I dedicate this post to Flower for recommending this series to me. If he haven’t stated that this series is supposed to be good, I wound’t even glance at it. Anyway, I’m dividing my review into several arcs. I believe that this would be the best way to go with this considering how large the series is (50 episodes).
And this review in particular will focus on episode 1 to 7.
The thing that sets this series apart from the start is this.
But, the Touda itself isn’t what set the series apart. Its the way the series used them. It would be quite easy to just show the Touda as a device, something to mop up the enemy army. Yet, Kemono doesn’t just do that. The author of the series managed to integrate the existence of Touda in the rich universe he/she was creating. From how they hatch, to what they eat, how they were taken care of, to the implication of their existence to society – the author beautifully presents them all.
Yes, if there is one thing Kemono does right. Its worldbuilding. The universe it was set is alive in ways that other series is not.
But, as awesome as that is. And it is awesome. I could go on a dissertation at the details the author put on the show and how it matched our existing scientific knowledge. (How plants could be identified by the most obscure features. *fangirl* Taxonomy of higher Plants, I absolutely love you.)
*Ehem* What truly got me was the relationship between the protagonist, Erin and her mother, Sayon.
And the fact that their relationship is healthy, relevant and completely adorable. Quite a rarity for anime which was more often than not filled with dysfunction junction.
Sayon was a wonderful mother. Stern when she should be, indulging and protective when necessary. Erin is a good daughter as well. She is bright, clever and eager to help her mother and learn about her work.
I wouldn’t mind watching a slice of life about their daily life. But, sadly things cannot stay that way.
You see, Sayo was a beastinarian and she was in charge of Kiba (powerful and more valuable version of Touda). But, one day, all the Kiba in her care died. It was suspected that they were poisoned.
And thus she was punished.
By being eaten alive by Touda.
…. Flat what.
I absolutely hate that village code right now.
I can understand how it came to be. As a village who specialize in breeding Touda who is considered quite valuable plus a great military asset that secures their nation. They can’t let the death of many Kiba go. They need that code to ensure that the handlers, put proper care into Touda.
I can even understand why Sayon is the natural suspect. Being a foreigner and a member of the Mist people.
Perhaps, its just my visceral reaction but I still think that code is stupid.
You see, if the village where Erin is, should be taken as a sample of an average village. Then, there is very few beastinarian. There is only two in Erin’s village and if the other one is an example of the competence of the average… Then, they’re going to lose people that has knowledge to look after the Touda. Because there are so many ways for them to die. Some like Erin’s mother may not even be their fault.
Huh.. come to think of it… this must be the reason why they have few beastinarian.
Anyway, with episode 7. The 1st arc or my first stopping point ends. Because, even without advanced knowledge of the next episodes, I can see Erin inadvertently changed by this experience. In the preceding episodes, its quite easy to see that Erin’s world revolved with her mother. And now she just lost her mother and in quite a brutal way. Being eaten alive is one of the worst ways to go. Ukk.
The opening song really hits home.
What will become of Erin after this? Will she still be compassionate to Touda even ? Will she go on a revenge filled quest? I don’t think she can return to her village right now as well.
Beside that. I believe that there is several plot threads that are being dangled.
Who is he?
Judging from the green eyes and green hair, probably one of the Mist people. One of Sayon’s friend who want to check on her?
There is also the two sons of the Duke. Why do I have a feeling that there will be a rivalry between them. Probably egged on by the yellow eyed yellow haired relative of the queen. Somehow I feel that person is bad news.