I’ve risen from the grave and casually kicking ass. What’s on the agenda for this year? Catching up on my damn backlog of everything I haven’t reviewed. Seriously, it’s pretty huge considering I haven’t been active on here since August of last year. (Long story, will address at a later date) Life gets in the way like that but I’m here now! More importantly I’m here with an anime I enjoyed watching during the fall of 2017. Those who follow me on Instagram have seen my post about reviewing Inuyashiki and Welcome to the Ballroom. They’re the only two anime I recall watching in 2017 (whoops?) that was ongoing and i waited impatiently every week for a new episode to air.
A friend of mine asked me had I been watching Inuyashiki. I wasn’t. I was only watching Welcome to the Ballroom and binging on Criminal Minds (Spencer Reid 5ever okay). She sent me a clip and I was intrigued. The clip was a teenager who waltzed inside someone’s house and casually murders everyone. The daughter of the family comes home and sees her mother laying in a pool of her own blood and while this should be a ‘sad’ moment, it gets lost into the abyss when she’s approached by this mysterious teenager and is asked what kind of manga does she read. She mentions One Piece and the entire atmosphere changes. My favorite dialogue from the clip is;
“Are my father and little brother dead too?”
“What does that matter? We were talking about One Piece”
In that moment I was sold. Nevermind that I’m obsessed with all things horror, blood, gore and all that jazz. Here is this kid who murdered almost an entire family but as soon as you mention One Piece that’s it. A switch goes off and you almost forget that he’s a killer. There were currently 4 episodes out and I watched them all that same day.
Inuyashiki: Last Hero revolves around Ichiro Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami. Ichiro is a 58 year old man who, if you didn’t know any better, would think he was much older. He’s really shy and a bit of a pushover. He doesn’t have any friends and his own family has no respect for him. His only companion is a dog that he found by a river and named her Hanako. Hiro is a 17 year old who is obsessed with One Piece. Honestly that’s all you really know about this character, hahahaha. I just realized that.
Ichiro gets the news that he has cancer and has very little time left to live. Devastated by the news, he tries to tell his family but per usual they disregard him and go about their daily lives. Unable to confide in anyone he heads to a nearby park. A mysterious light hits the park and Ichiro along with Hiro (who was ironically there at the same time) are obliterated. It turns out that the mysterious light was *gasp* aliens! They “repair” Ichiro and Hiro and leave Earth without a trace. When they awake something seems…different. They remember what happened up to the flash of bright light but everything else is a blur. Unknowing to them their lives are changed forever. They’ve become cyborgs.
The rest of the series goes back and forth between the two. You see how they use their new found abilities. Hiro, who we see using his abilities first, decides to take a more dark route and murders anyone from bullies at his school to innocent people including children and infants. Killing is the only thing that makes him “feel human”. Ichiro, on the other hand, tries to help any and everyone he can. He wants to have purpose in his life and using these powers to save even one person is more than enough for him.
The series is 11 episodes long, one of the shortest anime that I’ve watched in awhile. The story is fairly easy to follow and the characters you come across are somewhat likable. While it was enjoyable to watch it wasn’t the greatest. There were moments where I cried and was rooting for Ichiro but who doesn’t want to root for someone who is genuinely a good person and wants to help those especially when he is fully capable and has found a reason to live again? Shiro took a dark route but ended up conflicted on multiple occasions. Unfortunately seeing value in human life can’t come fast enough when you’ve already murdered almost 100 people straight out the gate. It left me a little bummed out but alas it wouldn’t be an anime series without some sort of villain right?
The characters aren’t anything memorable and the dialogue is left to be desired. My biggest issue was the CGI that was used, especially during the fighting scenes between Ichiro and Hiro. I’m not against CGI but inserting it during certain scenes in an anime is a bit….strange and in some instances I see it as a cop out. (Example: Welcome to the Ballroom uses CGI for the ballroom dancers that are in the background and EVERY male looks EXACTLY the same. I don’t know if they thought people wouldn’t notice it but I did and it drove me nuts) I’m well aware of the conditions when making anime and how it is an extremely daunting and stressful task but CGI in an otherwise ‘normal’ anime just looks out of place to me.
Inuyashiki: Last Hero is fun to watch nevertheless. The fighting scenes are exciting and it is well paced. Those who are a fan of Gantz may be compelled to watch this as it is by the same creator.
BEFORE YOU WATCH INUYASHIKI CONSIDER THIS
Those who have an issue with murder of children may want to steer clear from this anime. There is also rape in episode 4. I wasn’t expecting it and when it happened I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. I won’t go into detail as that whole episode was unnerving and showed the darker side of how people are and their disregard for anyone as long as they get what they want in the end. I feel it is good to show that but rape is something not everyone is going to be able to stomach or even want to watch no matter the ‘reason’ for it being inserted in anything – anime or otherwise. I also feel that it is important to bring up such themes as it could trigger some people and that is something I never want to impose on my readers.
Overall, I liked Inuyashiki: Last Hero. It was short, had a simple story and splendid animation. Despite my issues with the series I won’t completely dock it. Not to mention the opening song for it is straight fire (to me anyway). Did you watch Inuyashiki? What did you think? Also, take a listen to “My Hero” by Man With A Mission (opening song for Inuyashiki) below!