Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – Episode 5

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Shingeki no Kyojin all over again?

Yikes. Now that took a quick turn from bad to worst. Ikoma and the crew are faced with their toughest obstacle yet. The appearance of a “titan” kabane and with Mumei out for the count, I can’t see a way for them to overcome this unless they burn the whole garrison down to the ground. What a time not to have a plan B.

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Smug Mumei.

This week’s episode is basically all about Mumei. An edgy Mumei, actually. I find it funny and amusing that her mood swings faster than that of a teenage girl on her periods. But as we all know, her foul attitude points toward her past and real identity. We haven’t gotten any concrete answers here yet about where she came from or how did she become a kabaneri in the first place. The appearance of Snake Eater — err, I mean a person who calls himself the “Young Master’s Ear” — just served to boil the water even hotter. From the looks of it, Mumei and this Ear dude seems to be part of a shadowy organization that primarily deals with eliminating kabane. Mumei’s favor to this organization looks to be falling off. In addition, Ear’s jab about Mumei’s humanity may have hit a spot, thus where her bad mood came from. This led to Mumei going full YOLO, messing up Ikoma’s plan, and putting all of the survivors and even herself at death’s door.

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Snake, you’re in the wrong show.

Episode by episode, we’re starting to see that every decision Mumei takes seems to be backfiring at her. I know she meant good about it, but acting rashly and compulsively is expected of someone heavily burdened by something. If you haven’t been informed yet, she’s still 12. At such a young age she has been given the power and capability to save people she doesn’t even know. Such stress can put mental instability and possibly accounts to her own twisted perspective about life. She looks strong — she is strong — and in Kabaneri‘s world they don’t really have much choice. The strong survives, the weak dies. Deep inside, she probably just wanted to be a normal girl — a human.

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My favourite screencap of Mumei so far. Just because of the eyes.

Obviously, the action isn’t losing steam even after 5 weeks in. I’ve seen enough to say that Kabaneri is proving to be a lot better than its predecessor. It’s not that I hate Shingeki, but Kabaneri‘s pacing proved to be the deciding factor. I haven’t mentioned it much but the shading and character design in this series is really, really great. It’s not everyday we get something like this, and I do hope Wit Studio will keep adapting this kind of style for their upcoming titles.

 

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