by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Killing Bites ?
I am now convinced that this series is obligated to show Hitomi saying her signature lines - “The one with the sharpest fangs wins. That's what Killing Bites is!” – at least once each episode. The other reasonable possibility is that the writers just can't think of any other good way to show off her temperament and battle lust.
Whatever the case, episode 8 passes by without actually accomplishing much. We're entrenched in that infamous stall zone all too common to shonen action series, where flashbacks and other random minutiae are used to drag things out as long as possible. As a result, the Tiger/Ratel battle that should be the episode's star attraction only sees a lot of posturing and a couple of decent blows exchanged, relegating it to secondary status while the other significant battle scene of the episode plays out between Gorilla Boy and Kido, Yoko's nature-loving beast of a guy. It was surprising that this showdown even occurred, as these two are supposed to be on the same team, but Kido (who still hasn't revealed his Therianthrope form) doesn't seem to care about alliances when he sees nature being harmed. Actually, calling it a fight might be misleading, as Gorilla guy helplessly flails away until Kido cuts him in half in the series' most graphic scene yet. At least that allows Ui to live for another episode and try to figure out some other way to be useful.
Otherwise the episode is padded out with some scheming among the zaibatsu heads, suggestions that Shidoh is engaged in a power grab through his role in developing the Therianthropes, and further scenes of Yuya panicking and Yoko remaining cool. Nothing special there. We also get a small handful of flashbacks, including a largely wasted one for Gorilla Boy and a more meaningful one showing the history between Taiga and Leo. Sadly, Snake Guy apparently wasn't dead yet, but somewhat surprisingly, Hitomi elects to help save his life. That's a disappointment, even if this is meant to illustrate the show's concept of “I'm so strong that I can afford to spare the weak”. Another bad habit that's creeping upward in frequency is the series' tendency to clumsily rely on exposition, which has risen to a level that can't be ignored anymore.
Since writing up the last episode, I've had the chance to watch and review the first season of Terra Formars. While watching this episode, I was struck by the structural and thematic similarities between these two series. I think you could fairly classify Killing Bites as the kind of series that Terra Formars would have been if that bug-based action series hadn't taken itself so seriously. Killing Bites wins that contest because it has a more likable core cast and revels in the cheesiness of its concept rather than trying to rely on darkly dramatic moments. Still, it's capable of doing better than this lukewarm episode.
Killing Bites is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
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