that left him and his men for dead and he will do anything and everything to get even and pay them back for what they did.

      And i hope you didn’t buy any of the crap he is saying about liberation, cause that makes you as naive as Mumei who just realized it was a bunch of blatant lies (as she says at the final scene), none of that stuff was ever really his goal, it’s just hogwash he uses to keep his brainwashed followers under control and fighting despite the atrocities he makes them commit, but it seems the close group of followers (like Horobi and that other guy who captured Ikoma) know that all of this is actually about revenge and nothing else.

  9. After all this carnage Biba wrought this week (and proven my guess from last week correct), you’d have to wonder what happened 10 years ago that in turn forced the Shogun and Biba against each other like this…

  10. i bet the big reveal in the end is
    Biba Amatori is actually a good guy
    but he had to do evil things and sacrifice allies and be hated by everyone
    in order to the save Japan from
    a even more dangerous enemy that hasn’t been shown yet.

    It’s Guilty Crown all over again.
    Or Uchiha Itachi, take your pick.

    “Boo hoo, I’m tormenting you because I’m trying to save you.”

    1. i’m just making conjectures.
      my guess is:

      Biba is trying to fight against the shogun/leaders of the country
      because they are planning to turn japanese civilians into weapons (kabane)and
      use them to take over the world.
      The hordes of kabane attacking civilians and turning them into even more kabane
      is actually being orchestrated by the government.

      The only way to attack those leaders is to
      use any methods possible and even be ruthless and sacrifice your friends and pawns.
      You will be hated by everyone, but at least
      rest of the japanese people will be spared from becoming kabane.

      It’s Guilty Crown again.

  11. Biba just crossed the Moral Event Horizon, yeah sure he is out for revenge against what is seemingly a corrupt system that wronged him and his comrades ten years ago while they fought against the Kabane(really curious about what happened to make him hate the Shogun so much specially that he is the son of the current shogunate)but when you start getting hundreds of innocents killed in the crossfire while trying to achieve your petty revenge you just lose all credibility and moral ground, you become nothing more than a murderous scumbag who is as bad or worse than the people you are trying to get revenge from.

    I hope Ikoma gives him one good drill in the chest, that’s pretty much the only way to stop him now, reason is out of the window, and on fire (and i also have high doubts that Biba has turned himself into a Kabaneri as well, he just isn’t telling anyone about it).

  12. I feel like it might be too late for Mumei to live as she has caused too many deaths. Even if she wasn’t aware/being tricked/naive, she’s just indirectly killed so many people


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