Brave10 - 2 (Something to Fight For)
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Honestly, just by watching this episode one can sometimes forget that this isn't meant to be a shonen battle anime. This might have been an attempt to draw in a wider demograpic, so in a way one can't be too sure about whether this anime should be classed as seinen or shonen.
Just from the beginning when Saizo and Isanami are talking you get a feeling that the humour and their interaction in generall is very shonen. Quite nice for people like me who are used to watching mainly shonen works and have started to watch something more seinen. It's also always a great reminder that it isn't a shonen series when the enemy appears and brutally executes a villager!
As expected we get to see the arrival of a new ally and a couple of enemies. Of course the ally has to be a bodacious blonde by the name of Ana, who happens to be Saizo's childhood friend - though admittedly it was enjoyable to see Isanami's reaction to their reunion and her constant fear of Saizo "cheating" on her. We are also introduced to a short lived bodacious enemy, who gets defeated almost instantaneously by Sasuke but more importantly we get introduced to a powerful enemy; named Hattori Hanzo, probably because of the relevance to the story the anime was based on (wikipedia is down as I'm writing this so for all who don't know Hanzo was a famous ninja samurai belonging to the Iga clan).
The fighting in the episode was on the same level as the first episode's but lacked the same intensity. On that front I can't say that I was fond of Oukatsu (the bodacious enemy) being defeated by Sasuke so easily, leaving an emptiness in this episode which wasn't covered by the fight between Saizo and Hanzo. The latter fight was clearly a set up for a future battle, where after having trained, Saizo will return to take down Hanzo which is fine but the end of the fight where Saizo and Isanami are left lying on the ground after the exchange of blows was a let-down to say the least; I just can't believe the episode ended like that!
The biggest focus on the episode seemed to be Saizo's character development. As pointed out by Ana, he doesn't serve a master but it is her belief that should he find someone he wants to protect with his life on the line, he will truly become strong - a clich d way for his character development to proceed since everyone knows who he'll end up protecting with his life, made even more obvious by Isanami's constant clinging to Saizo.
This episode did fail to match the first one, but it was still fun to watch. What did you expect from a battle anime