So today I had to choose one of three episodes to watch. I could have gone with Studio BONES’ latest masterpiece Jyo-Oh-Sei, the utterly artistic new arc of Ayakashi or be content with the generic shounen delights of Kiba. If you’re reading this, you already know which episode I plumped for! I feel so dirty.
Zed hears about a joust contest and in his typically gung-oh style, decides to enter. It’s a competition that pits one shard caster against another in a gladiatorial arena, minus the death.
As if Kiba wasn’t already reminiscent of the tried and tested shounen action template, this episode sees us revisit the classic tournament format. Yawn indeed, but the thing about Kiba is that the story moves at such a brisk pace, so while this kind of set-up in Naruto would consume say 10 episodes, Zed and company remarkably battle it out in seconds. The episode ends on a cliffhanger with Zed about to unleash hell (in the final, of course) on camp pretty boy Robes and I must admit I’m looking forward to seeing how it all ends, both characters could use a good kicking.
Zed’s still an abject arsehole, but Kiba remains just good fun to watch. The soundtrack is attractive and dramatic, the landscapes are vast, bright and colourful and the animation is fluid enough to cover the action with a enough adrenaline. The story and general intelligence of writing continues to leave a lot to be desired; stuff is just happening with little or no prompting, but irregardless, you can’t underrate enjoyment; that’s the most important part.