Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Studio: Wit Studio
Source Material: Original
Plot: In the middle of an industrial revolution, a monster appears that cannot be defeated unless its heart, which is protected by a layer of iron, is pierced. By infecting humans with its bite, the monster can create aggressive and undead creatures known as Kabane. On the island Hinomoto, located in the fareast, people have built stations to shelter themselves from these creatures. Ikoma, a boy who lives in the Aragane station and helps to build Hayajiro, creates his own weapon called Tsuranukizutsu in order to defeat the creatures. One day, as he waits for an opportunity to use his weapon, he meets a girl named Mumei, who is excused from the mandatory Kabane inspection. During the night, Ikoma meets Mumei again as he sees Hayajiro going out of control. The staff on the locomotive has turned into the creatures. The station, now under attack by Kabane, is the opportunity Ikoma has been looking for.
Impression: When I first saw the trailer for Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress I was like ‘Hey! This looks awfully familiar! Isn’t this Attack on Titan?’ And I was right in thinking so. With a premise similar to AoT, made by the same studio as AoT and having the same director and sound director as AoT, you cannot but feel that undeniable AoT vibe from this show. So, naturally, I was skeptical. When I saw the first episode, I was a bit relieved.
Sure, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress has plot features taken from a few shows, but many shows do nowadays. I’m not going be an ass about it. As long as a show entertains me, I’ll give it credits for that. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress has succeeded to entertain me. The first episode ended with a bang. The story of the first episode is similar to the first episode of AoT. It establishes a picture of the current situation of humans and how humanity has been cornered and confined within boundaries. And when they thought they were safe this boundary is shattered and their worlds are thrown into chaos as their worst fears come true. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress does not mess around and from the very beginning it establishes that Ikoma, the main protagonist, has some sort of connection with these monsters known as Kabane. Which AoT took around 12/13 episodes.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress has some interesting characters. The main protagonist, Ikoma, has this urge to help human civilization but not in the traditional manner. While Eren’s hatred was directed towards the Titans, Ikoma’s hatred and disgust is directed towards humans who are losing their humanity and succumbing to fear. While Eren was driven by revenge, Ikoma’s ideals are far more complex. Mumei was another very interesting character. She’s indifferent towards her surroundings yet is intrigued by Ikoma’s ideals and not to mention she kicks ass!
The art and animation of the show is quite similar to that of AoT as well. Being animated by the same studio, it was bound to happen. But while the general animation, use of colors and that dark atmosphere was similar to AoT, the character designs, especially the main characters, were unique and different. With striking and sleek designs you could easily separate the main characters from a supporting ones just by looking. What seemed a bit underwhelming was the soundtracks of the show. They were not bad but did not stand out much either. The opening theme ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ by Egoist was pretty good though.
Overall this show was really good and gave us one of the better first episodes of the season. With a fast moving story and good set of characters, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress has definitely peeked my interest. The first episode was an 8.5 out of 10 for me.
Here is the promotional video for Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress:
Here are some screenshots from the first episode of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: