Review: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – Episode 1

Synopsis courtesy of

As the world is in the middle of an industrial revolution, a monster appears that cannot be defeated unless its heart, which is protected by a layer of iron, is pierced. By infecting humans with its bite, the monster can create aggressive and undead creatures known as Kabane. On the island Hinomoto, located in the far east, people have built stations to shelter themselves from these creatures. People access the station, as well as transport wares between them, with the help of a locomotive running on steam, called Hayajiro. Ikoma, a boy who lives in the Aragane station and helps to build Hayajiro, creates his own weapon called Tsuranukizutsu in order to defeat the creatures. One day, as he waits for an opportunity to use his weapon, he meets a girl named Mumei, who is excused from the mandatory Kabane inspection. During the night, Ikoma meets Mumei again as he sees Hayajiro going out of control. The staff on the locomotive has turned into the creatures. The station, now under attack by Kabane, is the opportunity Ikoma has been looking for.

You can find Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress streaming on Amazon Prime.

Episode Review

I think It’s high time we start using the word zombie is less of a monster and more like a monster class. While I wouldn’t really call the Kabane from Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress zombies, they share a lot of traits that zombies have. But that’s beside the point, does the incorporation of the zombie class in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress make it for another dull Walking Dead or Attack On Titan clone? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sit your ass down and watch the freaking show.

It’s clear this show has some influence from Attack On Titan. Heck, even the art style and color palette seem to be pretty similar. But I don’t want to go into how much like Attack On Titan this is. I’ll just say, “If you like Attack On Titan, you’ll like this.”

While watching Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress I noticed that it excelled in the things that make a first episode to an action series so important. It instantly made me understand the world and grounded me in its premise. Plus it didn’t convey this through minutes of info dumping like other shows. It respected my intelligence for the most part and let me learn through the show, which is the best way. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, also has a great way of shooting something “in media res” and not making it confusing, but still mysterious. There are still a lot of questions from the first episode but nothing that hinders the enjoyment of the first episode. What I’m saying is that the show isn’t relying on the promise of it getting good or interesting later. Its great right off the bat.


Since the first episode is void of plot we don’t really get many character moments aside from our main  hero Ikoma, who is instantly likable and dare I say it relatable. I assume since this world has to take on shitty morales to survive, he’s going to be a beacon for doing whats right regardless. I just hope it doesn’t turn out whiny like another certain protagonist *cough cough* Eren Jeager. I mean the guy clearly shows resolve as he impales his arm and nearly chokes himself to death trying to stop the Kabane infection. He’s hardcore in his beliefs and actions and has a tragic back story to boot. That coupled with his gifted talents as an engineer make him for a compelling character in my book. As for the kimono girl Mumei is a badass who I need more information on right now. She seems rather callous towards the world but I hope there’s more to her character than that. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt since she only had like four speaking lines in this episode.

This episode instantly hooked me as well with other I imagine. Accompanied with its premise and its thematic and thrilling directing courtesy of Tetsuro Araki (Death Note, Attack On Titan), This show could certainly be the most entertaining and gripping shows this season. The only concern I have is that we haven’t really seen the script strut its stuff yet because of that explosive opening. Having a script by, Ichiro Okouchi, the guy who wrote Code Geass, Guilty Crown, and Valvrave the Liberator concerns me but I’m sure he’s gotten better by now…right?

Episode Rating: B+


Logan Peterson
Logan Peterson
My names Logan and I love writing about Anime. Other art is guchi too. When I'm not writing gonzo reviews I'm writing books. *If interested look up The Dream Sequence on Amazon.* I usually write more editorial stuff than just plain reviews. I like my writing to be more big picture. I feel consumer reviews are a thing of the past and more personal reviews are the most valuable nowadays.