Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – The Battle of Unato: Season 1, Episode 1 “Part 1” [Season Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Part 1 is a quick recap of who is who, and their relationships, as we prep for the epic battle to retake Unato!


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Mumei during a dream sequence.

Part 1 is a quick recap of who is who, and their relationships, as we prep for the epic battle to retake Unato!


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Araki Tetsurou
Writer(s) Ookouchi Ichirou
Air Date 09/2019

A Reminder Of Who Is Who| Mumei, Ikoma, Ayame, Kurusu

2016 is when the original series aired and, for some, that might be a crazy amount of time for a franchise to expect you to remember anything. Luckily, we get a nice crash course which jogs your memory. Mumei is a badass who lost her brother and is Kabaneri – which means she is half human and half Kabane, a type of zombie. Ikoma lost both of his sisters, and he too is a Kabaneri. Also, he tries to compensate for his inability to save his sisters by looking out for Mumei. Someone who doesn’t really need his help, but is always a bit shocked when she gets it.

Alongside them, there is Ayame, the leader of the Iron Fortress, who often speaks in political matters, alongside Kurusu, who has a crush on her and is a formidable soldier himself.

Commentary

Ikoma talking to Mumei.

While the episodes we covered of the show aren’t on the site, we were fans of the show back in 2016. It had beautifully stylized action, twists which didn’t feel like cheap shots, and during zombie fever, it felt different beyond taking place in a different era and some steampunk vibes. So while this is likely not the end, by a long shot, it is nice to see a continuation done 3 years later.

It’s Just A Little Crush | Mumei, Ikoma, Kajika

While Ikoma may see and treat Mumei like a little sister, that doesn’t mean she can’t develop a little crush. Mind you, Ikoma and her aren’t the same age, by a notable number of years, but considering the era and how death is a constant threat, let her be a teen girl with a crush. One which she tries to express through something she sewed, with the help of her best friend Kajika, but unfortunately Ikoma was busy with other matters.

Commentary

Let’s clarify, according to anidb, Mumei is 12, and Ikoma is 17, which is a creepy age difference. At least, in my mind. Yet, it isn’t like Ikoma is sending any sign or signal the feelings are reciprocated. As noted above, he likely sees her as a sister and considering how few, if any, treat Mumei as anything besides a Kabane murdering machine, you can understand why she may get confused by his care.

But, perhaps the bigger deal here, and what is one of Mumei’s original draws, is that she is allowed just as much to be this acrobatic killing machine and a girl on the cusp of her teens. Usually, it is one or the other, with the killer being the default and a huge effort made to bring said girl, or woman, into some form of normalcy. However, Mumei not being stripped of her humanity makes her a starkly different character. Thus, it increases your investment tenfold.

The Battle To Come | Ikoma, Ayame, Kuroji

Ikoma dealing with a headache and frustration.

One of the things Ikoma offers, which is often underestimated, is strategy. For while he is a strong fighter, he is far from the best. However, his plans have assisted the Iron Fortress on many occasions. But besides his youth, the other issue he has is with being Kabaneri comes prejudice, fear, and also him having a temper. One that the leader of Shinanon Kuroji army, Kuroji, doesn’t take well to, nor his peer who heads the Echigo Mogari army.

Thus Ayame has to try to use her diplomacy to apologize for Ikoma who doesn’t like being undermined. Yet, with no title, and his past victories undermined, he has no choice but to have Ayame speak as if she is his agent. If just so this delicate alliance can stay together.

Commentary

All I know is, considering how quick one of Kuroji’s men went for Ikoma’s neck, the chance of him being murdered in his sleep is high. That and with him being undermined, and him pointing out the Kabane in the area aren’t as mindless as others, it means we should expect a massacre. But what is really intriguing me is the idea the headaches Ikoma and Mumei are getting might be from the “rat nest,” as it is called, which might actually more so be a hive. One which calls to them both and may have the power to influence them. Similar to Biba’s power over Mumei in the first real season.

 

The Episode Gives You The Gist Of The Series And Presses Forward - 85%

85%


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