Chained Soldier episode 4 aired on Thursday spotlighting Himari and her own character development as she prepares to fight her sister in the 6th and 7th squads exhibition match. There’s no Chained Soldier episode with some fan service and this week didn’t see any shortage of it. That being said, this episode painted Himari in a much better light than the previous three did.
Himari proved to be another great character in the cast of Chained Soldier this week compared to the man-hater we all saw from the first three episodes who wanted to kill Yuuki with a chainsaw arm. It goes without saying that some of the girls hold such a notion of guys in this series and we even saw it again this week yet Himari proved to overcome this dilemma.
Himari proved to be a much better character this time around. She showed us that she has her own goals and aspirations and will do anything to achieve them even if it means going against her morals of finding a battle companion in Yuuki. The chemistry sparked a lot quicker than I would’ve liked, but it ultimately progressed things along better. It might’ve been tiring having an episode of Himari just giving Yuuki the cold shoulder given her initial views on him.
Look, this series isn’t going to give you long-form storytelling character development. Chained Soldier isn’t like that. It’s a cornucopia of fast pacing, intense action, and fan service. In these stories, it’s easy to not account for certain characters and what makes them stand out in their own ways. Luckily, Himari was next in line for the spotlight in the 7th Squad and she proved to be a solid character.
Her backstory of wanting to prove her worth to the rest of her family as the youngest isn’t a new or original take in a characters personal conflict at all. It’s a rather basic resolve but it left us with a lot to look forward to. She has a rather sizeable family and we only saw one of her older sisters. So it creates a side story within a side story that left me wanting to learn more about her and that’s where Takahiro’s writing shined.
Her own personality was even to come around too. At the core, she’s kind just like the others in the 7th Squad but holds a steel personality due to her upbringing. I still say my favorite shot of her in this entire episode was her helping Yuuki back to the base and smiling with him. It was a nice touching moment, despite lasting a few seconds, that even made Kyouka smile.
Having a character who hated Yuuki from the beginning just because he was a guy to being the only other character in the 7th Squad that’s able to bring out Yuuki’s power is a nice dynamic to Himari and her ability, one that we’ve also seen in anime and manga throughout history (being able to copy others moves, just at a discount rate).
The 6th Squad
A lot of hype recently around Chained Soldier was Tenka making her appearance in the anime. Even though we got an idea of how the 6th Squad is, they pale in comparison to the 7th Squad in terms of likable characters at this point in the series. Sahara is the typical lazy character who’s (probably) strong. Tenka is the graceful and intimidating leader. Yachiho is just a horrible person on a power trip. There’s just nothing or anyone there to really like.
If that was the intention in order to give a boost to favor Himari and the 7th Squad then it worked to perfection. There’s really no basis to “root for” the 6th Squad in the exhibition match due to the lack of exploration of their characters other than a brief introduction. That’s not to say there won’t be anything there, especially seeing as how even Kyouka is a little intimidated by Tenka. There’s just not much to work with that will probably be exposed a little in the next episode. I can’t lie, seeing Yachiho get sent flying by Yuuki was a great feeling.
Chained Soldier Episode 4 Wrap-Up
Yuuki has now spent time with Kyouka (episodes 1 and 3), Shushu (episode 2), and now Himari. His episode with Shushu was one of the better ones this season and this episode proved to be the same. I still think Himari is a much better character than Shushu on basically every level in terms of writing and personality and it showed off in this episode. Production wasn’t anything spectacular nor an abomination. It had some nice shots here and there but I think next week is where the Seven Arc’s animation production will really need to shine. So we’ll see how it goes.
Episode rating: 8/10
If you enjoyed Chained Soldier episode 4 then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 5 of Chained Soldier will be released on Thursday, February 1. HIDIVE is streaming the uncensored version of the anime.
Images via HIDIVE
© Takahiro / Yohei Takemura / Shueisha / Magic Defense Corps Public Relations Department