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In episode 5 of Koutetsujou no Kabaneri, the jet bullets are presented — freshly developed based on Ikoma's explosive-steam hybrid gun. However, Mumei has her steam-powered pistols from the beginning and is also able to kill Kabane with one shot.

Since the blades on her pistol are reinforced with Kabane "fabric" I assume someone else had similar ideas regarding the improvement of anti-Kabane weapons, and that this is the reason why Mumei's pistols are that strong, though I'd say using explosives to improve the gun force is still quite unusual idea for a steam powered world. But even if we say Ikoma wasn't the first one with these ideas, why isn't anybody else using this technology?

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    "is also able to kill Kabane with one shot" I would consider that an animation error. From very beginning she always has to shoot Kabane's heart twice to destroy it. It just happens so fast that it looks like a single shot.
    – Euphoric
    May 17 '16 at 11:34
  • ok, I'm going to watch the first episodes again and try to look a bit closer ^^ May 17 '16 at 11:43
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As you know and heard of, Mumei is a kabeneri (half- human and half- kabane). And apparently, once you become a kabeneri, your abilities as a human increases vastly. For example, your speed and strength increases. Remember, when she talks with Ikuma inside the train, she says "if I remove the ribbon around my neck, I could use my real abilities". But she doesn't usually removes it, because as a side effect, she get's exhausted and sleepy. And also Mumei is seen in the anime as one skilled with martial arts. Therefore, due to her enhanced abilities- thx to kabane virus, it helps her to get Insta kill with her pistols. And also the ammunition which she uses are normal bullets and they are limited.

I think this helped you in finding your answer and for more information about her, visit the link below.

http://koutetsujou-no-kabaneri.wikia.com/wiki/Mumei

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    so you mean, her improved physical abilities allow her to make better use of conventional weapons? could be an explanation but I'm not quite convinced this wouls be enough... anyways, thx for your thoughts May 18 '16 at 10:18
  • Yes, not only hers. But anyone who's a kabeneri has improved physical abilities which make better use of any weapons.
    – user28546
    May 18 '16 at 10:20
  • yeah of course for all kabaneri May 18 '16 at 10:21
  • but still, the only physical aspect affecting range weapons like firearms or steam rifles/pistols is the aim, and I don't really think that better aim allows her to shatter the heart cage with projectiles May 18 '16 at 10:22
  • Like I said before, the background she come from tells us as an audience, that she's experienced with weapons and close range combat
    – user28546
    May 18 '16 at 10:24
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First, let's establish whether the kabane died. I think all kabane killed through penetrating the heart has the blue spark animation. All other kabane are either not killed or killed through means like cutting off the head. Mumei has only fought with pistol for a few episodes so far.

Episode 2: There is only one kabane killed by one shot and by the speed of the motion, an earlier shot is implied. All other kabane are either killed by two or more shots or impaled by other objects while being shot. It seems to imply that first shot break the metal cage and second shot destroy the heart. The pistol is either slightly more powerful than rifles or are at the same level. However, no human are able to shoot twice at the same spot, thus no kills were made. That might also be the reason there are two pistols in the setup. This may be achieved through improved senses by the kabane virus.

Episode 4: Kabane's bones seem to be reinforced by the virus as well as the katana seems to just bounces off a kabane's skill. This might mean that inaccurate bullets will have no effect at all as they will hit bone. As Mumei is jumping over the top of the train, she seems to one shot three kabanes. We should note however, blue sparks did not appear, which means they are not dead but probably only thrown off the train. However, later on, Mumei clearly killed a kabane through one single shot to the heart. I assumed that is because Ikoma upgraded Mumei's weapon, however, it is yet to be confirmed.

Episode 5: The "Young Master"'s faction is clearly aware of gunpowder weapons as the Ear pulled out a pistol similar to real world weapon rather than steam powered. And he is clearly aware that it can kill Kabaneri. It could be that Mumei's faction and thus their weapons are also using gunpowder before meeting Ikoma. In this episode, Mumei is clearly able to kill kabane in one shot, first weakened by the explosion of suicide bombs, later in completely normal scenario below the crane.

In conclusion, I think Mumei's gun is either as powerful or slightly more powerful than the steam rifle. Thus needing two shots to kill kabane at the beginning. However, starting from episode 4, Mumei's gun seems to reliably kill kabane in one shot. I believe while being trained by Mumei, Ikoma improved her gun. It is just like how Ikoma improved the samurai's sword and the rest of the steam guns during episode 5.

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