5 Point Discussions – Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond Episode 4: “Werewolf Mission: Chainpossible”

by Sage Ashford

The mysterious Chain is on a secret spy mission along with her fellow invisible werewolves. But what happens when she’s forced to take her powers to the limit, and nearly erases herself from existence?  Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please be sure to share this article. Also, if you’ve got any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter @SageShinigami.
1. Last episode, I complained about how it seems like people with powers don’t really seem to value life very much here. So it was quite a pleasant surprise to see this episode start off with the usually sadistic Chain working with a group of fellow invisible werewolves to commit an assassination on a military official…that doesn’t even result in an assassination. Now arguably, this guy deserved death more than the hooker whose breasts exploded, but it was still a wonderful change of pace for the episode.
It’s also nice to have them introducing another group of characters that could easily hold up a series on their own–it lends the feeling that this is its own universe, filled with characters that have their own lives that exist independently of the main characters. Often in anime series, it can seem like JUST the main heroes and their opposite powers, but Kekkai Sensen does excellent world-building.
2. It’s also not too bad with character building either. For a while now, Chain’s been just as much of a mystery as everyone else in the series aside from Leo and Zapp (who is basically just super-powered comic relief), but this episode goes a long way towards fleshing her out. Though she tries to give off an air of aloofness, she cares enough about Leo to help him with his forgetful friend Nej, and she’s something of a big sister to the group of Invisible Werewolves that she runs with, so she also believes in being with her own kind.
Thinking on it, Chain is probably one of the most well-rounded female characters I’ve seen in an action series in some time. She’s got the look of the innocent school girl, but she’s powerful enough to be cocky, talented enough to be one of the most trusted members of TWO groups, but she’s also kind of a slob and a bit of an alcoholic. The show isn’t afraid to let her be multiple things instead of just being one or two tropes that you’d expect.
3. Kekkai Sensen isn’t really afraid to show how regular society has changed thanks to suddenly fusing with a completely different world of creatures, but for the most part we’ve rarely seen how institutions have changed. How would television be different? Police? They’ve mostly glazed over that in favor of showing things that are more humor-based, or simply furthering the actual plotline of the story. But this episode decided to give us a glimpse into how spycraft would be altered; with the folks of Hellsalem’s Lot specifically employing a group of ladies that are perfect for espionage to accomplish a variety of secret tasks, from failing at assassinations to stopping missile launches.
4. So Chain’s basically an “invisible werewolf”, and I have no idea what that is. I think Nightow just wanted to make some ghosts, but thought that name was too generic, and so he decided to call them something completely different to get your attention. It worked, and it’s all fictional, so I can’t really be too upset about that I guess? At any rate, Chain and her fellow werewolves definitely work like ghosts–they’re able to control how close they are to existing in the world. They can affect how well they are detected by the living world itself, but they require a specific tie to the material world or they’ll disappear from existence altogether.
But of course, even amongst other ghostwolves, Chain is also a member of Libra and thus completely next-level. She can control her connection to the world to absurd levels, and in order to beat this week’s antagonist (a former ghostwolf who broke away from the group and got super-charged by one of the over-powered vampires of this world to get revenge) she erases herself so far she nearly gets removed from time. Fortunately, her crush on Steven and her fear of him ever seeing her absolutely disgusting apartment brings her back. It’s a kind of tsundere moment that would have me fuming in most circumstances, but because her embarrassment made total sense, it just came off as cute, which is the difference between developing characters in a way that’s logical and relying on tropes because it’s easy and what the audience is used to.
5. Next Episode: Next week’s episode is focusing on Gilbert, one of the oldest members of the group and definitely the most mysterious, as he’s gotten the least development of the series. If this episode is even nearly as good as Chainpossible then we should be in for a treat.
Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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