by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Killing Bites ?
Given the kind of series Killing Bites is, this was bound to happen sooner or later: the level of bombast has hit an obnoxious level. The best brazen action series are able to find a balancing point where the attitude and brassiness are either charming or amusingly ridiculous; 2016's Keijo!!!!!!!! is one of the best recent examples. But Killing Bites episode 4 just comes across as stupidly crass.
The chief offender is the Announcer Woman in the business suit, who's shown up in the opener and now makes her first appearance. She is way too into her role of hyping the action to the point of being shrill. The raucousness of the crowd watching the Destroyal also seems over-the-top, but this is supposed to be a pro-level dramatic sport, so I'll give that a partial pass. The reactions of the players to Yuya also seem starkly extreme, especially the almost comical degree to which he inadvertently seems to piss off Yoko. (Love definitely seems to be in the air there.) However, that's just standard fare for anime so I can also partially let that slide. It's probably too much to ask that we see less Announcer Woman though, as this scenario looks like it could last the bulk of the season.
In a cynical sense, the Destroyal is basically just an excuse to spend several episodes on a series of battles. Given how shockingly fast Hitomi offs the Brute Bear though, the series might well surprise me and actually wrap the Destroyal up in just a couple episodes. It's certainly not wasting any time setting up the next big fight: the Brute Tiger, big brother of Cheetah Girl (aka Eruza), against Ichininosuke, who is finally revealed to be Brute Hippo. Since that's a mismatch against the winner of the previous Destroyal, Brutes of as-yet-unspecified types from two other zaibatsu are apparently going to join him in the battle. I rather doubt that Taiga (yes, that's really his name) is going to fall to that gang though, as all signs point to him eventually facing down Hitomi, even with Eruza already claiming her as a target. Ui's whereabouts are left hanging, but that's not a big concern yet.
The game structure is pretty standard. Apparently, each of the dozen participants has a single player, so the team for one zaibatsu isn't under a united control. Naturally, Yuya is out of his league, but perhaps the best moment in the episode comes when Yuya reveals the strategy that he and Hitomi had worked out to compensate. I won't spoil the name, but it's definitely a sputter-worthy moment. Standard boasting and intimidation shenanigans go on at the party before that, including Hitomi's unsurprising affirmation that she doesn't bother to remember anyone that she's not currently planning to fight. On the creepy side is the sharp-toothed guy from the Sumimoto team, who apparently goes around assaulting female servants because the prospect of fighting just gets him so horny. I would love to see Ui, who almost becomes his next victim, get the better of him on the battlefield, though I don't see how at this point. Maybe we'll luck out and he'll encounter Hitomi sooner rather than later, since I'm plenty ready to be done with him.
The visual highlight of the episode is how nicely all of the characters dress up, especially Hitomi. The actual action content is limited though, so there's not much to offset the episode's other annoying aspects. As a result, this is the weakest episode so far, even though it's getting things moving toward the next big batch of action scenes.
Killing Bites is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
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