Koutetsujou no Kabaneri – 05

Koutetsujou - 05-9 Koutetsujou - 05-26 Koutetsujou - 05-29

Koutetsujou - 05-1If I’m honest, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is reminding me more of Guilty Crown with each passing week.  They’re both great-looking Production I.G. shows which, bluntly, are gloriously stupid.  If there’s a saving grace to this one it’s that Koutetsujou isn’t nearly so pompous, which in a dumb series is actually a pretty important distinction because it makes the show a lot easier to enjoy as brain-dead fun.

Koutetsujou - 05-2The thing is, “brain-dead” is rather a fitting theme because I’m beginning to suspect the kabane are the smartest guys in the room.  There’s an interesting competition brewing between this show and Mayoiga for which one has the stupider characters I most want to see die graphically – before this ep I’d have side Mayoiga for sure but now it’s neck-and-neck.  Seriously – everyone in this cast just acted like a complete moron this week.  It’s most grating with Mumei of course, but it’s spread out evenly like a thick layer of fertiziler.

Koutetsujou - 05-3Mumei is a real problem.  I mean sure, I hate her, that’s a given – but she’s just such a terrible character.  Pure cliche in design, annoying as hell, seems to lack any capacity for learning, and does stupid thing after stupid thing and puts the other stupid people at risk.  It’s just a repeat cycle over and over with her – she says and does stupid stuff to piss off the muggles, she goes on a spree where she’s OP and kills a jillion kabane, she kicks Ikoma in the face.  If there was any change this time it’s that she acted so stupidly that she actually dug herself a hole so deep even she couldn’t dig her way out of it.  Ikoma saves her, and I’m sure she’ll kick him in the face as thanks.

Koutetsujou - 05-4The thing is, in saving her Ikoma is acting stupidly on an almost Mumei-level.  He’s already messed up the plan to save, you know, everyone by following Mumei into a nest of kabane after she goes off on her own against said plan.  But then he follows her off a cliff (literally), abandoning his job, and in the process he stymies the escape of the koutetsujou.  With allies like this, who needs zombie hordes?

Koutetsujou - 05-5Is Koutetsujou no Kabaneri still entertaining, despite all this headdesk idiocy?  The miracle is that yes, somehow it still is.  It still looks good, and the moments of random goofiness still manage to raise a smile (the seiyuu playing the kabane deserve some kind of special award for their work in keeping this show afloat – them or the ones writing their dialogue).  But I have to think there’s a shelf life to that, at least for me – though judging by the review scores and the Stalker numbers this series has nothing to worry about in terms of general popularity.





  1. Well, the difference with Mayoiga is there’s plausible reasons for both Mumei and Ikoma’s stupidity though. Mumei seems to be mostly at a fault of pride – she’s been raised as a soldier and in circumstances that have been only hinted that and has been accused of going soft so now she’s going on a spree to prove that she still has it. Typical and tropey as all hell but understandable. Ikoma is just impulsive I assume. But yeah, the most natural reaction would have been “fuck her, let’s keep going as planned” in both cases. Perhaps a bit less in the first occasion (when Mumei runs to the boiler room because in case of her failure that would have left another opening for the Kabane to swarm out of and flank them, so it may be his hand was forced a bit in that occasion. Still, he’s not exactly a Napoleon or an Hannibal on the battlefield.

  2. You don’t need to be a Napoleon in order to judge whether running after someone is more important than leaving all your friends to die(although that lever just dropping back down is something he couldn’t predict and really dumb too)

  3. Well, yeah, it was a euphemism. But it’s also pretty hard to watch someone fall and say “oh well let her be devoured by zombies, she kinda asked for it after all” (and I suspect he feels closer to Mumei than to most other people, being both Kabaneri he probably feels she can relate more and treat him more on equal footing than most). The rationalization in these cases would usually be something like “I’m sure I can help her and THEN come back and finish my job”. Of course it’s unrealistic, but it’s not out of character for someone who, like Ikoma, seems so deeply sick and tired of the “necessary sacrifices” rhetoric. After all, by all means, if he wasn’t the kind of guy to always look out for the third option he should have blown up his heart with one of those bags in episode one.

  4. I must concur with your statement. By this episode, it has already been established enough that Ikoma will not abandon a person because he’s a hopeless case. In that circumstance, no matter how volatile Mumei appears to be, she is still the force to be reckon with when it comes to defeating the kabane. He probably thought he could quickly rescue her and come back and finish the job. What he chose to do was ultimately for the worse but I don’t think it was illogical at all.

  5. P

    It’s funny that you mention Guilty Crown because I was thinking the exact same thing during this episode. I never was able to finish Guilty Crown, and if the similarities continue, I have my doubts about this show as well.

  6. C

    It’s hard to defend Mumei, but it’s clear she was raised by really fucked-up people. She’s a 12 year old edgy brat, but I much rather have that than some flawless mary sue the narrative tries to paint as a saint.

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