Tribe Nine Episode 8 Review

Tribe Nine Episode 8 Review

I swear, “Let the Chaos Begin” (the title of episode 8) is exactly what I muttered as I opened the Funimation tab to stream this newest episode of Tribe Nine, a show full of Danganronpa expy characters that have quickly lost a lot of its flavor. And it lost more of it right from the jump as it attempts a title drop in the most unexciting way possible before the OP begins.

There’s this kinda funky tension to the beginning of this episode; the action picks up almost immediately, and for a brief moment, it feels like the show’s gaining momentum again, which is a promising sign. Kazuki, our blue-haired genius, is in it deep: the Otori family’s taken a hit out on him by proxy of the Ota Tribe, a bunch of rag-tag misfits who are down but not out, and vicious when it comes to playing XB.

Oh yeah, lest we forget that this is a baseball anime still, let’s talk about the main action: Ota Tribe versus the reformed Minato Tribe.

The Ota Tribe sucks at XB: they’re the worst of the worst, landing themselves in all manner of trouble almost immediately, largely because they appear to not understand the rules of XB. I wrote “appear to” because, by the time the eighth inning comes around, the Ota Tribe reveals that they’re not foolish, foppish amateurs, but cutthroat players who understand what it’s like to be at the absolute bottom of the heap. It makes them ruthless, particularly when it comes to Tribe leader Sonada Fuchou.

Fuchou’s raison d’etre is… chaos. Like the protagonist of Final Fantasy XVI, he’s all about that chaos: chaos in the morning, chaos in the evening, chaos at suppertime. He lives to create the potential for everything to go wrong, which includes the actual twist to this fight: strapping a bomb to Haru’s bucktoothed friend. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to check “surprise bomb” off my bingo card for Tribe Nine shenanigans, and yet here we are, even though there’s a twist to the twist. It’s twisting on twists on twists this week.

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In terms of action, episode 8 picks up the plot, goes to the highest diving board at the local pool, and attempts a backflip off of it to… no applause besides maybe your mother recording it for Facebook for posterity’s sake. That is to say, despite the abundance of action and twists in the wake of a series of kind of meh episodes, episode 8 felt only like a minor step up in terms of excitement, and that is only thanks to its last-minute reveal and subsequent cliffhanger.

Still, I cannot, for the life of me, explain why it is that this show keeps me tangled in its web. I think a lot of Tribe Nine’s ongoing appeal for me is because I genuinely want it to pull some sort of Akudama Drive-level twist in its finale. Or at the very least evoke Danganronpa V3, which it’s trying very hard to be without any of the philosophical posturing that made that game such a fabulous sendoff. Come what may, I’m invested until the ninth inning and beyond, just in case things go into overtime. Baseball has overtime… right? Heck, maybe XB does, though I hope for our sake, Tribe Nine keeps it neat and tidies up its ballgame.

Rating: 2.5/5 Stars.

Tribe Nine Episode 8 is currently streaming on Funimation.

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