Kabaneri Fluffbit – Trading Watch

Ikoma started, blinking away a daze as Kibito stood, gently setting his borrowed youngster back on the deck. “I need to trade off watches,” the bushi declared. “You kids look after our steamsmith for me.”

“Right!”

“I do not need looking after,” Ikoma muttered.

Oh great, there went Kajika’s folded arms of disbelief, echoed by at least four mini-terrors and Mumei. What’d he done to deserve this-?

It was the silence of the vibration that caught his attention. The Koutetsujou was too massive to shudder when it was still, even if a howling windstorm had been bearing down. But he knew steel was moving, ever so slightly, as someone or something climbed the stairs.

Someone, Ikoma told himself, trying not to reach for a gun that wasn’t there. Kabane aren’t that graceful. And I’d have felt them.

Kurusu climbed over the edge of the top hatch, silent as a shadow.

Kajika started, then breathed a sigh of relief. “Lady Ayame?”

“Most of the rites are done. Kibito can guard her for the rest.”

Ikoma watched that bushi deadpan, and wondered when Kurusu had become so easy to read. “Couldn’t stand them anymore?”

A twitch of indigo eyes told him he was right. “The lines are drawn harder than they were for us, even in Aragane.” Kurusu sat on steel beside them, sword propped at his shoulder. “Bushi. Steamsmith. Townsman. Those from Kongokaku….”

“They’re being silly,” Kajika said firmly. “If maintaining your guns doesn’t damage a bushi’s honor, how can maintaining a Hayajiro do worse? You need that to fight, too!”

“Brother said they were stupid.” Mumei reddened. “I mean….”

“It takes time.” Kurusu’s glance was level, serious as if he addressed one of his bushi. “When you find out part of what you always knew was wrong.”

Not an apology, Ikoma thought, oddly warmed anyway as Mumei relaxed. You can’t know what you don’t know. Not until you have proof.

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10 thoughts on “Kabaneri Fluffbit – Trading Watch

  1. This is where Kabaneri not being something I have first hand knowledge of and the inherent incompleteness of snippets are a trivial issue.

    I roughly know who Ikoma, Mumei, and Ayame are. We have three characters whose names start with K. Kajika seems to be a kid herder, but Kibito and Kurusu are not yet obviously distinct to me as characters. Anime can lean on visual design to distinguish character, and in most of the Japanese scripts Kajika, Kibito and Kurusu should be fairly distinct. It is only in English language fanfic that ‘foreign name starting with K’ is potentially confusing.

    I am confident it won’t be a problem in the full version, and it is not really a problem here. I felt like saying more than thanks for once.

    This stuff has been introducing character and situation fairly well, and I’ve been enjoying it. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Makes one want to watch the thing, doesn’t it?

      I’ve watched more good anime because of good fanfic than by any other means of introduction. ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Kajika is another of the steam-smith/mechanics (with a train this size, you need a lot of them). Most of her scenes involve working with the civilians/refugees on the Koutetsujou. Aside from that, she’s shown to be a rather sharp bargainer and constantly has a group of kids in toe that she had more or less adopted (they managed to escape on the train, their parents didn’t).

      Kurusu is the Bushi that acts as Ayame’s bodyguard (while having feelings towards his charge) and is overall military commander of the Koutetsujou’s defenders from what I can tell. He had issues with the steam-smiths and Kabaneri at the start of the series (makes sense considering the era and situation) but he’s relaxed on that over time (and as shown in these fluff snippets). Finally he’s good enough in melee (and has the reinforced sword) to win against the Kabane in close-quarters.*

      Kibito is another Bushi who is more or less Kurusu’s second in command. He’s shown to be quite level-headed and never seems to care much about the various societal divides, treating pretty much everyone on the Koutetsujou (even the Kabaneri) with respect right from the start. In battle he’s general back directing the men while his boss is running around carving up/piercing Kabane hearts.

      *The reason this tactic is so rare in-universe is because the only way to kill a Kabane is damage it’s heart sufficiently. And said organ is protected by a mesh/cage of iron that is about a centimeter in thickness.

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      1. According to show background info, Kajika, Ikoma, and Takumi had been good friends for about the past 5 years, ever since Ikoma made it to Aragane station after his home station was overrun. (How a twelve-year-old managed to get out, we never hear; presumably he made it to a Hayajiro.)

        Kajika bargaining terrifies even Mumei.

        Kurusu was good enough with an ordinary sword to deal with a good dozen Kabane at one point. Then he hit a Wazatori (Kabane with more brains and combat skills) and things got sticky…. He’s rather fond of the sword Ikoma reinforced for him, yes. 😉

        Kibito is a Nice Guy. (TV Tropes has him listed under Gentle Giant.) He’s watched Kurusu and Ikoma go from near-killing each other to Back to Back Badasses, and is very amused.

        As for the iron cage… it’s called that, but frankly I say it’s got to be some kind of very tough, organometallic substance, not just iron. If you look at the damage jet bullets do – shooting through several inch thick sheet iron – that’s what it takes to shoot through a Kabane heart. Eep.

        Essentially, you need armor-piercing bullets to take these things down. Or Kabaneri speed and accuracy to hit the same point with multiple bullets in seconds of each other. Yikes.

        Like

      2. >
        As for the iron cage… it’s called that, but frankly I say it’s got to be some kind of very tough, organometallic substance, not just iron. If you look at the damage jet bullets do – shooting through several inch thick sheet iron – that’s what it takes to shoot through a Kabane heart. Eep.
        >
        I’d made a Naquadah joke but I suspect it’s already been done.
        “Clean up your scientific screwups for once, Ancients.”
        “Indeed they was a ‘screwup’ as you call them. Honestly mere primitive humans can readily defeat them. Truly a failure in anti-Wraith technology.”
        “…………..That is not the point g**dammit!”

        Though I ultimately file kabane materials, the ‘iron cage’ and so on under the magic rocks/metals category much like lyrium, mithril, trinium etc.

        I mean the re-forged sword constantly glows like a hot iron in places and the cage would need an insane amount of material cannibalization to form if it was just using elements found in the host’s body. And then there is the armor plating trick we see Kabaneri pull after the Black Blod is injected. So the ‘virus’ presumably just generates the material needed.
        >
        Kajika bargaining terrifies even Mumei.
        >
        Eh, I saw less as scary and more as surprise in the notion that Kajika did fight in a way. After all, Mumei’s training/indoctrination very likely didn’t give much consideration to non-combatants or the roles they fulfill.

        >
        (How a twelve-year-old managed to get out, we never hear; presumably he made it to a Hayajiro.)
        >
        The guy does have the Determinator label for a reason. He’s far from the best fighter in the cast even with Mumei’s training, but he Just. Doesn’t. Stop.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Actually, I see Ancient reaction as somewhat more like this….

        Ancient Scientist 1: “Ooo! A parasitic colonial organism! Aggressive, difficult to kill without energy weapons, psychokinetic – all I have to do is tweak it to go after the Wraith’s food source, and it’ll be the perfect weapon!”

        Slightly more sane scientist 2: “Their food source is humans. And organic diseases are notorious for jumping to close hosts. Like us!”

        Scientist 1: “Oops?” Covers up evidence, seals up.

        Scientist 2: “Now, now, the general idea seems sound. Let’s see if we can make a more controllable tech version….”

        Cue Replicators/Asurans.

        Maaaaany thousands of years later.

        Ma’chello: “This is an archive of failed Ancient weapons… that means the Goa’uld might not know how to deal with them! Surely I can do better than they did.” Wrestles various bits of tech along with him fleeing various worlds. Gets to Tenka. Lab accident. “Oops.” Flees. Cue Kabane.

        And heh. Yeah, the iron cage stretches physics more than a bit….

        Ikoma is definitely a Determinator, yes. 🙂

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  2. I might have to skip this one, because for some reason zombie media just doesn’t work for me. My brain just won’t stop picking holes in it, the zombies usually have a ton of gimmies, and most “normal” people are idiots. I mean, I think the only two I actually like are the original Living Dead movie and Z-Nation’s first two seasons, mainly because a)sense of humor, b)characters that aren’t the main crew being competent and reactions that are sanely all over the board and c)the actual main group are mostly people you would want to spend time with in that situation and have clearly defined goals beyond survival. Note that the third season actually takes all that and drops it in the shredder, which is why I don’t like it.

    Which is a pity, because it does sound like a cool setting.

    Liked by 1 person

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