Note: This post may contain spoilers, so please be cautious!
What’s In This Post
In The Rebellious Limb, the 20th episode of BUBUKI/BURANKI: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy, Laetitia Nilgiri Swanson and her Buranki, Epimew, try desperately to justify Guy Barville Abeille’s faith in her by defeating Karoruko Kazuki in her Buranki Zampaza. Ryuuki senses an opportunity to cement his position with Guy Barville Abeille and goes after Azuma Kazuki and Oubu. However, Ryuuki finds that his limbs may not share his vision of the future. Reoko Banryū sleeps peacefully through the whole episode. Finally, Guy receives a surprise visitor.
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Laetitia and her Buranki Epimew battle Karoruko who’s in Zampaza. With Sōya Arabashiri’s adjustments to Zampaza, Karoruko’s able to defeat Epimew, but even after the Buranki’s defeated, Laetitia’s four limbs are so protective that they take on Zampaza on their own. Karoruko doesn’t have the stomach to crush them, so she and her friends retreat. As she leaves, Guy’s troops imprison Laetitia and her limbs.
Back at Akihito Tsuwabuki’s estate, Ryuuki and his Buranki Batalov continue the assault. Kogane Asabuki, Kinoa Ougi, and pink-rifle-toting Shizuru Taneomi learn the Bubuki power-up technique that Hiiragi Nono learned last episode. All four of them mount an effective attack to give them enough space to ask why Ryuuki still followed Guy. Ryuuki confesses that he intended to betray guy and become “King of the new world.” His limbs begin to rebel, but he uses the technique that Guy developed to force them to obey — placing huge strain on them. As their exhaustion forces a pause in the combat, our heroes attempt a retreat.
Epizo Evans and his team return to Guy. He throws a feast for them in an apparent show of magnanimity, but he soon reveals his true motives: he wants Epizo’s team to kill Oubu and Azuma, as well as destroy Shūsaku Matobai’s flying ship, the Argo Gaura. And for leverage, knowing Epizo’s feelings for Laetitia, Guy threatens to remove Laetitia as Epimew’s heart. This means she’ll never fly again and will forever be confined to a wheelchair — unless Epizo can fulfill his mission.
On board the flying ship Argo Gaura, our heroes prepare to welcome Azuma, Karoruko, Arabashiri, and Zetsubi Hazama. They almost dock when Ryuuki and his exhausted limbs attack. Azuma, now that’s back with his team, immediately forms Oubu, and they counter attack. At first, Ryuuki seems to have the upper hand with his ability to directly control the limbs. Then, sensing that Ryuuki’s method puts destructive pressure on his own limbs, Azuma invokes the same technique that his team had used earlier, and he disputes Ryuuki’s right to be a heart. Their renewed attack gives Ryuuki’s limbs a chance to assert themselves. Lakshmi rips the heart artifact from Ryuuki, and Batalov dissolves. They say they will no longer follow him and depart. Meanwhile, Matobai tells the team they’re going to fall back to Japan and regroup.
Guy receives a surprise visitor – Azuma and Karoruko’s mom, otherwise known as The Witch!
What I Liked
Karoruko’s learned tactics! She anticipated Laetitia’s attack and turned it against her. That fight sequence in general was a lot of fun to watch, and I’m glad to see Karoruko’s character growth continue this episode.
Asabuki’s reaction to Rightie-chan’s powered-up form made me laugh. The power’s intensity seemed to terrify her. While she was complaining about it, Rightie-chan pawed the dirt in a way that reminded me of an angry bull.
Shūsaku Matobai running interference for Asabuki, Ougi, Taneomi, and Nono using the flying ship was a welcome relief. Using Guy’s technique to compel his limbs to obey, Ryuuki gained a temporary advantage of greatly enhanced speed. Our heroes needed a save!
Sometimes, I think this show goes to an extreme with making its villains sympathetic. That being said, I liked seeing Moses‘ back story. Not only does it help me understand why he (and, by extension, the other limbs) are so serious about protecting Laetitia; it explains why the limbs didn’t back down from Karoruko. The drawback is that there’s really only one villain left: Guy (not sure Ryuuki’s substantial enough to be a full villain!). There are times I want to root against someone, and so far, I’m enjoying rooting against Guy. I hope the show doesn’t decide to make him a pseudo-good-guy, too!
I really think that Karoruko could have destroyed Laetitia’s Bubuki, but while she has no problem fighting flat-out against a Buranki, I think her sense of justice objected to fighting the handicapped limbs. I’m finding myself much more positively disposed against her since the revelations of the last episode.
I’ve grown fond of Buranki’s sense of humor. For example, as Epizo struggled to answer Guy’s question about why he was so concerned about Laetitia, Domina had to coach him. I think he did a great job taking her advice!
Speaking of Epizo, I have to give it to Guy for how subtly and completely he setup the Heart wielder. Though on the surface it might be flippant to say fooling Epizo’s easy, he’s actually more shrewd than he lets on. As evidence I offer this: Epizo was the one who taught Azuma to be an effective heart. I hated seeming Epizo so skillfully manipulated, but I have to applaud the scene from a dramatic perspective.
It was a long time coming, but Ryuuki’s limbs finally rebelled. I may or may not have cheered out loud when Lakshmi ripped the heart artifact away from their idiot “leader.” Of all the characters in the series, I’d like to know more about her. She has this mysterious and mature aura and I find fascinating.
So, now that Lakshmi and her friends have rebelled, I wonder if they’ll join with Karoruko? I think Azuma’s sister could certainly use the help, though she acquitted herself well against Epimew. And I think Lakshmi and friends want to have something meaningful to do.
Matobai continues to try to win Asabuki’s affections, and he continues to fail. This time, though, her fury wasn’t immediate. I think he might have a chance to start a friendship with her, and I think that would likely benefit both of them.
It felt a little affected, but I did laugh when Banryū’s old team turned on Matobai for not telling them about his wedding and the birth of his first child. Heck, they seemed hurt — especially Hazama, who seemed to think it was unfair that Matobai would find a spouse before she did.
What I Liked Less
We didn’t get to see how Guy react to Zetsubi Hazama fooling him by pretending to be Double de Vabres. That’s disappointing! I wanted to see how he handled such a betrayal.
Am I the only one who watches the ED over and over? Taneomi is such an interesting character, and seeing her sleeping self eventually leave the atmosphere and enter a lunar orbit is somehow appropriate for someone of her mystery and power.
Three things stood out for me this episode.
First, now that I have a better understanding of Karoruko, I can easily embrace her as a character. Between this episode and the last, I’d remember her saying to Azuma, “I was so lonely, Onii-chan!” And I’d reflect how terrible that must have been for her — terrible enough to generate a really annoying shell! I guess that’s the sign of good drama.
Second, we’re running out of bad guys! The show humanized Laetitia and her limbs, and there’s no way I can see Epizo as an enemy. In fact, there are only two characters left that I consider simply bad: Guy and Ryuuki. Guy presumably has hypnotic hooks set into Banryū, but he has few other allies otherwise. Ryuuki wants Guy to win just so he can put a knife in the man’s back. My guess is that Guy’s all to well aware of those plans. It’s going to be interesting to see how this turns out.
Third, Mama Kazuki’s back? So shooting down Treasure Island, making it crash, and making it sink into the sea isn’t much of a set back to her. Just who is she? And what’s she want with Guy? That was probably the highlight of the episode, though I have to admit the camera angle made her look like she’s cut her hair, and I didn’t immediately recognize her. The last we see of her, she’s smiling, apparently completely comfortable standing in the heart of her enemy’s domain.
What do you think of mom’s return? What do you think she plans to say to Guy? Feel free to share in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- Preview of Fall 2016, which includes BUBUKI/BURANKI
- Review of episode 13, Black Oubu, and episode 14, The False Heart
- Review of episode 15, The Right Hand’s Scar
- Review of episode 16: The Hunter’s Bullet
- Review of episode 17: The Island Fortress
- Review of episode 18: The Butterfly and the Gallows
- Review of episode 19: Older Brother and Younger Sister
- Review of episode 21: Swan Song
- Review of episode 22: The Comet Opens Its Eyes
- Review of episode 23: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy