REVIEW: ‘The Heike Story,’ Episode 5

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Heike Story Episode 5

The Heike Story is an adventure/drama anime inspired by a 12th-century epic story produced by Science SARU. With Shigemori’s untimely passing in the last episode, emotions run high as the grief at the passing of this benevolent man is felt by many. When the emperor attempts to use the absence of this key figure within the Heike to gain back some of his previously lost power, he will find the Heike are still strong enough to fight him in The Heike Story Episode 5.

Since he was first introduced, Shigemori was my favorite character in this series. Wise and patient, the man exemplified all the virtues his power-hungry father so clearly lacks. His influence in keeping that hunger for power in check was clearly shown when he threatened to make war on his father if he went through with a plan to seize the Emperor just two episodes ago. Now with his absence, the balance in the Heike appears to be shattered and what anyone can do to stop is a question it appears will only be answered with blood and steel.

As the narrative’s energy picks up, The Heike Story Episode 5 sees the political situation shift to become the primary focus of this story. It handles the numerous plot beats the episode delivers with an emotional flair that feels both passionate and reserved. The show does a great job of bringing its emotion to the viewer in somewhat more subtle ways than anime often presents powerful emotions. The sadness, rage, and hurt of the characters never feel shallow, but rather each feels like the characters struggle to conceal their moments of weakness from the camera.

While all the characters play their parts well, the scene-stealer in this episode has to be Tokuko. Being of the Heike and having just given birth to the Emperor’s son’s child, Tokuko is trapped within the greater machinations that turn around her. In the most emotional moment of The Heike Story Episode 5‘s narrative, Tokuko bares her feelings to Biwa. Her struggles with how her world is changing feel authentic and immediately sympathetic. Once more, it seems, it is the innocent that suffers the most.

The only significant failing to this episode is in just how much happens and how many people it involves. So many characters have moments in this story that it is sometimes hard to keep up with exactly who is doing what. This bountiful cast isn’t helped by how simply the art presents its characters. While I, on the whole, enjoy the art in this series, its simplicity can make keeping track of numerous individuals and places sometimes a bit challenging.

So when all is said and done, The Heike Story Episode 5 brings a complicated and busy story that achieves a lot, despite being marginally held back by the restraints of its art style. As the conflicts in this story grow, I look forward to seeing who the various characters I have grown to like will weather the storm.

The Heike Story Episode 5 is streaming on Funimation.


The Heike Story Episode 5
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

So when all is said and done, The Heike Story Episode 5 brings a complicated and busy story that achieves a lot, despite being marginally held back by the restraints of its art style. As the conflicts in this story grow, I look forward to seeing who the various characters I have grown to like will weather the storm.