Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, not what I expected

I got this anime a couple of months ago and it has been sitting on my to watch list. I was in the mood for a short anime that I could watch in one sitting so I settled in to watch. I was not really sure what this was about but had heard good things about it so I had  high expectations for it hoping I would not be let down.

  • Genre: Action, Horror, Drama, Fantasy
  • Number of Episodes: 12
  • Duration to watch all episodes: +/- 4 Hours
  • Season: 1
  • Age restriction: 17 (violence & profanity)
  • Release date: April 2016
  • Animation Studio: Wit Studio
  • Japanese Title: Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
  • Kanji: 甲鉄城のカバネリ



Humanity lives in enclosures called stations to keep safe from the Kabane. Ikoma is a steam smith who has spent the past five years developing a gun that will be able to shoot through the tough cage protecting the Kabane heart. He has dedicated himself to this after the death of his sister during a Kabane attack. A kabana invasion suddenly happens presenting the chance for Ikoma to test his new gun on the real thing. Much to his delight his gun works, but at what cost? Now fighting for his survival with an unusual comrade on a train full of humans where most of them want to get rid of him and his new comrade. How will he come to terms with his new reality and regain the trust of the people on the train all the while fighting off the Kabane?

My Thoughts

I first saw the Kanane and instantly thought of zombies, which in truth is vlcsnap-2017-01-20-17h39m11s194what they are. Just so you know, I don’t usually have anything to do with zombies. They really give me the creeps! Also I looked at the stations and the whole progression of events and was instantly reminded of Attack on Titan. It also has the ‘I will kill them all; turns into one of them’ plot line. Not much of a spoiler, it happens in episode 1. From episode one you can completely get a sense of how the people live and how they struggle to survive. I really liked Ikoma. He has a strong stubborn streak and is relatively simple to understand with a strong sense of justice and a desire to both prove himself and save others. He has vowed vlcsnap-2017-01-20-17h22m27s129that he ‘will never run away’, which I take to mean he will not let people die if he can avoid it in any way. He would rather put himself in harm’s way. Mumei was a slightly different character to wrap my mind around. She had so many sides to her and it seems as if she has lost part of her humanity, which makes complete sense.I have a few issues though; they never clearly explain what a bushi is although it is mentioned quite a lot.vlcsnap-2017-01-20-17h23m40s86 I am assuming it is their ‘soldiers’.  Then here is a massive plot hole. I am not an expert on the human body, but I understand the basics of anatomy and how the blood system works. I also know how a virus moves in the blood stream. Basically the virus enters the blood stream and then gets pumped through the body. So keeping that in mind, I fail to see how a virus that is clearly spread through the blood is stopped by strangling one’s self. There are a lot of things in anime that I can look over, but for some reason that just gets under my skin and I cannot let it go.  Plus I am assuming that the blood flow carries on as normal after the ‘strangulisation’ to the brain. So why does removing the ribbon or collar suddenly release their full physical potential?

Plus why is Ikoma green? His hair even changes colour! I mean Mumei managed to keep her colouring both for her hair and skin. Yet Ikoma gets a distinct green tinge.   I also found it incredibly stupid how they had only one master key. If they lose that one key or it breaks then they are seriously screwed.

The art work is absolutely beautiful and incredibly detailed. The music in this is also pretty good. It suited what was happening and was subtle. The intro was also cool and I enjoyed the end song.  The characters development was good although there were some characters they could have done more for. The story pacing is done nicely with well timed ‘breaks’ which offer a nice reprieve from the fights and fast pace of the anime.

Overall, I hope we get a second season as I want to know what happens next and I want to see my three ships become cannon. Plus I want to see Ikoma fulfill his promise to Mumei. I would and have recommend this as a must watch, especially to those who enjoyed Attack on Titan and hope they can see past the similarities.

Have you watched this? Will you watch it? What did you think? I would love to know! Please tell me in the comments below!



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