By: Denise Salazar
Tirelessly waiting for the return of Attack on Titan (“Shingeki no Kyojin” / SNK), the series that put anime back on the map? While there’s still no word on a second season as of yet, there is a new anime that will most definitely help to fill the void.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (“Kotetsoju no Kabaneri”) is a post-apocalyptic, steampunk-thriller series that will be sure to capture the attention of its viewers – especially of those who are already familiar with SNK.
The story involves a group of monsters called Kabane which infect and spread their kind to humans through their bites. The only way to defeat these zombie-like creatures is by destroying their glowing hearts. Unfortunately, humans have yet to develop the proper tools to defeat them and thus encage themselves within stations that are surrounded by tall fortresses. In order to receive food and supplies, a select few individuals travel around in locomotives to deliver them around. If you are an SNK fan, you might have already been able to recognize the striking parallels between the two plots. That is, in both universes humans are trapped like mice and stuck behind a wall, fearing for their lives from the unprovoked attacks by these monsters.
What else do these two shows have in common? The unlikely yet badass individuals ready to save the human race.
Ikoma, an engineer who helps work on the locomotives, is found developing an anti-Kabane weapon, or piercing gun, that he hopes can stab through their hearts and kill them. After being frustrated over his failed attempts, his weapon is put to the test when the Kabane invade the city. Similar to SNK’s Eren Jaeger, the two young men are strong in their resolve to fight and defeat these monsters. The two also share a special commonality with their identities and these monsters which, in Ikoma’s case, will be revealed towards the end of the first episode.
Mumei, the Mikasa Ackerman equivalent, is the badass female co-lead. While she appears to be a frail, little girl, she is the only one who knows how to fight and kill the Kabane. Not much information about her can be disclosed without getting into spoilers, but she can easily become a favourite to watch for the viewers.
Apart from these similarities which can be fun to pick apart and compare, the anime itself is thoroughly enjoyable. Only three episodes have been released so far, so it is relatively easy to catch up on. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the story unfolds as well as if it’ll become as popular as SNK!