This week’s episode of Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond has a bit of a slice-of-life vibe going for it… yeah, imagine that. This time around we get to kick it with K.K., Libra’s gun-toting badass as she attempts to balance her work with her personal life. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but, prepare yourself for a lot of feels!
Japanese Original Episode Title: Bratatat Mom
When an important mission coincides with a parents’ day event at her son’s school, K.K. must find a way to balance her parental duties with her work obligations.
Priorities: The main conflict of the episode involves K.K. wanting to attend her son’s parents’ day event rather than participating in a super important Libra infiltration mission. Due to the nature of her job, K.K. has missed a number of her son’s school events, so she is determined to attend this one, even if it means putting her teammates at a disadvantage. K.K. has to decide whether her son’s happiness means more to her than the lives of her team, a fact that Steven brings up at their strategy meeting. It’s an oddly realistic moment for a series that usually throws logic and reason out the window, a working mom having to choose between her home life and work… sure, like most things in the Kekkai Sensen series it’s turned up to eleven, but the dilemma is a believable one.
Critical Hit: When K.K. informs her son that she won’t be able to attend the event, he berates his mom for once again letting him down. With each insult, K.K. reacts as if she has just been hit with a physical blow, there’s even a Hit Point counter that appears for the especially damaging verbal blows. There’s even a K.O. sequence…
Family Woman: We get an intimate look at K.K.’s home life, and it is pretty normal. She’s a wife and mother of two with a loving husband. It’s actually shocking just how normal her home life is as it doesn’t really fit in with the badass gunslinger persona we’ve come to expect from the character over the course of the series.
Themes & Trivia
I’m a mom first: With her team taking on heavy fire from an unknown assailant, K.K. is noticeably absent from the fray. And where is our gun-toting bombshell? At a parents’ day event with her son.
Is that a PlayStation controller? K.K. controls an automated robot machine gun with a controller that looks an awful lot like a PlayStation controller.
Doting mom: In this episode, we see a new side of the gun-happy sniper, K.K., when she isn’t out saving the city from supernatural threats, she’s just a dedicated mother and wife. In fact, she has such a normal home life, it’s hard to imagine her as a gun-toting badass.
My Mom/Dad is a Hero/Villain: K.K. isn’t the only parent moonlighting as a secret agent, the father of one of her son’s classmates is a member of the Blood Breeds.
Facebook: When Caroline and her father leave Hellsalem’s Lot, she and Kane keep in contact with one another through a Facebook-like social media site called Famebook. Ah, young love…
Well, I’ll be damned. This episode had me tearing up a bit and not for the reasons you might be expecting. In a welcome turn of events, this was actually one of the most human episodes to come out of the Kekkai Sensen series in a long time, and shockingly enough it’s a K.K. centric episode to boot.
Before this episode, I just thought K.K. was another hothead. Every time we see her, she’s either blowing something up or sniping folks from a far-off rooftop. Yet, here we see her as a loving and vulnerable mother and wife. It’s kind of hard to juxtapose the badass we’ve come to know and love with her mom-sona… but, it works. Of course, the episode is not without its usual action and violence, but for once it takes a back seat to the softer, emotional moments K.K. shares with her family, namely her youngest son Kane. For a moment I almost forgot I was watching an episode of Kekkai Sensen….
So, the final verdict: This was a welcome change from all the explosions and mayhem we’ve come to expect from the series, and as far as the character-centric episodes go, this one is by far my favorite. From start to finish, everything was just well executed and I really appreciated seeing a softer side of K.K.. She’s much more than Libra’s hit-woman. She is a wife, a mother, a human being. It’s hard to imagine these characters doing anything other than fighting monsters, but the reality is that they do have lives outside of their jobs and it’s nice to be reminded of that sometimes.
What did you guys think of the episode? Got a burning question? Drop a line in the comments section!