Sweeten Ch3 bit – Options

“We can kill the Kabane,” Dogen said, half to himself. Shook his head, and narrowed his eyes at Ayame. “But Aragane fell.”

“The first test design was completed the night the Fusojou rammed us,” Ayame said quietly. “We were fortunate. Despite everything, that steamsmith made it to the Koutetsujou.”

Despite everything, Kurusu thought. Including us.

Odd, to look back on that night now. To remember being sure – utterly sure – that shooting Ikoma off the Hayajiro was the right, the only, thing to do.

Knowing what I did then, I could not have made other choices. For all our sakes.

Now… now he had other options. Other weapons. And an ally, willing to defend Lady Ayame and the Koutetsujou to the last breath in his body.

And possibly more important, willing to stand with Kurusu against Kibito’s utterly ridiculous idea. Adopt a steamsmith? Ikoma hated combat training. He did it, yes; which had to be the strongest testament to his hatred of the Kabane, given Mumei’s idea of training was to beat Ikoma into the car floor – or the wall, or the pells – until he mimicked her and used that move right back.

Apparently effective, for a Kabaneri. But painful to watch. To the point that before that whole catastrophe with Biba, Kibito and Keisuke had finally taken pity on the steamsmith, made Mumei sit on her hands a few minutes, and broken down the basics of a few defensive techniques.

We should do more of that, Kurusu knew. For both of them. You teach the way you were trained; has Mumei ever had formal training?

Ikoma would train. Even in kenjutsu. Even if it made a steamsmith’s knees shake. But he’d rather be up to his ears in steam and metal. Who were they to take that from him, when Ikoma had lost so much already?

If it were necessary to protect him, or the Koutetsujou – then I would consider it. But without that need… no.


16 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch3 bit – Options

  1. >
    You teach the way you were trained; has Mumei ever had formal training?
    I’ll take ‘no’ for 500 Alex.

    It seems in line with Biba’s ‘strength’ mentality. And considering his doctors could always make more Kabaneri, Mumei was utimatly expendable.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I bet the Hunters didn’t known this ‘detail’. Uryuu mentioned never meeting Kabaneri who didn’t spent at last month with scientists. And by then, I bet they were battle ready. Wouldn’t be surprising if that ‘month’ was like testing which Kabaneri survives harsh not-training they received. Which bring us question, Biba had two Kabaneri. How many more girls he killed by his methods?
      Also, is it just me, or did Biba kept Kabaneri and Hunters separate? According to Uryuu, they were ‘scientist problem’. Hunters know next to nothing about Kabaneri. Which is strange, considering they’re supposed do be one unit. Or at last allies.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Except Mumei and her ilk were never supposed to be comrades, they were supposed to be sacrifices. It make sense that they were isolated, because if the hunters stopped viewing the Kabaneri as “creepy, but on our side. For now. I guess…” and started thinking of them they way the Koutetsujo thinks of Mumei there may well have been a mutiny over the Nue scheme.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Exactly! That’s Biba making strategic decisions. It makes so much sense it’s actually terific. Nue wouldn’t be possible if Hunters started to think of Kabaneri as comrade. It shows nicely how Biba worked. He played them all.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. We don’t know how many, but Mumei refers to “all the other girls” in her group becoming Kabane, which implies some number, at least.

        And it did seem that the Hunters and Kabaneri were separate most of the time they weren’t on the battlefield.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m eager to see her reaction to it. And that point-that Ikoma doesnt like combat training, but would love to tinker like proper steamsmith-is an issue both kibito and ayame seem to ignore.

    They do need the train to look normal, but just as a bushi gets privilages and status steamsmiths lack, they also get matters of politics, honor, and would have to lose advantages that the steamsmiths have, which are beneath the samurai class.

    And a bushhi playing steamsmith will hardly be better…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At the moment, Ayame and Kibito are thinking of what the Koutetsujou needs; Kurusu is thinking more about the guy he trusts to guard his back in the middle of a horde. He knows how close Ikoma came to the edge in the last fight of the series; he knows the guy needs some serious mental R&R.

      So… like everything else people get mixed up in, it’s going to be complicated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Irony: without the Fall of Aragane, Ikoma might never have gotten any of the Bushi to give his jet bullets the time of day, given how things went for him in the first half of Ep 1.
    All you have to do to get notice and funding for your Miracle Weapon is survive a zombie invasion (and get seen doing it) and kill a bunch of Unkillable Swarming Things (and also get seen doing that). Heroic last-minute saves are a bonus. Getting turned into a Blessed With Suck super-“hero” is optional.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve only gotten part way into episode four, so I have to ask – is Kurusu thinking Ikoma passionately hates kabane a unrelaible narrator thing, or is it something that comes out more in the later episodes?

    From the early episodes, I would say that Ikoma doesn’t so much hate kabane, as much as he hates what fear of kabane leads people to justify doing. Which is maybe splitting hairs, but it feels important to me. The kabane are the cause of the problem, but they’re not the problem itself. If that makes any sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think Ikoma “hates” the Kabane the way an oncologist “hates” cancer, or a firefighter “hates” fire — hating a non-sapient thing for doing what it does is like hating a wolf for hunting deer. OTOH, his hatred of how fear of the Kabane makes people treat each other is *personal* — rightly or wrongly, he expects that *people* should be *better* than that.
    …in a way, this is something he shares with Biba — they both feel *personally betrayed* by people surrendering to their fears, rather than overcoming them. Ikoma’s response is just much more constructive. But then, he’s an engineer — we’re very much See Problem, Fix Problem, Assign Blame Later personalities.

    Liked by 2 people

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