Kekkai Sensen – 05

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Kekkai Sensen is developing a real swagger now.

I’m venturing gingerly back into anime with Blood Blockade Battlefront – it’s been a rough couple of days to say the least (food poisoning).  I don’t know how coherent my thoughts are going to be, but this seems like a good show to tiptoe into the water with.  Why?  Because it’s quite visceral, as opposed to intellectual.  It’s smart, don’t get me wrong, but Kekkai Sensen is really driven by the sensory experience of watching it (and listening to it).  And what an experience it is.

There’s just so much star power here.  Matsumoto Rie is a star director, even if she’s still young and relatively unknown.  The cast is full of legendary seiyuu in roles that seem as if they were written for them.  You can add to that list not just Miyano Mamoru and Fujiwara Keiji – which would be awesome enough – but sharing the same damn body.  And the reason they are is Aligura (Koroogi Satomi), who’s ground up her beloved but ugly Deldro Brody (Fujiwara) into a bloody pulp and injected him into the bishie body of Dog Hummer (Miyano).

Koroogi’s name may not be a household word among younger anime viewers, bur she’s a bit of a legend in her own right, with a resume loaded with anime classics.  She delivers the kind of brash, risky performance here that I think a less-established actor might not have the courage to deliver, and it’s really Aligura’s barely-contained lunacy that drives the episode.  Is Aligura in fact one of the 13 Elders?  I’m not absolutely sure, but it seems strongly implied.  What’s for certain is that Klaus “stole” the Deldro-Dog composite from here, and she’s been rather anxious to get it back.

The anime-original storyline continues apace, as we have the rather interesting development of White’s “brother” (or whoever he may be) having a private meeting with Femt, back for the first time since the premiere.  And it’s obvious they know each other very well, though less obvious what either of them have in-mind for the long game.  Femt gave the impression in the premiere of being a troll, more or less, but not necessarily someone who wanted to bring about the apocalypse.  Is it possible he and White’s brother might be trying to save humanity from the Elders?

In any event, it’s all a hell of a ride, as Kekkai Sensen usually is – though with the almost Mad Max styled first half perhaps a bit more literally than normal.  For all her insanity Aligura does seem to have nudged the plot forward in kidnapping Leo seemingly for the sole purpose of talking about romance – she’s goaded him into asking White out on a “date”.  That turns out to be yet another incredibly cool setting, the two of them watching a hackneyed “comedy” projected onto the side of a building, and it seems a genuine emotional bond is developing between White and Leo.

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7 comments

  1. l

    From going to the end of volume 2 from last episode to the end of volume 3 this episode it seems like the anime original material is going to take front action here very soon. Based on the preview we'll be going to volume 5, skipping all of volume 4. While I'm interested to see where the anime original material goes I also think a straight adaptation of the manga would have been just as good.. Seems they're adapting the chapters that can mix with the anime original material in a non-invasive way like this episode and by the looks of it next episode as well.

  2. K

    That end pic!

  3. A

    When he covered up his "Hai!" by singing about Heinz ketchup… I lost it. Genius is the only word for it.

  4. K

    Made me want to rewatch Twins.

  5. R

    I might be biased towards the voice actors since I love Gintama to death an back, but this episode had the highest laughing until my stomach hurt count of the series so far (although every time Leo starts pulling the tsukkomi routine I flashback to Shinpachi). I think it's actually better for me that I haven't read the manga before this. People have said that the anime is jumping around in terms of order, but from an outsider's perspective I haven't been able to tell in the least.

  6. T

    Don't really get the love for this show, I mean it's episodic in nature with an overall plot tying it together (in a sci-fi setting), ala Cowboy Bebop, but the characters are nowhere near as dynamic or interesting to pull it off. At best I think it's a poor man's Bebop.

  7. M

    Agreed.

    And Cowboy Bebop is a poor man's Lupin the third…

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