Ooooh, mysterious.

Summary:

Now that Jinbei is officially a member of the Insect Magistrate’s Office, he gets to fight off insects with the other members.  Problem is, he’s been forbidden to draw his sword by Kotori.  Why?  Because in the last year, all newcomers to the group haven’t lasted longer than ten days.  So this order is basically a way of side-lining him for his own safety.  Jinbei is angry at the order, but nonetheless complies with it.

Oh not THIS again…

You two are more similar than you’d like to admit…

Jinbei ends up getting paired with Hibachi as they go investigate a warning about some bugs.  The two started off on the wrong foot, but it seems they share a common interest: and that is their infatuation for Mugai.  Because of Jinbei’s interest, Hibachi ends up sharing a bit of her history with him.  She grew up in a ninja clan that was slowly disbanding.  There wasn’t a need for ninjas anymore, so most of her clan ended up turning to a more mundane life-style.  Hibachi was probably the only one left who still trained under her grandfather, the head of the clan.

Hibachi is such an adorable kid! Though how the hell is that pitch black thing a rice ball.

Sorry, just had to take one last cap of this.

Because of her skills, she ended up getting recruited by Kotori into the Insect Magistrate’s Office.  In her first battle against a demon dragonfly, Mugai saved her.  From then on, she’s wanted to become stronger, so she could be in league with Mugai.  Unfortunately, Hibachi’s and Jinbei’s fangirling/fanboying over Mugai is interrupted when they come face to face with a demon dragonfly themselves.  Although Hibachi is able to hold her own fairly well with her bombs, she ends up falling into a river and ruining them.  At this point, Jinbei comes to her aid, distracting the dragonfly long enough for Hibachi to kill with her ninja knife.

Hibachi is badass and I love her.

After this event, it seems the two teens have gotten just a little bit closer.  Just a little, though.

My Opinion:

Well, this series seems to be playing out like your typical shonen series so far.  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, and I’ve been looking for a shonen series to watch for a while.  Mushibugyou isn’t a perfect series, but it’s certainly entertaining, and that’s what counts.

The big issue that I have with this series that carried over from episode one is the pacing.  There’s just something that feels kind of off about how the episode progresses.  I think it’s just because so much of the episode is devoted to flashbacks and then SUDDENLY; FIGHTING SEQUENCE!  It’s just… jarring.  In episode one, it was slightly less of a problem as the flashback was shown throughout the episode with some action in-between.  In this episode, I kid you not, the action doesn’t happen until like five minutes before the episode ends.  While I love me some character back-story, I feel like this could have been done in a better way.  Flashbacks are fine in moderation.  When you start using them too much though, it starts becoming a problem.

This episode, the main focus is on the sole female member of the group, Hibachi.  This episode did a good job of making me like her.  And I have to admit, Hibachi’s fangirling along with Jinbei about Mugai was pretty cute.  Her back-story is less tragic than Jinbei’s, but it still has a slightly sad tone to it.

I think the thing I really liked about this episode was that, although she needed Jinbei’s help, Hibachi’s still shown to be able to hold her own fairly well.  So it’s not so much as the male hero rushing in to save the day, but rather a companion who’s lending a helping hand.  In past shonen series that I’ve read/seen, it seems that the girls of the group always needed saving no matter how “strong” they’ve been shown to be.  That’s been changing as of late and I’m really glad for it.  I also like the message of this episode.  Jinbei clearly states (to Hibachi) that their goal isn’t to get stronger and try to best each other, but instead to protect the people.  I know that’s clichéd as hell, but it’s nice to see the hero of our story having such a strong sense of justice and humility.

Overall, a decent episode.  It seems like the first few episodes of Mushibugyou are just going to essentially be character introductions as Koikawa is the next in line (based on next episode previews).  The animation is still very nice and slick, and I absolutely love the soundtrack for this series.  I still find all the fanservice a bit off-putting, but eh; what can you do?

I’m still 50/50 on whether I want to review this series in its entirety or not.  I guess I’ll just review this for however long I stay interested.  This isn’t going to be a huge priority for me, so my future reviews for Mushibugyou will probably be briefer than this.  Also, if I end up having to cut a series for lack of time, I’m definitely dropping this one first.

Anyway, out of five for this episode:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Uhh, sure…?

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