As we approach the end of one wild ride, and the hype train slowly comes to a halt, our cast of good looking characters prepares for their final confrontation – and when I say good looking, I mean that in many ways. Everything looks nice in terms of the shading and design, sure, but everything is also ridiculously sexy this time around. It would appear that falling off a train and spending a few days in an unforgiving, post-apocalyptic wasteland makes you much more handsome. So with new looks and a new power, our hero goes off to his final fight.
What I enjoy about the anime it that is reveals a fundamental truth of storytelling we too often ignore – just do what feels fun. The over the top monologue about Butterfly’s is – well, over the top – and yet it is perfectly nice to watch. It looks gorgeous, and a little melodrama is never a bad thing. Also, while the characterization can be weak, the show almost works on account of this weakness. What I mean to say is, characterization is a small part of this experience, and therefore a small part of the show. We only get a single frame to show us the relationship between Biba and his father, but it works just fine.
The show simply exists to be, in not very literary terms, “metal as fuck.” Sure, this philosophy can come a hundred and eighty degrees and the show can wind up feeling cheesy, but that’s fine also. Sometimes I just want to embrace my inner twelve year old and see stuff explode and bleed. We shouldn’t just ignore a show because it can be a little dumb at times. Dumb is sometimes the smart decision.
For instance, how did Biba get out of his constraints, and did he really plan everything out with the dagger? What if the Shogun did not use the dagger? What if he did not show up at all? And as for Ikoma, what are the odds he meets the only two other characters wandering in a desolate wasteland? Well, who cares? The show does not even bother trying to explain any of that, and I respect that choice.
In short, I would identify Kabaneri as a stupid show, but not as a bad kind of stupid. It is a show full of stuff that is cool, and it works. Sometimes I feel television should be willing to go for overly dramatic or over the top sequences, simply because those types of scenes can work very well. Subtly is great, but sometimes a train full of zombies is better.
Episode eleven score: 7.9