Chained Soldier episode 5 aired on Thursday, providing fans with intense action in a high-stakes sibling duel backed by a fantastic soundtrack. I won’t deny the first few minutes of this episode were starting to get on my nerves with Yachiho having to yell “Golden Hour!” every 30 seconds. But as that died down, this week’s episode unfolded into a classic story of Himari working her way up the family ladder by forcibly gaining respect one sibling at a time — and that starts with Yachiho.
Himari’s Admirable Resolve
We understand by now what Kyouka’s own end goal is, but we still haven’t cracked the ice on who she really is and what she wants. The same goes for Shushu and Nei. But Himari has given us proper character development and a convincing backstory in just the span of two episodes. Her development has by far been the best out of anyone in the series and episode 5 proved to be why I’m such a fan of hers in the first place.
Sibling rivalries aren’t rare in the realm of anime. It’s a story dynamic that more often than not adds an exciting dynamic to many stories and Chained Soldier has proven to not be an exception. Himari not only provides entertainment in both abilities and resolve, but this episode proved her worth and potential as a character and as a sister to Yachiho. She managed to take on her sister who can control time itself, one of the most broken abilities in fictional writing, and managed to defeat her off pure wits and drive.
Some could consider her win plot armor, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel that way. She got by with the skin of her teeth and what did she do? She didn’t hold herself in high regard. In fact, Himari gave Yuuki more thanks for helping beat her sister than she did stroking her ego to the point it was even hard to tell if Himari’s “moment” with Yuuki at the end kept going because of the ability or if it was Himari herself thanking him. But when a character such as Himari goes beyond the scope of what they bring to the table besides pleasing the degenerate side of a fan base, it makes the series that much more enjoyable.
Chained Soldier Episode 5 Production
I’d go as far as to say this was the best-produced episode of the season so far. Yuuta Takamura made his return from last week to direct the episode and it maintained the consistency in Himari’s story without being derailed by someone else’s direction. The staff brought in animator Shouta Ibara to storyboard the episode. The kicker is that this is Ibara’s first storyboard for an episode that’s been produced outside of studio Diomedea since 2015 when he storyboarded one episode for both Gintama (BN Pictures) and Wish Upon the Pleiades (Gainax).
Bringing in a veteran to help put together the biggest episode of the season was a smart move on the production department’s side. While the animation isn’t on a level that can hold a candle to Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, and it’s clear the production behind the scenes isn’t the best given the ample amount of outsourcing, it still manages to give us a good adaptation of the source material every week.
At no point in this episode did I ever once think the fight between Himari and Yachiho was tarnished by any sort of choppy animation or low-quality CGI. It was solid work and at times gave some very crisp frames. But I’d say the highlight of the episode from a production standpoint was the soundtrack. Kohta Yamamoto, who also worked on the music for series like 86 Eighty-Six and Attack on Titan alongside legendary music composer Hiroyuki Sawano, flexed his muscles with this episode that further shined thanks to the goosebump-driven soundtrack he composed.
Chained Soldier Episode 5 Wrap-Up
With Himari’s story now hitting its falling action with the ending of this episode, the tournament against the 7th Squad continues next week. Will it live up to what the past few episodes have given us? I can only hope. Chained Soldier has been a joy to watch so far and I’m excited to see more developments that occur this season.
Episode 5 rating: 8.5/10
If you enjoyed Chained Soldier episode 5 then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 6 of Chained Soldier will be released on Thursday, February 8. HIDIVE is streaming the uncensored version of the anime.
Images via HIDIVE
© Takahiro / Yohei Takemura / Shueisha / Magic Defense Corps Public Relations Department