Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Episode 1 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression
Ooooooohhhhhhh this premiere man, I got the chills~!!!!! Aside from knowing this is a historical fantasy and ufotable taking charge of the production (you know there’s going to be stunning combat scenes when its Ufotable), I wasn’t a 100% certain what I was getting into, but my gut told based on watching the trailers that I should be paying attention to this, and boy did they exceed my expectations. This is a story about two groups, one who seeks to revise/alter history Historical Revisionists’ Time Retrograde Army, and the other is History’s Protectors’ “Swords”, like Kane and Kunihiro, summoned by Saniwa, to ensure nothing is changed.
This episode focused on introducing Kane and Kunihiro who were assigned by Saniwa to deflect and intervene with the Time Retrograde Army. Compared to Kane, its Kunihiro’s first assignment so he is considerably inexperienced and is still new to the job. It’s because of this he severely lacks confidence in himself, and questions why he was chosen to be Kane’s partner. And frankly speaking, I thought Kunihiro was a goner this episode. His lack of confidence in his abilities and negativity made seem he got a death flag on him – and it did actually pop up for a second because I was almost certain that he was going to be killed – luckily, Kane saved him in just in the nick of time.
It was also interesting to see how the perspective of the more new recruits such as Kunihiro reacts to the tragedies that is true to history (and the desire to save lives). The scene of the city on fire gave me the chills when Kunihiro tried to get Kane to wake up but is told to go back to sleep. It was at that moment when both Kunihiro and the audience realized why Kane had declined the offer to the woman advertising them to stay at the inn in the city. He knew it was going to happen, and for their safety they had to stay clear from it. He had covered it up from Kunihiro by claiming it was part of the instructions to intervene with the Time Retrograde Army’s attack.
Ironically enough though, all while the blaze rages on in the city, they receive the orders to move as they spot the Space-Time Distortion in the distance. As they made their way to pursue the enemy, we saw Kane sweep in to save a child from a burning building. Although they say they must be careful to leave any impacts on altering history, Kane shows us that while they can’t save everyone, if there’s a chance to save an innocent that is likely not to leave an impact, they can act on it – however by doing puts the responsibility onto them to eliminate them should they threaten to throw history off its course.
Near the end of the episode, we finally meet Saniwa, their master who is responsible for providing instructions and summoning them. Due to the dire circumstances, he himself made an appearance so that he could provide more manpower to counter how gravely outnumbered they are. Much to my surprise he looks like a kid, but he is their master for a reason: he is hella strong. He then summons three more “swords”, Yagen Toushirou, Tonbokiri and Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki, some who get along with others, and others who clearly have a rivalry of a sort. It will be interesting to see how they all interact altogether considering how rarely (as indicated they usually are only able to send two individuals to serve as a pair) they work together as whole team. Still, with now six men on the field, they are still considerably outnumbered by the enemy, who is somehow able to send an entire freaking army to the targeted time periods. It certainly raises questions as to how Historical Revisionists’ has such abilities and the History Protectors appear to lack the same kind of resources/capabilities.
But that isn’t to say the History Protectors don’t have useful resources. Konnosuke, the fox is able to do a major search using futuristic technology to quickly obtain information in regards of the time period they are in, and gather crucial clues on individuals they need to keep an eye on. They also carry a notebook that is serves essentially as history’s script. Should if any changes be found in the “script”, it means history has been altered. And to take this even further, they spoke about detecting breaches to the time barrier from the future in 2205, and the danger of how the further they go back into history, the greater the deviation.
Katsugeki Touken Ranbu is off on a fiery start! They did an excellent job of making it so the information that was being delivered to us was not overwhelming to the extent we would get lost. The frequent action and seeing our protagonists constantly being outnumbered kept me at the edge of my seat, and the introduction of the characters and the story was done crisply. I am excited for the journey Katsugeki Touken Ranbu will be taking us, and the story is has to tell.
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