Koutetsujou no Kabaneri | Worth Watching?
Kabaneri is a typical zombie apocalypse show, so it’s not entirely original. However I’ve yet to see a zombie show heavily involving trains, so that’s new, although it may be a bit of a comically stupid idea. I also noticed a decent amount of plot holes used as an excuse to have the kabane attack. Sometimes they just randomly appeared without anyone noticing their loud moaning or bulking masses in random places to randomly attack random people. Other times the kabane just simply broke through the giant walls protecting the cities and the armored trains that humanity probably spent many a year constructing like they were made out of paper. The amount of plot holes was honestly quite pathetic, maybe even more so then Kabaneri’s supporting cast, and that’s really saying something. Also, the anime rarely explored any plot points other than those revolving around surviving the kabane, which I felt left this anime with a lack of depth.
This anime has pretty adequate visuals all around. The characters are designed beautifully and there aren’t many inconsistencies with the art. My biggest problem is that the majority of the scenery is the inside of a train, which resulted in some very dull backgrounds. It turns out that the grey interior of a train makes for incredibly bland scenery.
The opening theme is done by Egoist and the ending by Aimer, two great artists in my opinion, so Kabaneri is obviously going to get high marks in this category. While neither song is the best by either performer, they are still very good and enjoyable to listen to. Also the soundtrack was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, the man who developed the background tracks for widely known anime like Attack on Titan and Guilty Crown. In my opinion he is a musical genius who has composed many superb pieces, and the soundtrack that he created for this anime is no exception.
Mumei singlehandedly saves this category. She’s a total badass who can also be very adorable. Mumei has her cute moments that bring a smile to my face. She also has her epic moments, like when she singlehandedly eliminates a large group of kabane, and is disappointed that she couldn’t do it in under 100 seconds. Mumei also has depth and experiences conflict throughout the show that helps her to develop as a person, though her gradual transformation admittedly isn’t always believable. Sadly, she’s the only character in this anime who’s like this, and the rest are as dull as the zombies that they fight. The other protagonist, Ikoma, is decent, but he’s nothing special. Ikoma doesn’t start off as a typical weak or uncertain protagonist.
From the beginning he shows signs of badassery. However after episode two, he just seems to run out of steam. In fact, I don’t think he develops at all as a character throughout the entirety of the anime. Most of the side characters are rather annoying since they rarely know how to properly deal with the kabane and constantly try to get rid of Ikoma and Mumei, two of the very few people in this show who actually manage to accomplish anything. You’d think that being on the verge of extinction would make the senses of these people keener, but instead it feels like some of these characters have the intelligence level of your average mindless zombie.
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