- Title: Inuyashiki: Last Hero
- Genres: Action, Psychological, Drama, Sci-fi, Seinen
- Studios: MAPPA
- Episodes: 12 – 24min (Completed)
- Date: 13 October 2017 — 22 December 2017
- Source: Manga
Ichirou Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old family man who is going through a difficult time in his life. Though his frequent back problems are painful, nothing hurts quite as much as the indifference and distaste that his wife and children have for him. Despite this, Ichirou still manages to find solace in Hanako, an abandoned Shiba Inu that he adopts into his home. However, his life takes a turn for the worse when a follow-up physical examination reveals that Ichirou has stomach cancer and only three months to live; though he tries to be strong, his family’s disinterest causes an emotional breakdown. Running off into a nearby field, Ichirou embraces his dog and weeps—until he notices a strange figure standing before him.
Suddenly, a bright light appears and Ichirou is enveloped by smoke and dust. When he comes to, he discovers something is amiss—he has been reborn as a mechanized weapon wearing the skin of his former self. Though initially shocked, the compassionate Ichirou immediately uses his newfound powers to save a life, an act of kindness that fills him with happiness and newfound hope.
However, the origins of these strange powers remain unclear. Who was the mysterious figure at the site of the explosion, and are they as kind as Ichirou when it comes to using this dangerous gift?
When you think of Heroes and Villains, I wonder what image comes to your mind? In Inuyashaki, the images of the Hero and the Villain are reversed, offering a fresh and unique concept that blurs the line that defines the image of a Hero or Villain. But more importantly, the anime expresses this concept in a form that is quite intriguing and fascinating to watch. Its a story that shows us the many possibilities of power in the right or wrong hands.
Focusing on the story as a whole, Inuyashiki tells a very good and very interesting story about people. Employing the concept of the Hero and the Villain, what Inuyashiki explores isn’t just about morality or justice. It explores the very things that define what makes a Hero or a Villain, and in fact, what makes a person, human.
By letting us into the backgrounds of the two protagonists and their stories, the story gives us an understanding of the circumstances these guys had. And what Inuyashiki does is it shows how these circumstances goes a long way in moulding a character, but yet at the same time, it tells us that circumstances are not an excuse to define who we choose to be.
That being said, Inuyashiki also had a lot of interesting action and other situations that made for a simple thrilling crime / action story. While its focal point is indeed the human psyche, it is also a story about power in the hands of the wrong people. As weird as it was, this is an exciting watch indeed.
Looking at the characters, Inuyashiki offers a really interesting look into the lives of the main characters in its story. Unfortunately, it looks great only on paper, because while the concept was interesting, the anime was ultimately lacking in delivering a more convincing and cohesive character development. The show introduced many interesting characters, who had their own identities of morality and their own concepts of love. This was interesting and fun to explore. The characters even had personalities that were worth taking a deeper look into. While the anime did offer character development and backstories on certain figures, ultimately they weren’t enough. The lack of an in depth character development, likely due to the involvement of multiple characters in a short 11 episode’s worth of time, is what leads me to feel somewhat dissatisfied in the end. I wished the anime had spent more time exploring and developing the various important characters in the anime, especially characters like Mari and Shishigami, and perhaps given them a more convincing history. I would’ve loved to know just how Shishigami became the person he was.
Nevertheless, for an 11 episode blockbuster, I think the anime did alright at introducing characters with various dispositions and persona. Wouldn’t want it to feel too sidetracked from its action plot anyway, so all things considered this was for the best.
The art was both good and bad. What’s good about the art is that the drawings were detailed and stylish, with many scenes that looked alive and beautiful, and characters that had defining images. The action was cool and fancy, with a lot of fun and interesting drawings that looked stylish.
My problem lies with the animation and the motion. The anime uses mostly CGI animation, with the rest of its scenes being traditional drawings. If done well, perhaps it could look great. But the combination of the two in this anime did not feel like a solid whole. In fact, it is blatantly obvious how awkward the art style had been. It was uncomfortably distracting whenever a scene alternated from traditional to CGI. But what’s more disappointing is that the execution of motions were also sloppy. There were many times where cuts did not feel fluent, and many moments where the CGI felt awkward and unrealistic. Sometimes, just regular walking scenes looked awkward.
As a whole, Inuyashiki remains a concept that is interesting to watch, with sufficient action and suspense to be a great thriller, and characters that are able to make you feel for them and want to learn more about them. I think Inuyashiki is worth a watch despite its obvious flaws. But I also think that it had the potential to become much better than it was. In many ways, Inuyashiki feels sloppy, but it was also still mesmerising.
Should I Watch Inuyashiki?
Inuyashiki has some obvious flaws in its art, and its concept is quite bizarre and weird. Personally it didn’t bother me all too much, but I’m willing to wager that there are many that don’t sit well with its style. A show like Inuyashiki isn’t one I would recommend to beginners. It’s has quite an adult theme.
That being said, for the 11 episode series it was, Inuyashiki managed to deliver quite the thrilling antagonist. In regards to action, I would say that it delivered, with its unique antiques and exciting portrayal of terrorism. Ultimately, it’s worth the watch. It all boils down to whether or not the show is your type.