REVIEW: ‘Noblesse’ Episode 5 – “A Friend’s Hand/Fight for…”

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Noblesse Episode 5

Noblesse Episode 5 delivers the fights that were promised last week, even if they didn’t quite hit the emotional notes that the show was trying for. Regis, Tashiro and Manabu have been kidnapped by the DA-5, in an attempt to get M-21 to talk. Noblesse is the Crunchyroll Original anime from Production I.G. It is based on the webtoon of the same name.

The majority of this episode consists of the battles. Shark “interrogates” Regis and the others in the beginning. M-21 is visibly torn because if he helps his newfound companions, he will not be able to track down the names of his fellow experimental humans from the Union. This doesn’t help his case with Regis, who still hasn’t figured out that M-21 was trying to protect them and Rai. It was a bit disappointing to see Tao sand on the sidelines gritting his teeth through the entire episode. He did just meet Manabu, but the show seemed to indicate a decent bond forming. It was a little surprising that Tao barely uttered a word this entire episode after all we saw last week. Takeo thankfully gets a few more lines. He tries to negotiate the release of Tashiro and Manabu, but to no avail. He also gets to reluctantly duke it out with Frankenstein.

Overall, there are some solid fights in Noblesse Episode 5. If you were waiting for action, this week is relatively satisfying. The animation is better for these than previous weeks. Frankenstein vs. Takeo utilizes deep purple coloring on top of a city building, which was a nice change of pace from the general grey tones. Regrettably, the fights don’t quite have the emotional impact that the show clearly wants. The found family aspect between all these characters has been too rushed. M-21 has exclusively butt heads with Regis, Seira has said maybe one paragraph, and Raizel hasn’t spoken in almost three episodes. The flashes of memory when they are all hanging out in the living room don’t quite have the impact desired either, because the show jumped from first meetings to friendships very fast.

The most interesting members of the DA-5, Tao and Takeo, are sidelined this episode in favor of one-note Shark and the leader, Crans. Crans is very stoic and barely beats out Seira for words spoken the last few weeks. Right now it feels as though he is there to be the next-level boss fight and not much else. The other unfortunate element that needs to be brought up each week is Hammer. The depiction of Hammer is dated and uncomfortable. It includes the fatphobic trope of him always eating. It also doesn’t help that he is the only dark-skinned character in the show, and is constantly shown eating fried chicken. Regardless of intentionality, the visual is there and needs to be addressed for the problematic depiction that it is. Hammer clearly thinks his way through fights, utilizing explosives and keeping Shark in check. Him being sidelined with uninspired, problematic character design is disappointing to say the least.

Noblesse Episode 5 delivers the fights viewers were hoping to see, but unfortunately, drops the ball on the more emotional parts set up last week in favor of rushed character arcs. Another cliffhanger means the battle isn’t over yet, but the show is consistently hindered by rushed relationships and problematic character depictions.

Noblesse is now streaming exclusively on Crunchyroll.


A Friend's Hand/Fight for...
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

Noblesse Episode 5 delivers the fights viewers were hoping to see, but unfortunately, drops the ball on the more emotional parts set up last week in favor of rushed character arcs. Another cliffhanger means the battle isn’t over yet, but the show is consistently hindered by rushed relationships and problematic character depictions.