The Three Evils:
There’s plenty of evil to go around here, but the question is who is the most evil of all? The mindless kabane, the corrupt Shogun, or the vengeful liberator? It’s an interesting thing to consider, especially since the past three episodes have established Biba as the personal antagonist to our main crew. But the more we flesh out this world, the more I realise it’s possible to not hate the guy. I still do think what he’s doing is horrible and only mirrors what his father did to him – and is the very reason he hates him – which adds a level of irony to his attempts at vengeance. But after properly meeting the Shogun, he does seem like a pretty horrible guy. We didn’t get too long to delve into his character, so I’m going to assume he’s just as one-note as he appeared in this episode. Basically, this all comes down to complicated daddy issues, which isn’t too surprising. It’s a common trope, but convincing enough that at the very least Biba believes his values are just and his reasons are legitimate.
At the end of it all, however, it is the kabane that are the evil forces that everyone must defeat. They aren’t entirely mindless – we’ve seen those who have retained the skills from their previous life – and with the introduction of the man-made kabaneri wrecking havoc it seems that they are going to be our main source of violence and gore in the finale ahead. I’m both eager to see the kabane armies and Biba’s machinations come together in what promises to be a bombastic finish.
Mumei and Ikoma’s Showdown:
Mumei and Ikoma are both having a pretty rough time, aren’t they? As it turns out, Ikoma wasn’t killed at all, but only mildly injured as Mumei isn’t as far gone as we expected. There were some hints last time with us not seeing her facial expression when she stabbed Ikona, as she purposefully attacked him in a way that would make it look fatal, when in fact he was able to survive. There was no way he was actually going to die like that, but I’m glad that Mumei at least has some humanity left in her, even if that isn’t stopping her from becoming that monster at the end of the episode. At the very least, the scene with the butterflies over the mountain of corpses was touching – poetic in a way I wouldn’t expect from Kabaneri. The Mumei scenes have become the best thing about the show in its second half, which isn’t something I ever thought I would be saying.
As for Ikoma, he got a badass upgrade this week, and it was much appreciated. His new haircut is cool, as is his lack of glasses; he almost looks like a different character. Not only that, but in a scene reminiscent in his desperate attempt for survival in the premiere, he has replaced his right arm so that it weaponised and mechanical. It’s all epic goodness, and his depressive lows were quickly overcome, which is good considering we only have one episode to wrap up this madness.
Overview – What’s Next?:
Biba is still an evil bastard (but understandably so, in a weird way), Mumei showed her last glimmers of humanity before accepting her destructive fate, and Ikoma is looking 500% more badass than he ever has before. Next week promises to be a bombastic finale; I’m looking forward to the blood and glory and the good guys winning in the end. Biba is sure to put up a fight, but I’m eager for Ikoma and Mumei to come through stronger than ever before and prove this journey worthwhile.