Sahara going Super Saiyan in episode 6 of Chained Soldier was one of the handful of moments that I enjoyed this week as compared to others. However, I feel more conflicted with the production of this episode than I do with the events that took place themselves. It wasn’t necessarily second-rate, but some parts made me go “Why is it like this?” Despite that, episode 6 proved yet again that the female cast for Chained Soldier is a lot more than just a crutch for fan service.
The match between Shushu and Sahara was quick yet entertaining. Of course, there were some corny aspects like Shushu struggling for Yuuki’s acknowledgment or the “she’s not done yet!” trope when it comes to fighting in anime and manga. But overall, it was entertaining for what it was worth as a simple exhibition. Not every battle needs to span across 20 episodes to be fun to watch.
Shushu and Sahara was a great matchup that threw in some wrestling moves and hand-to-hand combat, which was a nice change of pace from the power-induced battle that Chained Soldier has to offer. It’s also why Kyouka is a personal favorite character of mine and we even received more backstory, albeit rather brief, on why she fights the way she does now, but I digress.
Sahara doesn’t offer much as a character other than having a rather unique ability. Her transformation design looked great and she brought a little humor to the episode but that was about it. Seeing her and Shushu team up towards the end of the episode was a nice reminder that the Anti-Demon Corps are all a collective team at the end of the day and there’s no love lost. There’s a bunch of insanely powerful girls hauling ass, with one guy on their side who’s supporting them by any means necessary. What’s not to love? Well…
The production for episode 6 was a little less than average on the quality scale. While some animation work itself looked solid, the line art at the beginning of the episode through me off drastically. I couldn’t help but think the art looked so different when Shushu and Sahara were fighting to the point it felt sloppy, especially in comparison to the latter half of the episode.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, it wasn’t particularly “bad” in the sense that it deterred the entertainment value of the duel between Sahara and Shushu, at least for me. It just makes me wonder if this is either an intentional result of a rough production or an intended style strictly for this fight since everything that followed was cleaned up very nicely.
When we get to the middle of the episode after the match cools off, the line art is toned up dramatically and even the composition takes a rather dramatic spike. There were moments with Kyouka specifically that I thought were some of the best work of the entire series so far. Overall, the fights that took place at the end of the episode looked great and even some of the camera work was surprisingly well done, adding more dramatic effect to moments that it was there for.
The anime has cut out certain ecchi moments from the manga at this point in this series that are debatable on the grounds that some of them actually serve a purpose. For example, the scene when Ginna’s clothes explode at the excitement of watching everything unfold as if she were eating a plate of food made by Souma Yukihara himself… that one could’ve been left out. The episode would’ve flowed better in the transition that it was undergoing. Luckily, moments with Yuuki, Kyouka, Himari, and the rest of the Anti-Demon Corps made up for it.
Another sign of a rough production, especially in an action anime, is the overuse of speed lines and the reuse of frames. Shushu’s transformation sequence was shown three times in this episode alone while there were a handful of moments towards the end of the episode that made me wish speedlines never existed. Okay, it’s not as bad as recent J.C. Staff anime, but it was undoubtedly noticeable.
The Tenka hype is starting to garner some traction among the Chained Soldier fandom around social media and it’s completely understandable. She’s the last character between the 6th and 7th squads whose power we haven’t seen much of nor know anything about as a person. So when even someone such as Kyouka is intimidated by her, and the fact she wiped away all the Shuuki without so much as getting a spec of dust on her uniform, there’s cause for hype.
I think that’s the one appealing aspect of Chained Soldier that people don’t give credit to Takahiro as the creator of the series — the writing for the female cast simply as characters is extremely diverse and well done. None of the female cast introduced so far is easy to dislike outside of Yoshiho, even though that’s how she’s supposed to be portrayed. Now with Tenka on the scene, it feels like that great cast of female characters is growing in a natural way rather than a forced one.
I always love it when side characters get their own chances to shine and Chained Soldier, in just six episodes, has done a marvelous job at deligating such moments to all the characters and now next week is Tenka’s turn. Some would say it’s like saving the best for last so now all we can do is anxiously wait for next Thursday.
Chained Soldier Episode 6 Wrap-Up
This episode still ended up being one that I thoroughly enjoyed much like the others before it. The highs made up for the questionable lows, enough for me to give it a bit of a higher rating. Overall, the series still manages to have good character development and exposition despite some minor, yet noticeable, setbacks in its production and story development.
Episode 6 rating: 8/10
If you loved Chained Soldier episode 6 then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 7 of Chained Soldier will be released on Thursday, February 15. HIDIVE is streaming the uncensored version of the anime.
Images via HIDIVE
© Takahiro / Yohei Takemura / Shueisha / Magic Defense Corps Public Relations Department