Mumei and Ikoma are confronted by the military and forced to stay in the back of the train until they get to Kongokaku. Mumei starts Ikoma’s training so she can use him as a shield when she fights. They stop in their route to Kongokaku to fix a water tank and pay their respects for the dead. Ikoma tells Mumie the story of his sisters death. A small gang rallies together to try and kill Ikoma and Mumie but the Ayame stops them, and tests mumie’s and Ikoma’s loyalty. Mumie goes out to have fun only to ask people for some blood to eat. This conversations interrupted by a pregnant kabane that Mumei kills. Ikoma similar needs blood but goes out of control and attacks Ayame in the rail car.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is still at eleven. Which is surprising to see. I though for sure that they would slow it down after getting on the train. Sure the events aren’t all that intense but the way they are presented still keep with the shows tone and pacing style that even some conversations can be jazzed up with a punch and a kick now and there. This formula works and I found myself wondering where the time went more than the last two episodes.
Some of the reasons why this episode went so fast for me is the sheer amount of things being said, and the importance of those things. Kabaneri of the Iron fortress really knows how to make a seemingly mundane scene like, giving out food rations, and making it engaging. At the same time building future plot points and giving us more character growth. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is tying everything together so that the viewer won’t lose their high that they gained from the first two episodes. Which is a difficult task. None the less, they’re nailing it.
Of course the high tension still doesn’t seem like its something being forced. Everyone is rightfully on edge with these Kabaneri on board. Thus dealing with this unknown threat is plenty to keep the blood boiling in the passengers as well as the guards. Plus Mumie continuously beating the shit out of Ikoma helps keep the action quota up. All I’m gonna say is that it must hurt like a bitch, hitting the steel floor so much. But I guess thats how she’s gone toughen him up.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress always has its breathing room where we can unclench our fists. This episode that breath is some deep and interesting back story for Ikoma. It really solidifies his character and where his resolve comes from and where his growth may lead him. His hatred for running away and his weakness is understandable and relatable. It shows that he is still trying to fight with the vow he had made that day. In his eyes he still isn’t strong enough. When he will be, we don’t know. I don’t even think Ikoma knows. Mumie hints at a similar scenario but we don’t get to hear her story. I assume her brother is still alive and is going to be crucial in the plot. I’d like it to show up earlier than later, and not be some cheap reveal near the end.
As for the Zombie/vampire hybrid, I could go either way on that idea. It ultimately depends on how important it is to the story and how everyone else reacts to it. I don’t wanna say it feels like cheap tension without knowing the purpose of it thematically. But i’ve been burned by a similar concept before *cough cough* Valvrave the Liberator. Even if its just another way to raise the “metalness” of this show, that’ll be fine too.
So far everything is going smoothly for Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. The characters that its focusing on are just enough to keep me invested in this steampunk zombie story, with promise for future bad-asses to take the spotlight. The only thing I didnt understand about this episode is how Ayame could be everywhere all the time. I mean she shows up out of nowhere all the time. Must not be a big train or something. Either way, if there are problems with Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, they’re so small and insignificant, or I’m having too much fun to notice. Nothing glaring yet but there still is a whole load of track to ride on this zombie train.
Episode Rating: A