Before settling in, Kathleen wants to see that Sensui and Kenroku are as strong as they claim to be. Luckily, she’s a black belt in kendo and not just a pretty face. How will she fare against a samurai known as the Slayer of Thousands?
Kathleen showed Sensui and Kenroku around the camp and took them to a small dojo where she intended to test Sensui to see if they were indeed strong enough to protect them from the Gibia. Despite Kenroku’s objections, Sensui agreed. Kathleen, a black belt in kendo, charged forward and was almost instantly disarmed. She was delighted. With that test out of the way, she spruced up their appearances given Sensui some fancy leather bicep straps and Kenroku blue hair.
After a brief meeting with Kathleen’s mother so that Sensui could get his injury looked at, the power went out, plunging the camp into darkness and just as Maeda returned with his samurai sword for Sensui. The Gibia attacked massacring the people in the camp. Maeda was carried away by a flying Gibia, but Sensui managed to grab hold and once he had a sword the table quickly turned. Sensui and Kenroku managed to fight off the Gibia, but much of the camp was destroyed and many lives were lost. In the morning light, Maeda asked Sensui to kill him before he turned into a Gibia.
What did you think?
This was much more along the lines of what I was expecting with this series. Action, action, action. I will admit that several scenes left me grinning from ear to ear, partially from the sheer ridiculousness of them, but also because this is one of my guilty pleasures. With the exposition-heavy first episode out of the way, we got to focus on Sensui and Kenroku doing what they do best. I also enjoyed the idea that Kathleen was pretty much mocking all the older action style shows with her fashion adjustments for Sensui and Kenroku. This was a pretty entertaining episode, but there is one glaring flaw that I really need to talk about.
Any guesses? That’s right, the CGI Gibia. With this series appearing to take a direction from the classic animation of the nineties, the abhorrent CGI animation stands out even more. There is something that annoys me even more and that’s the designs of the Gibia. They just look stupid. One species has the body of a giant scorpion with gecko feet and a gecko head. This is anime! You don’t have to look far to find some great examples of excellent body horror monster transformations. Take Devil-man, Monster-City, or The Guyver for example. The Gibia could be amazing, but instead, we’re stuck with awkward CGI and terrible looking monsters.
What have you learnt?
This series is absolutely one of my guilty pleasures which means it can get away with quite a bit before I’ll get too annoyed. If only they’d taken a little more time and effort with the Gibia then this would be a lot of fun. We still had some excellent moments like when Sensui got his sword and pretty much turned into a demon, and not to mention Kenroku and the cables or the grenades. Kathleen being a bit of a badass was a surprise although she then quickly reverted back to the damsel in distress. I do feel like this series is a homage to the older action series and is even prepared to make fun of them too. I do have high hopes for the rest of the series, but they will always be tempered by the CGI Gibia.