Inuyashiki Ichirou is down on his luck. While only 58 years old, his geriatric looks often have him written off as a pathetic old man by the world around him and he's constantly ignored and disrespected by his family despite all that he's done to support them. On top of everything else, his doctor has revealed that he has cancer and it appears that he has little time left in this world. But just when it seems things couldn't get any worse, a blinding light in the night sky strikes the earth where Ichirou stands. He later wakes up to find himself unscathed, but he soon starts to notice that there's something... different about himself. However, it turns out that these strange, new changes are just what Ichirou needs to take a new lease on life and now it seems like there's nothing to stop him from being a hero worthy of the respect that he never had before... unless, that is, there was someone else out there with these same changes...
From the moment this show started, I or we all knew that something is special about the aesthetics of the show, from the visuals to the awesome music.
Ichirou Inuyashiki is the average grandfather whose inabilities have caused his own family to abandon him, leaving him on his own, and together with an unknown teenager by the name of Hiro Shishigami onto a hill, where an unknown space object hits both of them, and the result is the epitome of both good and evil respectively, in cyborg form, that will change their lives forever.
A complete adaptation of the manga of the same name by Gantz creator
Oku Hiroya, you'd expect the awesomeness of the manga's offerings to be replicated onto the screen. And what we got was the exact same treatment and more, and this show's plot will always keep you on your toes on what to expect for more.
Ichirou Inyashiki may look like he has nothing to offer, but through the cyborg form, his bad-ass tolerancy for evil is without a doubt instigating and a risk-taking measure to see light at the end of the tunnel. His righteousness elevated by the cyborg form is honestly what I was expecting out of the amazing show, which actually uses character development for the first few episodes, and it shines through.
Hiro Shishigami is the adverse, the punk who will go out of his way to help friends, but also being sinister at the same time. At first, his character too so nothing of significance but because of the cyborg form, he is unrelenting than your average bully.
This show excels at its characters, and tells the story through their lives, fighting against each other and whatnot, which makes the overall plot very compelling to watch.
To be honest, MAPPA has always excelled at their aesthetics to entice viewers to watch their shows, and the formula replicates with Inuyashiki. Always hit after hit (if you count Kakegurui as one (which I do)), and the visuals deliver with the utmost sense of realism that you're watching this in real form, an unknown measure that works well and accelerates at a brisk pace. Both the art and animation truly delivers the Gantz experience with what this show was intended to do, and it's a heck of a job well done.
The OST is VERY noteworthy. The OP, "My Hero" from Man With A Mission, is godly and freaking hell enjoyable to listen to. Like last season's Princess Principal, the song is mostly in English which sound like a charm and show how dramatic the action is that always comes at the very least unexpected. OP of the season and the year? YOU BET SO!!!
The ED too is really well done, fading away from the dark aesthetics and calming down from the action to a cool finish, and also a delight to listen to. All these hammered by the BGM makes this show an endearing watch overall.
Verdict (after Ep 4):
All of its highlights are here. I know some people don't care for this show since we have our differentiated opinions. As for myself, I truly enjoyed episode after episode, which builds the tension while sometimes breaking away from the action to deliver a one-punch experience. All thanks to MAPPA for another breathtaking and awesome job, and sticking with fans to the end.
**WARNING! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS, INCLUDING THE ENDING OF THIS SERIES. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.**
HOLD IT! Before you go complain in my profile because I've given this a 5, let me explain. I'll focus on the good parts of this show before criticising it. Let's get on with it, shall we?
Also, I'd like to point out this review is mainly towards the work itself, not only the anime because it's currently still going on, and I want to give my point of view as someone who already knows where the original story is going. If the anime shifts away from the intended plot of
the manga then you may stop reading this review after its first paragraphs, in which I'll discuss about the anime and not what comes after it.
Inuyashiki has a really interesting, innovative premise. An old man who's leading an average, miserable life, has a family who doesn't care about him, works hard everyday and finds no joy in living. He... gets killed by an UFO alongside an edgy boyo and the aliens rebuild him as an unstoppable, invincible machine capable of saving or ending the world. He sees a chance of redemption after this fortuitous event and decides that he'll be using his powers to do good. But, oh noes! The edgy boyo instead wants to use his new mechanic body to slaughter as many people as he wishes. Can our geezer stop the kid before it's too late? Will he find happiness? Will he finally feel... alive?
So far, the animation has been good. The 3D parts however a little hit or miss: sometimes they're horribly clunky, as shown in episode 4, sometimes they're very well made like the ones in the OP. The art style is alright, I don't have any particular opinion about it.
The music is on point. Again, no strong opinion about it but I'm absolutely digging the opening theme. The VA'ing is well executed.
Overall, the anime so far has been reasonably good and if it derails from the original story I can see myself give it a 7. The first part of this review is now over and if the anime indeed goes a different direction from the manga you can stop reading as this'll be my final verdict on the show. It's a good anime, I recommend!
**WARNING: I shall now talk about Inuyashiki as a whole and not as an unfinished anime. This part will contain huge spoilers including the ending so read it at your own risk.**
**ANOTHER WARNING: I mean it, I'm gonna talk about how Inuyashiki ends and you don't want to know that.**
I love the premise of this series, I really do. But the mangaka handled it really, REALLY poorly. What presents itself as the touching story of the emotive development of an old, broken man turns into a random, stale gore fest with an atrocious ending. Indeed, this might have the worst ending ever conceived. Not to mention every character that is not Inuyashiki is underdeveloped, uninteresting and bland. I shall dedicate a paragraph to discussing the characters.
Inuyashiki is easily the best character in this and the only one I could ever like in here. But the problem is... we don't see much of him in the entire story! After a while, the antagonist, Hiro Shishigami, takes over as the "protagonist" and the person of Inuyashiki just doesn't grow anymore. We'll see random bits of him here and there, but nothing memorable or that expands his personality. To you anime only people who don't mind spoilers and are currently reading this, don't expect any further character growth for him unless they drastically change the story. On the other hand, Shishigami arguably gets even more screen time than the protagonist (!) but it just doesn't go anywhere! We don't get to know why he's a cruel, tasteless, merciless idiot and right till the very end of the manga we just see him kill more, and more, and more, AND MORE people. That's it. He just kills people and Inuyashiki does nothing about it. The other characters of this series are completely forgettable, in fact I don't know the names of any of them. The only memorable mention is that girl that for no reason falls in love with Shishigami, and he decides to not kill her for no reason as well.
"No reason". Get used with this expression, because everything in the latter stages of the series happens for... no reason! Shishigami randomly kills a lot of people, Inuyashiki doesn't do anything about it, and eventually they fight. The fight is cool... but it too doesn't go anywhere. It was useless, yes. And after that fight... Donald Trump announces that the Earth will be destroyed by a meteor, society collapses, Inuyashiki decides to sacrifice himself to stop the meteor but Shishigami shows up, sacrifices himself STILL for no reason; it's not enough so Inuyashiki dies as well to protect the Earth, the meteor explodes, all are happy and merry. The end.
All of this happens so suddenly, for no reason (!) in the last volume, after all that useless carnage done by Shishigami. Such a tremendous way to end a series, to say the least. And that's it really, what could have been a great work just ends up being bad in almost every regard.
FULL, COMPLETE SCORES OF INUYASHIKI:
Sound: I don't know listen to what you want while reading manga
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.