Anime Review

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond Episode 7 Review: Branchial Blues

It’s fishman Zed’s time to shine in this week’s heartwarming episode of Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond! Okay, I’m pulling your leg, kind of, but this week’s episode was full of feelgood moments courtesy of the loveable sweetheart, Zed. Of course, there were the usual epic anime battles and whatnot, but at it’s core… well, let’s dive into the review so you can see what I mean.

Japanese Original Episode Title: 鰓呼吸 ブルーズ

Plot

Zapp gets butthurt after finding out that Libra personally funds Zed’s breathing apparatus, so Zed does the noble thing and looks for a job to help alleviate costs. But, after a string of bad luck, Zed gets mugged, leaving it to Libra’s Angels,  Leo, Chain, and Zapp, to avenge their fallen comrade! Oh and there’s a New Year’s Eve party…

Episode Highlights

Every dog…er fish has it’s day: Behold another character-centric episode. This time around we get to hang with Zed the fishman! He’s a fish out of the water with a heart of gold, and while he’s a bit of a newcomer to the Libra family, he’s just as loveable, if not more so!

All time low, even for you: Zapp, the ever selfish yet loveable hothead, is at it again… this time it’s about money. When he finds out that a considerable amount of Libra’s funds go towards Zed’s breathing apparatus and not his wallet, he gets a little upset. So he goes on a self righteous tirade about how breathing apparatuses are crutches and that coddling Zed is unfair…. I mean it’s not like he needs the damn thing to breathe or anything… JEEZE! No, he’s being an ass, but he wouldn’t be Zapp if he didn’t do something like this at least once an episode.

Awww moment: Despite his appearance, Zed is a rather reserved character, so when Leo invites him to a New Year’s Eve party he doesn’t really seem all that enthusiastic about it… It isn’t until the Libra crew finds a flyer for the party taped to the outside of the tank that we realize he was really looking forward to hanging out with his new friends! The moment is made even sweeter when Leo takes it upon himself to make sure Zed attends the party no matter what!

I will avenge you: Leo is a saint! When Zed gets into trouble, he strikes out on a one-man crusade to avenge his fallen friend. I only mention this because this is the first time we really see Leo using his All Seeing Eyes of God without any prompting from someone else… Of course, he’s not the only one willing to go the extra mile for Zed. Chain and even Zapp lend a hand!

Part of your world: We get some insight into Zed’s past, and while it isn’t especially tragic, I did get some serious Little Mermaid vibes from it… A fishman stuck in a tank is given the opportunity to walk on land and experience the wonders of the surface world… yeah, practically the same story.

Themes & Trivia

Cold Open: Rather than giving us some arbitrary side conflict (i.e. random monster attack), the initial moments depict  fishman Zed clutching at his throat and gasping for air as two trenchcoat-wearing men walk off into the distance. What happened? Who are those fiends? And most important of all, what will be the fate of Zed?! You’ll just have to watch the rest of the episode to find out!

It’s not easy being greenZed is the only one of his kind, half fish, half man. He is a man of two worlds, yet belonging to neither. It’s rather lonely when you think about it. Maybe that’s why he’s such an unassuming guy.

I want those shoes: The main conflict of the episode is caused by the big bad’s obsession with headphones. She mistakes Zed’s breathing apparatus as a set of super exclusive high-powered headphones, so she has her goons take them…

No experience, no job: After accidentally hearing Zapp rage about how unfair it is that Libra funds Zed’s life support system, the ever-humble fishman attempts to get a job to balance out the costs of his breathing apparatus… only hitch is, he doesn’t have any prior working experience, and no forms of identification, so most reputable jobs turn him down…

Can’t you see I’m a badass?! So, Zapp… this guy has some big cojones. Not only does he walk up to the hideout of the guys that mugged Zed earlier in the episode, but he calmly asks the nice security man outside to kindly point him to the direction of the scumbags that hurt his friend. Meanwhile, Leo and Chain do their damndest to talk him out of doing anything rash… what follows is a one-man crusade against the offending party. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Zapp is wielding a flaming sword? I didn’t? Well, how silly of me…

Comments

Well, look what we have here, another non-Leo centric episode. This time around it’s Zed’s turn in the limelight! I will admit, I had my doubts about Zed when he was first introduced. He’s a quiet, unassuming guy, who just doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the weirdos in Libra. I mean, aside from his obvious fish-like appearance.  

This episode was a definite shift from some of the other episodes. It’s hard to describe, but it was softer than the others and that has a lot to do with the type of character Zed is. He’s not gungho like say, Zapp. There’s a subtle sensitivity to the guy that really permeates this episode. I found myself saying ‘awww” a lot and not just because Zed did something cute, but because the other Libra members really do care for one another, and yes that even includes Zapp. It’s nice to see that bond between comrades….

Reeling ‘em In!!

This was a solid episode. While it didn’t wow me like some of the others, it did have a rather sweet underlying message. Plus, it was nice to see the lengths to which Libra will go to protect their own. I definitely have a new appreciation for Zed and I hope to see more of him in the coming episodes!

What did you guys think of the episode? Did you enjoy learning more about Zed? Or do you miss the Leo-centric episodes? Got a burning question? Drop a line in the comments section!

I’ll see you guys next week with Episode 8 of Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond, but if you can’t wait, check out our other Fall 2017 anime reviews and offerings!!

NEXT TIME: Desperate Fight in Marco Zone, Part I (マクロの決死圏前編)

Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond

Fall 2017 | Anime Info Page

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