Review: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – Episode 4

Episode Summary

Ikoma is interrupted before he can bite Ayame. The camp is ambushed by Kabane and everyone has to make a break for it on the train. Some passengers get the key from Ayame and start taking control of the trains heading, going through a mountain. The train is again ambushed by kabane, one of which wields two swords. Kurusu goes sword to sword and loses. Ayame offers her blood to a tired Ikoma and he finishes the sword Kabane off. Everyone decides to trust the Kabaneri and help them by all giving them blood.


So this episode had a few more glaring problems with its flow that I can only attribute to the scenario that was written for this episode. For me Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is at its best when everyone is immediately acting to whatever is happening. However, this week the formula is slightly different. Now we have our Kabaneri having to plan things out and approach the situation and it sort of felt off for me. Sure it was only brief but it was enough to take me out of the show for a good few minutes. This was the first time watching this show that I’ve started to think about why things were happening the way they were and started seeing how ridiculous things were. Once Mumei and Ikoma started moving towards the fight, I was back in. Partly because of Hiroyuki Sawano’s insert song that kicked things off. Damn I love that guy.

Now I’m not saying that this show is only enjoyable if you don’t pay attention to whats happening. I’m saying Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a masterful at directing your attention to what it wants you to focus on to give you the best experience. And yeah, there were moments in this episode that felt lacking in that. For one I thought it was super awesome when Ayame shot an arrow out of her steam punk bow..and then ceased to fire another one after. Did you run out of arrows? Did you only bring one or did you drop the rest? I also didn’t understand why Ayame just gave the key away to some random guys to take control of the ship. She was like, “I’d like to see you do better, hmph.” Don’t really think she would give up power so easily especially if she knows she’s right. Maybe I misjudged her character or something.

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Dumb things aside there was still plenty of pulse pounding action and movie style framing that makes this show so exciting. The dynamic between Mumie and Ikoma still is strong and we got a good dose of Ikoma getting better through Mumie’s training. Also that shot of Ayame offering her blood was awesome in its composition and build-up. That would have been such an easy shot to screw up and would have seemed cheesy as all hell, but they pulled it off. Which is what Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress consistently does, it pulls it off. It takes the things that should be utterly ridiculous and handles them in a way that makes you want to see more.

I know I’m making it seem like this episode had a lot of that, but it hasn’t really showed up before so I wanted to give my thoughts on it now instead of down the line in such detail. I’ll still bring it up when it happens in the future, but not to this extent. Unless it’s really bad. But I don’t think Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress will have too many slip ups. So far its been pretty on the mark. Even the best marksman don’t hit the bullseye every time. I just hope Kabaneri keeps its grouping close enough for me to enjoy myself all the way through.

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.