Anime Review: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Episode 2

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

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Disclaimer: This article will attempt to stay away from spoilers, but no promises so read at your own risk.

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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress continues with it’s second episode, Never-ending Darkness. This one begins almost exactly where we left off; the town is being overrun by the vampire-zombies called Kabane. Ikoma has just showed off his new weapon to his best friend and they escape with the rest of the townspeople. Ikoma knows that if the citizens or police find out he’s been bitten they will surely kill him.

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The episode provides more background on the mysterious girl Mumei and that she’s agile, fast and extremely deadly. She ends up saving the townspeople from the Kabane and then saving Ikoma from the townspeople. The scenes of Mumei fighting off the Kabane are brilliantly animated. With every kill you can really tell how easy it is for her. I admire her arrogance and strength, but this fight made me realize something about our friends the Kabane. They are not consistent at all. Sometimes you seem them mindlessly walking around waiting to be killed. But other times they are running full sprint, holding weapons and strategically planning their attack. I don’t know what to make of this at all but I’ll wait until later episodes to see if they can explain these noticeable differences.

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We also get to know Kurusu, the bodygaurd, a little better. He is a stern man that has not time to play with the Kabane. Once he found out that Ikoma had been bitten he shot him without question. This scene was very powerful as it explained some things about Itowa’s strength; he can take some serious damage. After being shot, he walked to pull a lever that would lower the draw bridge for the citizens who just turned their backs on him. He got bit numerous times during this walk and still it didn’t seem to faze him. Although this scene was pretty corny, I enjoyed how he laughed at the people and mocked them for being saved by the person they threw out.

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At one point Ikoma’s best friend Takumi threw out a rope to save him but Ikoma needed an extra push to get out of his depression. And yes, Mumei comes to the rescue, yet again. Once the pair are back on the train, Kurusu requests that Ikawa kills himself with dignity by putting a bomb on his heart. However, Mumei stops him to show him that she has been bitten too. She then calls their kind, ‘Kabaneri’, one who is not human or Kabane.

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This episode was all about character and relationship development. From the first episode, I couldn’t really tell if Ikoma and Takumi were close friends, but I now I see that they have shared so much together. The fight scenes were great and I wish they went on longer. I would like to understand what the deal is with Mumei and her time obsession or even why she gets so tired after a fight. Now that the Kabaneri have been revealed to the citizens, it’s going to be exciting to see how they react. All I can hope is that they don’t use three episodes from the season to do a trial arc.

Review Score
Episode 2: Never-ending