OP: 「サクリファイス」 (Sakurifuaisu) by Mafumafu
「竜の娘」 (Ryuu no Musume)
“The Dragon’s Daughter”
While inexorably bound to play second fiddle to some seriously hard hitters this season, Kemono-tachi isn’t about to fade into third tier status anytime soon, at least if this week is anything to go by. After all the uncertainty behind one plain opener and a setting more conventional than unique we got the remaining info on just where this series is going, and while as undeniably straight laced as everything last week, there’s still plenty here to leave a few favourable impressions.
As thoroughly mentioned last episode the Fairy Gone comparisons are going to dominate discussion of Kemono-tachi, and this weekly frankly underscored why. Our second main character in Nancy Schaal is about as thematically similar to the former’s own grand heroine as you can get, from the humble beginnings and choice of career path to the selection of weaponry she chooses to wield. Of course this girl does differ in some aspects—i.e. being the orphanage caretaker rather than the orphan herself, having a dragon for a daddy—but damn the similarities are a little uncanny once you get down to brass tacks. At least Kemono-tachi seems to be swimming in the deep end of the pool when it comes to personalities, because Nancy certainly has the spunk, stubbornness, and better fleshed out reasons needed to keep things structurally interesting going forward.
For all the improvements in characters though the one place Kemono-tachi may find itself running into trouble is with pacing. Regardless of the emotional logic behind Nancy’s sudden decision to accompany Hank it’s hard denying the whole chain of events moved incredibly fast. From bullet to the chest and determined intent to kill to happy-go-lucky adventure partners—the whiplash is quite noticeable, even if the equally funny wild west setting (wasn’t this supposed to be fantasy east coast North America?) for it was a perfect match. Kemono-tachi may have a simple and easily executed premise in putting down the monsters who now find themselves, whether willingly or not, running amok, but if the show blazes through it with little of the development needed for many of the events to have an impact, then it loses a lot of the strength the whole series is predicated upon. It may have been easy to feel some for Nancy’s father after all, but there’s no guarantee future Incarnate encounters will see similar depth as time goes by.
In either case however we should know the answer relatively soon because for all Kemono-tachi is about putting monsters down, there’s a couple who apparently want them to run free. It was never going to be as easy as watching our main man put his rabid comrades in their place of course, but we’ll have to wait and see how well the missing side of this coin matches up to everything we’ve seen so far.
ED: 「HHOOWWLL」by Gero x ARAKI