Kiba – 5 – Swings & Swords

At a time when Kiba was in real danger of drowning in the true depths of unsalvageable mediocrity, an episode like this comes along and suggests that the story may well have some mileage after all.
Tellingly this was an episode free of Zed; rather the story follows his bespecled old buddy Noa who also seems to be teleporting about the various lands of Kiba. He ends up in a country (Neotopia) governed by the iron fist of a militaristic government where young men are being conscripted into the army. Being as it is an honour to become a soldier, most kids end up willingly leaving, while (much to the obvious distaste of the passionate locals) others would rather stay.
This episode was surprising in the way it handled what would inevitably be a sticky situation; best friends torn apart by war, one wants to fight while the other just wants to have fun, their polar opposite choices inevitably lead to conflict and the way it’s presented here was surprisingly well done; it managed to capture both the innocence and subsequent corruption of idealistic kids. A much improved instalment of Kiba, though this arc’s ultimate success rests on it’s conclusion next week.

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