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An Anime Review of 'Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: The Battle for Unato.'

Just yes.

By BoblobV2Published 4 years ago 3 min read
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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: Battle for Unato, is the feature film sequel to the series that premiered on Amazon Prime Video in 2016. The film was released in the spring of 2019, and is currently available to watch on Netflix. Kabaneri is a series that I have mixed feelings about. There are aspects of it that I really enjoy, the visuals are stunning, the production level is of such a standard that it looks fresh four years later. The soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano is so good I still listen to it. The characters have unique designs, unique abilities, and contrasting personalities which makes their interactions very interesting. It was the execution of the main villain, and the methods of which the action set pieces were initiated that I had a majority of my problems with.

The film is what I had hoped the show would continue to be. The characters that were introduced got meaningful character development, and have progressed in a believable manner. It places the crew in a position where conflict is inevitable, and the reasons why there is conflict is understandable. The goal of this film is quite simple, it is simply to fight the Kabane back to both repair the railroads, and retake the fallen city of Unato. This is a great piece of world building because it is showing the humans on the attack trying to retake the homes that they were forced to flee. It is a progression of the status of humanity that is great to see. The more time that has passed the more they understand the Kabane, and the more they are able to fight back in a meaningful way.

The fight scenes and the action set pieces in general are fantastic to watch, they have an energy to them, and the standard of animation is able to keep up with the dynamic movements. Mumei, in this regard, is fantastic. Even the villains of this film, while they do not have a lot of screen time, have enough development to make them understandable, and sympathetic. Beyond that they managed to convey a theme to the kabane themselves, and it is one that makes logical sense in the context of the universe that has been created.

Both Ikoma and Mumei have a lot more character work done to them, and I was able to relate to them more as the protagonists of the film, than I was ever able to in the series. Their chemistry is fantastic, their teamwork is believable, and the longer the film went on the more they were developed. They quickly shot up to being my favourite characters in the story, when they were simple characters I accepted in the show. There is a level of emotion to them in the film that was simply missing in the show.

This brings me to what I was not too pleased with. The film progressed at a breakneck speed. Things were happening one after another as if we were in the middle of a hundred metre dash. Having watched it, while the action set pieces were fantastic, and incredibly emotional this time around, the parts I remember the most are the instances when the characters are simply talking to each other and living life. In fact, this was the aspect of the series I loved the most too. Seeing them survive, and interacting with each other is fantastic, and that is a testament to the strength of the characters that were created. I would have gladly accepted this film to be half an hour longer if it meant that we got to see more of the characters, and progress at a more appropriate pace. However, that being said, at no point was I bored. In fact, I was so riveted, I was surprised at the amount of time that had passed, and that the film had in fact ended.

I was left very satisfied by the end of this film. I would go so far as to say that if this is the last piece of material that we get from the Kabaneri universe, I would be ok with it, as it ended in a note that was incredibly earnest, hopeful, and satisfying. The potential for more stories is open, and it can simultaneously be considered a conclusion. I really enjoyed this film, and if you are a fan of the original show in some capacity, I would recommend it. As stated earlier, it is available to watch on Netflix.

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About the Creator

BoblobV2

Writing about anime, and anything else I find interesting.

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