REVIEW: ‘Kemono Jihen’ Episode 7 – “Home”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kemono Jihen Episode 7 - But Why Tho?Kemono Jihen Episode 7 feels tonally similar to its premiere, diving into and confronting Shiki’s past trauma. It’s a hard watch. Kemono Jihen is an anime that follows half-ghoul Kabane. He joins Inugami’s agency to investigate kemono related incidents and hopefully track down his parents. The anime is from Ajia-do (Ascendance of a BookwormKakushigoto) and is based on the manga series of the same name by Shō Aimoto.

Someone please give Shiki a hug. After last week, Shiki has finally decided to confront his fears and track down his parents. While the anime has clear found family elements, it is essentially put into words this week. Shiki tells Inugami that the reason he wants to find out what happened to his family is that he is secure in the people he has in his life now. It is a heartwarming affirmation for viewers to see the most hard-headed of the three boys be the one to really open up this week.

Inugami takes the three boys to see Shiki’s uncle, who he lived with for a short time. Shiki is aware that he has repressed his memories of his mother. He has been afraid to find out why and written it off as his family abandoning him because it is easier. Kemono Jihen Episode 7 definitely adds layers to Shiki’s handling of trauma. It reminds viewers that he is only 14 and he definitely puts up a front for others. The animation also does an equally good job of distorting his face as he remembers what actually happened.

What actually happened to Shiki and his family is genuinely more awful than I could have imagined. It is not an easy watch. The show doesn’t necessarily feel gratuitous and doesn’t really show anything. However, what happened to Shiki’s mom is traumatic. It isn’t that bad things cannot happen to the women characters; however, it is frustrating given my previous concerns about the show to see Shiki’s mother given an unfair trade-off here. Yes, she is revealed to actually be a wonderful, caring mother, but in contrast, the abuse she suffered is legitimately terrible. Once again, this is difficult to break down without spoiling, but it is not an ideal twist here.

Aside from that, Kemono Jihen Episode 7 finally returns to the roots of its premiere aesthetic-wise. Suspenseful string music scores the background as Shiki retraces his steps. The use of color, sharp camera angles, and overall atmosphere add to the horrific tension better than any gore-filled image. In fact, it could be argued that Kemono Jihen Episode 7 hits so hard addressing Shiki’s trauma because it doesn’t just show everything for shock value.

Kemono Jihen Episode 7 is a high point for the show. It isn’t an easy watch, and will likely leave mixed feelings once again about what happens to the women on this show. However, it is a fantastic episode for young Shiki, addressing trauma in a layered and suspenseful way. The horror elements add to this, rather than take away or cheapen the emotions.

Kemono Jihen is streaming now on Funimation.

Kemono Jihen Episode 7
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Kemono Jihen Episode 7 is a high point for the show. It isn’t an easy watch, and will likely leave mixed feelings once again about what happens to the women on this show. However, it is a fantastic episode for young Shiki, addressing trauma in a layered and suspenseful way. The horror elements add to this, rather than take away or cheapen the emotions.