Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Episode 12: [Koutetsujou][Final Impressions]
Usually I like to make a little joke before starting my reviews, as a little intro or something, but considering the fact that the sole existence of this anime is a joke I’ll pass this time.
So this episode starts with Biba’s voice saying some philosophical bullshit about fear and cowardice. Usually I’d be like “OMG SO TRUE” and throw a couple of references to develop the thought but today, I don’t want to. First of all because what Biba is saying doesn’t really make any sense and looks more like something entirely made up to sound deep and meaningful. Secondly Biba is the last person on earth who could tell us “fear brings war”. No, what brings war, is your upper class ass committing mass murder for no reason at all, and even if it might be deep, I doubt it’s meaningful.
So Mumei is in that Smoke colony thing, the pleb is getting eaten alive by the zombies and Ikomeh accompanied by Boris are kicking some zombie asses. Apparently Ikomeh is not in a good shape and might loses his humanity so Boris promises to kill him if that ever happens. You know what Boris? You should kill him now. Then you take Ayame, Sukari and Yukina back on the train and leave. Please end my suffering quickly, it’s only been 4 minutes and I’m tired.
Then, Ayame manages to persuade some pleb that they aren’t the bad guys by saying something like “We must erase our doubtful minds and hearts”. That’s sweet… and it works… Ok… I guess the pleb is so impressionable that they believe everything.
Mumei is under acid and sees things, like some red butterflies (cuz it’s the color of blood duh ) and people saying that she is a bad, bad girl. In the meantime Ikoma arrives at the capital and he is not very happy so he fights while shouting like a dying cow. Oh yeah and apparently he now has some telekinesis powers and stops a train from smashing him. He rekts the blond soldier whom backstory and intentions will remain unknown.
Finally the fight between Biba and Ikoma happens but is interrupted most of the time by some unsupportable sequences of Mumei fighting with her inner demons and stuff. Ikomeh is about to kill Biba but stops right before cuz he can’t see anymore. So now it’s Biba who is going to kill Ikoma but no! Because Mumei drops the blue rock which she was holding all the time in the water, it reveals the position of Biba to Ikoma…. Uh… Is Ikoma a Dolphin or something? Does he have Daredevil’s powers? Can he really spot the position of an enemy just by sound waves? Also something isn’t working with the localization of the characters. Mumei in that smoke colony thing is clearly far way from the river so I doubt she would have been able to release the rock at that particular place.
But anyway, Ikoma gives the white blood to Mumei, she’s cured yeah! But Ikoma is almost dead. And Biba isn’t dead cuz he was a Kabaneri. Yeah, that’s not very surprising. You know what is not surprising either? Mumei killing Biba while making some speech about love friendship and feelings.
During that time Ayame, Sukari and the rest of the crew plans a way to get out of this mess. They plan on following Biba’s route to escape and are helped by the cute blue hair soldier. Hey yo I told you that cute blue soldier was going to be on the good guys’ side at the end. He has too many potential fan girls to be a bad guy.
Then Ayame calls Boris and Mumei, they take Ikoma’s dead body on the train and they leave the station while everyone is happy. Mumei throws Ikoma like he’s some potato sack, She’s like “TADAIMA BITCHES” and Boris blushes a bit while seeing Ayame. By the way, Boris blushing is a blessing, that was the best part of the episode.
Ikoma wakes up thanks to the power of love and friendship or because according to Mumei, Biba gave him some white blood. I don’t know. I lack the motivation to go back and check, it doesn’t really make sense either… Oh well… So everyone is happy, expect the remaining people in the station who are probably going to die eaten by the zombies aha. That’s such an happy ending. Also everyone forgot Takumi’s death, and Sukari only got 2 lines this episodes, that’s not such a good ending if you ask me.
Charibo Final Impression:
All good things must come to an end
Same with Koutsoujou no Kabaneri
Expect it wasn’t good.
Story: What story? Is there even a plot behind this? Everything in Koutetsujou no Kabaneri has been done before, you’ve seen it again and again in a lot of different animus that in the end are hard to tear appart. I feel like the anime is divided in two parts. The first part ( Episodes 1-7) was supposed to introduce us to the world, the characters, their goals and issues while the second part (Episodes 8-12) was again, supposed to bring us some substance with some actual plot and a bad guy. Sadly, both parts fail to do what they intended to.
What do we learn during the first part? Ikoma and Mumei are some Kabaneris, there’s some sort of zombie apocalypse. The train goes from stations to stations, Mumei has issues and Ikoma’s sister is dead. DONE
Part 2: Biba is a dick, Mumei is still having issues, Ikoma is useless…. the shogun is a dick too?
Okay, that’s not really fair from me to sum up things like this but in the end, is there really something else in Koutetsujou that I haven’t mentioned? No matter how hard I try, I fail to see some interesting plot devices in this show. I guess the first part of the show was okay, but then it turned into a story full of Deus ex machina where things happen just because and full of big giant middle fingers to the people who tried to seek logic in this anime.
The biggest one being: the white and black blood which honestly looked like something the writers pulled out of their asses at the last minute to wrap everything quickly. Where does this Blood come from? How do they know it’s working? Is this a cure? No need to search for any answers, I doubt the writers even know themselves.
Strangely enough, the structure of the show made me think of some good old Hollywood movie. “The hero is a normal guy, he obtains some sort of power, meets the girl, bad guy arrives, sidekick dies, hero thinks he’s shit, finally he decides to fight for what he believes in, Hero kills the bad guy and saves the gurl, Happy ending”.
It’s nothing original, there’s nothing left for me to analyze, it is just meant to be watch without thinking twice. As you might know I do enjoy bloody/dark shows but in the end, I had he impression that the show was relying too much on the shock/bloody aspect to keep its audience. Let’s face it, Biba’s attack on the shogunate could have been bloodless, but no, we needed to see people being eaten alive because… well, if we don’t see it what’s left for us? At this point, showing some blood is just fanservice to my eyes.
Characters: Well… heh… Every character falls into its respective archetype. Biba is the mean bad guy who’s just bad for the sole purpose of being bad. The anime tried to give him some sad backstory but failed again, how are we supposed to care for this dude if we met him one episode ago? His backstory in itself doesn’t really make more sense and knowing it just confirmed my fears: Biba is a bad guy just because.
As for Ikoma is the hero who wants to save everyone and Mumei is the lady who needs to be saved. Of course both are gifted with a plot armor stronger than my love for coffee, and oh boy I love coffee. The rest of the cast is really forgettable since they weren’t developed at all. Special mention to Takumi who died, but whose death wasn’t really useful either. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem like Takumi’s death affected the characters in any way. I think my favorite character was that dude with a wig who spoke half Japanese and half English, he was fun.
Sound and Art: Overall it was great, the soundtrack was awesome and I was able to appreciate it even during the last episodes where my exasperation rate had reached some high peaks. The Art was the only steampunk thing about the show but it was still nice to look at.
Do I recommend it?
Depends on your tastes, if you like Brainless action sure go ahead. If not, don’t watch it.
If I’ve learnt something from Koutetsujou is the fact that even if I try, I can’t bring myself enjoy those brainless action anime that much. So, I should avoid them in the future, joking about how bad a show is can be amusing but sometimes it drives my vital energy away.
Thanks to all of you who have been following my reviews, I hope you enjoyed the ride. There’s probably going to be a second season to the show, but I doubt I will be the one reviewing it.