Posted by Lenlo on 27 November 2017 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Inuyashiki

As disappointing as it is to admit, Inuyashiki has broken its hot streak. This week, thought it has both highs and lows, was on average a let down. From heel-turns to a blistering pace, there is a good deal to cover, so let’s jump in.

While the show is named Inuyashiki, we have seen far more of Hiro than of the titular main character. This episode, we finally see Hiro own up to what he is. He admits to Shiro he is the killer, opens up about being a robot. It feels like some progress is about to be made for him. Then in a ridiculous heel-turn, Hiro decides to heal people to make up for all his murder. On one hand, I like their exploration of “the good outweighs the bad”. It’s a worthy concept to look at. Yet on the other, it’s so sudden and comes after a veritable murder spree, because a girl he doesn’t care about asked him to. Its like he is latching on to anything to make him feel human.

The problem is, it’s all so sudden and difficult to believe. Based on how Hiro’s mother was treated, I think Shiro’s fate is obvious. MAPPA is setting people up in Hiro’s life just to knock them down and push him further into murder. This whole side track with healing people, curing cancer, feels like a waste of time when we know it won’t last. Some of the side stories were nice, like the woman with terminal cancer, and Hiro/Shiro’s use of twitter. It was a nice touch and made the individual scenes work. However, the police raid at the end was expected and showed that Hiro’s 180 was done purely to try and get the viewer to sympathise with him. There was no exploration of the concept, of good outweighing bad. It’s rather disappointing.

Speaking of the side stories, let’s talk about those. In general these were a nice touch. The hardest hitting part of the episode for me was the Salary Woman. Her cancer, her depression, her giving up yet wanting to live. The meeting with her boss, the weeping in the park, all sold it so well. Then we had the man who didn’t believe the kids, who thought they were punking him. The mix of reactions and attitudes to their good deeds made it more than just a montage. Had the lead in to it been better, less of a complete 180, it could have been great. Instead I fear it marks the beginning of a downward trend for Inuyashiki

All in all, a worrying episode. Its starting to follow a formula. Its forgetting its mature themes and characters in favor of shock and faux emotion with Hiro. It can still salvage it, it has 4 more episodes. But I only get more and more worried. We haven’t seen or explored Inuyashiki’s family at all. Our leads have not clashed or really gotten to know each other at all. How can there be a conflict of ideologies, a parallel theme Inuyashiki has been so fond of until now, if they never actually meet until the end.

I know its a shorter review this week, apologies for that, however there isn’t as much worth mentioning nor am I particularly excited about this episode. I hope its just a lackluster transition to Inuyashiki vs Hiro. See you next week!

24 Responses

  1. Avatar silver says:

    A fine review as usual. I noticed a few weeks ago that the promo poster depicts Inuyashiki-san’s daughter sitting on a floor of a garage surrounded by robot parts and tools, so I thought she was going to become Inu-san’s mechanic or something. That’d be awesome; I’d love more Winry Rockbells. I assumed that we’d see multiple clashes between Inuyashiki-san and Shishigami (as depicted in the OP) where they are evenly matched, but eventually Inu-san edges out a victory due to the efforts of the people supporting him, something unavailable to Shishigami because of his actions.

    I also have to agree about how the show has become formulaic and predictable. On one hand I think it’s a sign of well-implemented realism that I can accurately guess what happens next, but it gets boring. I don’t watch fiction for the realism. Pretty much the only thing I didn’t really predict was the comradery between Andou and Inuyashiki-san, and it’s explicitly shown in the OP, sooo I’m just an idiot.

    Of course we all know what’s going to happen as a result of the police raid; it’s exactly as Lenlo said. Whether Shion and her grandmother are killed, incarcerated, or put into a protection program, the result is that Hiro loses his last thread to humanity and devolves into a prototypical cackling antagonist. It’s a supervillain origin story. I feel the show draws some inspiration from western superhero comics.

    I did enjoy Shion’s impassioned denouncement of Hiro’s murders. Something like, “you’ve deprived [the victims] of everything.” I can even firmly understand her continued association with and support of Hiro, and I don’t think it’s because of love or psuedo-Stockholm. It seems that she wants salvation for Hiro because she’s legitimately worried for his declining humanity. She isn’t afraid of being killed by him, perhaps because of her lack of self-worth or maybe because of an intuitive trust – one that wasn’t incorrect as we see Hiro stay his blade for the first time when he was attempting to ‘bang’ her (hah!). So often it’s portrayed that lovers remain with their nefarious SOs because of shallow romantic sentiment or stupidity. With fairly sparse dialogue, this show has given us much insight into Shion’s personality. She is another character that has been developed more than the titular protagonist.

    I echo your sentiments that this episode was the beginning of a decline. I don’t think any egregious errors have been made, but the disappointing ending of the manga conforms very well with the style of this story. I’m impressed with the amount of pragmatism the plot portrays given that it’s about omnipotent alien androids, but why end the fiction with that one major change? It’s like the author is terrified of plotholes so he wrote a story about a kind old man and a clinical psychopath with exactly one tweak.

  2. Avatar KTravlos says:

    There is no heel-turn. Hiro did not find goodness in his heart etc. All he is doing fits fully into his psychopathy at least as I see it. He seeks to feel human by jolting himself with strong experiences. The pain of the people he kills was this, but guess what, the poor girls blind and desperate love towards him, her NEED for him, works just as fine. Hiro acts as a caricature of his own manga/anime shounen heroes. Strong emotions are the only emotions worth having. The terror of death exhibited by others worked like this, as does this poor girls blind adoration. He is still a psychopathic killer. It is not diffrent with someone like H.H.Holmes (About whom I am reading). He savored both the death of women, as well as their adoration/ infatuation with him. Both were fine fixes.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      He didn’t care about her adoration of him when she confessed to him earlier on though. Why should it effect him now? He clearly doesn’t care for her, as he has toyed with killing her multiple times.

      At best, he looks to be clinging on to this hope that he can still be normal or just forget about what happened with the murders. To me, this looks like a play for sympathy on Hiro as a character, so we will feel sad when it inevitably comes crashing down around him as evidenced by the police raid at the end.

      • Avatar KTravlos says:

        Different form of dependence. Saying one loves you is quite normal-or banal for Hiro. Not unique enough or strong enough to cause emotion in him. But when she did that during the flight, what she said (do not abandon me and grandma) was not so banal, common place. It worked in triggering emotions in him. I really do not think the creator was trying to make Hiro sympathetic here. I mean I did not feel any sympathy for him on this (I did so when he learned he had lost his mom). I mean the fact that Hiro asks people to tweet about his “saving” them casts a poor picture in comparison to Iyunushaki’s same actions. If they wanted to give sympathy points to Hiro they would not had included this massive difference. Hiro is still a sociopath, and at least I do not see any attempt to garner sympathy for him in how the creators have used this arc.

  3. Avatar Vonter says:

    I caved in, and read the manga, I thought it’ll be a long winded story like Gantz, yet it’s shorter than I expected and I liked where it went.

  4. Avatar MarigoldRan says:

    No, his behavior seems accurate. I’m comparing his behavior to a slightly more messed up version of myself and I can understand what he is doing.

    For example, if I felt a strong desire to see people die, I would probably do as he did. Except go about it a bit smarter. Use disguises and what-not.

    You think he’s shallow? Yes. That’s fine. It’s called shallow affect. I have it, too. As a result people like us are extremely pragmatic. Social rules are just that: rules. To get ahead, or to get along.

    Am I psychopath? No. But close. Is he a psychopath? Yes.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I don’t mind the sociopathic side, I simply find the about face he made towards healing poorly done.

      Its not Hiro I thought shallow, but the attempt at sympathy the episode made.

      • Avatar MarigoldRan says:

        He just doesn’t give a shi-, mostly. One day he’s nice, the next day he kills people. What’s the big deal?

        • Avatar Lenlo says:

          I simply found it poor story telling. It didnt sell well to me.

          If you enjoyed it, I am happy for you. Its a good show, that much cannot be disputed.

          • Avatar MarigoldRan says:

            Interesting response. It is a good show. But question for you: are we watching the same show?

          • Avatar Lenlo says:

            I suspect so. People simply have different tastes. When watching what was initially sold as a psychological thriller with some action, what I expected was more along the lines of Monster, with its questions and humanity and morals.

            Im not getting that, but doesn’t mean its bad. I think its important to recognize how much material they are covering in this. Supposedly the original manga is 80 chapters, so if they are going to try and finish it this season, we should expect some fast pacing and crunches.

            To me, thats what this portion felt like. Speeding through what could have been an interesting direction for Hiro’s character, while we focused more on Inuyashiki. But it wasn’t and instead was setup for more tragedy for Hiro. That disappointed me, as I have seen tragedy done better, in places like Monster.

          • Avatar Lenlo says:

            I have feared by the way that I am being overly critical. Once the season is over though I plan on looking over everything with the full picture.

  5. Avatar MarigoldRan says:

    No, no, I’m not upset about the critical part.

    As in literally: do our eyes see the same show?

    Because I would argue it’s not physically possible for two people to see the same show.

  6. Avatar MarigoldRan says:

    I’m fine with your criticism btw. What I’m curious about is this:

    Everyone who watched Inuyashika will write a different review of the show. Like, literally. The words won’t be the same.

    So… doesn’t the evidence show that each person watched a DIFFERENT show?

    That philosophical issue has been bugging me.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Oh, on that. Let’s me chime in too. We all watch the same shows I can argue (what happened on the big screen always remains the same), but we perceive it diffrently, we have different takes on it and ultimately we write/ word it differently. So to answer your question, we are watching the same shows but our perceives are different since we all have different perspectives about the same thing. Exactly how no one can recall the same night exactly the same.

      That makes discussing with others so much fun in my opinion, since others can point out something that you’ve missed, or even change your minds on certain plot points.

  7. Avatar MarigoldRan says:

    But if everyone’s perspective is different, how do we know we’re watching the same show?

  8. Avatar MarigoldRan says:

    Maybe everyone is watching a different show but assume they’re watching the same thing.

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