Koutetsujou no Kabaneri or Kanebari of the Iron Fortress.
A lot of people including myself joked about this show saying that it was an Attack on Titan rip off. It’s true that both shows are quite similar in some aspects but I’ll try to mention the name Attack On titan as little as possible.
That’s my personal challenge.
Anyway, let’s jump in!
10 years ago, people shot themselves from the rest of the world behind stations to protect themselves from some sort of zombies/corpses. The only way to travel between the stations is to use a big train called the “Iron Fortress”. We don’t really know anything about the corpses, they have a sort of shiny heart, they are infected people that transformed into corpses quickly after being bitten and seems to die if you make their heart explode. But I’m not sure… I don’t think I’ve heard anyone explaining how to kill a corpse in this episode, so I’m just guessing here. So those corpses are actually quite close to what we call zombies since there’s some “virus” that can be passed from one person to another. Because of that, survivors are “supposed” to be careful and doubtful towards other people. There’s lots of controls to see if people have been bitten and there’s no mercy for infected people, they have to commit some sort of suicide by detonating a bag of powder close to their heart. Everyone is quite paranoiac but that’s quite understandable since zombies aren’t the best thing ever if you want to live a peaceful life.
Meet Ikoma, the supposed hero of the show, who’s a corpse nerd and pissed off by everything that isn’t related to corpses or weapons. From what I understood, he’s been studying corpses and guns in order to create a brand new weapon to kill zombies by exploding their hearts. Why exploding their hearts might you ask… Well, I don’t know yet. Also, Ikoma has a particular vision of things and in my opinion he should chill a bit. He thinks that basically everyone is a coward, afraid of the corpses, that human kind has lost its “humanity” when they decided to protect themselves behind stations, away from the corpses. He seems to hate the samurais and wants to save the maximum people. But I actually don’t understand what he wants. He wants to stop people from suspecting everyone of being infected, wants the humanity to fight against the corpses but rejects it for not saving them and at the same time he’s creating a new weapon to fight the corpses and I’m like… Dude, what’s your point? Do you want to save the survivors? The corpses? What is the difference between your weapon and the basic weapon? Why didn’t you join the guard or something like that if you wanted to save people? Why do you hate samurais so much? There’s no cure yet right? So corpses can’t be saved right now… Just… People can’t save the corpses so don’t call them cowards because they want to kill infected people since ya know, they are going to turn into zombies…
I can understand his vision of the world, like ” humans should not lose they humanity by fear” and I agree with that, but man, that’s quite and idealized vision of the world. I’m not saying that I don’t like it, it’s interesting, I might be dumb but I-I sincerely, I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WANTS! GGGRRR I’TS DRIVING ME CRAZY! So let’s move on to the next character and I’ll come back to the Ikoma case later.
Then there’s Takumi, voiced by Yuki Kaiji. He’s the best friend of Ikoma who’s pretty generic. Based on this first episode he appears to me as the best friend, a bit useless, comic relief who do not really share the main protagonist’s idealistic point of view. So yeah, I don’t have much things to say about him, he ‘s generic to me.
Then there’s Mumei the moe bad ass girl. Well, I like her, she’s awesome. I like her more than protag-kun/Ikoma, and that’s something for me since I usually like my bishounens (even if I won’t say that Protag-Kun is a bishounen…). She seems to be part of some sort of sect or other religious organisation since she was with a priest but yeah, you can tell she knows a lot about all that corpse stuff. She also looks like she has a mission to accomplish or something like that and that makes her cool in my agenda.
There’s also Ayame a noble girl who was all “OMG Protag-kun is right” when he told her some philosophical stuff about the corpses. She also looks a bit useless but, you never know. I just hope she’s not going to be here just to be the princess, who shares the hero’s vision and supports him by trying to convince the nobles, her family or who the hell she wants, to do what the hero says. That would be pretty generic and therefore quite boring.
There’s other people but eh, we did not get enough information about them so I can’t really prononce myself.
In this world people seems to suck at survival. The stations are falling one after another being invaded by corpses and receiving no help from the other stations. Humans don’t trust each other anymore and are really, really paranoiac. At some point, a random naked dude suspected of being bitten starts running away and gets shot by the guards even if Ikoma was trying to protect him. I don’t know which one is the dumbest, the guards or the naked guy, who wasn’t bitten after all. Don’t act suspicious if you’re not. Plus, the hero was trying to protect you, god dammit! And the guards are like ” He wasn’t a corpse? Oh well, never mind, you can’t be right all the time, too bad for him”. Yeah, you piece of trash, you’re supposed to protect people, not to kill them. Just how stupid are you?
Human dumbness seems to be what’s going to cause human extinction in this show. It’s actually what causes the corpses’s invasion in the station where Ikoma, the hero, lives. Indeed, in the afternoon, a train arrives at the station early since one of the station where he was supposed to stop has fallen. So they stop the train, inspect everyone and stuff. But then, during the night, another train, which was expected, arrives too but they don’t stop it and let it in like “ Yolo, this one won’t probably have any zombies nor bitten people in it, come my friend, come into the station, I’ll open the gates for you”. But of course there’s some zombies on it and then there’s fire, dead people and so on… I don’t really understand why they left the train entering the station without checking it beforehand… BUT… YEAH… no wonder stations fall so easily…
So there’s zombies everywhere, we get some nice gory action and Ikoma thinks that now is the best time to try out his new weapon, because WHY NOT? It’s not like te world is on fire and everybody is dying right? Oh wait, it is.
But Ikoma is the Hero and Heroes don’t run away so he cut himself to attract a corpse into his house in order to shot him in the heart. But when he cuts himself, he doesn’t cut himself with the corner of an envelope… NO!
Ikoma is someone that likes to do things big, so he takes a huge knife (probably not sterilized) and freaking cut himself to bleed because corpses are attracted to blood. Why does he has to cut himself so badly to attract a corpse when there’s loads of corpses to chose from just next to his house? Eeeeh, don’t ask me.. I don’t know… So he manages to kill a corpse but he’s bitten! OH NO! WHAT A BUMBER! That’s what happens when you play with a corpse, those things are dangerous man. I bet your mom did not tell you, god dammit, kids nowadays, it’s always the parent’s fault. But anyway, Ikoma is infected and because he actually has some balls he tries to burn his wound, to stab it, to strangle himself and so on. He finally manages to make the virus disappears. Although this scene was quite intense, the end just left me… Wut? That’s it? How… Why… Did he… Is it because of the stone?… So It’s that easy? Why did no one ever thought of that? I mean, ok he’s the hero, ok he’s the only one wearing glasses but does this mean that he’s smarter than everyone here? Well, that actually might not be difficult considering the intelligence level of the guards here.
What caught my attention is the fact that corpses have proven to have a little conscience or at least to remember some gestures from their past life. When the train full of corpses arrives we see that some of them are actually operating the train. Then, during the attack, one of the corpses reproduces the pointing movement that a kid made, so those things let me think that corpses may have some sort of conscience. Which is why I can understand Ikoma’s concern about them and why he wants to save them, although I don’t know if he sees them as still human and if he actually want to save them? I’m not even sure… I DON’T KNOW! THIS IS CONFUSING!
The whole atmosphere is a lot gloomier and darker than I thought. The Opening theme fits the show I must say. It reminds me a lot of Shisha no Teikoku, a movie about corpses again, done by WIT Studio and which theme song was also made by EGOIST. Coincidence? I think not. But there’s no Skinny Ass in this show. Damn, I miss Skinny Ass a bit now..
The Animation is really cool and the sound too, so no complaints on this side. The corpse’s attack was nicely done, and the fights got me hyped to see more.
Ikoma is, I don’t know… I can’t really prononce myself, he certainly has a strong will power and seems to do all this shit because before he had a rough past but I’m like ” meh”, I don’t know… His vision of things is a bit too idealistic for me, so I hope someone will explain him that his ideals are cool and everything but reality is something else.
My main concern about this show is that it can be really generic. The whole plot isn’t something new since it has a lot of Shingeki no Kyojin vibes that even if I wanted to ignore them, I couldn’t help it, I just got those good old Shingeki’s vibes and that’s a good thing. It also reminded me a lot of The Walking Dead because zombies obviously, but also because people don’t really trust each other anymore. It’s almost like the real enemy isn’t the zombies but people’s inability of cooperating and trusting each other. Or because they are dumb as fuck… that can be another option too…
But yeah, so far the show seems quite generic to me, even if I’m interested in the “human don’t trust each other anymore” and “corpses are humans too” aspects, I fear that those themes won’t be developed enough.
Furthermore, so far, everything is quite Manichean. The hero wants to save everyone, the soldiers are heartless dicks who can’t think for themselves and the chief samurai/leader of the dummy town tells his daughter that their job is to make everyone follow the rules. I’ve seen those character tropes before and I’m getting quite tired of them.
Bu overall this was a cool start, I’m still confused about a lot of things but I’m sure they will explain things later. It was cool but not the best thing ever, so you won’t see me running around shouting “5/7 BEST ANIMU EVER!”
Anyway, I’m just hoping this show won’t turn into a …
Train wreckGOT IT?
BECAUSE THERE’S SOME MOTHER FREAKING TRAINS!
SO TRAIN WRECK!
Will I watch this ?: Yup
Will I review this?: Yup again
Attack on Titan comparaisons count: II .
I’m quite proud of myself on this one… I could have made a lot more comparaisons, I did not even mention Eren Jaeger even if I wanted to…
I just did it right?