Monday, 7 June 2010

Katanagatari - Episode 6

If there's one (rather obvious) moral to be taken from the previous episode of Katanagatari, it's "never trust a pirate" - A moral clearly unknown to Shichika and Togame, hence their finding themselves in the ridiculously cold Ezo region come the start of this sixth instalment.

Still, despite this not exactly being their intended destination, there's still luckily a sword nearby for them to add to their collection - Souto Kanazuchi, a blade which Togame knows little about but surmises must be some kind of twin-headed sword judging by its name. The Perfected Deviant Blade and its owner however are the least of their worries for now, as the cold and frostbite become their primary concern... a problem which eventually takes its toll on Shichika.

Thank goodness then for a passing Konayuki Itezora, who it later turns out is the only survivor of the Itezora clan after the rest of her village was wiped out by a recent avalanche. While this eleven year-old girl may be the villages weakest according to her, it doesn't mean that she's weak by any stretch - Indeed, she has enough strength to carry both Shichika and Togame around, and this strength also proves to be sufficient when it comes to wielding the incredibly heavy Souto Kanazuchi, which she retrieves from the ruins of her village.

Of course, as is the way of these things, Konayuki won't part with the sword without a fight, and despite her lack of fighting knowledge (indeed, perhaps because of her lack of knowledge) she dishes out Shichika's first ever defeat, and a broken bone into the bargain. Throw in the appearance of another Maniwa ninja in the form of Maniwa Kyouken, and it's fair to say that things aren't going just as planned for our intrepid duo, and even their eventual and inevitable victory only leads to what looks set to be more difficulties and heartache in the leg of their journey.

Even though Katanagatari's modus operandi has been well and truly set in stone by now, that still doesn't make it any less disappointing when it continually condenses some of its best bits into small periods of time so as to leave plenty of space for the huge swathes of dialogue which the series also employs. In all fairness, sometimes this dialogue is both necessary and entertaining (this time around in particular we see Shichika maturing notably, while Togame takes note of the changes in "her sword"), but it never has the sharp delivery or wit of Bakemonogatari to the point where it frequently flags itself as a poor relation to that particulay NisiOisiN outing.

Still, although this was a decidedly average offering which never really got either the mind or the pulse racing, what the next episode promises is juicy and delicious indeed, as Nanami (who else?) it brought back into the fray perhaps earlier than I was expecting. Whatever this episode might have been lacking, surely the next instalment can't be anything other than magnificent?

1 comment:

JW said...

I enjoyed this epi.

While I'm looking forward to the next episode, I don't expect any spectacular fight scenes.