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Episode 5

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Revenger ?
Community score: 4.0


Episode 5 is one of Revenger's most interesting episodes thus far, one which leaves the audience with more to reflect on than clear-cut answers.

Nio takes center stage as the episode explores his complexity without definitively pinning an answer to any one aspect of his character. Obviously Nio's gender identity is the key question here, and I (like the characters in the show itself) was mistaken in referring to him as a little girl previously, though androgyny is clearly a theme that is in play. I can't speak with any expertise nor experience on this, but it's clear that, in keeping with every other aspect of who he is, Nio presents himself to the world in precisely the manner he chooses.

This certainty of self despite what others might care or think carries over to the handling of the carnival as well. It's clear Doan and his cronies are abducting children and almost certainly forcing them to perform shows against their will. This leads to some of the grimmest imagery in the show thus far, with cages full of weeping children and long shots of Doan's collection of skulls, pelts, and taxidermied creatures.

The fighting is also exciting, with a spectacular battle on the stairs leading up to the carnival. Blazing fires, thrown weapon duels, and an explosive finish all set amidst the shadows of the graveyard. It's great action-packed fun.

But this episode really leaves a knot in your stomach about the inequities of the world. Sure, Nio used the tools of the trade to get precisely the outcome he wanted and murdered Doan. This might in some way be considered an abuse of the trust their entire system relies on to remain reputable (if not noble). Then again, is that truly a betrayal or merely an act of honesty? In a world where abducted children have a better life in the circus that stole them than the impoverished homes in which they were born, maybe right and wrong are just words after all and we might as well do what we want. But then Nio's actions have sent those very same children back into the poverty which they “escaped” via the circus, making it… well, an episode you have to sit with for sure.

I really hope people are watching Revenger.


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

Revenger is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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