「人狼大作戦」 (Jinrou dai Sakusen/i>)
“Werewolf Mission: Chainpossible”

Chainpossible? More like Mission—Oh, I get it.

Probably I should have asked this before now, but was it ever explained how Chain (and her crew) are werewolves? What with them having none of the usual strengths, weaknesses, or basic attributes of werewolves. The invisibility thing is pretty cool, but I see nary a whisker. What’s up with that?

I’m not sure whether I enjoyed this episode, because I ate a big meal beforehand and I just wanted to take a nap, but I made myself watch instead. Because I’m a professional like that. Even though I’m admitting that a big meal can effect my performance, which is maybe not good? It’s true, though. You know it’s happened to you. P.S. it was homemade oyakodon and it was delicious.

What was I talking about?

Right, stealth werewolves. This is an episode where I feel like they needed to explain more or less, and I’m not sure which. I spent half the episode wondering if the tokens were what I thought they were, and they were; each invisible werewolf has an attachment to the world, something they dearly love, which will pull them back if they go too far. Only, I’m still not clear on why they were going into all the flower imagery, only for Chain’s chain token to be, if I’m reading the letter and situation correctly, “Steven A. Starphase suddenly visits Chain’s room.” And I was sure Chain’s discussion with Gilbert about flower arranging was going to be the key bit of foreshadowing, but—but why the flower imagery again? Jeez.

So maybe they needed to explain more, though a lot of the straight-up exposition ended up being boring, and the mission at the end, though I appreciate the Mission: Impossible reference, was—fine? It was fine. Probably the biggest weakness was that there were five werewolf commandos, and, along with the chief and deputy chief, that was too many new characters for one short episode. They ended up being too flat and one-dimensional, which means that when they were in mortal danger, I only cared because I wanted to see how Chain would react.

The highlight of the episode? Undoubtedly, it was when Chain freaked out after Steven suddenly visited her room. Shipping furiously!! Though maybe she just didn’t want someone she respected (Steven) to see how she lived like a slob. Which, by the way, I can never understand how people can live like Chain. Being a little messy? I can deal with that. But trash bags in the living room? Eww. I’ll be the Steven Stephen who is aghast at your filthy room if you need a back up, Chain. Though then again . . .

My biggest concern is now as it was before: Where is this all going? Kekkai Sensen is one of those series where departing from the source material is less a detriment and more a requirement. Last season rose above the source material (in some ways—it wasn’t perfect) by trying to create a season-spanning plot out of a source material focused heavily on anthology-style short stories. This season has given no hint of that so far. That worries me, because while the episodes are fun so far, they’ll fade into the mists of time without something larger to hang their hat on. Let’s hope that’s coming.

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, I’ve begun blogging again! The latest post: Help Houston.




  1. Also, who the heck are they? The werewolves, I mean. Klaus called the wolfboss ‘Chief’ too. Is he some higher-up in Libra?

    I had no idea White and Black were anime-original! Their plot really was important in tying everything together and making it more than a cool setting. That is… kind of worrying.

  2. From what I can tell, the flower imagery symbolized Chain’s existence. So when she diluted herself so far into near non-existence, the vase was replaced with another one and the Mushroom guy didn’t have the note pad, but after Stephen brought her back everything reverted back.

    I admit, I’ve read the manga but I preferred the first season for being able to tie things together into a cohesive arc. I don’t know if the first series of the manga had a strong ending point and that’s what this season is building up to but the extra bits of plot is missed.

  3. I heard S1 got flak from some parties for the Black-White arc, saying it was badly tacked on. There’s a chance S2’s anime staff may be trying to be more faithful to the manga’s roots to appease those parties.

    1. That’s ridiculous. Leonardo met White in episode 3 and they got the joke about her being a ‘ghost’ out then, and he continued to visit her and Black throughout the 12 episode run. I was just thinking the other day that White and Black might be the BEST integrated anime filler I’ve ever seen.

    2. Adaptations are a definite case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Follow the source strictly otherwise fans will hate you—even if the differences in mediums (or inadequacies in the source material) mean that making changes is the right thing to do.

      In this case, the manga needed the change imo, because an anthology-style series works better in manga than it does in anime. If they changed courses because they got flack—well, get out of this business. If they did it because they think it’s the best choice, but I can at least respect that, even if I think it’s wrong and I’m worried.

      1. @stilts ehhhh I dont know if i agree with you that an anthology series works better in manga than it does in anime. What aspects of manga lend themselves to an anthology that anime has a stark disadvantage with? As far as im concerned, so as long as the anthologies properly explore character dynamics and motivations, the anime has more than enough legs to function as an engaging piece of storytelling. Mushishi is for all intents and purposes, an anthology series and that series brings the best out of its narrative elements. I think the thing to discuss here is what makes the anthology style approach of this season different in terms of engage from season 1 and why you feel it may not work for a series such as BBB. From what i can see,, a bombastic show such as BBB with its nonsensical setting thrives off of having an anthology style narrative; as a matter of fact, it makes sense. You can still throw in an overarching narrative to piece things together but if it didnt i think that would be fine so as long as, once again, the characters are explored well and that they have fulfilling arcs that makes us care. BBB is more about style and bravado but Rie found a way to implement a tenderness to the story and i think that’s what some fans of the first season are missing.

      2. Good point on Mushishi. The factors I was thinking of were time and involvement. With manga, each chapter takes less time to consume, so it doesn’t need to be as “worth it” as an anime episode, which eats up more of your time. Plus, manga (like books) require active participation, whereas anime are passive. That means anime (and TV) can thrive with either less attention required (pure slice-of-life or healing anime, where what’s happening hardly matters) or more (and they can sweep you away in a way manga isn’t as good at, because with anime you’re just along for the ride), but there’s this middle zone where it’s tougher for anime, because you’re spending all this time but if it’s not worth it, why are you wasting all this time?

        Granted, this isn’t quite as true if you’re watching anime subbed, where you’re still reading the subtitles (and thus more active participation is required), as opposed to watching something where you know the language, but it’s still a factor. The simple fact that you don’t control the pace of the story means anime is more passive.

        Really, I think the issue is that episodes of Kekkai Sensen don’t always have a point. They’re fun, but unlike Mushishi, where each one is a contemplation and you come away with some insight on the world or, most frequently, humanity, episodes of this series are sometimes just fun. Which is great! But it’s more OVA material. Fun without meaning can get boring fast, which is what Black and White gave the first season. We were having all the fun, but it was driving somewhere too.

        So you’re probably right, it’s not necessarily that manga is better at anthology than anime (though there are those issues I stated above), it’s just that THIS anime needs that overarching thread, at least for me. I badly miss having that.

    1. No. Every episode in season 1 aside from the last two were adapted from the manga with Black and White sprinkled in. Everything the manga did, the anime did and more.

      Season 2 is adapting everything from the manga, but that’s it and it’s really showing. Rie Matsumoto’s absence can be felt with each passing episode as they feel more and more like mere adaptations. Interestingly, the first episode of this season adapted the first two chapters of the sequel manga, Back2Back.

  4. Funny thing I noticed in the beginning of the episode. When the 5 werewolves were being yelled at by the vice-chief (was it?) they pretty much had the 5 responses of a dog.

    One just stared not knowing what’s going on, one just didn’t care, one didn’t like the tone, one (Chain) faked guilt and the last was just happy to get attention.

  5. What was with all these new Characters all of the sudden? Were we supposed to know who they were? I thought I might have missed something from last season. I thought Klaus was the leader. This episode seemed very out of place.

    1. I believe Werewolf Bureau is not exactly a part of Libra. More like a separate organization which had close partnership and affiliation due to matching interest (keeping the stability of the city)

  6. kekkai sensen reminds me of the 90’s back when a creator could be true to his or her own writing and didn’t care what the vocal minority and majority of fans wanted. they just did their own thing instead of people pleasing just because they could.

    1. Kekkai Sensen’s author Nightow Yasuhiro mentioned on Kekkai Sensen’s radio before that to him, Kekkai Sensen is a form of rehabilitation for him to get back into writing manga. He was completely burnt out and exhausted after finishing his other works and made Kekkai Sensen with the intention of having unlimited freedom in the series and writing whatever he pleased as a way for him to get motivated to write again.


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