Episode 1 Rundown
Undead monsters known as “kabane” attack Aragane Station.
Ikoma is a young steamsmith living in Aragane Station.
Intent on using the Tsuranuki Zutsu, a weapon he has been developing in secret, Ikoma begins to run against the tidal wave of citizens attempting to flee.
He will fight for his past. He will fight for his pride.
A steampunk period-piece has just begun.
From the very first bloody scene it runs at an incredible pace, not letting you take your eyes off the unfolding action.
The two keywords in this anime appear to be “old-fashioned” and “passion.”
Haruhiko Mikimoto is in charge of character design, and the characters’ shading and coloring feel very analog. Their clothing and facial features are far from modern, looking more like something from the 80s and 90s.
This exquisite attention to detail in the design, and the passion in the various performances contributes to an atmosphere reminiscent of oldie-but-goodie anime titles.
It doesn’t have the “coolness” that many modern productions do. Instead it dares to bring back some old-fashioned ideas in anime. It does it spectacularly well, and surprisingly, that kind of old-fashioned-ness is quite refreshing in a modern anime.
The plot runs like a freight train, not giving the viewer time to breathe. The main character Ikoma also exudes something which reminds you of passionate anime titles. That intense passion which flows out of every part of this anime keeps you glued to the screen at all times.
The plot is unpredictable, and the main character is unusually hot-blooded. It’s passionate and hot enough to make you wonder if this is really a modern anime, but then again, paradoxically, it’s also really cool.
It is not shy in the least about being old-fashioned, and that design decision is so well implemented that one can’t do anything but praise it.
Kabaneri may be hot and passionate, but at least it doesn’t appear to ever leave the viewer behind. It is written in such a way that it’s always easy to understand what is happening, and it always raises expectations for what’s coming next.
Between the zombie-like Kabane, the era in which it’s set, and the steampunk world, it seems like this anime is geared at anime lovers from all over the world. These are old-fashioned things, but I think the reason they are present in this modern anime is because there was a certain amount of mad devotion poured into its creation. Right from the very beginning, we can see the cast and production team’s passion for this anime.
This return to origins, this revival of old anime principles, looks like it could have an effect on the entire anime world.
It’s almost mysterious and paradoxical that an anime could be so old-fashioned and yet so much cooler than its contemporaries.
There’s no way to tell what’s going to happen next in this story, so don’t take your eyes off of this series! A work worthy of attention is underway.