REVIEW: ‘Kemono Jihen,’ Episode 6 – “Awakening”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Kemono Jihen Episode 6

Shiki fans will have a lot to love in Kemono Jihen Episode 6 as the character has some of the strongest growth seen on the show so far. The anime production from Ajia-do (Ascendance of a Bookworm, Kakushigoto) and is based on the manga of the same name by Shō Aimoto. The series follows Kabane, a half-ghoul hanyo who resolves to help Kemonoist Inugami at his agency in return for tracking down his parents. Kabane slowly learns about the world of kemono that live among humans, and makes some friends along the way.

Last week, we met Mihate, a reclusive vampire who helps Inugami with technology at the agency. He is intrigued by the three young boys and tricks them into taking on a dangerous case for his own personal entertainment. The jury is still out on if Mihate is actually one of the good guys. Inugami tolerates him out of need, but the only “side” Mihate seems to be on is his own, no matter how he tries to pretend he is helping the kids grow. It isn’t unwelcome. Mihate definitely shakes things up at the agency. Although him putting Shiki in extreme danger because he is bored is definitely not winning him any favors with the audience.

Shiki, meanwhile, is terrified. Kemono Jihen Episode 6 reminds the audience that even though he is the eldest, it is only by a year. Shiki is still a fourteen-year-old boy. He assumes his separation from his mother as a young child is either because he was abandoned or a trauma he has subconsciously buried. This self-awareness is sad to see in such a young character and harkens back to the more emotionally tragic elements of the premiere. Shiki doesn’t want to seek out his mother because he is scared of what he might learn. All of his confidence is a front, and his friendship with Kabane and Akira really brings out the definition of bravery for Shiki. It doesn’t mean that he has to be the strongest.

Additionally, Kabane grows here too. Deprived of meaningful relationships his whole life, he is just starting to articulate his emotions. He is verbalizing things that seem obvious to viewers, but really emphasize just where he is at in his development. It is truly sad that he doesn’t care about his own well-being, but only those of his friends, and hopefully he will learn to value himself. It looks like his budding friendship with Kon might be just that. Another new character is introduced in the form of Nobimaru, the young kitsune boy who replaced Kon. He works for Inari, but it is difficult to tell where his allegiances lie.

The horror vibes are back in force this week. If you don’t like mosquitoes this will be a gnarly 20-minute watch. Once again, it is the use of sound and shadow that really work here, instead of big action sequences. Sure, arms are ripped off in Kemono Jihen Episode 6 but the really scary moments are when the enemy is just staring at the young boys, with only their yellow eyes illuminated in the darkness. When the anime really dives into building that atmospheric tension, it shines.

Kemono Jihen Episode 6 has a lot of emotional development for both Shiki and Kabane. Mihate and the new character Nobimaru both have obscure motivations and add a welcome gray area to shake things up in the plot. Since this episode is essentially the second part of last week, it provides a good conclusion that brings back elements from the premiere that made the anime stand out in the beginning.

Kemono Jihen is streaming now on Funimation.

Kemono Jihen Episode 6 - "Awakening"
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Kemono Jihen Episode 6 has a lot of emotional development for both Shiki and Kabane. Mihate and the new character Nobimaru both have obscure motivations and add a welcome gray area to shake things up in the plot. Since this episode is essentially the second part of last week, it provides a good conclusion that brings back elements from the premiere that made the anime stand out in the beginning.