Posted by Lenlo on 4 November 2017 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Inuyashiki

This week on Inuyashiki, we get a self-contained story about the growing heroics of everyone’s favorite old man. Its filled with outright evil yakuza, a brave salaryman and some disturbing questions, let’s jump right in.

Our story this week focuses on a young couple, Satoru and Inoue, and their run in with the giant Yakuza Samejima. This isn’t Inuyashiki’s episode, this is theirs. As a whole, this episode appears to be a one off. A separate story from the main one with Shishigami, meant to show Inuyashiki’s evolution as a hero. The main parts worth talking about here are Satoru and Inoue, clearly, Inuyashiki and finally Shishigami. That last one may surprise you, since he never actually showed up in this episode, however I believe that Inuyashiki and Shishigami are much more alike than we initially thought. We will get to that in a bit though.

As far as side characters go, this episode did well. In most anime one-offs or side arcs the supporting characters don’t have much going on in their lives. Here however we have an unlikely love of a Bento story worker and a low-grade salaryman. Their introduction was great, as Inoue was getting grilled by her co-worker as to what Satoru was like, only for him to appear and be… completely average. Not what I expected for the traditionally beautiful anime girl. For Satoru, first impressions make him seem weak. His VA did a great job, his voice really stood out, and made the character sound small to me.

So tall he even breaks the camera shot.

That makes it all the more impressive when we see Satoru stand up to Yamejima, when the camera can barely fit both of them in the same shot because of height differences. He was willing to go into a life of debt to save Inoue. Everything made me pity and root for Satoru, this non-descript salaryman. When Samejima started choking him, with how brutal Inuyashiki has been up till now, I was worried for his life. When the episode ended, Satoru and Inoue together again and safe, I was legitimately happy. I fully expected a soft “bang” and then a cut to black, but I am glad someone finally got a happy ending.

The other side character of this episode is Yamejima. Really there isn’t much to say about him. The man would be comically evil if not for the stark presentation of his evil acts. After all we open up an a shot of the last girl he kidnapped, ODed on a bed. We were shown right from the beginning what Inoue’s fate would be if she had not been saved. The very next seen we see him force another man to blow him. I understand that Inuyashiki needed to build him up as a villain, and that they didn’t have the time they had with Shishigami, but Yamejima simply didn’t feel like a real character to me. He felt like a villain setup for Inuyashiki to take down, so we knew who to root for. All in all a weak character, but a compelling villain.

Breaking News: Old Man impervious to bullets

Next lets talk about Inuyashiki. Oh boy is there a lot to mention here. Inuyashiki does a lot to like this episode. In particular I love how he fights. He flails his arms around like a child, swinging to and fro. His robotic strength turning a comedy into a lethal weapon. I love how when his robot jesus healing doesn’t work on Satoru, he resorts to CPR. He doesn’t give up and saves a life with an average person. Finally, I love his Liam Neeson impression, threatening Samejima over the phone. There is a confidence there, one that probably comes with having an invulnerable body. What worries me however is his actions at the Yakuza house.

In just a few moments, Inuyashiki goes from breaking a jaw to crippling and blinding every single person at that house. He floats through the halls shooting them what the same missiles we saw back with the children and the homeless man. It’s a level of brutality we have previously only seen from Shishigami. Yes, everyone still lives, but in personal hell where they can’t see or move. It makes me think that the old man isn’t as far removed from Shishigami as I previously thought. Perhaps Inuyashiki lost more of his humanity than we thought with this new body. I am very interested to see how this works out in the future.

In terms of animation and direction, the quality is good. The impressions of bullets hitting Inuyashiki’s skin when he is fired on, most scenes with Samejima and face animation in general is all pretty good. The most concerning parts for me continue to be the CGI body Inuyashiki gets occasionally. I understand its easier to animate and it looks great whenever the robotics are in play, but otherwise it just looks out of place. I hope that this becomes less of an issue as Inuyashiki and Shishigami start to interact more, since they should have robot focused battles.

All in all, a good episode. The solo story was great, even though it doesn’t fit into the main story seemingly. The characters were lovable, except Samejima but that’s his purpose, and in general I had a good time. The time just flew by, which is the marks of an engaging episode.

P.S. I know the main character and the shows names being the same can get confusing, it bothers me to. I hope the Italics make it clear which I am talking about.

11 Responses

  1. Avatar KTravlos says:

    Some interesting thoughts. The person I watch Inuyahiki with still finds Hiro scarier than Yamejima. Perhaps the show is setting up a situation which will make that point. I also think that there is a difference between Inuyashiki and Hiro. Inuyashiki’s cruletly was driven by righteousness. He hates bullies and the Yakuza is an arch bully. He was cruel, but still righteous.These guys would had gotten away with it. Prison does not really hurt members of organised criminal groups. Think of how many times this guy got away with this wrecking of human lives. I can see were the Inuyashiki is coming from. I was shocked to see him own up to the actions (I half-expected him to react in horror to what the AI did). That was a great moment of character development. But I do not think it makes him Hiro. Hiro’s cruelty is driven by self-righteousness a full belief that he is the only worthy being in the universe. Like Light from Death Note (or H.H. Holmes from history), his cruelty is not a reaction to cruelty, but the sadism of a creature with no conception of right and wrong. The machines have made Inuyashiki into a just but cruel god. They made Shiro into a destructive god (think Biblical God vs. Lovercraftian god. Both are kinda problematic chaps, but biblical god is at least just. Lovercraftian god is just playing)

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I agree that Hiro is more terrifying than Yamejima, easily. I also agree that Inuyashiki is different from Hiro, as their reasons are different, and Inuyashiki owns up to his actions. However I find his acceptance of what he did makes him less human.

      Your comparison to Biblical vs Lovecraftian gods is appropriate. But I would say that, staying with the metaphor, the two still have more incommon with each other than they do humans. So while Inuyashiki is a “Just” god he is still no longer human. His reasons for what he does are just easier to accept.

      • Avatar zedr0n says:

        I also felt that the sudden increase in magnitude of what Inuyashiki finds acceptable to inflict on people shows that his humanity is slipping and he’s becoming more similar to Hiro albeit with different reasons.

    • Avatar zedr0n says:

      Very interesting points. I am not sure where this anime is going with it but both main characters have crossed the line where they’ve decided to be a god and and pass terminal judgement on other people ( and keeping them alive is a decisive act of cruelty probably worse than killing them outright ). I mean, seriously, everybody deserved the same hideous fate by just being at this meeting? And Inuyashiki’s entirely comfortable with that? Road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that.
      Historically speaking, the worst damage was wrought by people with conviction, they can justify to themselves pretty much any act as long as it is for the ‘greater good’ in their philosophy. And it seems like Inuyashiki is getting dangerously close to to that point. Isn’t that exactly how it happened with Light, punishing criminals? And
      Remember Hiro mentioning that he could launch a nuclear bomb from US to China? But he has had no real reason to do that although it’s entirely possible he will escalate his violence at some point. Still, I cannot imagine he would bother to commit genocide for the sake of committing genocide, he wants things personal which seems inline with his psychopatic tendencies and that limits the potential damage to the world ( I remember machines were talking about destroying the world in the beginning and looking at it through these lens).
      I am probably completely off the point as it’s an anime but it would be extremely interesting if the real villain of the story turned out to be Inuyashiki as the person who will cause escalation of violence involving more and more people through his quest of righeousness dragging Hiro with him into bigger and bigger escalation of violence.

      • Avatar Lenlo says:

        I would not be surprised if this turned into a villain vs villain story instead of a classic hero vs villain story.

        That said though, I expect them to make Inuyashiki less… psychotic. From what I have read this was basically justic porn the episode.

        • Avatar zedr0n says:

          Given how far they went to dehumanise Yamejima to make Inuashiki’s actions justifiable to the viewer it does seem that way

      • Avatar KTravlos says:

        I am going to have to disagree here and defend Inuyashiki. For some traditions of justice, indeed perhaps the dominant in what we could term “The Western World” a central element of justice is to bring the perpetrator in a condition where they come to feel remorse for their crime, ideally leading to attempts to then restore as much as possible the prior condition to the victim. I am not saying that this is possible, but the ideal is that justice includes restitution and remorse. Now Inuyashiki’s actions are only partly in service of the ideal, but they still sought the infliction of conditions that will lead to remorse and repentance. Light never cared about that. Light was a full socio-path. This is why his default mode was kill, while Inuyashiki’s is make them feel the pain and helplessness they imposed on others. I know this sounds very self-justifying but it does lead to different justice outcomes (the death penalty vs. other punishments) etc. In his own way he is trying to impose some level of restitution towards the world by putting the perpetrators in a position that may at least lead to repentance. But I will not deny that the retributive aspect overwhelmed him.

        As for the victims of this justice. I think we have indicators that the AI is very discriminating. My feel is that all of the victoms either have done as things as terrible as the Yakuza villain ,or were abettors of his actions. Justice is a cruel concept, that is why society has always opted more for the retributive element, or with monetizing restitution. Otherwise the fair way to punish a rapist i.e would be to have them raped, or even have someone they love raped. Inuyashiki is still quite human, in that he did not go that far. Again keep in mind. True Justice is very cruel: The perperator must be made to feel the pain they caused. They must be put in a position where they will feel remorse and repent. They must restitute the victims somehow. He does not go all the way to this, but he is still operating with this concept. Light never even cared about this.

        Light was a socio-path from start to finish. He is really no different than Hiro. They kill because they can. Inuyashiki is still operating within a code that humans at least ape, or claim to adhere to, even if practical reality puts limits to it. Inuyashiki shows us the logical conclusions of our social conceptions of justice once those practical limits are done.

        Keep in mind that in the Eastern Roman Empire, were the precepts of Roman Justice (retributive) were heavily mixed with those of Christian justice (restorative) blinding someone was considered a much higher form of justice than the death penalty.

        • Avatar KTravlos says:

          And indeed even in the case of capital punishment, the presence or not of sufficient remorse, in the eyes of the representatives of society could have a big effect in how the execution was done.

          For example, in execution by being broken on the wheel, if remorse was considered genuine, the breaking would begin from the top (either the head or neck), bringing instant death, and then move down to the legs. If not, the breaking would beginning from the legs and move up. With execution by burning, if remorse was seen as genuine, a sack of powder would be tied around the victim’s neck, that would explode early on in the process sparing them from dying by being burned. If it was lacking or non-existent, you were left to burn.

        • Avatar Lenlo says:

          I thought that the AI wasnt responding based on police records/crimes and more Inuyashiki’s decisions. Like he himself was judging whether or not they deserved it.

          There is no evidence of this one way or another though, sadly.

        • Avatar Victim says:

          I wouldn’t be so sure about Light being a sociopath. He was a narcissist to boot.

  2. Avatar Amagi says:

    That scene when Inuyashiki goes amok and shoots the eyes of all the yakuza members was one of the best scenes I’ve recently seen. Pretty powerful and the music was great too. I love that old guy.

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