From the same producers that made one of the most epic and greatest animes of all time, Shingeki No Kyojin (SnK) as well as another equally proportionately epic ‘clone’, Koutetsujou No Kabaneri (KnK) (okay you haters, this one might be debatable but I still think it is a pretty impressive anime series in its own right), comes the inevitable showdown of my versus blog in comparing both series. The hits and misses, the similarities and the differences. Are we ready to uncover it all before we become Titan/zombie bait? And also because I haven’t been doing one in such a long time so it gives me an excuse to come up with this entry. Sorry ;p.

Official English Title
Because weeabos still can’t understand Japanese.
SnK: Attack On Titan.
KnK: Iron Fortress Of Kabaneri.

The main character
Every show always needs a hero.
SnK: Eren Jaeger.
KnK: Ikoma.

The main heroine sidekick
Every show always needs a female lead too. Because feminism.
SnK: Mikasa Ackerman.
KnK: Mumei. Real name Hozumi.

The sidekick
You always need a friend and the third person for the third wheel.
SnK: Armin Arlert.
KnK: Takumi.

The group
Well… The rest of the pack.
SnK: Reiner Braun, Bertolt Hoover, Jean Kirschtein, Annie Leonhart, Sasha Blouse, Connie Springer, Krista Lenz, Marco Bott and Ymir.
KnK: Takumi, Ayame Yomogawa, Kurusu, Kibito, Yukina, Sukari, Kajika and Suzuki.

The monster antagonists
If natural disaster catastrophes can’t do the job to wipe out humans, these will.
SnK: Titans. Giant size.
KnK: Corpses. Adult human size. Either way, you’re both pretty much f*cked up when they start chomping down on you. Because there is no way you can run away from these fast mother*ckers.

What happens when you become their ‘victim’
SnK: You become something they can chew on, swallowed and then stay in their stomach for some time before being spit out because they have no digestive system.
KnK: You become infected and become one of them.

How to kill them
The only way to bring down these mother*ckers.
SnK: Cut a piece of slab behind their neck. Cutting anywhere else will have the Titan regenerating.
KnK: Pierce through their iron caged heart which is as hard as f*ck. Or you could just decapitate them. If you’re lucky to get that close.

Variant types
Different than the ordinary.
SnK: There is this Colossal Titan that is the biggest Titan ever. There are also Abnormal Titans that display higher intelligence and unpredictable actions.
KnK: Learners retain their fighting skills and are vastly dangerous. There is also Smog made out of many Corpses acting as a single giant organism.

Variant types (ally)
SnK: Titan Shifters are humans who can transform into Titans.
KnK: Demi-corpse AKA Kabaneri are Corpses who still retain their humanity.

Main human antagonist
Traitor of the same kind.
SnK: Annie. She crystallized herself in the end.
KnK: Biba Amatori. He was killed in the end.

Gated community
The place where humans cower and live inside under the fake pretence of security.
SnK: Thick walls that could reach as high as 50 metres. Human territory is divided into 3 main walls: Wall Maria, Wall Rose and Wall Sina.
KnK: Train stations acting as forts scattered throughout Japan and trains known as Iron Fortresses are the only means of transportation to commune from one station to another.

Strongest bastion
SnK: Districts behind Wall Sina are the safest such as Stohess district.
KnK: Kongoukaku is where the shogun lives.

Main character’s dead family
Seen them die right before their eyes.
SnK: Eren’s mother was devoured by a Titan.
KnK: Ikoma’s little sister was bitten by a Corpse.
Because of this, death to all Titans/Corpses!!!

Main heroine’s dead family
Apparently our main heroines too have this tragedy of having their parents dead before their eyes. Is feminism trying to match this sh*t?!
SnK: Mikasa’s parents were brutally murdered when kidnappers barged in to kidnap her.
KnK: Mumei’s mother died while trying to protect her from a crazy dude.

Main character’s physique
Apparently he is the only one among the crowd who can do this.
SnK: Eren can turn into a Titan by suffering some blood inflicted injury. He has no recollection of his memories in this form.
KnK: Well, Ikoma is pretty much a Kabaneri for almost the entire series. From time to time he will crave for blood to maintain his sanity. Also notice how at one point they lose an arm?

The other person who also has this feature
Because it is no fun when you are the only one in this state.
SnK: Annie.
KnK: Mumei.

Main character’s humiliating training
SnK: Eren joins the Training Corps and was on the verge of being expelled simply because he cannot handle the Three-dimensional Manoeuvre Device (3DMD). Luckily for him (and all of us) the equipment was faulty in the first place.
KnK: Ikoma lacks basic fighting skills so he got owned when Mumei offers to train him as he got his ass handed to him. Ironically with such little time and practice for ‘training’, Ikoma eventually turned into a decently skilled fighter.

Main character’s resurrection
They supposedly died and do a Jesus Christ and spring back to life. Somehow.
SnK: Eren was devoured by a Titan while trying to save Armin from being the Titan’s lunch. Apparently floating inside a Titan’s tummy evoked some sense of trauma because this guy then busted out angrier and went on a rampage in his new form.
KnK: He was already bitten by a Corpse and should have followed the protocol of dying and becoming a Corpse like anyone else. But nooooo. Apparently he tried choking himself to prevent the virus from reaching his brain and coupled with his iron will, that’s how he cheated death and was ‘reborn’.

Main character’s incarceration
SnK: Eren is imprisoned and being put on trial after everyone discovers he can turn into a Titan.
KnK: Ikoma is put in a cage to prevent further rebellion once Biba and his Hunters begin their final phase of their plan to bring ultimate freedom.

Main character and heroine’s relationship
SnK: Mikasa is just an overprotective b*tch over Eren.
KnK: Ikoma just wants to protect her and turn her back into a happy girl filling her stomach with rice. Ugh. Doesn’t that sound perverted?

Dead supporting character
Somebody has to die to stir up some emotional drama.
SnK: Marco.
KnK: Takumi.

First named character to die
SnK: Thomas Wagner.
KnK: Shimon.

Cocky dude
We also need to have an arrogant guy.
SnK: Jean.
KnK: Kurusu.

Muscle lady
Look at those muscles and abs!
SnK: Mikasa.
KnK: Yukina.

Stout guy
SnK: Reiner.
KnK: Kibito.

Joker character
SnK: Sasha, Connie, Oluo Bossard.
KnK: Takumi. Well, close enough.

Caring lady
SnK: Krista.
KnK: Kajika.

Weakest character
Almost. So much potential but yet…
SnK: Armin.
KnK: Ayame.

To defeat the enemy, one must know the enemy.
SnK: Hange Zoe keeps a couple of Titans in her lab and isn’t afraid to get near them.
KnK: Souei is part of Biba’s team keeping a horde of Corpses in their cage for experimentation.

SnK: Grisha injected some sort of drug that alters Eren’s memories and a power that would allow him to transform into a Titan later.
KnK: Biba injects serum into Horobi and then later Mumei to turn them into Smog.

Steam equipment
SnK: Each fighter is equipped with a 3DMD that allows them to ‘fly’ and have better mobility to fight Titans more effectively.
KnK: Mumei has this equipment behind her back when she goes to kick Corpses’ butt. I’m not sure about this equipment but does it have some sort of limiter that she has to finish kicking ass in a certain time limit? Ikoma also have something similar for his Piercing Cannon.

Elite squad
SnK: The Survey Corps. Some might argue the Military Police are better because they are the cream of the crop from the training. But personally Survey Corps are better because they kick ass and live on the edge of danger compared to those complacent bullies. Notable personalities under Survey Corps are Erwin Smith and Levi Rivaille.
KnK: The Hunters. An independent force under Biba that exterminates all Corpses. Notable personalities are Horobi, Sahari and Uryuu.

Mike Zacharias vs Sahari
Don’t they look the same?

The Yuuki Kaji factor
He voiced a character from both series.
SnK: Eren.
KnK: Takumi.

Number of episodes
SnK: In addition to the 25 episodes for the TV series, they also have 3 OVAs to complement that as well as the OVA spin-off No Regrets. Furthermore they have a chibi comical spin-off take, Chuugakkou. If that isn’t enough Titans for you, there is a second season coming.
KnK: Just 12 episodes for the TV series.

Movie retelling
Suspiciously, both also have movies which is a summary of what happened over the TV series. And they split it into 2 movies just to make it look longer.
SnK: Part 1 is Guren No Yumiya and part 2 is Jiyuu No Tsubasa.
KnK: Part 1 is Soushuuhen 1 and part 2 is Soushuuhen 2.

SnK clearly wins this one hands down although by no means that KnK is pretty much very bad. It is still great but when you start comparing to one of the greatest animes of all time, everything seems to fall short. That is one of the disadvantages when you size up the underdog against the favourites. Overwhelming odds stacked against you. Titans squashed Corpses? Well… It is no doubt that SnK fares pretty much better than KnK because it has more episodes to flesh out the characters and plot properly. I mean, there is only so much a dozen of television episodes can do justice to a series, right? Either way, both series would probably be the hardest “Would you rather” choice to make if you have to pick which world you would rather live in. Great steampunk fantasy world to watch but not to live in.

Koutetsujou No Kabaneri

December 4, 2016

It was perhaps a sad thing when the epic sequel to Shingeki No Kyojin got delayed for another year. So I thought Koutetsujou No Kabaneri would be the consolation and extra appetizer for us fans waiting. Because all you need to do is replace Titans with zombie corpses and those giant walls with steel trains. Voila! You get this anime! People are living behind walled villages and travel around the country ravaged by such zombies via those trains. Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? So I hope that it won’t be just a blatant rip-off by just changing some of the stuffs and calling it a new anime. Perhaps an anime that could stand side by side with Shingeki No Kyojin or surpass it? Who knows? It might work. Just as zombie corpses and steel trains sound silly, so are giant walls and Titans. Either way, humanity is always doomed. Ah, such tough times to live as humans.

Episode 1
As narrated, 20 years ago people sought refuge from zombies known as Corpses behind station walls. An Iron Fortress (train) is being attacked by Corpses. The people are trying to defend it when one of them gets beaten. To die with honour, he is forced to commit suicide before her turns into a Corpse. Ikoma is frustrated he yet again fails to created a weapon that will pierce through the Corpses’ heart. He along with his friend, Takumi is also part of a team of engineers who maintain Iron Fortresses that dock in the station. Lady Ayame of the Yomogawa family is here to see Ikoma since she knows his expertise in steam gun. But an Iron Fortress arrives earlier instead of tomorrow. As reported, a station fell so it is natural it has one less stop to make. The occupants go through thorough body inspection to see if they are not infected by Corpses. However a priest, Shimon and his petite girl companion, Mumei (literally means no name) skipped the inspection and instead are directed by Kenshou, Yomogawa’s head directly to his quarters. When an occupant is accused for being a Corpse and fears being persecuted, the guards begin aiming their rifles. Ikoma objects hard to make them stop but was beaten up instead. Everyone is shocked when hearts of Corpses fall out from his bag. Unfortunately the occupant is shot when he tries to run away. His death proves he wasn’t a Corpse. Ikoma chides everyone for being cowards. He claims he has been fighting as hard as them against Corpses but Kenshou has Kurusu knock him out and thrown into prison. Ayame is confused when Kenshou tells her about maintaining order as a knight’s duty.

Shimon talks to Kenshou that the duo are heading to Kongoukaku and need to get there on the next Iron Fortress. Mumei sneaks out to visit Ikoma to talk about his earlier actions. When a scheduled Iron Fortress is about to dock in the station, it is not slowing down. Obviously Corpses have taken over it. Too late, it smashes through the sentry. Corpses everywhere. Panic everywhere. Let the feasting begin! Ikoma knows Corpses are attracted to blood so he slices his hand as bait to lead them back to his home so he could test his weapon. But it attacks from the roof! Luckily he shoots in time and it pierces through its heart. Ikoma is ecstatic that his Piercing Cannon finally works. Then the bad news… He notices his arm bitten. Knowing he needs to make sure the virus doesn’t reach his brain, he starts wrapping iron belts around his body before finally, uhm, strangling himself?! With his steely determination he wasn’t the same person back then, the virus quickly dies down and his body returns to normal. Shimon and Mumei are on their way to the Iron Fortress. Shimon realizes he has been bitten. So before committing suicide, he tells her to continue the journey alone and await young master’s orders when she reaches Kongoukaku. A Corpse stands before Mumei. Is she going to fight bare handed? A roundhouse kick cuts off its head! But her bladed sandal is now stuck in the pillar…

Episode 2
When Takumi comes to get Ikoma, the friends are happy that the Piercing Cannon worked. But Takumi isn’t so happy to learn he was bitten… The people are getting restless about reaching the station. Ayame tells them to wait for her father’s signal but can they since Corpses are breathing down their neck? Mumei beats an impatient guy up when he tries to touch her. She wants to know who can pilot an Iron Fortress. Yukina can, although she is just an apprentice. Mumei will carve a way for the people to get there. Everyone watches in awe as Mumei slices and blasts the Corpses with her acrobatic parkour moves! Ikoma and Takumi are at the station and need to prove they are not Corpses to board. Ikoma is going to use his weapon on the incoming Corpses but Mumei took them out. Like child’s play, huh? She’s yawning! She smells Ikoma and notices he is different. Kurusu is suspicious Ikoma is a Corpse because that is the only way he would get out of prison. Mumei vouches he is not. Once everyone is onboard, Ayame gives the signal for the train to leave. Kurusu wants Mumei to help out with the manpower but it seems she has gone to sleep to recuperate. Better hurry because hordes of Corpses are now rushing over like as though it is Black Friday! When a Corpse is trying to break through, Ikoma uses this chance to show off his Piercing Cannon. He sure showed that zombie. But as he gloats, nobody is impressed. Oh look, he has a Corpse’s heart now. Even Takumi is afraid of him. With nobody believing him he is not a Corpse, Kurusu won’t take his chances anymore and shoots him out of the Iron Fortress.

A small Corpse horde is in the path of the Iron Fortress. Ayame is distraught that one of them is her father. Kurusu ‘brainwashes’ her he is not her father. Just a Corpse. The Iron Fortress rams through the horde. Squishy zombie meat? As the Iron Fortress reaches the drawbridge, it won’t lower since a severed Corpse’s hand is blocking the mechanism. What now? To everyone’s surprise, they see Ikoma fighting off the Corpses. Is it the case of Corpses fighting among each other? Ikoma lowers the drawbridge manually and hopes they all live. This is because he is going to have the last laugh in the afterlife as they will live the rest of their life with regret abandoning the man who saved them. Iron Fortress begins is acceleration. Takumi throws a rope for Ikoma to grab but he is not taking it. So he really wants to die and laugh at them? That is when Mumei jumps down to grab him back on board. So Takumi is not grateful he is saved? He is a Corpse now and supposed to die? Well, Kurusu is going to give him a chance to commit suicide. Man, is this what you want? But Mumei stops him and reveals Ikoma is not a Corpse. But he is not human either. She reveals her back as she has symptoms of a Corpse’s heart too. He is like her. They are Demi-corpse AKA Kabaneri.

Episode 3
Many would want to kill Mumei and Ikoma but Ayame doesn’t want to be hasty as they saved their lives. Mumei makes a deal with them that she will promise to stay in this rear coach if they take her to Kongoukaku, the shogun’s strongest station stronghold. Apparently Ikoma is still reeling he is a Corpse and wants to get off the train but Mumei beats the hell out of him. Later she makes a deal with Ikoma to become her shield. As she fights Corpses, she uses an immense amount of strength. She will soon grow tired and rest. That is when she is vulnerable and she wants him to guard her. So to start training him as her shield, she starts beating him up? Well, looks like Ikoma gets a beat down. Pathetic. Mumei rushes out to the next coach when she thinks she smells a Corpse. Kurusu thinks she wants to kill and will kill her fist. Mumei dares him. Sorry to break your standoff but a report comes in that the water tank is busted and they have to stop to make repairs. While it is being done, others prepare food as well as offer prayers to the departed. Mumei and Ikoma learn they are similar in the sense that their family was killed by Corpses years ago. Ikoma has a beautiful stone he found by the river and his sister had a matching one too. They kept it as charm. Five years ago, their station was attacked by Corpses. His sister was bitten. Ikoma naturally ran away even though he wanted so much to save her even if it means dying with her. When he returns, he was filled with regret but knew it was too late. His sister was gone. He destroys her body before she turns into a Corpse.

A few men are still wary of the Kabaneri duo. They want to take action to kill them now although Ayame stops them. Mumei dares them but soon pays no heed and walks off into the main crowd. Meanwhile the men are shocked that Ayame is dares to gamble with her life as she stands close to Ikoma. She then tests him by stabbing him and asks his resolve and to determine if they are their allies or foes. Shockingly or not, Ikoma does not bite her. Because he made a vow he will never run away just to save his own skin. Corpses are the enemy and he vows to kill every single one of them! Doesn’t this sound like Eren’s vow too? The men back down after Ayame dares them to check Ikoma themselves. Later she apologizes to him for the test but wonders why he took the stab directly. He just turned into this form and is worried he cannot control his strength. But all that bleeding must have weakened him as he passes out. Meanwhile Mumei plays with the kids and makes them laugh, putting everyone else at ease that she isn’t some hungry Corpse. But all that playing has made her hungry and she now needs to eat. Blood. Are you f*cking kidding me???!!! It is no surprised that everyone is just as startled. A pregnant woman has turned into a Corpse so I guess this is Mumei’s excuse to swiftly go kill her. As Ayame prepares the treatment, Ikoma gets up and feels the urge to bite her! Has he really turned into a zombie?

Episode 4
Just great. Corpses are sighted in the distance! Back onto the train! Kurusu hits Ikoma away. Although he regains his sanity, Kurusu thinks he is putting up an act. Iron Fortress manages to carry on its journey before the Corpses reach. With rumours spreading that the Kabaneri duo were the ones luring the Corpses, some of the men blame Ayame. She admits she is unfit to lead and gives away the master key, a sign of authority to one of them. They decide to switch the route to the mountains. Despite they will be prone to Corpse attack, it is the faster way to Kongoukaku. Some then throw Takumi, Sukari and Kajika back with the Kabaneri duo believing they are their supporters. With Mumei hinting she is hungry for blood, they soon realize those men are trying to disconnect their coach. The sooner the Iron Fortress enters the tunnel, a horde of Corpses jump in. Needless to say, a bloodbath is eminent. With innocent lives slaughtered and the remaining ones flee to the front. Among the Corpses is a Learner. This Corpse is dangerous as it has previous fighting skills which make it formidable in combat. This means this Learner can do samurai swordplay and avoid most attacks you throw at him. This massacre scene gives Ikoma the chills as it reminds him of his sister being killed.

Mumei and Ikoma plan to follow and take out the Learner as it is moving towards the front coach travelling via the roof. However there are many tunnels ahead and they must time their movements as well as take out other Corpses (cue for cool action sequences). However Mumei is getting tired sooner than expected so she warns Ikoma that he will have to fend himself for the time she is resting. As the Corpses attack the front coach where a bastion has been created, Kibito notices melee combat is noticeable. Remembering how the Kabaneri duo fought, he tells Kurusu to use his samurai sword to fight. It works like a charm till he faces off with the Learner in which he got stabbed. While he is being treated, Ikoma just arrived and screams he needs blood. He doesn’t care whose but will promise he will defeat this Learner. Instantly Ayame offers hers. She slits her hand for him to drink. That little drop is enough to power him up as he uses his Piercing Cannon to shoot through the Learner’s heart. Victory is theirs. As everyone cleans up the walls and floors of Iron Fortress, Ayame wrests back her authority and control. She decides to let the Kabaneri duo ride with them to Kongoukaku. If they need blood, she will offer hers. Kurusu is against it seeing her blood won’t be enough to satiate them. That is when some of them like Takumi, Sukari, Kibito and Yukina volunteer to give theirs if they are ever needed.

Episode 5
With Ikoma’s new innovation and a few adjustments, others can fight with the same mechanism that Pierce Cannon is using. As they stop at the next station, there is no reply and they believe Corpses must have overrun it. However they spot a few survivors and rescue them. One of the survivors, Enoku knows Mumei. He talks to her privately. Something about the shogunate creating weapons not to kill Corpses but humans. He wants Mumei to relay this to the young master but seeing that Enoku had some sort of fall out with her brother, she isn’t going to take him seriously. It sends shivers down her spine when he reminds her that her worth is only killing Corpses. Lose that and she will be tossed aside too. Because of that, Mumei starts acting strange. During Ikoma’s briefing to remove a tower wreckage blocking the Iron Fortress’ path, she calls them cowards for wanting to go around the boiler where it is the nest for Corpses instead of taking them on directly. Then her insensitive (but truthful) comment about a boy’s dead pet dog has everyone hurl insults against he. Alone again. The operation to remove the crane goes on smoothly till Ikoma spots Mumei trying to head to the boiler all by herself. Looks like the plan will be slightly delayed. Inside the boiler, Mumei fights the hordes of Corpses. She manages to finish them all in record time. But then more appear. Wait a minute. You mean she didn’t expect more?! Sh*t just hit the fan when they realize the dark shadows at the bottom of the tower are actually Corpses trying to climb their way up! So apparently Mumei’s attack was futile as it only provoked this. Thanks so much for the attention, Mumei. She thinks she can still handle this but for once Ikoma tells her to shut up as he hastens the plan. Everything is going on as planned and they are at the final stretch when Ikoma sees Mumei already tired fighting the Corpses. She takes a beating from one and is thrown down. This means Ikoma has to go save her but at the expense that the wreckage is still blocking the Iron Fortress! Yukina had to step on the brakes so as not to crash into it. Bad Mumei! When the entire tower collapses, Ikoma takes Mumei to hide in the mines. Then appears a giant Corpse from the ruins called Smog. Titan-level Corpse?

Episode 6
Smog is made out of many Corpses acting as a giant organism. Think of it as Transformers but Corpse level. Iron Fortress finds shelter inside the station and closes the iron gates before Smog could catch it. Ikoma is trying to dig Mumei out. Talking about guilt, blame and weakness… All that don’t really matter right now, right? Mumei panics when she thinks she is going to turn into a Corpse so Ikoma lets her drink some of the blood reserves he has. After calming down, he puts her rescue on hold since a horde of Corpses is in sight. Time to show his worth as a main character and kick ass. This brings back traumatic memories of her station overrun by Corpses. Everyone got so crazy that they even started suspecting humans and killing them. One of those unfortunate was Mumei’s mom. She was about to meet her same fate but somebody saved her in time. By the time she wakes up, Kibito and his team have come to rescue her. She is worried about Ikoma but apparently he is alive despite taking in all those bites. I guess it is one of those good things of being a Kabaneri. Getting back into Iron Fortress (which is now fitted with a super Type-48 Cannon after the engineers fused it with the boiler), they see Smog trying to become stronger by assimilating other Corpses into it. As explained by Mumei, the only way to defeat Smog is to destroy the single Corpse acting as its heart. Type-48 Cannon will not be enough to finish it off as there will be many Corpses protecting it. Instead, after blasting open the heart, Mumei will finish it with a point blank shot. Smog picks up speed but not the Iron Fortress. Yup, some damn Corpse part is stuck between the mechanism again. Sukari risks his life to take it out. One wrong move and he would be dead meat. Smog leaps onto Iron Fortress and causes havoc. After Sukari pulls it out, Iron Fortress speeds up. Takumi fires Type-48 Cannon before Mumei redeems herself and destroys the core. Iron Fortress runs full steam ahead out of the station.

Episode 7
They finally reach a station that is not overrun by Corpses! After docking, the engineers need to get more daita iron, source for the Pierce Cannon’s jet bullets. Might as well take this time to stock up on food and clothes too (Kajika the queen of haggling). Seeing that today is also Tanabata, I guess it is no harm in letting some steam off. A boy talks to Yukina and is waiting for his father to return from an Iron Fortress. She remembers that train smashed into the station and everyone onboard was Corpses. She didn’t want to tell him but Sukari tells the truth right in his face seeing it will be crueller to let him hope for a father who will never return. Although the boy doesn’t want to believe, Sukari gives him the will to fight on. Ayame sees some local ministers to get necessities in exchange for blueprints to Piercing Cannon. They are awed in Kurusu’s demonstration and agree. Meanwhile Enoku sees Kogenta who is representing the shogunate for this station. It seems there is some sort of power struggle and while some are not happy and want to be left out, I figure that isn’t going to happen. Ikoma talks to Mumei. She tells him she celebrated Tanabata with her mom before but forgot about it. She was called Hozumi before her ‘brother’ took her in. Because she always keep wondering every morning if she would still be her sane self or turn into a Corpse, Ikoma tells her not to fight Corpses again. He vows to find a way to change her back into a human. I don’t know if that is possible. So he is now like her mother, putting his foot down not wanting her to fight and just fill her stomach with rice like her mom always wanted? That night, everyone celebrates Tanabata with fireworks and putting up their wishes. Ikoma gives everyone great hope when he hopes to eradicate Corpses and take back their land. Next morning, everyone happily greets another incoming Iron Fortress. This one contains Hunters, an independent force under the shogunate created to specifically destroy Corpses. Leading them is Lord Biba Amatori, the shogun’s son and Mumei’s supposed brother. She is glad to see him. But not so for Ikoma… He has his suspicions and need to find out if he is a true hero or not. I hope he doesn’t rub it the wrong way like as though he is a jealous guy who will not have any other men in Mumei’s life.

Episode 8
Mumei introduces Biba to Ayame. She thought they were siblings but apparently not. Mumei just decided to call him her big brother. Then here comes Ikoma. He asks straight in his face if he was the one who taught Mumei about the weak must die and the strong lives. He puts it in a way that what he meant was he wants to save them. Because survival isn’t just merely about staying hidden but to stand up and fight against Corpses. Hordes of Corpses are coming. Seems this is all part of Kogenta’s plan to lure them as bait so the Hunters will go in action. And indeed we get to see them take down the Corpses with their sophisticated weapons and vehicles all from close range. Mumei wants to fight a mini hybrid so Biba allows her but has his subordinate, Horobi to assist. She too is a Kabaneri. At the end of the battle, Enoku confronts Biba. I believe he wants to get back under serving him but Biba tells him off he has no need of him. Enoku attacks but is no match for him. Biba considers him as a traitor and has lied to him. Without mercy, he stabs him. Ikoma is distraught he killed a man seeking help. Biba is puzzled he cared for a man he has no relation to. Takumi and Ayame had to restrain Ikoma and apologize on his behalf for his rudeness. Biba will have Ayame and co accompany his side to Kongoukaku. Later, Takumi talks to Ikoma about his outburst. It seems he is bothered that Mumei is a Kabaneri having never been bitten by a Corpse. This means she was turned into one. Shortly Kogenta and his men are all assassinated by the Hunters and only Hirotsuka is taken in.

Flashback shows Biba didn’t exactly help Mumei. He tossed her a sword and told her to be strong for her survival. She picked it up and killed her attacker. It was then he took her in and told her to cast away the name weak people usually called her because she doesn’t need it. Be strong move, move forward. And you know how such effect can brainwash a kid. Biba then orders Mumei to take the master key from Ayame. In the front compartment of the train, Biba is keeping a cage filled with Corpses. He interrogates Hirotsuka on whose orders his team was left for dead in the battlefield since his side was in charge of the supplies. Fearing for his life, Hirotsuka reveals it was the shogun. Ayame is surprised that Mumei is being pushy for her key. Yukina hears this and gives her a key to the boiler room. Mumei is surprised Biba tells her it is not. This shows they are not yet willing to trust them yet. With Ikoma sensing Corpses in the front, Biba tells Mumei to kill him if he enters. She tries to persuade him to go away. In the process, also revealing about the Corpses that Biba is keeping as for research. How else would you know the enemy? It is that same technology they turned her into a Kabaneri although she was the one who requested for it. Why? To be strong, silly! She still believes in Biba (that weak-strong thingy again) and will not rely on Ikoma. End of conversation. This convinces Ikoma that Biba is no hero. Because he saw him smiling when he killed Enoku. Well, he can add Hirotsuka to that list.

Episode 9
They are at the last station before Kongoukaku. But the guards only let everyone else except the Hunters in. Their Iron Fortress is parked outside the station. Ayame and co thought it is a good thing to separate everyone from those dangerous men. But she wished Mumei was with them. Ayame and Yukina go to see the lord of this station, Maeda. His subject warns him of Biba’s feud with the shogun but Maeda is optimistic that if it was true, Biba wouldn’t have fought Corpses for the shogun for over 10 years. Shortly, Biba, Horobi and Mumei also enter to see Maeda. Under pretence to go to toilet, Mumei knocks out the guards on her way to open the gate so the Iron Fortress could enter. But this is when she opened Pandora’s Box and did not expect to see what is coming. The Hunters are leading hordes of Corpses into the station! Panic and chaos ensue. With this signal, Biba kills Maeda and his men instantly. He then forces Ayame and Yukina back to his Iron Fortress to witness the experiment. Mumei is left feeling guilty the wake of destruction she has indirectly caused. The heartbreak of seeing a child being bitten and her mother painfully commits double suicide. The local guards think the Iron Fortress is here to save them but instead the Hunters shoot them all dead. This is retribution for 10 years of cowardice. Biba and Horobi have their last moment together before he injects a serum into her. Horobi turns into the core of Smog as she assimilates other Corpses to go on a gigantic rampage.

When Mumei confronts Biba about everything, he has her look at the carnage of dead people and Corpses preying on humans. This is the world of fairness and equality they’ve been striving for. Well, it looked like world destruction if you asked me. Horobi soon berserks out of control and becomes a real Corpse. There is supposed to be a cure but Souei the mad scientist deemed she is beyond saving. Kurusu barges in to save Ayame. In the confusion, she manages to get hold of the cure and threatens to toss it away. Souei pleads her not to do something dumb as it is very precious. As he tussles with Kurusu, they fall off the train. Horobi now attacks everyone indiscriminately, killing even her own allies. When she is moments away from killing Biba, the last ounce of her humanity has her stop right before his eyes. Then Biba just stabs through her heart like as though she is a worthless piece of sh*t. Sad. In the aftermath, everyone non-Hunters are rounded up. Those who are bitten are immediately exterminated. Biba then announces this is their freedom, their liberation from these cages. He asks everyone to join in his fight to destroy the walls they have built, the symbol of cowardice. This is where the strong lives and the weak dies. I’m sure Ikoma is brimming with anger but what can he do? He is beaten up and told to shut up because they are interested in his blood. Well Mumei, it is too late to think your brother has lied to you this entire time, eh?

Episode 10
On the way to Kongoukaku, Sukari has joined the Hunters and everyone doesn’t take too likely his betrayal. Ikoma is kept in a cage at the back. The other passengers are ordered to donate their blood when the time calls for it. Ayame talks to Biba about his great feat as a commander 10 years ago despite he was just 12 years old then. They set out to build stations and cleared the land of Corpses. One day supplies for them stopped and were obliterated when Corpses surrounded them. That is why he must deliver this punishment to his father with his own hands. Ikoma and the others plan their own liberation plan to take control of the engine room which is at the very front. Ikoma believes if they can seize it, Biba can’t do anything and will be forced to release Ayame and Mumei. You think so? He knows one of them have the keys to that room and their plan will begin during the next blood intake is held. He believes the blood is delivered to the Corpses and Biba plans to destroy Kongoukaku. Confused Mumei sees Biba. She doesn’t understand what is happening. Just a vague answer that he will assure the passengers’ safety if they behave is enough to make her happy and put her trust in him again. The uprising begins and goes on as planned. Takumi wants to beat up Sukari but Ikoma stops him. It seems Sukari is purposely playing the traitor. That is how he could relay information to Ikoma about the train layout and such. With word of the rebellion reaching Biba, he wants Mumei to take the serum. She is scared and unwilling so he threatens her that he will stop giving the cure. For once Mumei stands up for herself. She will not take it and wants to be with the passengers and eat rice with them every day. If that is her answer, Biba’s men restrain and tranquilize her. Ikoma and Takumi are just a carriage away from the engine room but the key doesn’t fit. Biba and his men pop up. He knew Ikoma was planning this and switched the key. Biba fires at him but Takumi uses his body to protect. Does Ikoma have time to cry his heart out? Well, if Biba is asking how he is feeling and depending on his answer he might let him join his army. You know his answer, right? But his anger doesn’t translate much as he gets beaten up and even loses his right arm. Then Biba orders Mumei (clearly hypnotized) to kill him. Without hesitation she stabs him. Capping off a bad day, he falls out of the carriage, down the cliff and into the river.

Episode 11
With Takumi dead, Kajika even dares the Hunters to just kill them all. I guess we have enough blood for today. Flashback shows the shogun slashed Biba but he didn’t blame himself. It was fear! Biba injects the serum into Mumei. The shogun addresses his subjects about Biba’s rebellion. When a subordinate mentions if he should tell everyone about Smog, upon knowing he is the only one who knows about this, the shogun kills him in front of everyone! Information to create needless fear is not needed! As expected, Ikoma is still alive but he is wallowing in regret and despair. He thought a Corpse is nearby but it is Kurusu and Souei (as his prisoner). Kurusu is mad after hearing all that has happened. It doesn’t get any better as Ikoma is still guilt ridden and can’t go on. Yeah, just stay here and die. The Iron Fortress is outside Kongoukaku. They are suspicious to let it in at first but when they heard it is from the people who captured the Hunters, they let them in. Of course it is all just a play as Ayame is forced to go along with Biba’s script. Using her connections with the higher ups, she claims she and the people rebelled and captured Biba. Ayame and Biba are brought before the shogun. He takes out an old knife belonging to Biba. Biba wants him to kill him with it if he has any mercy. The shogun felt a prick on his hand and a small drop of blood is spotted. That is when Biba tells the secret how he survived fighting Corpses all this time. He can detect Corpses. The biggest threat from Corpses is their ability to hide among people. He warns everyone to be wary of their surroundings or they’ll be the next victim.

When the shogun starts showing symptoms as a Corpse, the guards panic and shoot him dead. With Biba stoking the fire that there are Corpses hidden among them, everyone starts suspecting each other and before you know it, killing each other. Biba getting right back at the shogun. Don’t blame him. Blame fear! What a joke… Some of his Hunters kill the rail operators to open the gates. Then the Iron Fortress opens the cage with Corpses flooding the city. Feasting time. And Biba is just sitting on the throne like a boss. Kurusu is fixing the bike as Souei bugs him to hurry otherwise she will turn into Smog and become irreversible. Kurusu gets an idea as he talks to Ikoma about why he is still alive. If Mumei pierced his heart, he would have died, right? But apparently it took a lot of skill to miss it by inches. So she purposely saved him? Well, at least enough motivation to bring sulking boy back to help. After learning that Mumei needs the cure before she forever becomes Smog, time for a makeover. New hairstyle and Piercing Cannon attached to his arm. Let’s do this. Souei thought he wants the cure but actually the opposite. This might accelerate the virus and it doesn’t work on men but that is the power Ikoma needs. Time for a new power up badass look too? Mumei is in despair and regret. Just about the nice recipe to become Smog and all part of Biba’s ultimate plan for her to crush Kongoukaku.

Episode 12
Kongoukaku in chaos. Mumei still on a rampage and her guilt is fuelling it. Ikoma and Kurusu return to kick butt, slicing and blasting their way through Corpses. Yukina and co are imprisoned as the locals blame them for bringing this scourge. Ayame tells them to stop and even dares them to shoot at her. After telling everyone how they doubt their hearts and minds, they agree to listen to her and escape together. Heh. At least they’re not stubborn. With Ikoma’s return, Biba knows he is targeted. He tells his men to escape while he sets a date with a ‘dying man’, taking a long the last cure with him. And the much awaited last battle between Ikoma and Biba is here. Despite Biba stabbing into him, Ikoma is filled with rage and uses it as his raw brute force to turn the tables. Ikoma could have won had not he suddenly lose his senses (sight or sound, that is). Or maybe he lost his humanity and just stood there making him an easy target for Biba to sneak up on him. I’m not sure if Ikoma and Mumei had some telepathic communication because at the right time Ikoma turns around and blasts Biba at point blank. Well, at least Biba lost an arm. Ikoma then quickly climbs into Smog to inject the cure into Mumei. Smog disintegrates like liquid. When Mumei wakes up, she is disheartened to find unresponsive Ikoma before her. Is he dead? Then here comes angry Biba trying to pick a fight with a dead man. You mean it’s not over yet? It is then Mumei stabs her brother. She had wished he listened to her sometimes. Goodbye. As the rest ponder which routes to escape, the surviving Hunters want to escape with them in exchange for route information. Many do not trust them after what they have done but kind hearted Ayame gives them another chance. Ah, always the forgiving type. After learning Mumei’s side is still alive, Kajika announces from the speaker to come to the Iron Fortress. Kurusu carries Ikoma as they make a mad dash to reunite on the Iron Fortress. It leaves the crumbling city just in time. After all that shaking and yelling from Mumei, I think it is enough even to wake up the dead! That’s why Ikoma lives! Because he is the main character! Or rather something hints Biba injected him with the cure during the fight since his symptoms have gone down. Happy Mumei returns his dropped stone to him.

Only Human…
Despite many online reviews criticizing how bad this anime was, personally I find this anime to be satisfying. Of course by no means that it is a very great anime that it could be compared on par with Shingeki No Kyojin because that anime has skyrocketed anime standards so high that it is no longer sufficient to just fly to the moon if you want to get those same standards but hurtle outside the Solar System. Yeah… Many claimed it started out great but slowly descended into somewhat generic and predicable plotline towards the end. I agree that putting in the twist of Biba’s revenge instead of focusing on the real epidemic of Corpses put a damper on it overall. Because you know, we need to have a cool bad guy to shake things up. Well, I thought Shingeki No Kyojin was also pretty much something like this towards the end but then again, it all boils down whether you have started hating this series or not.

So I am not going to jump on this train and condemn it either because like I said despite not being the masterpiece that it should turn out to be, it isn’t all that bad either. I was not bored nor truly disappointed throughout the series so on that part you can say it is already an achievement by itself. You can also say that I kept my standards low and that I am a simpleton. That is why everything is decently awesome. But at this point in time I have come to realize that no anime is truly perfect and if you really want to nit-pick on something, you can do so on just about anything and everything. But I do find that this ‘lousy’ ending did increase my disappointment since you know the burning question inside me starts asking, “Where the hell are they going now?”. Assuming if Kongoukaku is the last stronghold, are there any others left? Are Ikoma and Mumei completely cured of their Kabaneri condition? So as long as main hero and heroine and a bunch of other ‘likeable’ side characters are alive and the main baddie dies, everything is okay. For such standards, that is.

So to start off, I can’t help feel that a lot of things seem to draw quite a bit of comparison to Shingeki No Kyojin. It is hard for me to separate this anime on being its own without the thought of linking it to that said anime. Like as though they took some concepts in Shingeki No Kyojin and then change it a little, put on a little cosmetic and then call it a new anime. However bear in mind that Koutetsujou No Kabaneri does not originate from any manga unlike Shingeki No Kyojin. This means this is an original TV anime and has no manga material to fall back on (although, it now has several manga adaptations and prequel stories after the TV ended its run). One may argue that these producers were so inspired by Shingeki No Kyojin that they took elements from it and placed it here. Well, you know what they say about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Erm, close enough. There are some that I read said that this series also ‘copied’ Tokyo Ghoul in terms of the virus infection. But since I didn’t see that horror series, I can’t do any comparisons.

Therefore other than replacing Titans with Corpses and giant walls with iron trains as aforementioned in my opening paragraph, we also have the main protagonist who also somewhat takes the form of the enemy they vow to kill. Every last one of them. While Eren could transform into a Titan, Ikoma is also a Corpse albeit more of Kabaneri but still a Corpse nonetheless. Notice how these guys have their family members killed by the menace many years ago? Eren saw his mom getting chomped and Ikoma… Well, you saw what happened to his sister. Then there is the strong female lead. Mumei might be the Mikasa of this series but she is certainly not her by a mile. And what do you know? The so called main antagonists are the humans themselves as they betray their own kind. Biba did it for revenge but Annie’s reasons were shrouded in mystery. And yes, supporting characters who die… Takumi is like the Marco of this series… Albeit the former meets his maker near the series’ end compared to the latter who bite the dust quite early. You kill Titans by slicing a portion at the back of their neck, which is a hard place to get. You could easily kill Corpses if not for their heart protected by very hard steel. Both creatures kill you using their mouth… There are quite a bit more I can compare so much so I can do a list of comparisons but I’ll reserve that for another day.

Now, the obvious reason why almost everything in this anime reminds me of Shingeki No Kyojin is because of the art style. The surrealism of the characters and the gloomy backgrounds to the steampunk action all wreak similar sensations to that Titan series. Don’t be surprised because they are animated by the same anime studio who did Shingeki No Kyojin too, Wit Studio. Albeit that series was in joint effort with Production I.G. Blending steampunk style technology with the feudal attire and setting seems like a unique combination at least from my perspective. Character designs look quite okay except maybe for one or two. Like Ayame whom I cannot stop thinking that she looks like Sakura Taisen’s Sakura. Sure, it is mainly her attire. But I almost fall into the trap of referring and calling her as Sakura. Same case for Kajika. I thought what the hell Love Live’s Kotori was doing in this series! Has she given up being an idol after Muse disbanded?! And then there is Mumei’s garb when she goes into battle. Although there is a vast difference, I can’t help think if she is an X-Men wannabe… Seriously. Oh, and Yukina. It was a surprise to see her muscular body beneath all those clothes. It’s like as though for that moment she took it off just to show us those abs and biceps. Kinda reminds you of Mikasa, no? A pretty face with a decently muscular body? Well, you need all that strength to operate an Iron Fortress.

Character wise, I think this is one reason why many feel disappointed in the series. Many viewers feel like they mostly fall into generic stereotypes. Well, for our generation who have watched so many movies and series, I am sure we are running out of ideas of what kind of heroes there needs to be. Goody-goody two shoes heroes feel like so yesterday while brooding heroes with ambiguous moral compass seems to be boring these days as the market is flooded with so many of such heroes that they are hardly exciting when a seemingly similar character pops up.

Like Ikoma who is no doubt the main character. He is not perfect and has his flaws too. Despite being a half corpse, he is still human like any others. Except the irony that humans may be even worse than Corpses themselves. So we see him as weakling in terms of fighting abilities (he only can protect himself if he is armed with his Piercing Cannon) and physically weak too. He also went through an emotional roller coaster ride as far as from witnessing his sister’s death to the injustice atrocities the authorities conduct on fellow innocent men and then having to put up with Mumei’s shocking betrayal (even if this wasn’t the case). It is enough to turn anyone into a zombie. And like generic heroes he has to be, he makes a comeback from his fall and defeats the baddie of the day. End of (same ol’) story. And was he trying to become Ash Williams of The Evil Dead when he attached his Piercing Cannon onto his severed arm?

Mumei is a confused girl. Sometimes I feel that she has twin personalities. She becomes a hardcore badass when she puts on her gear to fight Corpses but in her casual clothes, she feels like a vulnerable and simple girl. And then when she got those feelings confused during an episode that introduces Smog, she just screwed up everything that could have been just a simple escape plan. It made her feel annoying. But can you blame her after years of being ‘brainwashed’ by her ‘brother’? Ah, we can all dream of the simpler times when filling your belly with rice was ultimate bliss. Sometimes she also has that really ridiculous look for a badass kickass girl especially that time when she made funny faces to the little kids just to pacify them. Weird. Funnier too is this seemingly running joke in the initial episodes whereby Mumei tends to easily beat up Ikoma for his whining and stubbornness. Funny.

Then there is Biba whom many viewers feel that he is such a generic antagonist. Cool, strong and handsome mysterious guy leading an elite force with shady ambitions. Uh huh. Sometimes I feel he is like the Sephiroth of the series. Well, not that I know Sephiroth well either. So he has got this sick twisted thinking that is just revolting. So by liberating humans and letting them being devoured and becoming one with Corpses, this is his concept of freedom? Man, it is like saying to wipe out the AIDS epidemic once and for all, we should all just eradicate humans. Sickening, no? And this guy is worse than a woman because he holds his grudge for 10 years! 10 FREAKING YEARS!!! Where the hell and what the heck has he been doing for that period? Going around doing his job just to gain trust or at least let his enemies let their guard down? And you thought time heals all wounds, no? Not this guy.

Unfortunately the rest of the other supporting characters are just being minimal. Like Ayame who seems to be reduced to be a damsel in distress. Not that she needs saving whatsoever, though. I’m sure she needs to be strong and stand up to take her father’s place but from the looks of her diplomacy to protect her people, it isn’t working. So she went as far as to conspire with Biba in hopes of minimizing casualties but look at what mess Kongoukaku turned out. Even higher than before. For her, it is the case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Next, there is Yukina who starts off as an Iron Fortress’ driver to become Ayame’s escort of all sorts. Because who others can be of the same level as her? Mumei is out of her league and Kajika feels like the weak motherly or sisterly type. Then the rest are like, well, for Kurusu this guy seems to have this suspicious look for just about anything and you’d only remember him as Ayame’s sword and shield. Takumi is the main character’s best friend who seems to have it written all over his face that he was made for the role to die for his friend. And Sukari… What is this guy for again? There are many other minor supporting characters part of this Iron Fortress group but their roles are so minor that you noticed I didn’t even bother to name them.

If you are hoping for some sort of romance, don’t count on it. It might seem that Ikoma and Mumei might hit it off but it doesn’t get anywhere close. Just because they spend lots of time together doesn’t mean it would translate into something deeper. Besides, Mumei has this close resemblance to Ikoma’s dead sister so maybe that is where the fondness stems. Even in the final course of the series felt like because Mumei has realized the err of her ways and the only closest guy she could trust from now on is no other than Ikoma. That’s why she was so desperate in reviving him and so happy when he came back to life. Rice will taste better now, huh? So the closest to seemingly come in this department is Sukari and Yukina but that too is very vague. Noticed how this guy would do a lot of risky stuffs just for her? And the way he reacts whenever she gives him the cold shoulder? Hmm… I’m not too sure about Takumi and Kajika. These two, you ask?! Yeah well, I thought after Takumi died, Kajika was crying over his body, screaming to the Hunters not to touch a hair of it and then ‘talk’ to him as if to go home. Go home to his grave, that is! Oops. Sorry. I never knew she had it in him but it could be more of her sisterly nature to care for everyone on board.

Sadly, the plot never seemed to address the epidemic that caused people in Japan to turn into Corpses (although I heard there was a novel prequel subsequently released that told of the events prior). It would have been interesting to see some sort of back story of how this came about, how Japan screwed up big time (assuming it was their fault) to have the entire country turn into a sea of Corpses (assuming from the opening credits that the entire ‘glowing lights’ that is lighting up an entire dark Japan as viewed from a top-down perspective are the radiant hearts of Corpses). So it begs certain questions like if this catastrophe only confined to Japan or has it spread to other parts of the world. And although we have not seen them doing it here, can Corpses swim because otherwise wouldn’t it just be logical to make your stronghold surrounded by water or live kilometres away from land and at sea.

Action wise, there is enough to keep adrenaline junkies satisfied (I think) but if you are the kind that wince at the sight of blood and violence, you shouldn’t be watching this. Or even any other mild superhero movies. In almost every episode, there is guaranteed to be deaths whether it is the poor hapless civilians or some minor supporting character who is unlucky enough to make a few minutes of cameo before being killed off. It goes to show that nobody is safe when the country is overrun by these Corpses. It is nice to see Mumei’s acrobatic fighting skills, the satisfaction of seeing Ikoma pumping his power blast into the Corpses’ heart and Biba using a hybrid of gun and sword to fight. But you can’t really complain if you really want to see more variation than that. Well, it is not like you need a variety of special moves and combos to take out the Corpses, right?

Speaking of Corpses, it is hard for me to say whether or not they are more threatening than the Titans. It all depends. Because for Corpses, there are a hell lot more of them and they come in Hordes. Not to say that there much less Titan antagonists but in terms of numbers, Corpses would definitely outnumber Titans. Because they are just everywhere! Titans are fast too (some of them) but all of the Corpses are fast! They are not like your usual zombies who grunt and walk slowly towards you. It is really a panic attack when you see them rushing like as though this is some cross-country marathon race. Titans may be big but this does not make them clumsy. However Corpses being the same size as adult humans, this means they are harder to strike and have the capacity to be as agile as you. Yes, they kill you faster as they just need to sink their teeth into your skin unlike Titans who need to pick you up, open their mouths and then chomp you. Or they can just squash you flat. Furthermore, Corpses can infect you and turn you into one of them. Scary, right? Thus this is one of those tough cases whereby if you were to be asked the question would you rather, Titans or Corpses, you’d be thinking a hell lot and realizing this is just between the devil and the deep blue sea, a rock and a hard place.

Voice acting is pretty decent with Yuuki Kaji being one of the few alumni from the Shingeki No Kyojin series to lend their voices here. This time he isn’t the main character but as Takumi. The other seiyuu from Shingeki No Kyojin is Ryota Ohsaka who voices Sukari. Oddly, He was Marco’s voice. In the Titan anime, his character dies but now in this series, Yuuki Kaji’s character dies. Strange… The only other seiyuu from that series is Mariya Ise as Yukina who was Isabella in the No Regrets OVA. Due to lack of emotions of her character, I couldn’t recognize she was Fairy Tail’s Levi. The other surprising one was Mamoru Miyano as Biba. He was quite out of his usual boyish voice role that I am so familiar of that I would never have recognized him if I did not take the effort to look up who this dude was behind this character.

Casting newbies as the main lead feels reasonable as it somewhat brings a certain freshness to the voice acting. Like Tasuku Hatanaka as Ikoma (Ushio in Ushio & Tora) has that rawness feel in his voice while Sayaka Senbongi as Mumei (Cracker Griffon in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans) isn’t too shabby in her role. The rest of the seemingly veteran supporting casts are Maaya Uchida as Ayame (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Toshiki Masuda as Kurusu (Miyamura in Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches), Kanae Oki as Kajika (Jacqueline in Soul Eater), Kensuke Satou as Kibito (Nikolai in Hitsugi No Chaika) and Aya Endo as Horobi (Miyuki in Lucky Star).

I have a feeling that they try to replicate the opening theme which goes by the same name as the series to be as epic and grandeur as Shingeki No Kyojin. Sung by Egoist who is more famous for their work on the songs of the anime series Guilty Crown, it feels a bit like a messy piece. It’s like trying to infuse together their trademark singing with opera voices and strings but coming out as almost a train wreck. And then the chaotic action sequences in the opening credits animation filled with Corpses devouring, explosions, fire and frenzy Corpse killing feels like it is to distract you from the one-kind singing but instead it just enhances everything. At least the ending theme sounds slightly better. Ninelie although by Aimer x Chelly also has some roots with Egoist. At certain points of this slow rock, the voices kinda reminds of Enya’s songs. There is a special ending theme for the penultimate episode, Through My Blood <AM> by Aimer, another slow hard rock piece. Some of the BGM I feel also tries to make it sound epic like Shingeki No Kyojin with opera voices in it. And the insert songs of rock origins make the resemblance even closer and weirder.

Overall, this series is by far not a train wreck as many have claimed to be. I for one personally may not list this anime as my top 10 or even my top 20 but at least I am satisfied with this series for having ‘entertained’ me. That is in the general and broadest sense. I know it does not have the best plot, the best characters, the best action, the best visuals, the best soundtrack and a poor ending to boot with, but if you only live to watch Oscar winning films and nominees, you’ll never broaden your mind and watch others that missed the cut. Whether they are a gem or just dirt all depends entirely on your tastes and preferences. I might earn the wrath of others who hate this series because I’m giving a decent high score for it but it all boils down to you. Whether you agree with me or hate and blame me for recommending this piece of crap, make sure it is after you at least watch it. Don’t be a zombie and just take my word for it. After all, today’s world and technology have turned us into some sort of ‘zombie’. Corpses. The living dead. We stare at our mobiles for hours, amuse ourselves with various social media platforms all day long and watch YouTube videos for countless hours. Yup. A new form of mankind liberation and freedom is needed urgently here.

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