We’re almost at the end of the Fall anime season, and with another 4 weeks gone by, here’s another ‘Nanbaka’ update! We’re currently in the middle of the ‘New Year’s Tournament’, following on from a series of gag episodes I wrote about in my previous post. Currently cell block 13 is at the top of the leader board, but there’s still 3 more contests to go.
The New Year’s Tournament
After Rock’s and one of the prison guard’s successful win, it was up to the cutie with the blue hair and Uno to fight it out in a card game. Bluey smashed through while it appeared that Uno struggled. Right when it appeared all hope was lost, he pulled through, revealing that he had spent his time learning the other player’s tells and movements. Next up is sweet Nico and Hajime versing the Monkey guard and two cell mates. One of the cell mates is a master at qi, and Nico wants to defeat him, so that he can become his disciple. We learn that Nico isn’t just a cute face, he actively learns and memorises anything that interests him. In between this fight we also get to witness adorable Momoko fingerling moments over Hajime. The fighters from cell block 13 have no problem winning this round either.
It’s finally on top the main event, a fight between cell block 13 and 4. The guard for cell block 4 has it in for Hajime, as he is in love with Momoko. It’s also personal between Juugo and the prisoner from cell block 5. He’s an old cell mate from another prison, and has a grudge against Juugo after Juugo took his eyes. The prisoner also wants to take the mysterious iron shackles from Juugo, and has information on who put them on him. In a fit of rage Juugo transforms…
And then we’re thrown into a damn filler episode! The episode follows Tsukumo, the ninja from a few episodes back. The episode was actually quite enjoyable, once you got passed the fact that it was shown right in the middle of an amazing moment! We see Tsukumo as a young ninja at his hidden village. A movie director and her assistant visit the village to find an actor and see Tsukumo. Finding out that his parents are missing and that he is shunned by the village, the director pretends to be his mother. She encourages him to go into the film business, and he becomes an incredibly successful actor.
He was thrown into jail after accidentally trespassing on private property, trying to return to his hidden village. At the end of the episode he confides into Juugo that after he’s acted all his life, he is no longer sure of his own personality or who to be. Juugo says that in prison no one will judge him, and he should be who he is.
Now onto what we’re all waiting for! Juugo is on his rampage, and by rampage I really mean rampage. He and the other guy end up blowing up half the stadium, people are evacuated and everyone is freaking out. It takes 4 guards to take down the other guy. The other guys of cell block 13, knowing that Juugo would get into trouble, try to stop him to no avail. There are some truly touching scenes about Juugo’s relationship with them. It is Hajime who stops Juugo, by beating him within an inch of his life.
It’ll be interesting to see how the final 4 episodes of the season pan out. I have heard that the series is going to continue into a second season. So the mystery of Juugo’s iron shackles may not be solved just yet. But I am still hoping the series will end on a rather serious note, and not have too many gag episodes/ shorts.