Anime Review

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond Episode 8 Review: Desperate Fight in Macro Zone, Part I

A microscopic doctor and his equally miniscule foe cause some rather large problems in Hellsalem’s Lot in this week’s episode of Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond! We take things down a notch in part one of this two-part story arc but don’t fret, there will be plenty of property damage to go around!! Grab your magnifying glasses and get ready for an episode of epic proportions!!

Japanese Original Episode Title:  マクロの決死圏前編

Plot

After Leo and a friend are mugged (again), they each encounter microscopic individuals who change their lives forever…

Episode Highlights

What about my feelings?!: In a hilarious turn of events, Leo manages to evade an attack from a rather aggressive assailant. But, rather than being impressed by the feat, the mugger, a burley otherworldly being, chews him out for not being hit with the attack. He goes on to demand that Leo takes his feelings into account, eliciting an apology from the victim of all people!

Even I have my limits: After being mugged and left lying in the street, Leo vows to not let the incident get him down. He even managed to stand up and strike an epic hero pose…. That is until an object from the sky collides with his head, knocking him down a peg, literally. The event causes the poor boy to postulate the odds of being mugged and then hit by a falling object within mere minutes of one another… the results a trillion-to-one, but that’s not the best part: when said object, a mini ship, rolls over to him and starts ‘talking’, Leo quite understandably freaks out. Wait till he sees the guy piloting the ship. It’s a case of I’ve seen some weird stuff in my day.

I’ll forgive the rent if you…: Okay, so this really hit close to home. Leo saves his landlady’s cat in exchange for her forgiving his late rent payments. Seems simple enough, but in traditional Kekkai Sensen fashion, Leo uses Sonic and the All Seeing Eyes of God to get the job done and it’s actually pretty epic.

Can’t see the forest for all the trees: Leo has a very narrow way of thinking -seeing as he is the weakest Libra member- in terms of brute strength… and intellect… and… Okay so he’s the weakest character in the show. He’s used to getting his ass kicked by folks bigger and better than him, so when a microscopic doctor tries to rope him into a world-changing battle against the forces of evil, our hapless hero is less than enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Cue pep talk!

A work of art: I’ve mentioned this in the past, but the backgrounds in this anime are top notch. Simply divine! There are just so many beautiful details and they’re just so crisp, you really feel like you are in the middle of an urban jungle! From the graffiti to the less than savory critters that go scuttling around dark alleyways, everything just looks fantastic!

Themes & Trivia

Danger Magnet: Not an episode goes by where Leo doesn’t find himself on the wrong side of something or another, usually one of the many criminals that reside in Hellsalem’s Lot. However, the most routine part of our hero’s day is his almost daily mugging… I mean seriously, Leo gets held up at least twice an episode to the point that he has to come up with anti-mugging tactics to protect his money.

The sky is falling!: In a plot twist a la Chicken Little, Leo is struck in the head by an object falling from the sky.

Hero opening monologue: Have you noticed that in just about every superhero show, the main hero has this epic monologue that plays at the start of every episode? Barry Allen recounts that he is the fastest man alive, Oliver Queen relents that he is the Green Arrow… These monologues play at the start of every episode, serving as a bit of exposition for new viewers. Well, the Kekkai Sensen series puts their own spin on this trope. In every episode (more or less), Leo will address his sister, Michella (ie. Hello, Michella) followed by whatever event he happens to be doing at that moment. In this week’s episode, it’s, ‘Hello Michella. How are you?/ As you can see your bro is currently being choked out…’ On second thought, it’s not quite as heroic as I thought… PLAY THE OPENING!

If only I were stronger/Give in to your anger: Leo’s friend Riel, a weak wisp of a man… er, creature, relents that he is too weak to be of much help to anyone. Like most weak characters, he wishes he was strong enough to protect himself and his friends… enter his fairy godmother… I mean, a pint-sized creature with the power to grant his wish. What could go wrong?

Comments

Righte, my thoughts… Well, honestly I wasn’t exactly sold on Riel from the beginning, perhaps if we’d been introduced to him earlier like, oh I don’t know, NEV, I might have been a bit more invested in his storyline. But, because I had no clue he even existed until this episode, I had a really hard time seeing him as anything more than any other ‘monster of the week’ after he undergoes his transformation. Maybe part two will do a better job of establishing Riel as a character, but as of right now, I’m still on the fence about him.

On the flip side, I do appreciate this new increasingly pessimistic Leo. He started off the series bright eyed and bushy tailed, always looking on the bright side of any situation and to an extent he is still rather optimistic, but with just a twinge of pessimism thrown in for extra measure. I really started noticing it after last week’s episode, but I feel like this change originates with the events that occurred at the end of Season 1… But, no matter, I appreciate the additional layer to Leo’s characterization, and I sincerely hope we explore it a bit more in the future.

You Gotta Think BIG… um SMALL!

Alright, my verdict… Well, this isn’t a bad episode and it certainly isn’t the worst episode in the series… yet… but, it just didn’t pack all that much of a punch. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments and more than a few laugh-out-loud moments, but as a whole, I was kind of underwhelmed. However, since this is only part one of a two-part story arc, I will refrain from judging this episode too harshly, that is, until I see how they wrap this bad boy up. So for now, let’s put a pin in this review…

What did you guys think of the episode? Got a burning question? Drop a line in the comments section!

I’ll see you guys next week with Episode 9 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 II (マクロの決死圏 後編)

Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond

Fall 2017 | Anime Info Page

Official Site: http://kekkaisensen.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kekkaisensen

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