Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 10

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Thinks are bad for the good guys: Ikoma is in prison, and Biba’s goons are harvesting blood from the Kotetsujou to feed the Kabane, and they’re not exactly being nice about it. Like Mumei, these are people who weren’t taught to think of the weak as people worthy of compassion, but in this case they’re more like livestock. It ain’t pretty.

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When I saw Biba alone in a car with Ayame, my skin crawled, because I knew he wouldn’t be honoring whatever deal he was striking with her. He only needs her until she can arrange an audience between him and his father the Shogun; after that all bets are off; that’s just how villains operate, and Biba is a pretty conventional villain.

He certainly has the look down, as well as the way he creepily wipes blood off Mumei’s cheek, after appeasing her with another promise he won’t keep: that the passengers of the Kotetsujou will not be harmed.

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That’s because a group of passengers are doing the one thing that will make Biba come down on them even harder: planning a revolt. Ikoma is the ringleader, taking note of the comings and goings of the key man. When the moment is right, he breaks out and the group strikes.

Sukari was portrayed early as someone who apparently betrayed his friends because he knew resistance was futile, but I had him pegged as a double agent pretty quickly, and that’s what it turns out he is, having helped slip intel to Ikoma, thus earning a measure of Takumi and Yukina’s forgiveness.

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When Biba gets word of the revolt, of course he makes Mumei choose to either take care of the disturbance—killing Ikoma and her friends in the process—or stop receiving the medication that’s keeping her virus from spreading and turning her into a full Kabane.

At the end of the day, this is Mumei’s most damning weakness: her utter dependence on her brother’s good side, which never really existed in the first place. He even lowered her dosage, anticipating her possible betrayal, so that she doesn’t have the strength to get away when she does bolt.

As for Ikoma, for some reason he thought the key man had all the keys, but he doesn’t; why would Biba make it so easy for Ikoma to get to the most important part of the train? Instead, Ikoma and his men block Ikoma, and when Ikoma refuses to join his fight (an offer most conventional villains usually give the protagonist), his guys open fire. Only Ikoma doesn’t get shot, because Takumi took the bullet.

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So yeah, RIP Takumi, who at least managed to repay Ikoma for his getting show earlier in the run. Naturally, Ikoma isn’t all that pleased his best mate has been murdered in front of him. Unfortunately, that’s not all he has to deal with on this particularly shitty day.

That’s because Biba brings in Mumei, only she’s not really his friend anymore; likely she’s been “re-programmed” with drugs from the mad scientist car. Without hesitation, she drives her dagger into Ikoma’s chest and lets him fall out of the train, off a cliff, and into the sea.

Now, don’t think Ikoma’s dead, and neither do you—he’s the frikkin’ main character, for crying out loud. So the question then becomes, how will he manage to survive, and how will he get back to where Ayame and Mumei are? Talk about a stacked deck…

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 10”

  1. There’s a translated article from an anime magazine explaining why Biba wants revenge in detail.
    He was the sacrificial pawn in a power play between 2 opposing government factions 10 yrs ago. The militarists wanted to wage war and destroy the kabane, while the moderates thought it dangerous and wanted to hide out in the fortresses. The shogun was part of the moderates, and to strengthen their cause he created a 400000 strong army squad to fight the kabane, with the intention of ensuring the squad would be killed by denying them necessary reinforcements to convince the militarists of the futility of their beliefs.
    12 yr old Biba was chosen as its commander. (Kurusu’s dad was part of that army.) The plan worked- everyone but Biba died, and the moderates were able to gain leverage. Biba was made a scapegoat and exiled to the Hunters. For 10 years he’s been investigating who betrayed him, and as of the current timeline he’s discovered the truth.

    1. Biba’s no better than the shogun. Both use others as tools without regard for their lives or happiness. Now he’s going to use the Kabane to raze the old world and build a new one; classic Generic Villain form.

      Biba would have been a better villain out of the gate had they bothered to include this kind of stuff before turning him into a monster in his first full episode. I just don’t have any empathy for him, particularly after he sacrificed Horobi.

      Put in GoT terms, he may as well be Ramsay Bolton. Dealt a rough hand early in life? Sure. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s an evil jerk.

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