Kemono Jihen, Episode 4, “Mission” review
At the end of every new episode of the anime Kemono Jihen, I always feel like saying “This anime just gets better and better”. But, honestly, it is such as wonderful surprise of a series. Especially as so many critics seemed to pay it little attention when it first premiered.
As it turns out fans, however, did begin to notice Kemono Jihen as the season continued, finally rating the anime a 7.48 on My Anime List at its end.
Kemono Jihen, Episode 4, “Mission“, however, is one of the weaker episodes of the season consisting, as it does, of two separate stories about rogue Kemonos that don’t fit together. Even if they do both have Kabane being sent on another mission by Inugami.
The stories are also not particularly well developed as they are so short so that, while entertaining enough, at just a few minutes each, they pale in comparison to most other episodes.
In other words, while Episode 4 is still an entertaining watch, it is not indicative of the superb series as a whole.
Kemono Jihen, Episode 4, “Mission” recap
The episode begins with the customer who stumbled into the bar/the Kemonoists office at the end of Episode 3.
He tells the assembled Kemonoists he is in love with a woman he cannot get out of his mind. Even if she doesn’t pay him any attention.
Inugami agrees to take on the man’s case, and it is then Kabane states he would like to take the case as, if he learns more about love, he may learn more about his parents.
Inugami allows him to do so, if Shiki and Akira go with him. He also tells Kon, the kitsune, if she still wants Kabane’s head, if she helps out with the job, she can have it as a reward.
Then a rat appears in the bar and Yoruno pounces on it as his face and gestures turn cat-like.
He then tells everyone he collects rats for his beloved, Mao, so he can prove how much he cares about her. It is then Inugami realizes the woman he loves is a nekomata — a cat spirit — and she has obviously possessed him.
The next night, the children (minus Akira, who doesn’t like scary things) meet up with Yoruno near the adult bar where Mao works but they cannot go inside as the law doesn’t allow children. As they wait outside for Mao’s shift to end, a cat suddenly appears in front of the club and begins to walk away.
The children, and Yoruno, follow the cat into a dark alley where Kabane shouts “Are you Mao-chan?”.
As the cat turns, he introduces himself as being from the Inugami Strangeness Counseling Office and explains they are representing Yoruno who has fallen in love with her. The cat immediately turns into Mao.
But, as she faces them, other cats appear behind her and fawn all over her. These cats have human faces and it immediately becomes obvious Mao has been turning others that have fallen under her spell into cats. She then tells Yoruno she soon planned to do the same to him.
But, as Mao turns back into a cat, Kon descends into the alley from above and grabs Mao. She then takes the cat over to Yoruno and tells him “Here’s your subject. State your terms”.
Although Yoruno is shocked that Mao is a cat, he explains he doesn’t have any attachments in his life so, if she wants to turn him into a cat so he can live with her, he is happy about that.
As they leave Yoruno and walk back to the office, Kon reminds Kabane she is not leaving without his head.
Back at the office, Inugami puts an illusion spell on an orange so that it looks like Kabane’s head and hands it to Kon. She leaves, taking the ‘head’ with her.
Soon after, they learn Yoruno and Mao are living happily together after they bring a gift to the office as a thank you for helping them get together.
Kemono Jihen, Episode 4, “Mission” — the second story
The next half of the story involves a mission to Shibuya River where workers building a dam have been murdered.
Inugami believes it is due to Kemono spirits in the river, so sends Kabane to find out.
It is then Akira decides he needs to ‘man up’ and stop being so scared, so he accompanies Kabane to the river.
As the pair are walking on the river bank, Akari tells Kabane he is one of a pair of twins that was born in an all-female village in Aomori. The village is covered in snow all year round.
Boys are only born in the village every 100 years, and Kabane and his twin are the two boys currently from there. On their way to Tokyo after escaping the village, however, Akari and his brother were separated. Now he does not know where he is.
As the two talk, a huge frog suddenly drops from the ceiling and grabs Akari. Kabane smacks the frog with a pipe and pulls Akira to safety.
As the frog starts to leap towards the two again, a tanuki appears and attacks the frog. Akira is so happy something so cute has rescued him and grabs the tanuki to hug it. That is when he finds a vial of blood around the tanuki’s neck with a message from Inugami.
The message tells Kabane and Akira that the monsters in the river are frog Kemono, and that they are responsible for the workers deaths. He explains they can use the blood to attract them so they can defeat them.
The pair pour the blood into the water, but far more frogs arrive than they expected and Kabane is soon in danger as one of the big Kemono frogs tries to eat him.
Akira is incredibly scared, but also angry about always being the weak one. So he becomes angry and, in his anger, manages to use his Kemono power to freeze everything in the river tunnel. Including the Kemono frogs, who immediately die.
As the episode comes to an end, we learn the tanuki is actually Inugami, who arrived at the river bank to watch over his protégés and make sure nothing bad happens to them.
As Inugami leaves the tunnel, an enormous frog appears in front of him and thanks him for helping kill the other Kemono frogs. As he explains, in recent times, they have gone out of control and the only way to handle that was to kill them.
Now they have been killed, he believes their souls can rest in peace.
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