Episode five hits us with a nonstop flurry of intensity as all our major factions collide onboard a train. We see the Frankenstein’s monster in action, Mikhail kicking some major butt, and stormtrooper aim all around!
It all begins with a conversation between Mikhail and Yuliy, establishing an interesting dynamic reminding me a bit of Itachi and Sasuke. Mikhail confesses that he is a vampire, but reveals no reason why he’s willingly taking part in their schemes. I’m sure the reason is being kept hidden for maximum effect when it’s finally revealed, but this episode tells us quite clearly that Mikhail is not evil. He even tells Yuliy that he shot him in the shoulder on purpose, unwilling to kill his little brother.
This relationship between the two brothers is intriguing, and will definitely lead into an amazing emotional arc when the two must finally face off, whether they’re willing or not. Mikhail goes as far as to tell Yuliy to drop the idea of revenge, but I believe he’s saying this in a way to look out for his brother. Perhaps he’s worried that Yuliy will die on his quest for vengeance and wants to put him off of it before any of the big vampires get involved. However, Yuliy truly loves his brother and pursues him against all the warnings. By the end of the episode, Mikhail takes on the monster and defeats it in spectacular fashion. It’s a display of Mikhail’s ferocious strength and also perhaps one of affection by saving Yuliy.
While all the talk between Yuliy and Mikhail is interesting, my least favorite character shows up once more. Ryoko. Needlessly putting herself in the face of danger, even jumping through train cars to see Yuliy! This little romantic subplot is awful, and I’m getting quite sick of it popping up between the actually interesting parts of the show. The show even tries to give Ryoko a redemption type of moment when she slices the vampire, but even that’s not enough to make up for all this useless fluff she represents. Gah, I wish she’d turn into a vampire already.
The Hyakko group assaults the train, with their leader eager to grab ahold of the secret weapon. Their arrival and resulting battle also grinded my gears a bit because it seemed like their initial volley of arrows had perfect aim, only for the following fight to be a mess of missed bullets. Of course this is to kill off the conductors and set in motion the “runaway train” route, but it’s quite annoying nevertheless. The military soldiers fighting off the Hyakko group have to shoot straight since their enemy is literally ahead of them, but their aim is so poor that a man with a sword blitzes them! It’s a pathetic display and I’m not even confident in the monster’s killing abilities if that’s the caliber of soldier it slaughtered.
As for the Hyakko group’s commander, I really thought he’d put a better fight. He seemed like an idiot, but I believed in his combat prowess and instinct. I was expecting him to jump out of the way of the monster’s swipe, but instead he gets sliced in half and there goes our red haired friend. A sad ending for a character who I believed would have a lot more significance.
The episode wraps up with the Jaegers saving Major Iba and the military troops from the vampires, clearing up any suspicion on their part. Major Iba is not an idiot and after seeing a vampire right in front of his eyes, he’s sure to be a friend of our Jaegers. Furthermore, Yuliy dukes it out with the monster and puts up a great fight! I’m pretty sure he didn’t need help from Mikhail, but Mikhail’s big brother instincts come in to steal the spotlight. The monster dies with relative ease to Mikhail, which I’m not sure if it’s a testament to Mikhail’s strength or just a display of the monster’s weakness. Even Yuliy was holding his ground against it, so it’s really not as crazy strong as I initially assumed it to be.
Mikhail leaves with an ominous message for Yuliy, making Yuliy promise to kill him if he ever becomes a monster like that. Now that is the most blatant foreshadowing I have ever seen in my life, and I think we’ll have to deal with the heartbreak of seeing Mikhail transform into a twisted monster. It’ll generate a boatload of inner conflict from Yuliy, but he’ll have to overcome it to move on from the past and to free his brother from misery. Looking forward to it!