As Brave10 enters in to the 7th episode, we see yet another new character join the roster as the series passes the halfway stage. But after some disappointing episodes recently, has Brave10 been able to step up its game this week?
Truth be told it’s hard to say either way, as although the episode never really seemed to go anywhere, when the episode ended I had a weird sense of enjoyment from it all the same.
The episode started with Yukimura Sanada setting out for Kyou, but despite wanting bodyguards he only takes Isanami, Saizo, and Rokuro. He tells the other members of the Braves to stay behind and protect the castle while he is gone. Later, the 4 of them arrive in a small town and meet a young boy who tells them that due to the recent rainfall in the area, the route they were going to take was inaccessible and tells them of a different path to take instead. They thank the boy and head the way he told them, although Saizo thinks to himself that he is sure he could smell gunpowder on the boy.
As they make their way along towards Ryou, it doesn’t take long before they are caught amidst numerous traps. Saizo and Rokuro manage to save both Isanami and Yukimura from some of them, however, just as they are going to be overwhelmed by all the traps they are helped by the sudden appearance of the other Braves who arrived despite being told to stay behind. When the traps are all cleared, the boy emerges from nearby and talks excitedly about how they were the first ones to ever escape from his traps, and that he wants to join their group. Saizo rightfully gets angry with the boy for his actions, but Isanami tells him to stop bullying the boy and Yukimura even agrees to let him join his group. The boy tells them his name is also Rokuro, but when he finds out about there being one Rokuro already in the group, he says they can call him any name they want, and so Yukimura decides to call him Benmaru.
After that is settled, Yukimura tells everyone they are free to now do whatever they want, but tells Benmaru that the first order he has to carry out is to wait back in the town until he came back from Ryou. Benmaru reluctantly agrees, and Yukimura and the Braves head on to Ryou. Yukimura attends the meeting with the lords and other samurai and ninja etc, but is soon challenged to a fight by the late arrival of Masamune Date, who defied the ban on unsheathing your sword that had been put in place by the main lord Tokugawa. Rokuro tells him that Yukimura is not prepared and asks him to choose someone else, but Yukimura accepts anyway saying it would be rude to refuse his challenge, and Tokugawa gives permission for it to take place.
Despite being offered a sword, Yukimura declines the offer and instead uses only his fan to defend himself against Masamune and his sword. Despite Masamune’s efforts, Yukimura easily and skillfully dodges or blocks all of his attacks, and soon ends the battle when he kicks the sword out of Masamune’s hand (while Yukimura was on the floor I might add having just slipped) with it only narrowly avoiding Tokugawa as it landed. Everyone is impressed, but Tokugawa is just left shocked at how close he came to being hit by the weapon. That evening, Yukimura finds out that he has been summoned to meet with Tokugawa to discuss the earlier incident, but when he finds out that the meeting is no more than a ruse to get him trapped and be forced to commit harakiri, he flees Ryou with his Braves, who also damage the bridge leading out to prevent Tokugawa’s men from chasing after them.
That was pretty much it for the episode, it didn’t make an awful lot of sense but somehow I still found myself enjoying it nonetheless. Saizo still clearly stands out as my favourite character, but I have grown quite fond of Yukimura as well now I have seen him a bit more. With that said, most of the characters seem nothing like samurai or ninja at all, Saizo is one of the few who actually does seem like the real thing. How much you enjoy Brave10 is ultimately going to come down to how much you like the characters themselves as the story is nothing special, but luckily for me I find Saizo to be a very likeable character and makes the episodes fun to watch just to see what he will be doing. This episode does nothing to break the mold from previous episodes, so if you liked the earlier ones then you will probably like this episode, and of course if you didn’t like them then this week’s offering will do nothing to change your mind either.
As a whole I liked the episode without really being sure why, but I think the next few episodes are really going to pick up and could turn out to be the best Brave10 has to offer, especially as it’s looking like we will get to see a battle involving Saizo as soon as next week.