Hello! It’s Jennifer here, one of the many Saniwa doing their best to stop the Time Retrograde Army. We are halfway through the anime season and we are seeing a turning part in Katsugeki Touken Ranbu. Unlike the previous episodes, which took place in the past, we are now back in the Citadel in the year 2205. I am looking forward to seeing ufotable’s take on life in the Citadel.
Japanese Title: 本丸 (Honmaru)
The Second Unit is brought back to the Citadel after preventing the Time Retrograde Army from stopping the meeting between Katsu Kaishu and Saigo Takamori. Some of the members are a little worse for wear and Tonbokiri in particular is in critical condition. Izuminokami Kanesada seems to be brooding over what happened in Edo. Meanwhile, we finally see the inside of the Citadel, and get to meet more of the Touken Danshi!
Touken Danshi as far as the eye can see: For me, the most wonderful thing about this episode was the appearance of many Touken Danshi. Although a lot of Touken Danshi appeared in Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, the designs are slightly different in Katsugeki (i.e. more beautiful than cute). Another point to note is that in Hanamaru most of the characters were only seen in their Citadel outfits (you can think of them as their casual outfits), so for some of the characters it is the first time to see animated versions of them in their combat garb!
Foxes, foxes and more foxes: In this episode, we learned that Konnosuke is not the only fox at the Citadel! It seems that each unit is assigned it’s own pipe fox, and of course, they all love fried tofu. There is even a fox wearing glasses! I was particularly taken by the fox that whacked Tsurumaru across the face with a shinai. It also seems that there is also some tension between the foxes, and Konnosuke is determined to prove that the Second Unit is just as capable as the First.
The Saniwa’s Determination: In this episode, we got to see something that was very carefully avoided in Hanamaru, and that is the Saniwa’s room. Full of cogs, globes, and books, it reminds you that the Saniwa is here for business. His conversation with Mikazuki raises many questions, and I wonder just how much compassion he holds for the Touken Danshi. In addition, I was fascinated with how he repaired Tonbokiri, using his abilities to fix up both the Touken Danshi and the sword itself.
There were many new Touken Danshi making their appearance in Episode 6. As many of them only appear in the background, I won’t introduce them all. However, I’ll give you a heads up on the members of the First Unit for any of you who don’t play the game!
Yamambagiri Kunihiro: The newly-appointed captain of the First Unit. Mamba-chan was actually my first ever sword in the game! Made by the same swordsmith as Horikawa Kunihiro, this emo sword was actually made to be a replica of another sword called Yamambagiri. Although he is a beautiful sword in his own right, he has an inferiority complex over originally being modeled after something else, leading him to cover himself with a ragged cloth. He was very adorable in Hanamaru, but I am looking forward to him getting treated more seriously in Katsugeki.
Hizamaru: The tachi with pale green hair. He is said to have been forged as part of a competition, with Higekiri being forged at the same time. His hair color is probably an allusion to his current name in real life, Usa-Midori (‘pale green’).
Higekiri: Said to have been forged at the same time as Hizamaru, he is the one with the off-white hair. He and Hizamaru were not in Hanamaru, so this is the first time we get to see them moving!
Oodenta Mitsuyo: Also known as Ootenta, he is the tachi with dark hair and red eyes. He didn’t appear in Hanamaru, so this is the first time to see him animated. Like Mikazuki Munechika, he is one of the Tenka Goken, the five greatest swords of Japan.
Honebami Toshiro: The second of the Awataguchi brothers to be assigned to a Unit. You may have noticed that he has the same name, ‘Toshiro’, as Yagen. In fact, many of the Awataguchi brothers are tantou with the name Toshiro! (Honebami is one of only two Toshiro swords that are wakizashi) In fact, at the time of writing this review, there are 13 swords named Toshiro in the game!
Yagen Leg Watch
We were treated to a great shot of Yagen wrapping a bandage around his legs, showing off the underside of his thighs. Also, the shot of him walking to Tonbokiri’s room with the rest of the Second Unit was very lovely, but it seems his shorts are so short that I’m not sure how he is able to move in them, to be honest. I’m not complaining though.
Until our next mission
Due to the lack of action this episode, I can understand if some people found this episode a little boring. That’s fair enough, but to a fan who has been longing to see more of the Touken Danshi, such as myself, this episode was actually very exciting! Although many of the characters appeared in the anime Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, the character designs of Katsugeki are very different. Kogitsunemaru (the large, white-haired Touken Danshi gave snacks to Mikazuki), looked extremely beautiful compared to his cuter Hanamaru counterpart. We also got to see some swords who never appeared in Hanamaru.
I am hoping we can get back to the action next episode, and follow the First Unit as they go back to the Sengoku period. I’m rooting for you, Yamambagiri Kunihiro!