Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – Episode 12 (END)

Ikoma and the gang rides off to another sunrise with smiles and all, leaving behind a trail of destruction and dissatisfied viewers. Roll credits.

What seems to be a happy ending may very well be short lived for our heroes. Having successfully putting Biba to rest doesn’t really change the fact that the strongest fortress in the entirety of Japan just flat-out burned overnight because ‘muh revenge’. I don’t even want to include Takumi’s rather unnecessary death in my running list of rants but… nah, let’s leave it at that. Best guy deserves some rest.

Biba got what he wanted, kabane still roam freely, rice paddies are out of the question; at least it’s an open-ended finale that suggests possibilities for another redeeming season (yay). Still, what was the point of all the suffering they had to endure? A clearer and resolute conviction to live? That’s… pretty much about it. Kabaneri did stick to the whole theme of ‘fear’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ but they tied the loose ends in a crude manner in the form of Biba. Again, his introduction late in the series resulted in a somewhat undercooked antagonist. Sure he’s a great anti-hero and all but how he was fleshed out only undermined his imposing figure to that of a selfish dude bent on his own ideology. His arc felt rushed, yes, but is still a feat considering that Wit had to cram everything up in 12 episodes (makes me wonder if they’re planning another season). Actually, the last episode wasn’t that bad in Kabaneri standards. The action is a notch above average, but left much to be desired as the climax lacked the BOOMS and BANGS the show excels in — though I don’t think no amount of Michael Bay can wash out that bland aftertaste.

For all it’s worth, I love Kabaneri for what it accomplished. The character designs and visuals are a nice change of pace amidst all the moe airing in this season. I hope to see Wit continuing this trend in their work; It’s not everyday we get to have a design reminiscent of the 80’s, after all. One of the other factor that made up an unforgettable cast of characters is how each of them progressed as the series goes. Ayame’s princess in distress figure transformed into that of a proper ruler is an example. It’s probably the most logical development for her role, but that’s also what sets her apart from the other characters. In a place where ass-pulls happen left and right, and pre-adolescent kids acting like a grown up, Ayame’s down to earth personality makes it easier for us viewers to be grounded in Kabaneri‘s reality. We also have Deltoids-chan and Gaijin-san, who are both fan favorites, but that’s beyond my point. Chances are in a real post apocalyptic scenario, it’s more likely to have an Ayame than a Mumei in our crew.

There’s also the matter of the pacing, though I’ve already glossed over that topic on my previous post and repeating it would only sound redundant. In any case, I enjoyed Kabaneri a lot. If you’re the type who’s not nitcpicky over minute details and questionable plot-holes, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Kabaneri too for the wild-ride it presents. In fact, I still place it on top of AoT! Why? Well, that’s a topic for another day. If you’ve read the manga, you’ll understand what I mean. guess that wraps it up for my first season of anime blogging! I… still have a lot to improve on. Shucks 😐

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