5 Point Discussions – Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond Episode 5: “One Butler’s Blitzkrieg”

by Sage Ashford

When the lynchpin of Libra, Klaus’ butler, gets injured by a stray skyfish, the Reinherz family sends a replacement to help out the team!  But can the combat butler adapt to the insanity that is Hellsalem’s Lot?  Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please be sure to share it.  And if you have any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter @SageShinigami.

1. It feels like one of the biggest points of this season is how hard it is to make it in the big city, especially when The Big City is a place where actual monsters lurk around every corner. First it was the big yakuza wannabe who thought he could just get through the city through threats of violence alone in episode three. Now it’s the main new character of this episode.

When Libra/Klaus’ butler Gilbert gets his spine turned into a pile of collapsed Jenga blocks by a random monster attack, Klaus’ family summons Philip Lenore, a young butler who takes over while Gilbert “heals up”. Though Philip is portrayed as a talented enough (combat) butler, within only an episode he gets swallowed up–literally–by the city and by the end is begging to go back home. It’s almost sad; one of the main conflicts in this episode involves Gilbert explaining that Philip is simply not strong enough to handle the Hellsalem’s Lot, and instead of him figuring out how to adapt, by the end he just gives up and gets the heck outta Dodge.

2. On the flipside, Leonardo’s refusal to be crushed by the city has allowed him to adapt so thoroughly he’s become something of a tour guide in Hellsalem’s Lot. Leo’s tasked with showing Philip around in this ep, and we learn he’s got an impressive grasp over everything now. He knows which parts of town reduce your overall chances of survival, and knows his own limitations. He bumps into a a creepy looking monster-fellow in an alley and isn’t even bothered that he’s been robbed because he’s learned to store most of his money in hidden places on his person. It’s massive growth from how he was even in episode three of this season, when being robbed was so detrimental he didn’t even have money left to send to his sister, but then again, from what I’ve heard this season is basically skipping around to different parts of the manga source material.

Like most metropolitan cities, Hellsalem’s Lot is a place that’s going to change you, and how you adapt to that change affects how easily you’ll be able to get along inside the city. Because Leo’s used to “life happening to him” instead of the other way around, he’s been able to become a true denizen of the city, dealing with random monster attacks and both human and monster jerks alike without ever breaking it. On the other hand, Philip tries to fight back too strongly, and is broken before we finish the episode out.

3. This was one of the weirdest episodes we’ve had since the first two. I mean, yeah last week had ghostwolves(!), but that’s standard anime super-powers nonsense that exists to facilitate impossible action. But this episode was legitimately weird. While receiving a shipment for Libra, Gilbert gets hit by a “skyfish” with the impact of a battering ram. Leo gets his wallet stolen by an empty skull with cross jewelry hanging from the holes in its face. And Philip tries to get drunk in a bar only for the entire bar to be a trap which gets EATEN by a freaking monster working for the weird skull/cross jewelry guy, and has his BRAIN REMOVED when they realize who he works for. None of that has to exist for Kekkai Sensen to be a thing, but the fact that it does makes it stand out visually and narratively from most anime that come out every year, and it’s good to have all that stuff back.

4. The entire time we’ve been wondering how Gilbert ties into the world of Libra, only to learn that he’s basically Alfred if he was Batman and Batman had no compunctions about killing people. After Philip has his brain removed, the initial thief and his (surprisingly large) gang send him into Libra HQ to get as much information from them as possible…but Gilbert immediately catches him and they rush off to rescue the kid’s brain.

Gilbert drives a sweet ride that makes the Batmobile look like a Micro Machine, and rains down death and destruction on the group who tried to harm one his fellow butlers. We also discover that Gilbert is a Regeneratore, a special type of being that can recover from near-death at incredibly rapid speeds, making it nigh-impossible to kill him. A useful skill in a town like Hellsalem’s Lot, especially when the head member of the gang tries to kill him by planting a sword in the center of his face. I guess if you really wanted to get simplistic about it, does Hellsalem’s Lot spit out any kind of humanoid that doesn’t have powers of some sort?

5. Next Episode: A Leo-focused episode again, featuring a look into Leo and Michaela’s past together, but it seems like that’s not all that’s going on. The whole group is gathered next episode to handle a major threat as well, meaning this is likely a much more plot-focused episode than normal. Admittedly, while I was hoping for more of a focus on some of the lesser-seen members of Libra, this is probably going to be suitably epic enough to make up for the loss in character development.

Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.