Bullbuster Ep 4 Review: It’s Capturin’ time

After 2 episodes dealing with paperwork, funding and media control, Bullbuster finally wrestle back our interest with an intense action-packed episode. Furthermore, this episode hits hard not just in battle but also in the feels, as Arumi and Tetsurou discovered a shocking detail about the Beast. A nice mixture of corporate activities and action in episode really elevate the unique flavor of this type of series.

After Arumi’s last encounter, she safely returned to the company. And of course, every sortie is not complete without the angry old man yelling at them for breaking protocol or wasting too much resources. But we can clearly see that Arumi’s mind is elsewhere – she is more occupied with finding out the truth about the small beast she encountered than justifying her action to management. And she even went straight to Tetsurou without hesitation even though she made it clear she didn’t like him very much. But she knows he may hold the answer to the question she’s pondering…

And the reveal is so extremely dark and brutal and isn’t even funny. It turns out that Shiro – Arumi’s family pet dog – has mutated in a monster and actually attacked her family. So the deduction we made in the previous episode was somewhat correct: Arumi’s family was attacked by the “Beasts” and she has returned to settle the score. But what she wasn’t sure of was whether the beast was Shiro or not. Tetsurou – of course – was shocked by this revelation. A cute pet dog turning into a grotesque monster and attack the very people that took care of it is quite depressing. This isn’t FMA-tier but it’s pretty close.

Old man Kitaoka did a pretty cool thing this episode with the sortie. He lied to Tetsurou so he wouldn’t feel guilty in his conscience, and is basically absorbing all the blame on himself. From his action, we can tell that he isn”t inherently bad or just money-hungry, he just wanted to make sure the company survive and can continue to operate because deep down, he cherishes his colleagues. He is willing to play the bad guy until almost the end so protect the company’s employees. Tetsurou might not realize it, but he’s being babied by literally everyone in the company. However, he isn’t just twiddling his thumbs as his connections help Namidome get a live-trap for “Shiro”. A helping hand when one needs it will definitely be rewarded. “Paying it forward” is a very common saying in the corporate world.

The fight scenes in this episode is amazing. It isn’t just pure zipping around and cool attacks and stuff, but it feels like an actual heavy machine fighting against a feral beast. The Bullbuster move in a clunky yet streamlined way, when it gets into stance, the hydraulics get to work and unleash a fluid motion – which gives it a very strong sense of realism. Like how we see real life robots being clunky when it change direction, but can perform acrobatic movements right after. Tetsurou delivered the decisive blow to allow Arumi to take down the beast, which was a pretty awesome “mecha moment”. Hopefully we get more scenes like this from now on.

Seeing Arumi broke down after capturing Shiro hits hard – both for Tetsurou and for us viewers. Earlier episodes depict her as a hardheaded goth chick who is hyper-focused about exterminating pests on Ryugan Island and doesn’t care at all about people who don’t treat it the same way she does. But now we see all that tunnel-vision has a purpose – and a very reasonable one. After this episode, Arumi will surely open her heart to Tetsurou, since he helped her identifying Shiro and even saved her in the nick of time. After 4 episodes, everyone was fleshed out very well aside from the secretary girl – hopefully she will get her spotlight soon.

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