It’s easy to take kids anime for granted, but compared with Western cartoons aimed at the same young viewers, the difference in conviction and themes is exceptional. Through out episode 6 of Kiba, several (old and young) characters die. It’s not gory, but the intent to kill is clear from the outset. There are no last minute resets, no brave super heroes to save the day; that’s not to say there aren’t characters with good intentions, but (as this episode suggests) sometimes good doesn’t always win out.
Frankly, I was really impressed with this episode. As cliche as Kiba has been up until now, I never expected to see the characters battle like they did here. It was shocking to see Noa envelope an entire town in flames, shocking to see old buddies like Kis and Gale impale each other with their swords.
Episode 7 promises a return to the dumb-luck of Zed and his boring face off with Dumas, but taken as their own separate story, both episode 5 and 6 represent an emotional and unpredictable high point for this series, where the ideology of short sighted adults collides with the untainted vision of youth. I’m in no doubt now that Noa will eventually turn bad and come to battle Zed, but with this kind of compelling back story, who could blame him for giving up on society?