Okay, so I’ve got three things to say before I really get underway with this review. Firstly, I’m really glad that BBK/BRNK is looking like it’ll be around 24 episodes long. With everything that’s just occurred in these two episodes, it would really suck if they tried to rush to a climax in the last three.
Secondly, I would like to say that this show’s level of quality is extremely inconsistent, as will be discussed further later on.
Finally, I would like to say that the two new buranki teams added in these episodes are wonderful additions to the cast and should really improve the series as a whole in the long run.
Now, as to the episodes themselves, this was a mixed bag. Episode eight was horrible, everything from pacing, action and comedy were all off beat and really bland. However, episode nine turned everything around and was actually really good.
Both episodes feel like a package deal though. As they both build off of the introduction of the new buranki teams, and the new idea of a buranki’s heart being able to stop “beating,” it’s hard to discuss them as separate entities.
However, there are a few things that each episode does that stands out, negatively in episode eight’s case and positively in episode nine’s.
For episode eight, the series felt like it took a weird nosedive after the intensity of Reoko’s fight in the previous episode. Relying on weird sight gags and an offbeat sense of humour, revolving around an extremely stereotyped American, the episode didn’t feel like much of a transition into the next stage of the story and instead felt more like a completely different series.
That’s not to say it was all bad though, as I mentioned at the start of this review I really do like the new buranki teams. Both teams, while still pretty basic and relatively cliché representations of the USA and Russia, are great new additions to the cast. They’ll definitely make things interesting as the series continues due to their respective desires for a working/beating heart.
Episode nine manages to take the foundation that was introduced in episode eight and push it beyond the relatively bland nature that it was before. Instead of relying on the offbeat humour, it goes back to BBK/BRNK’s biggest strength: action.
With multiple fight scenes, this episode was far more engaging to watch than the previous one. In particular the fist fight between Azuma and Epizo, the heart bearer of the American team, was a standout moment.
What wasn’t so standout was the fact that Azuma managed to have Oubu’s heart begin beating again through one of the most cliché sequences this series has used. The fact that it was animated so that it looked like his tears possibly had part of an involvement in reactivating the heart weren’t lost on me, but it doesn’t make it any better in the long run.
However, the most interesting thing to come from these episodes was a little hint about how Entei functions as episode nine ends with Zetsubi utilizing the buranki, and more specifically its heart, all on her own.
Overall, these episodes were quite varying in quality, but sadly could not exist without the other. I am looking forward to the fact that this is looking like it’ll be a 2-cour series, but am still confused as to where this series is looking to go. Hopefully with the kids almost at Treasure Island, we’ll receive a climax to that arc and move on to whatever real threat there is out there in the world. Maybe we’ll even receive information about what happened to Azuma’s sister.
Episode 8 Rating: 4/10
Episode 9 Rating: 7.5/10
BBK/BRNK streams new episodes Saturdays exclusively on Crunchyroll.