July, 2000. A man named Hiroya Oku revealed to the world with his skills through his infamous sci-fi, horror Gantz. The manga ran over 300 chapters and ended in 2013. It was a time when the man really made a name of himself in the manga community. An anime adaptation aired between April and November 2004. That was over a decade ago. Now, the man has made this new work called Inuyashiki, a title that honestly piqued my interest more than I had expected. However, did it really live up to the hype?
To be clear, Inuyashiki has nothing to do with Gantz or in fact
any way similar. However, it’s clear from day one that the author wanted the viewers to experience something memorable. Through his craft, it is accomplished with our two main guys – titular character Ichiro Inuyashiki and the sociopath Hiro Shishigami. I don’t want to jump the gun here but these two characters are on complete antithesis of each other; like two sides of a coin, ying and yang.
After a certain mysterious incident from the first episode, we find out that Ichiro and Hiro develops mysterious powers that could change mankind forever. This show establishes the two characters from the first two episodes through their actions and personality. Ichiro is portrayed as a timid old man who has a hard time making friends. However, it’s shown that he has a heart of gold and works to help others. He puts others besides himself and often takes high risks with calculated chance. On the other hand, there’s Hiro. To put it simply, this guy is a sociopath that walks as a demon in human form. He appears to be kind and respectful but his true personality is much more complex as viewers soon discover. Throughout the show, it’s easy to see that he has a God-like complex of himself. He uses his powers to kill others simply for the thrill and because he can. It’s not entirely known how he developed his personality but a look at his storytelling in relation to his family and school life may have attributed to this. However, Hiro is not entirely devoid of humanity. It’s shown that he deeply cares about his mother and also had a friend named Andou that he occasionally defends from bullies. Later on in the series, Hiro also meets a girl who harbors feelings for him that he grew to accept. That being said, I think Hiro represents the worst of humanity. Through his killings, Hiro confesses that he “never felt so alive” while he does so. In other words, Hiro kills with little reason besides to feel.
The creator of the series obviously tries to get viewers to feel something and to be honest, it works. From the first few episodes, it’s intriguing to see the storytelling from both sides. While both Hiro and Ichiro uses violence, they use it for completely different reasons. While Hiro feels alive through killing, Ichiro feels alive through saving others. It’s actually quite relatable too to our today’s society. There are these type of people living in our world. Psychopaths exists and so do heroes. You probably hear about them on the news every day. However, Hiro makes the news for the wrong reasons and it becomes clear that he wants to experiment with his powers and show off his God complex. While this all seems like nonsensational drama, it does actually does work as the show is able to use its violence to full effect. From police massacre to destruction of aircrafts, it gives his insight on what Hiro is truly capable of and how far he goes to prove his point. Additionally, this show also adds a bit of dark humor through the usage of 2chan and other social media drama. My experience from this show made me realize that Hiro and Ichiro really shows what humans are capable of when they are given powers beyond the natural law of order. Ichiro proves that he can use powers to great responsibility to save others and it can be inspiring.
Character relationships throughout the show can be taken in several ways. Hiro’s relationships can elicit various emotions such as with his mother, Andou, and Shion. They are people he actually cares about although as the story progresses, circumstances begins to change. For Ichiro, I honestly feel sorry for him. The closest friend he has is his dog. He has an ill relationship with his family and even his daughter doesn’t seem to respect him. However, I will say that Ichiro is a man of integrity. Even at age 58, he hopes to make a difference in his world after developing his powers. He accepts them like a God’s blessing rather than using it as a weapon. Unfortunately, I can’t say other character relationships in this show is well developed. I can’t really find Shion or Andou memorable at all throughout the series and they hardly influence my enjoyment. On the other hand, the manga itself is well adapted with even references alluding to other manga such as One Piece. I can safely say that the overall tone of the psychology remains impactful. While the show can come off as edgy at times through its violence, it really knows how to use them.
Adapted by studio MAPPA, Inuyashiki’s quality is about as good as it can get. The first few episodes showed that it has the capability of handling CGI. Character designs are also really interesting to take note that shows the frail innocence of Ichiro and deceptive handsomeness of Hiro. The overall setting of Tokyo remains consistent with our modern time. However, what’s really to take notice is the action and violence. To be clear, the violence is over the top especially in later episodes. There’s massive amounts of blood, body parts being blown off, and gunfights. There’s little censorship so expect it to be thrown right to your face. On the other hand, it’s unfortunate to say but I think MAPPA overestimated itself this year. In later episodes, some of the quality suffers such as the flight scenes and pure action movements.
Visually aesthetic and extravagant in style, Inuyashiki’s OP song “My Hero” by MAN WITH A MISSION is among one of the most memorable of the year. The overall tone and just the imagery itself is filled with creativity and hard to duplicate. However, the voice mannerism of the characters can be a mixed bag. It took me some time to accept Hiro’s voice as his personality became easier to understand. Ichiro’s voice is that of an old man and even harder to accept. The OST is moody although can be emotional at the appropriate times or eerie when impactful events happen.
Inuyashiki turned out to be quite an experience to be honest. From the very first episodes, I was hooked by what it had to offer and the characters were well worth investing into. It didn’t feel like a “good vs evil” generic story as we explore the depths of human psychology. While I can’t say this anime is recommendable to anyone, it will be one to remember for years to come. A show like Inuyashiki proves that psychological sci-fi fillers are still a draw in the anime world.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s a flying Grandpa!
Perhaps it’s rather counter-intuitive to even mention this, considering how much we actively consume as fans of this medium, but anime is… strange. It’s a medium in which vigorously seems to try and go against societal norms; a medium not afraid to cover taboo or heavy topics such as incest or depression, and covers such a myriad of different ideas and themes that if someone were looking for something incredibly specific from a piece of media, they’d probably find their incredibly niche want within anime. This is the main reason why I choose
to persist as much as I do within this medium, not only since I enjoy strange pieces of media to begin with, but also because I can get stories and concepts in anime that I can’t get anywhere else, such as Haibane Renmei and The Tatami Galaxy to just name a few. I’m always looking out for something that is incredibly bizarre; something to fill that sensation I have to watch weird media, and the people over at MAPPA gave me what I was indeed looking for in the form of Inuyashiki (aka Flying Grandpa Simulator), a show in which a 58-year-old grandpa becomes a cyborg, with a multitude of different abilities, one of which being flight, as he becomes a vigilante of justice, protecting the weak, and curing people of their disease. Inuyashiki is a strange series and one in which I’m not quite sure where the writers were going with this story. For what I believe was supposed to be a moralistic battle against good and evil while presenting ideas of what it means to be human instead devolves into full-blown dumb shlock, and I loved every second of it! Don’t get me wrong, this show is bad. Quite bad in fact. But Inuyashiki has become one of my favourite guilty pleasures in anime with a concept and aesthetic so silly that I can’t take any of it seriously, even when it’s clear I am supposed to at times. Allow me to elaborate:
Inuyashiki Ichirou, our senior male fantasy empowerment for this tale (laugh track at my totally original and clever joke) is not exactly having the greatest of times. Aside from looking much older than he actually is, his entire family resents him, for seemingly no reason. He has no affection for his wife, as they sleep in different rooms of the house, and his children also give him no time of day at all. To make matters worse, Inuyashiki receives unfortunate news that he has got terminal cancer, and, feeling that he can’t tell anybody about this, keeps it to himself, suffering in silence all the more than before. After a trip to the park to cry alone, suddenly, ALIENS! For no reason, and without any explanation at all, aliens accidentally kill both Inuyashiki and a man standing next to him, our main antagonist for this tale, Hiro (who just so happens to be standing next to him for some reason, but whatever). Realising their mistake, the aliens then rebuild both men, turning them into cyborgs in the process! While Inuyashiki uses his newly found powers for good, Hiro uses it for murder, as the rest of the series sees Hiro running from the police and becoming a bigger threat, with Inuyashiki trying to find him with the help of Andou, the once friend of our villain, who wishes to stop his murderous cyborg pal, leading to Inuyashiki’s and Hiro’s inevitable fight at the end.
Flying Grandpa Simulator is fundamentally a tale of good versus evil, with each character’s respective ideologies being as basic as they come. Inuyashiki is the good guy, Hiro is the bad guy. While they do try and provide some introspection into Hiro’s character and the reason why he kills (which I’ll get into a little bit later in this review) this basic set-up is what allows Inuyashiki to be so damn senseless and fun! Flying Grandpa’s narrative is incredibly silly and over the top, but there was not a single moment in the entire show where I was bored and not laughing my ass off at how ridiculous the show could get at times, with the basic good versus evil narrative providing an amusing framework for all the stupid stuff that happens in the show. This acted as an incentive for me to keep watching, just to see what the writer would think up next, and he never failed to entertain me on that front. The show is constantly trying to one-up itself every step of the way, with the narrative becoming more and more cheesy and ludicrous as it goes along, with Hiro proclaiming that he will kill everyone in Japan and even beginning to see through on this proclamation as he takes to the city buildings, and from there, kills hundreds with his finger banging, being the icing on the schlock-filled cake! The anime is all over the place, and the pacing, in particular, is so fast, that it actually works in favour of the show from an entertainment standpoint. One moment we see Inuyashiki flying through the skies accompanied by silly cartoon slapstick music, and then the very next episode we see him infiltrate a yakuza hideout, blind every single person there, and leave completely shirtless (not to mention that in the start of that very same episode, a Yakuza boss walks into a sauna completely naked and forces another guy to give him fellatio!)
Even just all the little strange details the show includes makes it so enjoyable to watch as a piece of shlock for me. Such as is the case of the cyborg bodies of both Inuyashiki and Hiro. Not only is the prospect of seeing an old shirtless man flying through the air one that cracks me up, but the fact that this body, which was created by aliens, includes a USB port under one of the fingernails in order to connect it to an iPhone is such a stupid thing to include, that I burst out laughing when it happened! I guess Aliens also use USBs to connect their iphones to various other devices too?!
However, we still haven't got to my favourite element of the cyborg bodies: finger banging! By just simply forming their fingers into the shape of a gun, much like a kid back when I used to play when I was like six-years-old, and then shouting “BANG” they fire off an invisible bullet of sorts, or, in Hiro’s case, using his entire arm to mimic a machine gun while screaming “DADADADADADA” when firing at a bunch of reporters. Just the idea of comparing Hiro playing with guns to that of a child is one that I found so hilarious, but it ultimately falls in line with Hiro's ideology and mindset; he too, thinks in the same rationality as a child would, so it does make sense within the context of his character to act as such.
Inuyashiki’s narrative is comparable to that of a cheesy science fiction and seems to almost revel in that fact. However, there were some elements and ideas present here, that were actually not completely schlocky, that I thought were kind of interesting. Take, for example, where Hiro hijacks people’s phones and TV screens in order to murder them. It’s nothing great, sure, but I liked this idea since it meant that the killer could appear anywhere, at any time, striking people when they are at their most vulnerable, which added a whole new dimension of tension to those scenes in which Hiro goes on a rampage. It's an interesting concept to take a device which is so engraved in our everyday lives and present it as the biggest threat to our survival. However, despite as such, I would be lying if I said that much of my own enjoyment for Inuyashiki’s narrative is indicative of the schlock and stupid premise, which, while entertaining to watch to kill some time, doesn’t offer much besides that. It’s the type of show to watch drunk or high to get the most out of. If you’re looking for something that comments on the true nature of what it means to be human with themes of existentialism and the such, then you will find no such thing here.
Much of your level of enjoyment of this show stems from whether you enjoy watching bad schlock, and if you can just turn your brain off (since, when you begin to think about each of the world-building elements and ideas then your brain will hurt since nothing makes any logical sense) and just watch all the stupid carnage unfold before your eyes. I had a blast watching Inuyashiki, clearly, and I think that’s worthy of praise if a show can be entertaining, even if that show is indeed bad, but that still doesn’t excuse all the poor writing the show seems to thrive in and the multitude of problems it has. One of the most prolific, and the one that would probably put people off from watching the show altogether is the strange tonal shifts the show has, going from goofy hijinks with an old man attempting to fly, to the straight up murdering of young children and babies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the second episode of the show, which shifts to the point of view of Hiro, our antagonist, something the show does rather frequently during its run. At the end of this episode, Hiro walks into a random stranger’s house, and murders everyone inside, including a small child who is sitting inside a bathtub, as his father cries and pleas for his life, but Hiro finger bangs him regardless. This surprised a lot of people who were not familiar with the manga, including me, since it came so far out of left field, and the show has quite a number of these moments. The killing of children comes across as rather tasteless and a pathetic attempt to seem edgier than it actually is; it’s essentially shock factor, which reminded me a lot of Elfen Lied, albeit nowhere near as extreme as that show, which tried to hide behind a veil of being deep and mature. Inuyashiki has an air of dumb fun and seems to almost partake in making fun of how ridiculous it can be at some points in the show, to the point where it feels that the original writer had just as much fun writing this insane story as I had consuming it. Although, there were a few moments in the show in which I believe were supposed to make the viewer feel sad, or perhaps tense, regarding those moments were people are killed, but I was having just as much fun with those scenes as I would any other in the show, and it’s this strange juxtaposition of what I believe the writer intended an audience to feel, and what I felt, that makes any serious moment fall apart in the show.
The anime also has this strange tendency to randomly cut to a character who has no bearing on the overall plot at all, such as a working woman with terminal cancer or a woman on a plane visiting her family. This comes across as jarring and bizarre since the characters are completely inconsequential to the plot, and the show spends a good five to ten minutes on each respective character; it feels like needless padding just for the sake of such. While it does make sense in one or two instances, such as in episode four where we are introduced to two characters who are linked directly to the plot of that episode, which is what triggers Inuyashiki to go and infiltrate that Yakuza hideout I talked about a moment ago, most of the time it just feels worthless, and if it were cut entirely, nothing would be affected. I suppose the point of these random digressions in the narrative is to showcase what the public is thinking and to gain an insight into how Inuyashiki’s efforts are saving people’s lives, but it still feels unnecessary. The ending for the show too, while I won’t get into specific details about it, isn’t exactly the greatest in the world either, and may leave you feeling somewhat irritated as a result, although it didn’t personally annoy as much as it did with others.
The characters of Flying Grandpa Simulator are probably the weakest part of the series and feel more so like one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs than actual fleshed out people. First of all, there is Inuyashiki, our protagonist of this tale; a weak and timid old man who, despite working full time to support his family, receives no love or affection for all his hard work. All of Inuyashiki’s family are just so cruel to this poor old man, for seemingly no reason at all! While it is implied that Inuyashiki’s son resents his father because he is being bullied at school because of his poor family income, he still treats his father as if he were a stranger! Perhaps it can be excused since he is young, and being bullied or something along those lines, but his resentment towards his father just comes across more as trite and forced, to manipulate the audience into feeling sympathetic towards Inuyashiki. The show does try to explore the history behind Inuyashiki’s daughter, however, Mari, whereupon we see that as a kid Mari cared for her father dearly, following him about everywhere and crying that he would pass away soon since he looked far older than he was. However, as she grew into adolescence, Inuyashiki explains to Andou that he has not spoken with his own daughter for years now, as she seems to actively try and avoid him at all costs, and it’s never explained why she does this, nor why she holds resentment towards her father. It’s kind of implied that she is trying to prove something to him, that being that she wants to draw manga, but the show doesn’t give any clear insight into why she dislikes her father as much as she does, making her feel more like a one-dimensional twat if anything else. While in the penultimate episode of the show she does once again begin to love her father as before, there’s not really any build-up to this event, aside from one moment in which Inuyashiki, in a conversation with Mari and her mother about her future, says that she should be allowed to pursue what she wishes, that is, drawing manga, or the few scenes where she was following her father around as he cured the sick in various hospitals, but her sudden change regarding her opinion of her father comes so far out from left field and feels jarring as a result.
I expected a bulk on Inuyashiki’s character arc to be centred around him growing in confidence with this new found body and sorting out the various issues with the rest of his family, but that never really happens, nor is any justification given into why his family dislikes him as much as they do. While, certainly, Inuyashiki himself does seem to grow in his confidence, as he finally finds purpose in his life, and a reason for why he was born in the first place, as evident by his monologue in the penultimate episode in which he goes from person to person saving their lives, or healing them from their wounds, in a scene that actually had some heart to it, I wouldn’t say his character is anything substantial or even close to good. He simply represents the human side of the two newly-created cyborgs and that is it. Speaking of such, this leads me to the next character, Hiro, the antagonist of the series, and the representation of the loss of humanity when one becomes a cyborg. Hiro’s character, and the arc he embarks on (or lack thereof) centres around his loss in humanity, as he has to kill others in order to feel human once again, childishly playing a game to determine which house he will enter next to slaughter those who lay within it. Hiro is just a complete psychopath with no emotions or empathy, asking women if they enjoy One Piece while their entire family has been killed! While the show does try and convey this theme of what it truly means to be human regarding Hiro’s character, it falls flat on its face since it’s heavily implied that Hiro was a complete psychopath even before becoming a cyborg, as we learn that as a child he killed small animals and the such. This completely negates all the attempts the narrative has to present Hiro as a victim of circumstance; as a victim of losing his own humanity which acted as the justification he had for killing people, and makes all the moments in the show in which he is breaking down and crying over someone he loved feel all the more ridiculous, as I can’t feel any sympathy towards someone who kills children! His character has no chance to reflect on the misdeeds he has done in the past, nor do we really get a chance to delve into the psychological implications his murdering is having on himself, which just makes him feel more so like a psychotic murderer and nothing else. I don’t believe this is inherently a bad thing, and it works in the show’s favour regarding its shlock value as I mentioned before, but it makes Hiro’s character uninteresting. Simply put, he is the bad guy and must be stopped. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The rest of the characters in the show are either just one-dimensional assholes, such as a group of kids in the very first episode who fire fireworks at some poor homeless man, a group of thugs, who, when told they shouldn’t push in front of the line for a taxi by a middle-aged businessman, then escort said man to a park twenty minutes away just to beat the hell out of him because they’re just that EVIL, or random kids making fun of a woman with cancer just to make her all the more miserable, or they’re absolute dumbasses! Every person in the world of Inuyashiki is so damn dumb that I wonder how they even know how to properly breathe! Okay, let’s first discuss Shion, who, after the news is revealed that Hiro is a murderer, and is thus on the run from the police, allows Hiro to stay with her and her Grandmother in her house as a means of protecting and hiding him since she doesn’t believe he would do such a thing. But, this makes no sense as there is no reason for Shion to believe that he isn’t a murderer as she knows nothing about him! To her, he is just a fellow classmate, and the only interaction that she has ever had with him was one case where she asked for Hiro to go out with her, confessing her feelings in the process, whereupon he said, “Thanks” and walked away. There is nothing to suggest otherwise that he is not the killer, and it always annoyed me how naïve she was in letting, essentially what is a stranger, inside her home! Her character, as well as that of her Grandma, are used mainly as a means for Hiro to learn to love people once again, and giving him some kind of reason and drive to fight to protect them, but it’s handled poorly.
But, compared to the entire Japanese police force, Shion is a goddamn mensa student. The police force, for whatever reason, are incapable of tracking down one single person, and it’s not like Hiro stays inside Shion’s place all the time either. He comes and goes rather frequently, and, in one instance, leaves just to murder some reporters before flying back! With all this travelling, and considering that he is one of the most wanted men in the area, why did it take so long for the police to hunt him down? Even more so when there are hundreds of goddam surveillance cameras all over the place too; surely, they must have been able to catch him on camera or something? Additionally, when Hiro begins his crusade to murder every person in Japan, he takes to the buildings and kills 100 people there and then, before issuing a warning to the rest of Japan that the following day he will kill 1,000. However, despite this massive threat, and proving that he has the means to be able to pull it off, nobody seems to even care! The very next day, despite commenting that there are fewer people out, most people are still working and walking about the area where all those people were murdered, but above all, most people are still using their phones! It was established in the previous attack that Hiro can kill you through a smartphone, or any other device with a screen on it, and here we have idiots walking around with their phones still! Do they actually want to die?! Also, why are the police not doing anything to find Hiro? Like, clearly, he was snipping people with his finger banging from high up on buildings, but where are the helicopter surveilling each building to try and find this guy? Even more so when we learn that he doesn’t even move from his location and just spent the night sleeping on top of the same roof he killed everyone from the day before! What are the police even doing?! One final thing I want to rant about really quick is how each woman in the show, most particularly teenage girls, refer to Hiro as being “hot” or “cool” so much so that there have been several fan groups made about him, and when one girl, during the massacre of 100 people sees Hiro appear on her phone, she blushes and acts like a dumbass instead of being fearful for her life! Why is Hiro being idolised? This is the guy who murdered babies for crying out loud! While the show does too seem to question this, as evident by a couple of police officers who are discussing this fact, this element always bugged me, and I groaned to myself whenever a girl would comment about how “hot” Hiro was.
Unfortunately, Flying Grandpa Simulator suffers from poor production values too, and while most of the character designs are fine by themselves, in motion, when the use of CGI is used, it can look pretty choppy. The CGI contrasts awkwardly with that of the traditional 2D animation, intermixing both within the same scene haphazardly, sometimes utilising CGI just for walking animation, and it’s incredibly inconsistent to bat. At best, it wasn’t too bad, and the CGI wasn’t obtrusive enough to really pull me out of the show, but at its worst, the CGI models can look hideous! Inuyashiki is far from the worst looking thing I have ever seen, but I wouldn’t say it’s particularly good either. As for most of the music in the show, it’s rather forgettable, barring one slapstick piece, that I remember above everything else since it was used bizarrely in a scene that didn’t fit the tone of the piece; a scene in which Inuyashiki has to stop several planes from crashing into the city to prevent hundreds of deaths! It feels pretty jarring and doesn’t work at all. The OP and ED tracks, however, are both excellent! The OP is perhaps one of my favourite opening tracks for any anime, and I’ve listened to it on repeat while writing this review for hours now, I can’t get enough of it. It hypes me up so much, and is so goddamn catchy that I love it! By contrast, the show’s ED takes on a much more sombre and melancholic tone, reflecting the attempted relationship between that of Hiro and Shion, and is also a wonderful piece of music in its own right.
In conclusion, Inuyashiki is a bad show; one that is bogged down with poor writing, idiotic characters and mediocre production values, but I loved every second of it! It’s pure dumb shlock on every level, with a premise that I enjoyed due to just how silly it was. But, at the same time, this makes Inuyashiki hard to recommend to people since, as I said before, your level of enjoyment with this show is dependant on whether you enjoy shlock, and if this premise is one that you may enjoy as a “so bad that it’s good title”. As it stands, however, I can’t bring myself to hate this show, despite how poor it actually is, since it brought me nothing but enjoyment, and while I am disappointed on some level with this show, as I’ve heard amazing things about the original source material, this show is certainly a better one than MAPPA’s previous effort, Bukkakegurui, a show that not only was bad but also boring! Inuyashiki, in my opinion, is the good type of bad show. The type, that despite still being indeed bad, is still able to make an entertaining show despite that. With all that said and done, and finally ending my longest review yet, I thank you for taking the time to read this and, who knows… maybe your grandpa is also a cyborg too!
Inuyashiki..... It is the name of the anime I am going to have a review on. Coincidentally, the word "Inuyashiki" comes from the main character's full name. The anime Inuyashiki revolves around two men. One is an old man while the other is a young, teen-age high-schooler. You know on most anime the grown-up is always the antagonist of the series and the young ones are the protagonist, gaining character development every episode. Here, the old one is the protagonist and the young is the antagonist on most audiences. I said "most" there. Why? The story offers us what are the circumstances of the aged
and the youth. The aged worry about family and health while the other worry about his colleagues. Throughout 11 episodes we have seen the huge differences between the two. Base on the author of Gantz, Inuyashiki is an anime with the dark element shadowing its story. Does being a total human are the only ones have the right to help someone? Is having a human brain and a heart.. really consider someone being human?
Does being different to everyone really makes u different? Those are the common questions I've come across while watching.
The story of Inuyashiki focuses on the two main characters of the series. I, indeed, to be honest, have a hard time understanding both of them especially the antagonist Shishigami Hiro. With both of them having different ideals crashing like two planets together, it's really hard to get in favor to one of them. The story of Ichirou Inuyashiki is however, simple. He got cancer in an old age. His children doesn't care to him that much anymore unlike when they were kids. And his body is getting weak due to his illness, thus, limiting his work. Then there's Shishigami Hiro. There is no clear explaination on the background of Shishigami Hiro since when he appeared, he immediately showed his powers and how he used it (Like that part when he manipulate the cars to make traffic accident), though one thing is clear to this character. He only have his mother on his side without the father being completely supporting them. I said "completely" because yes the father supports them with money, but moral/emotional things? No. This left Hiro with only his mother on his side, devoting to protect her. Also the event (episode 2) of introduction of his friend Ando Naoyuki gave us a clue what's Hiro's personality. Due to his friend's absence because of bullies, Hiro did something. That "something" is unpredictable since we are like introduced to it on the spot of the episode where Hiro appeared very first.
This gave me a conclusion that throughout the story, there will be killings because of Hiro. Killings to protect while Ichirou Inuyashiki is going to stop him on some point in time. Each episode highlights what they are doing while the other is doing something also. This type of segment is a good highlight to the show since the two of them are the main focus of the audience. First 4 episodes (except episode 2) highlighted Ichirou Inuyashiki's perserverance and will to save people even against gangs. Though most of the episodes, reports have sited the "miracle healer" which was Inuyashiki himself. Episodes 5 - 11 (9,10,11 for Inuyashiki) gave us Hiro's triggered response. Triggered as in an incident gave way to his mass killings thus, awakening Inuyashiki also to stop him. The final episode (the ending) is quite a good closure to the story as Hiro did something remarkable for the fate of the entire human race (as well as Ichirou Inuyashiki.) and with the ending song on sync with the final moment, you can sense how emotional it was. The story is quite simple and understandable in a viewer's eyes. This what make Inuyashiki a great anime to watch this Fall 2017 season.
I've already explained that much to understand about the main characters of the story in the "story" part. Thus, I will make a short reflection about the other characters. The supporting characters of the story is a strong element here, which gives way to a simple but good story on my perspective. Supporting characters on Hiro's side gave way to an accepting reason or light to Hiro to kill. While the supporting characters on Ichirou Inuyashiki side gives him an influence to save people.
I am not really a fan of CG but Inuyashiki done it perfectly for me. It is indeed watchable and damn the metal parts of the body is quite detailed (as well as the asteroid in the final part) and I like it.
The songs of the anime gave us a clue of how the starting of an episode and a bit of emotional craze of it. The opening by Man With a Mission is very powerful, along with its visuals, giving us a good headstart on every episode.
The ending is quite sad or emotional on my perspective as we saw characters not on their full form but in white lights. I dont know the meaning of this (or its just a part of the plan) but at least I can give it a thought that
the ending shows us the value of each characters to other characters (my own opinion only).
Enjoyment and Overall thoughts:
It's really obvious that if you go through my review is that I enjoyed this anime in a great way. With its story along with characters on sync, its safe to say that this anime is worth to watch. Overall, I recommend you to watch it. An anime about two characters having different ideals crashing to each other. Then at the end, it all comes down to the human emotion.
> “Are my father and little brother dead too?”
> “What does that matter? We were talking about One Piece.”
I want to take you back to 2004, where an anime called Gantz was released; a gritty, gruesome action show from arguably the most inconsistent anime production studio: Gonzo, and it was a fucking train wreck! The finest example of a poor plot turned bombastic; gore, sex, nudity, profanity, it’s all here and is so nonsensical yet outrageous to the extreme, it can only be compared to shitty OVAs of the 80’s and 90’s that had next-to-no restrictions on what they could do. Unfortunately, due to factors
like fluctuating quality in animation, marketing and just being a downright insane show, other anime such as Monster, Paranoia Agent, SAC: 2nd GIG and Elfen Lied found large fanbases and have been fondly remembered whereas Gantz has been somewhat lost in the shuffle over the years. And those who have seen the show, while there might not be much to say about it positively, can certainly agree that Gantz was one of the most enjoyable pieces of schlock they have ever seen.
It’s been a long 13 years.
Inuyashiki is this decade’s Gantz, albeit toned down in sheer crudity yet never eases on being an insane power fantasy romp. It is a sci-fi action series based on the manga of the same name from mangaka Hiroya Oku, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s the same guy behind the manga for Gantz. Coincidence? The story tells of Ichiro Inuyashiki, a middle-aged man that appears almost twice his age who’s down on his luck, being ignored by his own family and finding out he has stomach cancer. Just when all looks bleak, he is killed by a UFO before being rebuilt as an invincible superweapon capable of saving lives and destroying the world. That’s right, aliens pop out of nowhere to turn man into machine with the purpose left in question. But he was not the only person rebuilt as such, and while Ichiro sees this as a way to do more good in his life, Hiro Shishigami is an edgy teen that does what he pleases with his new power, most of which involves slaughtering as many people as he wishes. The plot may seem complex but it’s really just an eccentric take on the “Good v Evil” dynamic commonly used. The premise overall is very intriguing, but what matters more is the execution; how well-handled the show was, and this is where my problems with Inuyashiki begin.
The series focuses on the two main characters, showcasing how they each come to terms with their newly acquired power in their own daily lives, whilst highlighting the contrast in their beliefs and newfound purpose. This contrast is not hard to pick up on, with Ichiro wishing to help those in need and use his power for noble and virtuous reasons, and Hiro…. Well Hiro’s reasons are never really explored – we only see Hiro abuse his abilities how he damn well pleases because he can. Hiro comes off as a child with this mentality, except even a child would have a more distinct personality than what we have here; a mindless psychopath devoid of human emotion – an android in both anatomy and mentality. Unfortunately, there are no flashbacks or scenes of Hiro’s past to show what he was like before the night he was killed, and that provokes one to question if Hiro is simply the character meant to be the villain and nothing more. Compare his situation to Ichiro, an old man that has his problems in life made evident, and when he gains insurmountable power he retains how he thinks and feels about others. Ichiro is no perfect character either; empathy for the man is difficult when personal issues are crammed into the first episode before being practically erased afterward, along with minimal time and focus on the relationship with his family, but at least I can say that Inuyashiki is a proper character that comes across like a real person. Whereas Hiro ends up feeling like the antagonist out of necessity for the plot to move forward, whilst allowing for a small group of fans to self-insert as the suave-looking overpowered badass with the world at his feet.
The points above may seem small when looking at the overall picture, but these minor issues become heavy burdens on the story of Inuyashiki when you look at the structure of the series. The first episode is all about Ichiro and crams a lot of content aimed to put sympathy on his character. At first it seemed an odd choice by staff, but looking back it’s easy to see why considering how most of the following episodes focus on Hiro and how he causes mayhem. It’s hard to not see so much of this cool, calm and crazy teenager murder so many people with Wind Style: Air Bullets and not think that the show only cared about the amount of bloodshed they could animate across the show’s runtime. Initially Hiro also uses his strength for his one friend Andou to stop him from getting bullied, but even when he distances himself from Hiro it does not change Hiro in the slightest. The way the show tries to intertwine both Ichiro’s and Hiro’s separate arcs fails to get viewers to empathise for either main character with one only shown to be on his own one-man rampage from the start, and the other having his arc glossed over as he is thrown into having to be the one to stop the rampage. With the exception of a few times, Ichiro is chasing around Hiro when committing evil acts, stagnating much chance of his character development taking place and putting all the attention on the slaughter. This would not be as big of a problem if Hiro’s character wasn’t built on unexplained motives, coming off so bland and lifeless to the core that both men end up being as one dimensional as the show. The ambiguity was what peaked my interest, but that turned into disdain when you figure out many aspects of the story stays in ambiguity.
The worst parts of Inuyashiki come when they try to take moments of pure schlock seriously and attempt to have viewers empathise with the people in the show. First off, it’s incredibly difficult to feel for a character like Ichiro when parts of his life are brought up at whatever time is convenient for the show. You can’t expect to exploit a character arc so sporadically and have viewers still feel so strongly for him when they themselves are trying to wrap their head around what is even happening with the story. And Hiro, while having more time and attention put on him, is even more laughable to feel bad for when all he does is murder in the most apathetic ways conceivable, from shooting at pedestrians on a whim to asking a girl what manga she likes after killing their family beforehand and her soon after. He is a psychopathic murderer with the most interesting part about him being that he’s a psychopathic murderer. Real sad. As for one-off characters, their screen time is more of a result of poor pacing than anything else, and it’s hard to feel sympathy for what is happening to random people in the show when the show itself is primarily concerned with being a bloody gore fest. Now a show like that is not inherently bad, but it needs to be self-aware enough to not rely on viewers feeling sympathetic for brutal acts on random bystanders, otherwise you come off as shallow. The pacing is also a constant issue – the ratio of chapters to episodes is 85:11, meaning that the show is going to be fast as fuck at potentially skipping key events present in the manga to compensate for the amount to content. This only adds to the already apparent problems in the narrative and characters, giving a show with so much violence almost no breathing room, its audience practically being bombarded with carnage being succeeded with more carnage, only separated by Ichiro attempting to save the day and a god-awful romance subplot that makes no sense even for blind teenage love. The ending also suffers from the pacing, being incredibly rushed that even with how cliché and contrived it was, any emotional impact it had on viewers had the weight of a slight breeze. Inuyashiki was never intended to be an emotional story and here it should have never become one.
It is obvious that Inuyashiki is more concerned with being about senseless fun than a battle of morals between good vs evil represented by two men not even human anymore, but for a show about being entertaining at such a base level, it was a boatload of fun to watch. The ridiculous of it all works to its favour, getting away with some the most shocking yet hilarious moments I’ve seen in a long time. Seeing CGI-animated men fly through the sky at night alone is funny enough, but having a man-child act as if he were holding on to an imaginary assault rifle, before massacring everyone in sight while saying “DADADADADADADADADADADADADADADADADADA” takes the hilarity to a whole new level. Events such as shooting people through their mobile phones, fighting an entire crime syndicate with technique from World Star Hip-Hop and learning to fly from channelling… Astro Boy?? How one cannot laugh out loud when watching this amazes me. Even when the main lead’s cybernetic enhancements are never looked into over the 11-episode duration, I can’t even be mad at this point. This is schlock to the max and is only concerned about being schlock with no thin veil of depth hiding its true intentions. If years later if I forget the show or the characters, at least I’ll remember the moments that made Inuyashiki what it really is.
The animation can be hit-or-miss depending on how you feel on CGI, and while I do think that CGI can be utilized well in anime, it feels out of place for the most part here. Initially this style is used only to show how complex Ichiro and Hiro are when they transform into the primitive mechanical lifeform, but from there its used more and more to where even basic walking will be computer-generated at some point. It becomes incredibly jarring when the show switches from the traditional 2D art style to 3D animation, and can also just look downright hideous, comparable to graphics from a PS1 era game. While it does makes everything look stupid and ergo more entertaining on a superficial level, it’s more of a detriment to the show overall. It’s such a shame that this show had this kind of animation quality behind Studio MAPPA, one that is praised for their high production values for anime the likes of Shingeki no Bahamut and even Garo: Vanishing Line, which came out the same time as Inuyashiki and looks much better despite being a lot less popular. Inuyashiki by no means looks like one of the worst anime ever – that’s asinine to believe, but I expected better. MAPPA, you got to stop letting me down.
As for the sound, it has its own share of problems. The soundtrack is forgettable and won’t affect the experience at all. What is top-tier though are the OP and ED; both are awesome. The OP by Man on a Mission features the most metal theme I’ve heard all year and never skipped. Definitely the most hype openings and one of my favourites for sure. The ED however seems somewhat underappreciated, coming off as sombre and melancholic, envisioning the romance between Hiro and his lover and make it a little more bearable than what we were given in the show. All in all, both are great and one will probably appreciate them both more than the actual show. The voice acting here is very awkward, with some casting choices that have left me scratching my head wondering why were they chosen. Hiro’s voice actor is not good but at least I can say he sounds his age. Ichiro’s voice actor makes it as if his geriatric disease was out of control and he was in his early 20’s the entire time. Maybe an English dub will fix this, but as for now I can only judge it by how I heard it and it wasn’t pretty.
All in all, Inuyashiki is the kind of anime you’ll enjoy on the surface, since there isn’t anything deeper going on than an edgy teen acting like a supervillain with Ichiro nearly always appearing too late to stop him. It’s definitely an experience that most anime fans won’t have seen before, providing the kind of shocks and thrills that will get you easily hooked to the show. Is it poorly written? Yes. Does it have poor characters? Absolutely. Are the production values bad? Well they certainly aren’t great. But was it fun? OH HELL YEAH! Some of the purest schlock I have had the pleasure to come across, and no matter how many problems I can point out with this show, I cannot bring myself to hate it. One could call it so bad it’s good, but terms such as “good” and “bad” do not do the show justice when it comes to expressing how I felt about Inuyashiki. If you’re looking for an anime that you want to enjoy and is unlike everything you have probably ever come across, this might very well be what you’re looking for.
Most of the current reviews are due to watching few episodes instead of the being up to date so I'd advise reading this review first and/or not being able to handle real world situations that aren't graphic but touch on sensibilities.
This series has 2 protagonists; it's essentially showing you how a good person vs an evil person would handle becoming a god and what happens when they figure out each others existence. The beginning episodes are meant to highlight their intents and their sense of purpose or malice. It's essentially a take on if god and the devil were both on earth and showing the
chaos and miracles that ensue. The characters are written extremely well; you truly get a sense for their personality, morals etc. in the first two episodes. The art and sound are both top tier; but the art isn't on the level of lets say magus bride or houseki no kuni. The sound also has some instances where a simple musical piece would enhance it big time but it's not lacking; just not top end.
Overall this is a seinen show and if you want a 2 dimensional anime instead of something where you actually have to find meaning in, instead of it being shoved in your face. It's both beautiful and brutal so I'd watch the first three episodes and make your decision(you'll get a feel for what to expect and how good will truly be good and evil will be evil and make you feel disgust). From there you should get a pretty good feel for how the plot is going to be told. It will make you feel human watching it; the purpose is to turn you off from violent scenes instead of glorifying them like most generic shows do. If anything it's about how you as a human react and truly asking yourself "what would I do given these powers" and truly thinking instead of saying "x is bad I'd be a hero" truly think. During the most recent episode just putting yourself in the position of either character; the choices you'd have to make will not just impact you but every one around you and weigh heavily on you.
Overall it's worth watching 3 episodes if you can handle adult themes; this is an anime that's rated 17+ for a reason so younger viewers shouldn't start it if they can't handle suggestive themes like lets say, graphic violence, sexual themes, drug usage, psychological themes and emotional distress.
TLDR; if you can handle big boy topics it's good; if you don't want to be exposed to them don't. This means being able to handle touchy subjects and seeing them from others perspectives.
*Minimum Spoiler DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA!!! Review*
TL;DR: No, this is not a Inuyasha remake. It's your typical Japanese Shounen version of "Breaking Bad" but with good vs evil mindless sci-fi that makes you question, who would win? Some edgy teenager or some wholesome grandpa! Oh there is also Anime Trump!
[Story: 7/10 , Characters: 5/10, Art: 4/10, Sound: 6/10, Enjoyment: 8/10]
"So, you're telling me... I'm the villain?" - Hiro Shishigami
Inuyashiki is your classic psychological sci-fi anime, by the visionary mangaka, Hiroya Oku (GANTZ), where the core idea explores the juxtaposition of two ideologies centered around a single question: "What makes a person "human"? Especially when that person used to
be a human but after a slight alteration with Aliens, they are nothing more than a reconstruction of themselves out of spare parts. This anime is a bit twisted at times when looking at humans moral ethics and at times ludicrous with its out of character "bang bang" fight sequences. However, it is enjoyable to watch albeit its questionable CGI animations and over the top finger banging skills. Regardless, if you don't mind watching a mindless yet mind-tickling sci-fi action flick, then just watch it. The story in a nutshell is about a shunned Grandpa, Inuyashiki, who dies by alien crash, gets resurrected as a machine with all of his feelings intact and serves justice. Little does he know, the same fate happens to Shishigami but instead of serving justice he commits mass murder. The interesting part of the story is that they both have the exact same power and limitations however one feels humanly emotions from saving people and the other from killing people. This very simple good vs evil setup helps us explore and enjoy the show rather than getting caught up in a convoluted ambiguous melodramatic plot drama. The story is edgy and real to an extent that you can sort of question yourself, "well, if I don't know them, do their lives really matter to me." Regardless, the story is adapted pretty well by Studio MAPPA and has a solid ending. Whether it is good or bad that's for you to decide.
"He isn't Hiro anymore. He is just a killing machine." - Naoyuki Andou
The fun part about this anime are the characters. They main two characters Inuyashiki and Shishigami are polar opposites of each other. They are juxtaposed so well that each of them become foils for one another. You have the morally ethical eponymous protagonist, Inuyashiki, on one end of the spectrum and then you have the chaotic unethical eponymous antagonist, Shishigami, on the other end of the spectrum. Best part is, they don't really realize if they are the typical "hero" or "villain" till half-way through the anime. The side characters aren't too well developed other than Andou, who is best friends with both Shishigami and Inuyashiki and acts as the control variable or represent the viewer evaluating the decisions of both. In a way, it just makes this unrealistic sci-fi anime more realistic and grounded to our society.
"I want you to spend the rest of your lives thinking about the people you’ve hurt and the lives you’ve ruined.” - Ichiro Inuyashiki
Aside from the linear plot and polar opposite characters, for a studio like MAPPA, the CGI animation didn't really live up to its expectation as the show progressed from the first few episodes. By the end, the CGI animations in the fight sequences seemed choppy and some frames were noticeably poorly drawn. If they maintained the quality throughout, this show could've been even better. However, the OP Song "My Hero" and the ED song "Ai wo Oshiete Kureta Kimi e" were really suited for this anime. They are fun to listen to over and over again. The background score was pretty decent. However, since this anime did deals with death a lot, maybe more violin background scores could've enhanced the show. Lastly, the seiyuus did a great job. They made every character feel important. The seiyuu for Inuyashiki was spot on. Kudos to him.
"Anyway, did you hear? There are already 10 fan clubs for Shishigami" - A mindless chick from the anime.
Overall, Inuyashiki is your typical mind-tickling sci-fi anime about two people with the same power but different goals; where one feels alive when saving lives and the other feels alive by taking lives. Sure it deals with some moral ethical dilemmas however it's a show meant to not be taken itself too seriously. If you prefer serious psychological shows, then Parasyte is what you are looking for. Nevertheless, If you don't mind mishandled CGI animation and want a good laugh by watching a kickass Grandpa, then definitely give this show a watch. Let me know later how you like it as well as share with me your favourite quote from the anime! Bang!
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
The leaves have fallen, the windy days and chilly mornings have appeared; it's the start of the best season of the year. With my favourite's month arrival, we got quite a pack of new anime to digest with a wide range of emotions. Different studios have yet again filled our ever-hungry stomachs with their representatives, ranging from action-centred goodies to cute girls and finishing on edge fiesta blobs. There was Wit's newborn hot show, which has completely stolen the spotlight as the most popular non-sequel, Pierrot's abomination, J.C.Staff's new food porn and more, yet even though I had so many pieces of work to pick
from, there was only that one show which instantly grabbed my attention and didn't let me go from it... it was Inuyashiki.
The story of this anime takes place in modern age Japan, where our main character Inuyashiki Ichirou lives his unlucky life. His family neglects him and by the end of the day, a doctor diagnosed him with stomach cancer. In anger and sadness, he ran to what appears to be a public park to lament his cursed life. A blinding light came out of nowhere and Ichirou wakes up in the morning, only to discover he's been made into a robot. Sounds somewhat neat right? I mean, how often do we get to encounter a protagonist who's a 58-year-old man given a chance to save people's lives with the use of an unknown power? Yet, at first, I had mixed feelings about the show, mainly due to the massive number of times of discussions regarding its source material's quality. The fact that MAPPA, a studio which has already demonstrated me that I shouldn't trust it when it comes down to interesting premises, was behind it didn't help to remove that precariousness by a single bit. And as it turned out, my inner worries were right.
The writing in Inuyashiki is as irritating and wacky as one can get! Yes, we did have some fantastic moments here and there; the second and third episodes were shining like diamonds on a dark and cloudy sky, but the rest of it felt like an utter joke. Take for instance the 4th episode: an ordinary and innocent family was introduced to us in order to let the cliched and evil highly ranked member of a crime syndicate ruin their day. But don't you worry, Inuyashiki is here to save the day! It wouldn't normally bother me; I'm watching an anime with a hero with it, moments like that are unavoidable, heck, they're part of hero's life and at one point or another, we would get a situation like this. Sadly enough, this show is constantly using this scheme: Establish a character, less or more deeply and throw him or her into a situation where Inuyashiki is the only hope for them. The already brought up 4th episode might have the most eye-catching example of this, yet there are more instances of it. In the episode 7th, a businesswoman was brought up to our screens to be cured of cancer (Ok, Hiro did it, but it still doesn't change anything.) and in the 9th episode we were shown a completely unimportant background character in a plane, and guess what happened to that plane? It safely landed on the beach, because of the grandpa's aid. Definitely, the worst of them all, is the case of Mari. She started getting a lot more screen time before, we knew more and more about her and her past for what purpose? To be magically saved by her dad in the 10th episode (even though she should be dead by the time of his arrival). Yes, that was the entire point of her character, just like the rest, she wasn't in any way needed in the story, she hasn't done anything to the plot, even with the superior amount of development she received in comparison to others, which is a damn shame.
This series pacing is... special? I could make a gigantic list of times where we saw something happening on the screen, blinked, and magically we were in a completely different place, time and fucking episode. Again, look at the 4th episode since it's just a damn pot full of examples to use. The old man walked into the room with the girl induced with drugs from the "baddie", she was laying and screaming on the bed and a second later she's standing in front of Robo Grandpa. I didn't know that this anime had the Flash in it, damn.
The robotic bodies our main characters got, is the part where Inuyashiki's writing shows how absurd it can get. I understand it. It's an alien war machine, so when Hiro told us that he can tap into all the Internet messaging, police radios, security cameras from around the world, it was rather believable. Heck, even the sentence about sending an American nuclear missile to China without breaking a sweat, was convincing. We saw it's fighting capabilities, weaponry, durability, the autopilot mode, so what's wrong with it? Even though I know all of these pieces of information, I still cannot get around the fact that this show fed us with so many damn plot devices!
One of which is Hiro's hand handgun (a pun intended), his most signature weapon. Can someone actually explain how does it work? It functions like a "normal" pistol, it's barrel is its owner's index finger, right? So, why in the world does saying the onomatopoeia of a machine gun's gun-shot make it shoot like one? It doesn't make any damn sense, but do you know what's even worse? Holding an invisible rifle in your hands and being able to fire it! What the actual hell is it? What's next? An ability to cure diseases? Oh... nevermind.
Another example would be a USB port underneath Ichirou's fingernail. Why would there be one in a piece of machinery from outer space? I don't think that a race with far advanced technology would go on and use one of these.
But the ultimate plot device, which made 0 fucking sense, was the ability to transport your projectile/bullet-ish something through your phone's screen right to some guy's mobile device's screen and kill him. How does it work? How does it make any sort of sense to people behind this show? Does it make sense to you? I have spent a good portion of time trying to figure out, how out of mind someone had to be in order to come up with a tumour-inducing idea like this and honestly I still don't know the answer.
As for the characters, let's just say it here; all of them are one-dimensional beyond belief. Because of that, there weren't many figures who I could describe in more than one sentence, besides our main duo for obvious reasons. Either they were thrown in to serve as a damsel in distress or they would just fill up the background with their presence, and to say it nicely, most of them were bloody morons. We had some random bad kids trying to kill a homeless person with their fireworks for absolutely no reason and some hooligans who wanted to beat the heck out of a random guy for pointing them out that there was a line to the taxi.
So, let's just start with Hiro and, oh boy, what a mess he is. Our main antagonist was, at first presented as a handsome and popular teenager who was killing people to make himself feel alive. However, as the story has continued, it looked like the creator didn't know what he wanted Hiro to be, a psychopath? TV reporters have said that he was killing animals as a child, which literally implies his psychopathic personality, his actions and the sentences he said over the course of the show are the same, so what's the problem? His "personality" shifts like a damn wave, from a cold-hearted killing machine to a guy who apparently cares for someone who was stupid enough to bring him home and vice-versa. Every single time Hiro wants to show emotions; they come off as fake, which would make sense in a case of a psychopath. Yet, it feels like they were trying to make our villain look more complex and more humane, but the result they get is an unbelievably unrealistic and plainly fake character. The whole idea of making the most basic embodiment of evil be something else just tripped over its own ambition.
Inuyashiki, on the other hand, isn't that haywire. Even though at times, he was irrelevant to the story he's the centre of, which was a very interesting thing to see. I'm still enormously happy to see that at least as the generic personification of good, he was a pretty okayish mixture of a likeableness and relatability and quite frankly, the reason why I enjoyed plenty of scenes more than I would have. His character actually grew as the show has progressed, which is an achievement in itself.
If I had to describe Inuyashiki's animation, the first thing that would come to my mind would be: overly ambiguous and inconsistency. Why do I assume so? Throughout the series, there are many instances of that unfulfilled desire and deviation of quality. They occurred mainly due to the abundance of CGI scenes done so poorly or in even worse cases, the said inconsistency in 2D animation. I almost thought the animators were having a drunk party while they were completing their job when there were scenes with CGI and 2D blended together in the most repulsive way imaginable. The quality of what we were seeing on the screen would jump out of boundaries in order to screw itself up, which at times was both hilarious and plainly depressing.
The sound of Inuyashiki is in all honesty, is the most valuable part of it. While it does have an equitable share of rather questionable sound effects here and there, I can't stress enough how much I adore these small insert songs and the opening itself. They fulfil their purpose on an actual decent level, getting you in the mood to watch some action. It does create an unsettling feeling inside your body... you just can feel the hype, which doesn't happen all that often.
Did I enjoy Inuyashiki? Both yes and no. The number of times when I was scratching my damn head because of the stupidity happening on the screen was huge, yet I couldn't find myself truly disliking it. This series just oozes with an extremely eerie sensation: you know that it's schlock, but at the same time you are enjoying it even in the smallest degree. The sole fact that I've rewatched it says a lot since I haven't done it before. "Turn off your brain", a sentence I hate with a burning passion, yet in this case, actually fits perfectly.
I mean, when I was drunk as hell, this series was a top-notch fun.
In conclusion, Inuyashiki is like a sinewave stuck on its bottom. Inconsistent, rushed and jumbled schlock with so many problems, I could probably cover up the surface of our planet with them. Horrible pacing and characters with either no purpose, development or any logic behind them, which in itself is pretty absent in this PlotDeviceGenerator 9000, are the most noticeable ones. A "fast food like" show, while somewhat enjoyable, would have been a lot better if given enough care and attention to details. A gore fiesta which will, quite literally, make you question whether MAPPA is doing terrible shows on purpose or not.
(As an added bonus, I've counted how many times it has been said that a certain character has or had cancer and guess what? Damn 5.)
Ah, Inuyashiki, a series that had the potential to be a hit, turned into a forgettable experience. I really tried to like this anime but seems like MAPPA didn't want me to. You see, Inuyashiki is an anime full of plot conveniences, asspulls and bullshit. Why? I have several reasons why, as the same way people would have their reasons to say this anime is good, so let's get started. There might be spoilers on this review, so be warned
TL;DR: Overall Section
There is absolutely no story on this anime, nothing meaningful actually happens, there is the concept of "Good and Evil" but there isn't anything
worth to be called a "story". The anime itself lacks direction, first you get that some aliens crashed and "accidentally" killed both the Main Character and the "Antagonist", then the same aliens reconstruct them into some sort of automatons. That's it. An "accident", there goes the whole argument of the series, the Aliens topic is never touched again, they don't even return to get their weapons back (I mean, they could have returned with some robot pieces that aren't weapons). Let's be aware that this "accident" gave powerful weapons to 2 random people and also made them immortal, because why not. Its like activating "God mode" cheat on a sandbox game like GTA to create a low tier Michael Bay film. There you have it, Senseless gore fest with no purpose at all. It can be entertaining for a while, but it becomes old pretty fast. Same thing happened to Re:Creators with Altair, it becomes boring with some time and you are just expecting shit to be done for good but it doesn't and it drags a lot.
The pace on this anime is atrocious, the "Antagonist" changes from being a psychopath to a caretaker and back to a psychopath so freaking fast that makes it look like a joke, specially when the anime tries to make you feel bad for the "Antagonist". Having such an atrocious pace just backfires, there are better ways to portray a psychopath villain but Inuyashiki fails at it, Its pretty hard to develop good characters in 11 episodes, specially when the pace is as inconsistent as Hiro's behaviour. This anime also likes to add a lot of irrelevant characters to either show how retards they are or just for the sake of plot conveniences.
The Amount of bullshit that is thrown at your face is ridiculous, people on this anime acts like a bunch of idiots. There were several times where I could hit myself with a brick because of the stupidity of the entire population of Japan (and also the antagonist). Another thing that I found as bullshit is the way how these "alien weapons" works, At first it was a bit believable to think that Hiro's "Handgun" were an Air compressed weapon, But this is thrown away and it easily becomes an asspull, because somehow with this "Handgun" you can kill someone through a screen (Or either form a rifle with your bare hands and make it work like it is real) How convenient. 2/10
The animation on this anime is fairly decent for most of time... That's it, until we get thrown with 3D CGI scenes that pretty much lacks (and sometimes it is quite unnecessary) It looks stiff and poorly made. Even Vanishing Line has better animation than this and it doesn't entirely depends on CG to make good fighting scenes (Take in consideration that Vanishing Line is also being made by MAPPA) 5/10
Ah, the voice acting... Some people said that the voice actors are actually Live Action actors and that their role is to sound "real", but "real" isn't something I can think of when hearing their voices, it isn't entirely bad, but not that good either. The soundtrack of this anime comes in the pack of terrible writing, direction and pace, it doesn't work as intended so of course it won't hit. 5/10
I already stated before (and several times on forums) my dislike with the characters. To make it quick, Old Man Inuyashiki is WAY TOO MUCH for this anime, the entire population is way too stupid to even deserve what Inuyashiki did for them. Other than that, The characters on this anime also comes in the pack of terrible writing, pace and direction. Character development lacks when there isn't a significant concept and plot to follow. The way things happens is way to abrupt and very fast paced that the character development is trashed away easily. 2/10
And still, after all that clusterfuck of shit happening, this anime were still entertaining. It will satisfy those that doesn't care that much about these details or those that wants some senseless action. But if you can't let certain details aside, I'd recommend you to skip this anime and watch something else. 5/10
Overall 4/10 (3,6): The terrible direction, pace, and writing killed an anime that could have been a hit. Significant plot is missing, characters executed poorly, plot conveniences, asspulls and a lot of bullshit.
First a brief non spoiler review for those who haven't watched it:
Inuyashiki is a seemingly ultra violent, schlocky sci fi - bullshit thingy. And as far as that goes, it's excellent. It has good tension building, very tight pacing, very strong characterization, memorable lines, striking visuals (albeit with sometimes so-so CG), interesting social commentary, a great musical score and one of the most badass opening themes in recent memory. On top of that it's a complete manga adaptation with a solid ending.
It may have some strange writing in places, the story goes in to some wacky directions and the violence ranges from over the top
silliness to just plain depressing and uncomfortable. But all of it is somehow very entertaining nonetheless.
The following is an analysis of the series full of spoilers.
If you haven't watched the entire thing do NOT read any further. You have been warned.
Episode 1 opens with a pan out shot of an ant crawling out from underneath a car until the MC steps out of his car, while stepping in front of the ant, blocking its path. The ant then changes direction and keeps walking. This is likely foreshadowing the hit and run the aliens do on our main characters later in the episode while also foreshadowing the ending when the asteroid's about to strike the earth. The parallels between these events are fairly obvious if you think about it - giant thing (man/ spaceship/ asteroid) randomly and without any malicious intent comes close to crushing something more vulnerable (man/ant/earth) only for it to survive after altering its course.. This also establishes the running theme of this series which I will get in to.
The rest of the episode focuses on the titular character Inuyashiki Ichiro and his mid life crisis. He buys his family a new house that happened to be right next to a rich mangaka's mansion (this briefly comes in to play later) and his family is ungrateful towards his efforts. If that's not enough, Ichiro is informed that he has cancer and only 3 months to live and his only comfort becomes a stray dog that he finds. About midway through the episode the inciting incident happens when Inuyashiki and Hiro get hit and die by accident from an alien spaceship, and then rebuilt as machines with their emotions and memories still intact (I don't know, just roll with it). Ichiro later discovers his new powers when he saves a homeless man (notice that this man was on the payphone promising to find a job and better himself, it's important) from a bunch of teenage thugs. Ichiro then remarks "I feel alive".
This same line is later repeated by Hiro in the very next episode after murdering an entire family. Clearly painting a good vs evil contrast between the two.
In episode 2 Hiro is introduced as an intelligent teenage boy who's not interested in a social life despite his sharp tongue and good looks. He's asked what he thinks about a hot girl he's shown by his fellow students and his response is how shallow and lacking in personality that girl is and claims that he much prefers a fictional character with an actual personality (in this case, best gir.. er.. I mean Nami from One Piece).
At least partially, Hiro can be seen as a by-product of society. As a backlash to what the author perceives as a shallow society that judges people based on their looks and not their character (I'll come back to this topic later).
That's not to say that his actions are shown in a positive light in the slightest. The main purpose of this is to draw a clear line between Hiro and the rest of society. Which is important since he ends up declaring war on that society, but I digress.
Later in the episode Hiro sits with Andou, a socially awkward friend of his, in his room who's been absent from school due to being bullied and also happens to be a fan of Gantz (the other manga from the same author as this) and they go back and forth a bit on how Andou can possibly be a fan of such a violent manga. Hiro also points out that the manga has been heavily scrutinized by social media like 2chan (they also come in to play later). Referencing Gantz may seem like this is just the author advertising his own work but I think there's a little more to it. On one side you have Andou who's a gentle non violent person who loves a violent and deeply disturbed manga. This might be commentary about how violent fiction doesn't necessarily cause violence in real life. Or maybe he's just defending his own work, it's hard to tell.
On the other hand you have Hiro who's a fan of the lighthearted shonen manga, One Piece which I am sure is not a coincidence. The main theme of One Piece is pursuing your dreams and the power of friendship and, not coincidentally, you see Hiro an episode later murdering the boys who are bullying his friend, all for his sake.. Don't get me wrong, I love One Piece and shonen in general but I think the implication is that Hiro has taken the manga's message to an extreme. It's not unheard of for sociopaths to have people they feel content being with, even if it doesn't come from a particular fondness of those people and more so about their own well being. And it's clear he never was a normal person, it is mentioned in passing that he used to kill animals as a child for fun, and the suicide he witnessed at the train station screwed him up further which gave him a sensation and a lust for human blood. It's also the event that likely lead him to contemplate in the park where the aliens crashed in the first place.
The only person he seems to show genuine affection for is his mother who divorced her husband and presumably worked her ass off to raise him. She even has cancer and weary eyes that make her appear older than she is.. Sound familiar?
Later in the series he also forms a connection with a girl from his school and her grandma. But this connection is mostly one of convenience and doesn't seem all that genuine due to his body language when with them and that he even considered killing them in their sleep.
Every day happy families also seem to make Hiro feel discontent due to his split up family background even if he's not fully aware of it. This is demonstrated in episode 2 and 3 when he breaks in to random family's houses and murders every family member. Even in the first family he killed there's a particular emphasis on when he kills the father of the household - the father's body falls on his child while they're in the bathtub drowning him, making it seem almost as if the father himself was the one strangling him. You can see this alluding to Hiro's disdain for (or his general relationship with) his father which we know he's not very fond of.. He seems to visit his father's new family out of obligation and nothing else. Or maybe it's just cruel senseless violence for the sake of it. Sure. But whether you like hearing this or not, children without fathers in the house are more likely to become criminals, drug addicts or screwed up in some way.
Sociopaths are also known to be highly intelligent which Hiro demonstrates very well with his sharp, opinionated dialogue and quick learning skills of how to use his new body (and by liking Nami ofc). He learns pretty quickly how to hack any computer he wants and to use all the dangerous weaponry at his disposal. Meanwhile, we see the average salary man, Ichiro struggling to learn how to fly, heal people etc'. Even by the end of the series Hiro is way ahead of him to the point where he already figured out how to self destruct. This also might be commentary on their age difference and how older people are less familiar with modern tech. Which seems to be reinforced when Andou teaches Ichirou how to turn his body in to a cell phone.
While I do think Hiro is an amoral individual to the core that doesn't mean he's not capable of doing good things too. Him going around curing people from terminal diseases was a good thing in practice, but it was not done out of the goodness of his heart, but for his own benefit in pleasing his girlfriend. Manipulating others and adjusting your persona is all part of being a sociopath. It's also worth mentioning that this short lived change in Hiro's ways is a result of a completely random encounter with this girl, which ties in to both the beginning and ending of this story that are made up of life changing random occurrences.
All of the above are clues we get about Hiro throughout the series. we never actually get a full backstory or inner monologue because that will evoke sympathy which I'm positive is not the intent of this story. Thus it also stands to reason that this series begins by fleshing out Ichirou's personal life before the alien crash happens, while Hiro doesn't get the same treatment and we only experience his character after the fact
As a result of Hiro's mentality, in the last stretch of episodes he declares war on the entirety of Japan. Which seems over the top but in this point in the story the police are after him, his mother already committed suicide, his semi girlfriend, her grandma and even his friend Andou don't want anything to do with him anymore. He even stole a bunch of money for them and they refuse to use it out of principal. He's basically making up for his loss by killing people one by one which is clearly his favorite pastime. It's either that or he just runs away and hides somewhere for the rest of his life.
The reason Hiro sacrificed himself in the end seems to be ambiguous. Sure, he said it's for his girlfriend and Andou, but there's evidence that suggests otherwise:
First, lets not forget that his body is wrecked, he's crippled for life, just like the gangsters Ichiro confronted early in the series. Second, as stated above he has nothing left to live for. Third, He didn't look Ichiro in the eye when he gave him that reason, despite looking him in the eye in his next line of dialogue - suggesting that he's lying (if you look at the equivalent manga chapter  this is even more apparent, I looked it up for this). Fourth, an episode earlier he discovered that he's the villain and Ichiro is the hero in the eyes of the public and he was very upset about it to the point of tears. Ichiro also informs him that saving people is what makes him feel alive. And shortly before he sacrifices himself, Andou tells him that he's not Hiro (a Hero) anymore, just a reckless killing machine, which results in him shedding tears once again ...
Conclusion: he didn't mind dying at this point in the story anyway and wanted to be the hero for once, inspired by Ichiro's heroism for the wrong reasons, he did it for his self image and 'feeling alive' one last time. I'm guessing that's the reason for his heroic sounding name.
Ichiro on the other hand is the ideal hero we all want, but still relatable and human in his own right. Indiscriminately saving both humans and animals alike. He goes around in hospitals curing people who are terminally ill and he beats up thugs.
Furthermore Ichiro actually had all the trappings of being a villain himself - in the beginning of the series he was 3 months away from death, his family barely talks to him and he looks 20 years older than he really is, which is probably a result of him working to the bone to support his family. There's even a symbolic image in the opening theme that shows him with what appears to be a factory popping out of his body while lying on his back, suggesting that he's working himself in to an early grave (something that's known to happen in Japan). This is just speculation, but I suspect that his overwork might also play a part in his neglected relationship with his family.
Anyway, All of this is a good excuse for him to be angry at the world, and despite that he still remains a good person and sticks to his principles to the end. Hiro's problems are peanuts compared to his but due to their age difference and general attitude towards life, Ichiro is experienced enough to know the consequences of his own actions.
Another interesting thing about him is that he's not perfect and his extreme naivety can also lead to some morally questionable actions as well. Like leaving a bunch of gangsters blind and crippled for life when simply killing them would've been more humane. You even see how hesitant he is at first on whether to put himself in danger for others, like any human being would. Hell, in the final battle he even blows up a satellite with the debris falling on the ground unintentionally putting the people below at risk (though to be fair, it's preferable to the risk of Hiro massacring them). That aside, his impact on random people that he saves (who get fleshed out well for minor characters, btw) is implied. The most prominent one is the character arc involving his daughter learning to appreciate him and applying for Shonen Jump which was very sweet. It goes to show that good deeds aren't just good on their own, but they may also inspire others to better themselves. While Hiro's perceived "good deeds" lead to nothing but tragedy for himself and others.
Ichiro remains the ideal hero we all want and adore and I wouldn't have it any other way. The man helps others without a second thought and doesn't brag or feel the need to be praised for it. After all, the man went out of his way to hide his powers from the public (because apparently Japanese hospitals don't have security cameras lol). On the other hand, it did cross my mind that he might be doing these things solely to 'feel alive' (because that's what he says) which is the same selfish reason Hiro has for killing people. But it's made clear that he has his heart in the right place and we see that he's genuinely distressed when someone else is in danger, even a stray cat. And as I've demonstrated with Hiro, this is a series where actions speak louder than words.
While it is heartbreaking that he couldn't stay with his family in the end and that the circumstances forced him to change course - at the end of the day, he wanted his family and the entire earth to keep living because of his good nature. He's the man who shows that not all hope is lost and fills the role of our 'Last Hero'. The fact that even the last thing we see in the final episode consists of his daughter being accepted in shonen jump and his son fighting bullies implies that his sacrifice will have a lasting impact on a larger scale and that society won't stay as shallow and amoral as the author suggests through out the series. I'm sure the homeless man from episode 1 followed through on his promise to better himself too.
To wrap up how I view the main characters' I'm gonna say that they're both separate from the author's largely negative view of society. Both of them don't fit in to their surroundings for different reasons and the decision to cast live action actors to voice them seems like an attempt to make them stand out as much as possible. They're also polar opposites of each other, one has no trace of empathy for others while the other (arguably) has too much empathy. They make up the best and worst of humanity, while the general public are varying degrees in the middle, not sure which side they will end up gravitating towards. That is of course until the end - where it becomes clear that Ichiro won, and not because he won the fight (though that helps too) but because he helped inspire others and made their lives better and even went as far as to inspire a murderous sociopath to do the right thing that only he is capable of doing, even if it's for the wrong reasons.
Characters aside, now is a good time to expand a bit more on the social commentary. I thought it was clever that most people kept using cellphones even after Hiro was able shoot and kill people through them and they were explicitly warned about it. The way it was portrayed was over the top, sure, but it's clear that the author is well aware of how stupid it is, otherwise he wouldn't call attention to it repeatedly and so blatantly to the point of even having a character say the line: "I'd rather die than not have a phone".
Obviously this is also commentary on our over reliance on these gadgets. It's funny too since both of the main characters would literally die if not for their mechanical bodies (which also happened to be used as phones occasionally lol).
Speaking of which, I liked how the main character's mechanical bodies weren't explained verbally, instead we're shown how they work visually.
For example there's apparently an emergency mechanism for when the body is in danger and the user is knocked unconscious (through heavy blows) and a little camera appears at the back of the head and starts shooting lasers everywhere like some kind of home security system. Which is probably why when Ichiro gets shot repeatedly in the back of the head at one point, he's knocked unconscious and the camera doesn't come out. We also see that water is helpful in oiling it back up. I even liked how clear it was that Ichiro was not a skilled fighter despite the mechanical body. When he fights some thugs at one point he just sloppily swings his fists around like an amature would..
Back to the commentary: Hiro gaining a fanbase as a mass murderer is due to his looks. Not only is it not unrealistic, sadly, but judging a book by its cover is also a recurring theme in the series. Most notably when Hiro refuses to acknowledge a woman based on her looks in episode 2. Or when people consider Ichiro an elderly when he's only 58 years old (rightfully so in his case) or earlier in the series when he saves a couple that consist of an ugly man and a beautiful woman, while the people surrounding them look at them funny for that very reason. Hell, that same woman later gets kidnapped solely because of her looks. And lastly a female cancer patient crying in the street while kids point at her, calling her "ugly bitch". This idea brilliantly came full circle and right back to Hiro who rejected it in the first place. It's consistent with how the general public was depicted through out the series.
As for the whole asteroid thing towards the end. This was introduced around episode 8 and at first I thought it was a lazy excuse for a shoehorned climax.. But by the time it ended I realized that it did give the series a high note to end on and it gives the main characters closure that was in tune with their motives and it's also a nice callback to the very beginning. Accidents like Ichiro almost stepping on an ant, forcing it to alter its course. Aliens crashing on earth which resulted in the main characters pursuit of feeling alive again through different means. Hiro changing his ways, briefly, thanks to a random encounter with a girl who confessed to him earlier. And lastly, the asteroid which forced the main characters to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
Admittedly, accidents don't make for good storytelling methods, especially when it comes at the very end of a story.. But accidents are a part of life and I think this is all part of the 'set in the real world' vibe this show is going for. I don't think it's a coincidence that live action actors were hired as part of the voice cast and many real life events, figures and organizations are mentioned throughout the series. Gantz, the 9/11 look alike and that the president is Donald Trump (and not some random fictional president) and that Ichiro's neighbor is apparently Eichiro Oda and 2chan being a thing, or an ad for 'Man with a Mission's new album (the band that sings the op song) being displayed in the street, Shonen Jump, One Piece, etc', etc', etc'.
This is even reflected in the fairly realistic character designs, mechanical designs and background art. And heck, even in small seemingly pointless sequences like seeing the dog randomly trip off the stairs or Hiro realizing that he can't speak in space, only to use his phone 2 seconds later. These are types of things you normally wouldn't see in a fictional story.
All of this leads me to suspect that the author and the high caliber director, Keiichi Sato knew exactly what they were doing when making this. Life just doesn't always go as planned and we need to change plans accordingly, try to better ourselves to the best of our ability and make the best out of a bad situation. That's what this series seems to be about.
Or maybe it's just a schlocky sci fi title with senseless violence. That works too lol.
----END OF SPOILERS--
At face value, I'd say this still is a good vs evil type of story, showcasing both the best and worst of humanity and everything in between. I don't always agree with the social commentary, but it's timely and interesting nonetheless. It also doesn't feel the need to spell everything out, its characters are entirely defined by their actions and surprisingly, its message is a lot more optimistic compared to this author's previous work.
The biggest disappointment of the season is definitely Inuyashiki. I wanted to love it, but in the end, it was held back by far too many unavoidable issues.
The first episode introduces you to the melancholy life of a dying man, Inuyashiki Ichiro, who is in a loveless marriage with two kids that despise him. The director gets you truly feel sad for him through quiet and somber moments of him alone in his everyday life.
I was impressed with how well the director got me to care about a character I just met, but sadly none of the episodes following it quite lived up
to its relatively lofty achievement.
In episode 2 we’re introduced to the psychotic villain Hiro Shishigami, the most undercooked and confusingly written villain I’ve ever seen in an anime.
What broke the show for me:
1. The ratio of chapters to episodes is 85:11. I have no doubt this is the cause of the show's horrible pacing issues and underdeveloped characters.
2. Killing cute little animals doesn’t make you poignant, it’s just edgy and blatant attempt to make the audience feel sad.
3. Shishigami. A villain with unexplained abilities, unclear motives, and no charisma.
4. The unbelievable stupidity of the citizens of Japan, real people wouldn’t just stand around and let themselves be killed!
5. The tone-deaf social commentary. That 9/11 episode. I don’t know if it was meant to be social criticism on America, but it came off as incredibly disrespectful and tasteless. It doesn’t matter how many years it has been, there are some lines that you should not cross.
6. The art quality declines and the CGI look like something out of a PS1 era game.
At first, the ambiguity of how Inuyashiki and Shishigami got powers drew me into the show. You could interpret it by saying that the aliens wanted to test humanity by giving powers to the best and worst humans. However, the longer I watched it the more I realized that the ambiguity is only there to cover up a lack of any lore and avoid world building. There is nothing deeper at play here. Unless you intend to analyze the sick mind of the show’s twisted author.
You may not feel it now, but once you get to the end you’ll feel as cynical towards the writer as I do now, it’s just incredibly lazily written.
Poorly explain logic to the cyborg abilities. The pacing is all over the place. When a show as full of violence as Inuyashiki doesn’t give its viewers any room to breathe between the horror, I can’t help but wonder if the director didn’t even care whether or not we had the time to analyze what we were seeing. Is it just meant to be a fun thrill ride of super-powered cyborg destruction? If so, then why is there no charm or charisma to the characters? Why do they all have realistic sounding voices and realistic designs? The answer is that Inuyashiki was intended to be taken seriously. However, unless you’re able to turn off your brain you won't get much out of it.
On top of all of the show's issues, the ending is fucking awful. It's so rushed that its "emotional impact" hits about as hard as a foam bullet from a nerf gun. I had heard from people that read the manga that the ending was bad so I was prepared. However, nothing could have prepared me for how abhorrently cliche and contrived it was. The entire conflict of the final arc starts and ends in the last few minutes of the final episode. This gave me no time at all for the weight of the situation to sink in.
It's the kind of ending that is so bad that it hurts the overall quality of the rest of the show.
Inuyashiki is a great person, but a woefully undercooked character. The first episode does a great job of getting you into his mindset. He’s a kind caring old man who is for (some unexplained reason) hated by his family and ignored by everyone, then he gets cyborg powers (for some more unexplained reasons) and uses them save lives and be the become the best hero ever. We sure lucked out that the guy who got cool cyborg powers was a compassionate old man… right?
Then there’s Hiro Shishigami, the other guy who got cyborg powers. He’s Inuyashiki’s foil and the show’s main antagonist. You’ve never seen a poker face until you’ve seen Shishigami, but that’s about all that his character is good for. He murders dozens of innocent people with his powers in long and overdone scenes. We get it! He’s a murderer!! You don’t need ten minutes an episode to remind us.
Inuyashiki is pushed aside to make room for the less interesting Shishigami, which in turn means the majority of scenes in the show are unpleasant and full of tasteless violence. The potential of Inuyashiki’s character is never explored. I was expecting we would see a subversion on the hero’s journey trope, but instead all that came from his character was a contrived and overwrought melodrama. He’s comparable to a popped balloon that sprays out hot air and fart noises for 11 episodes. All pathos, no development.
Hiro taking center stage is most likely a result of the writer’s obsession with psychopaths and violently killing innocent people because that is just about all Hiro seems to exist for. His logic for doing what he does becomes more convoluted as the show goes on, he changes his motivations at the drop of a hat, never really giving you a chance to analyze his insanity.
Their conflicting personalities does add some depth to look into. If the good versus evil allegory isn't completely trite to you. Plenty of other better anime have taken on this theme but if you must suffer through Inuyashiki at least you'll have one thing to motivate you to keep watching. It adds an extra layer to read into and its the only character traits that remain consistent throughout the series.
Ugly CGI. It looks just as janky and unfitting to the show’s 2d art as the CGI skeletons from Dies Irae. Incredibly jarring switches from normal art to CGI that breaks immersion constantly.
In the first few episodes, the CGI is used frugally and only during action scenes, it is used to capture the complexity of the mechanical cyborg components and their small details. At first, I praised the CGI for being used creatively and only when necessary, but in the later episodes, it is used much more. The worst part of the CGI is how awkward the characters’ faces look. It looks like something from a PS1 era game. Even their designs are a bit bland. I’d I expect the designs to be original enough to pick up a bit of slack because the characters have no charisma and very poorly defined personalities. There are better ways to create realistic characters than generic designs and tame attitudes.
For Inuyashiki to be airing at the same time as the groundbreaking CGI oriented anime “Houseki no Kuni”, it only makes its issues a hundred times worse.
Metal as hell opening and a very mellow ending. Both sound amazing, the opening is really well animated and it sadly becomes the highlight of the show during the final episodes. Good sound effects, but lacking in a certain punch. Even Houseki no Kuni felt more impactful than this.
Realistic voice acting works for drama, but this is an action-heavy show and some of the ranges required the characters were out of the voice actors capabilities. The yelling in particular sound really awkward. It's commendable that they were going for something unique but it didn't work out in my opinion. Oh yeah, I should mention Shishigami's stupid finger gun. "BANG BANG! BANG!" That shit got annoying real quick.
It was around episode four that it hit me, Inuyashiki is an anime that actively tries to make you feel horrible. This anime almost always strives to make you feel just as depressed and hopeless as it's characters. And well, it usually succeeded at its pointless goal of upsetting me. If it weren't of such a low quality I probably would have felt depressed through its entire runtime.
If you really for some reason want to feel disgustingly upset for 4 hours straight, well all I can say is good luck taking this show seriously. Due to the head-shakingly stupid reactions of the people of Japan have to the horrors that Shishigami commits it becomes more like a comedy than a tragedy.
People get killed in ways that wouldn’t be out of place in a show like Ousama game. There’s no logic to how the cyborgs work, at least not in the show. Shishigami kills people through cameras with his finger gun, Inuyashiki heals people from any ailment. I was hoping to get some enjoyment from trying to figure out the alien story and the cyborg originations or even just analyzing the enigmatic Hiro, but nope. Inuyashiki has done such a great job of making me feel cynical towards it. The combination of shoddy visuals, underdeveloped narrative, unexplored characters, and frustrating action made it a slog to get through.
[Final Score: 4.2/10]
A studio as well known as MAPPA seems so lazy to be cutting corners like this especially when smaller studios are producing work that is miles better. The moral of the story? Go watch Houseki no Kuni if you want to see an actually good example of CGI used in a creative way rather than a crutch to support a lack of budget.
Long story short.... this is based on manga made by the same person who wrote Gantz. And the author of the original has a problem - he is unable to properly portray normal people + has a huge fascination with bullying scenes and display of power being used to abuse someone in the worst way possible.
Basically, there are two types of characters in many scenes - some menacing threatening all powerful villain (for current scene, anyway) with smug expression on their face, and then some person in the process of being abused - usually in a state of teary mess -
with tears, runny nose, sweats, etc, looking all pathetic.
And this stuff isn't really fun. Because when some sort of confrontation happens between characters in the series, they ALWAYS jump into those two stereotypes, meaning there are a lot of scenes that are pretty much abuse/torture porn.
The next problem is that when abuse scene starts, the author doesn't really know where to draw the line. Meaning if there's a rape or murder involved it can happen onscreen. This is basically, lack of taste and inability to discern when an on-screen scene is necessary or if it is possible to shock the viewer with implications of something that happened off-screen and fridge logic (which can be more horrific). This problem of the author resulted in extremely poorly done episode #2, which is cringe-worthy and bad overall.
However, on some rare occasions where the author finally sees the light in the end of the tunnel and snaps out of his bad habits, there are occasional nice moment. First episode has several good examples of this.
With all that in mind, the anime greatly suffers from poor writing, and poorly written characters. Inuyashiki himself, for example, most believable when he doesn't say anything. As long as he start speaking up, he doesn't really give an impression of a real person.
Basically, the show starts with a somewhat interesting premise in the first episode, and with an unusual main character - an old man. However, it ruins the show in second episode with poorly executed shock content sequence which is pretty much "torture porn", is handled rather tastelessly, holds no real value and adds very little to the story. All things considered, it looks like the show will continue throwing "horrifying" or "shocking" scenes at the viewer one after another. Which is just a poor writing.
And this is sad.
Interesting first episode, and massive potential behind the primary idea. Poorly written second episode with pointless shock content all over the place which is handled rather tastelessly.
Decent visuals, hand-drawn anime assisted by CG assets, similar to Ajin, Sidonia no Kishi, seikai suru kado, etc. However, visual assets - cg ones - are poorly executed compared to the other shows I mentioned. The computer parts looks clearly CG, meaning they do not blend properly with backgrounds. They are okay, but could've been done better.
Does its job but nothing amazing.
The main protagonist is sympathetic, and very well portrayed in the first episode. However, main antagonist and people the antagonist interact with are poorly done and are uninteresting.
To be fair, it is something like 6/10 for the first episode, and 2/10 for the second. Due to poor handling of violence and shock content.
Well, at the moment I think a decent idea would be to watch the first episode and drop the show. Based on two episodes it looks like the idea will be to throw more and more horrifying and shocking scenes at the viewer, and that's just cheap.
So, so far it is a disappointment and there are better animes out there. I'll probably give it a try for a few more episodes, and if it doesn't improve, I will drop it.
After watching the first three episodes, and seeing how many reviewers summed this anime up as "torture porn", I felt the need to contribute a contrasting viewpoint. Now that I have watched 9 episodes, my feelings have not changed.
What we are seeing is the complete deconstruction of good versus evil, superhero versus supervillain, protagonist versus antagonist. And the two central characters are an exercise in this. What some reviewers are calling "torture porn" is actually the unflinching portrayal of pure evil. It pulls no punches. Is it necessary for the character to do the things he does? No. This is what makes him *truly* evil.
He has absolutely everything going for him--from age, to looks, to intelligence, to strong friendship--and still he uses his new-found power this way. Is it necessary for the audience to see him do the things he does? I would argue an emphatic yes. Because we see the direct contrast in the protagonist. He is *pure* goodness. He has every reason to be full of hate and resentment--ungrateful family who mistreats him, advanced aging in his appearance, complete lack of power to change his circumstances--and still he is brought to tears when he discovers he can use his power to help people and *do good*.
It's powerful. It affects you. It almost brought me to tears in the span of three episodes. That's what great writing can do.
There is a lot of torture porn out there, and I would agree that it serves no purpose. This show is not one of those cases. It's not for the psychologically squeamish, given the severity of the evil on display; but the villain's arc is no more "torture porn" than the hero's arc is "altruism porn".
By the time I´m writing this review, only 8 episodes have aired, so my opinion is subject to change.(Feel free to disagree with me, as this is the first review I have ever written and you may think whatever you want).
Starting from the story, the development of the characters are visible from the start of the series till now, both in strength and psychologically. We are shown ambiguous characters, with no "good" nor "evil", as they acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them. From a philosophy standpoint, there are intriguing reasons why every action by the main cast is done.
The art in Inuyashiki
is expressive and shows some characters´s faces can look good, and still look like a human being, not like the usual trend of drawing people whose faces are are distinguishable only by their hair, eye color and age. The direction is also impeccable.
Not much to say about this aspect, only that it fits very well. MAN WITH A MISSION´s "My Hero" is a very well made and skillfully put together OP too, that also fits perfectly the show itself.
The characters are likable, interesting, and relatable with each one´s personality being completely different, the incredible stress that is put under the mind of the characters that undergo the transformations that occur in the series leads to amazing an amazing character development, really worth of praise.
Inuyashiki´s story is one of the most unpredictable and genuinely fun to watch stories that i've watched(in anime) for a long time. It is a joy to look forward to a new episode every week, wondering what surprising events will take place in the next one.
This is an interesting story told masterfully, and I reccomend this to anyone that likes supernatural or sci-fi stories, regardless if you like Anime or not.
If you mixed Kill Bill and Deathnote, this anime would be the result.
This is the kind of anime that gives you hope in the future of mankind. I was brought to tears on multiple occasions because of how much I liked the main character.
The main character in this series is an old man, and he all the sudden gains superpowers. It’s so refreshing to see an action/superhero anime where the protagonist isn’t some stupid, overly eager, big headed, wants to be hokage/leader of the pirates, teenager.
Aside from how much I like the main character, this anime is just out of this world cool. There
are epic fight scenes, emotional high risk scenarios, and revenge scenes that are just extremely satisfying.
Inuyashiki for LA for the Fall of 2017 was one of LA's most anticipated anime to come out and heck for LA, it delivered!
There were several things worrying LA for Inuyashiki. One is the entire dynamic of Inuyashiki (the character not the anime) and Shishigami's white and black morality hammering itself in that Inuyashiki is the hope to humanity while Shishigami is the worst of humanity and everything (and by extension more of the minor one-off characters being utter assholes or horrible humans beings) and yes, Inuyashiki goes a bit into this before Inuyashiki and Shishigami have
their first confrontation. Second is the tone of this anime has mild moodswings bringing in comedic tone to a somewhat serious moment at times and lastly is the CGI.
So to defend LA's first point is that at least Inuyashiki does delve into the white and black morality and actually goes to show that Inuyashiki and Shishigami aren't completely the extreme's to their respective morality...in some sense. What does LA mean by this?, well the best example is Shishigami, does his hatred for humanity and his literal killer instincts come from his birth?...or did society change him into being this...or was it Shishigami himself?...it's never completely told to us and even with his first encounter with the dregs of humanity. Inuyashiki however only shows that his white morality is tested once Shishigami gets put into the picture. The second point to defend is that Inuyashiki (the anime) at least tries to calm us with several references to GANTZ, Hiroya Oka's other famous work and the author and artist of the original source material to Inuyashiki. Lastly the CGI to defend, it makes sense for LA at least. The CGI are used with Inuyashiki and Shishigami's robotic-ness and yeah that actually makes sense to their alien robotic technology being uncanny thus the CGI is pretty detailed all things given and even the animation isn't completely CGI just when Shishigami or Inuyashiki goes full robot this occurs.
In terms of animation by MAPPA, the animation as LA said earlier, the CGI is implemented very well, but the rest of the animation from the detailed character designs to the brilliantly done battles and uncensored gore and one, risky as hell and LA at least could tell the animation was great.
The voice acting, was actually pretty great, from Fumiyo Kohinata voicing the elderly badass Inuyashiki to the stoically tranquil insanity of Nijirou Murakami as Shishigami as well as some great performances from Sumire Uesaka, Kanata Hongo and Sumire Morohoshi as Inuyashiki's (the character) daughter, Naoyuki Ando, Shishigami's "friend" and Shion Watanabe who's befriend's Shishigami respectively. The voice acting was great all round and visceral as hell..on speaking of which...
Inuyashiki gave off LA several feelings to this anime, all very visceral. Now the visceral feelings goes from it's highs to lows, from Shishigami's stoic killing spree bringing terror to LA (no seriously, Shishigami is a terrifying villain if you put him into real life) to Inuyashiki's more bright moments showing us the ray of hope to contrast to Shishigami's.
Inuyashiki's ending might be "pointless" or "anticlimactic" to some people, however for LA, this was a nice bow to end this hectic plot of good vs. bad and once again shows us that Shishigami as the monster he is...he still has a bit of humanity left in him. LA will say this ending was well done and gave off a nice sendoff to this anime without (and hopefully) not bringing us the annoying "read the manga" ending.
Inuyashiki was one of LA's most anticipated anime for Fall 2017 and it delivered in all it's visceral and hectic "showing the best and worst of humanity" glory it did and easily became one of LA's favourites for Fall 2017. Inuyashiki just didn't fail for LA and even gave LA a VERY nice ending to go off on.
After watching this show, I cannot comprehend how people consider it AOTS material. From a pretty hazily laid out narrative that fails to deliver on the themes and questions it presents, to stale characters that are caricatures of what they're supposed to represent, Inuyashiki is a rather forgettable show that relies on shock and gore for dramatic effect as opposed to good storytelling and character development.
Art: I could not stand the jarring transitions from hand-drawn scenes to the weird CGI effects. The hand-drawn frames were actually pretty well done, but half the time the characters are shown in weird blocky CG. What's more, in many
'emotional' scenes you have these characters crying while looking like they're made of clay. Some might argue the scenes show the contrast between the machine nature of the characters at hand and the humanity they display. Sure, this was probably the
Characters: There are 2-3 main characters in Inuyashiki, with 1 or 2 new focal ones thrown in halfway. All these characters are pretty immutable and stay relatively the same from start to finish. Shishigami is a psychopath from start to finish, with brief glimpses of humanity shining through that ultimately don't really do anything to add to his character; he's made out to be a guy who cares for his family and doesn't care for anyone else, and the show ends with him maintaining this perspective. Same goes for Inuyashiki: caring guy from start to finish. This would be fine, except it's clear the show wanted to pose questions dealing with the nature of humanity vs machine: which would triumph, which is superior, etc. The show only superficially deals with these questions with a pretty banal good vs evil story, afraid to affect its characters and have them actually deal with these questions on a personal level and perhaps change due to it. So in the end, we're left with cardboare cut-outs of the 'evil' guy, the 'good' guy and a pretty boring story of what they perceive 'humanity' to be.
If you want to watch a good psychological thriller, I don't recommend Inuyashiki. There is no depth or interesting delivery of the conflicts present in the show. It is a shallow good vs evil narrative that leaves no sense of closure because there's no other conflicts to be dealt with other than the one of the protagonist vs the antagonist.
As we enter 2018, an outstanding anime has just ended, typically not your kind of run of the mill, superhero and villain kind of thing, so with no more adieu:
Very Good 8, Story:
What we have here , was your everyday old man nearing retirement and nearing his fate with the grim reaper, to add to his sentiment were his uncaring family who don't give a shit about him, until one night at the park, he stumble upon a young guy and suddenly a flash of light. After which things were never the same again for the two, but the plot here is not what both
were capable of, but what they have done with their newly discovered abilities, one chooses to abuse his power by killing, stealing and causing mayhem , one chooses to help people instead. Ok so it's such things is always in those superhero shows, but it's the human side that how they see the world should be in their perspective that counts , since here, the evil one sees himself as a villain who is not after world domination but more like doing bad things in a way like a teenager would, which is to use his power as his plaything, in fact all the bad things he does were something like a teenager with some antisocial behavior would do. The good old man on the other hand was more of a responsible one, he sees the need to help since in was in his nature of being selfless a family man despite of the experiences he is having with his family, he is more like turning his frustration into doing something good. and that's is why this ain't no run of the mill. BANG!
Good 7, Art:
The CGI were great, there were some fanservices around here were we see a naked girl being abuse by a Yakuza big shot, but nothing malicious, especially when that baddie got what it deserve and don't expect any panty flashes with Mari and Shion. BANG!
Good 7, Sound:
well, the voices were appropriate for the character's role I give studio MAPPA for that, I really like that the old man's tone, it was well suited to be this mild manner old man and Hiro's seiyuu who portrays well as an antisocial sinister guy. BANG!
Very Good 8, Character:
So we have an oldman who can pass as Cyborg's grandpa, a teenager who could pass as spoiled kid that needs some spanking from the latter, but the ones making the impact here were not the two but the people whom they encounter, like the oldman beating the shit out of those toughies whom were planning to woop some guy's ass, the family who was mercilessly killed by Hiro, the lusty Yakuza Big Boos who got owned by the oldman, The bullies that were killed by Hiro. And Hiro friend Ando who become's the oldman's sidekick , Mari and Shion were the one who have given this anime it's body so basically it all relies on that. BANG!
Very Good 8, Enjoyment:
Frankly it's the anticipation of Hiro getting owned after his spree of mayhem and murder that was the focal point of my excitement, which it did happen. At first I was disappointed when the oldman did finish him totally, but it was nice that he redeem himself in the end. DADADADADADADADAAAAA!!!!!!!
Very Good 8, Overall:
The ending may be a bit pathetic, but it was good that studio MAPPA and creator Oku Hiroya didn't hesitate to kill both of them off, since the characters themselves would be better off being missed than fade off, also it was good that the anime only run for just 11 episode, better to have something good for a short time than something long that one would die from boredom. DADADADADADADADADADAAAAA!!!!!!
10 episodes in and we finally have a battle between the Protagonist and Antagonist. 7 episodes of the Antagonist killing people. 2 Episodes introducing each character.
That battle lasts 10 minutes.
Maybe I am asking too much from an 11 episode series, but there just doesn't seem to be much of a story. Protagonist is the good guy and likes saving people. Antagonist is the bad guy and is a psychopath. I didn't realize this was an 11 episode series either. I figured there would be more and then out of nowhere
the climatic battle between the two is over in a couple minutes. The battle was lacking as well. They both get knocked out, go into robo combat mode, and the protagonist just wins. We've been building up the assumption that the Antagonist is far more in control of his robotic body but then our MC doesn't have any trouble whatsoever contending and defeating him. Not a scratch on him.
This is enjoyable if I just turn my brain off. The technical details (up until the last battle anyway) have been pretty spot on. A nice use of CG animation, some pretty nice sound design, and the art is good.
But, the story and characters just can't get any more one dimensional than this.
My overall is a 5..
One episode to redeem this series' pitfalls is too little too late.
After watching the first few episodes, I had huge expectations for this anime, it started fantastically and it had a lot of potential.
However, the pace slowly dropped and it wasn't really interesting afterwards, with some very predictable outcome/story for every scenario. The characters slowly strayed away from common sense too, and when the plot fails this bad you lose your interest.
I managed to finish watching all the episodes, only because I was hoping my prediction was wrong, but it was exactly what I have anticipated. To top it off the ending was rushed and it was a real mess. I won't give any spoilers but
even then you'd have guessed it without me telling you.
Overall a very disappointing anime because it started with so much possibilities and potential.
Story: Garbage, slow(without a proper reasoning to it), some parts were meaningless and repetitive, I gave it a 2 instead of 1 because of the promising start.
Art: It was alright, but nothing special and nothing worth remembering. I gave it 6/10 because there was at least some effort in the main characters.
Sound: Same as art, no surprises, very generic. 6/10.
Character: Absolute horror, most characters in this anime are borderline unrealistic and what they do is quite random. Okay maybe the dogs are alright. 1/10.
Enjoyment: There's very little to enjoy, probably only 1 thing which happened in the first episode, the transformation of a main character. 2/10.