Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Episodes 7+ 8: Why Are We Supposed To Care?

Review Episode 7:

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu has a problem. After 6 episodes, what they have is a mostly pretty show with some great fight sequences and some pretty good music with shallow characters and a plot that still hasn’t bothered to explain why any of the characters actually care about any of the things they are doing. To make matters worse, this week we get some really interesting visuals for the villain that for the most part don’t blend in with the rest of the show (a problem I had with some of the dragons in Zestiria as well) and don’t blend with each other. How the villain looks early in the episode to how it looks during the final fight sequence just isn’t the same.

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And yet, none of this is as bad as the fact that episode 7 focusses entirely on the First Unit. A group of swords we met kind of during the previous episode but we don’t actually care about them because they just got dropped into the story, we don’t really know who they are or how they work together or any of their motives, and yet they are plunged into a battle and the show acts like we are supposed to be caring about what happens to them. I was still trying to learn to care about the Second Unit and they are a lot more interesting than this group.

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Admittedly, if you are watching this show for the fights, the second half of this show brings a spectacular one, but it really isn’t enough. Both the characters and the plot of this show need some serious work if we are expected to take this seriously.

Review Episode 8:

Right, I am going to have to rewatch the end of this at some point. I actually seriously zoned out and other than some general angst all the swords seem to be having about the true meaning of protecting history and brooding captain of second unit trying to get over being broody, I kind of missed the rest (if anything) of what was going on.

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It doesn’t help that this episode jumps between the first unit feeding the poor and downtrodden as essentially a way to salve their conscious about the lives they couldn’t save, even knowing it is a mostly pointless gesture, and the second unit sitting around and talking. No fight sequences in a show that has really only been saved by the excellent action sequences means this is a seriously dull viewing experience, unless you happen to like cool visual effects on water in which case have fun with the pause button.

Touken8aThis one, much like Chronos Ruler, just seems to be doing everything possible to make me not care about it. I’d say I was going to drop it but at this stage of the season that is fairly unlikely regardless of how boring I’m finding it. Still, I dropped Interviews with Monster Girls late in the season for much the same reason, I just didn’t care.


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Karandi James.

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