Way to often do we get protagonists in anime that are fucken teenagers. Even the better anime’s out there all have characters that are pre-fucken-pubescent having only recently so much has grown hair around their fucken crotches. And they always get involved in shit no child should ever have to get involved in. And it’s often by the hand of adults.
While it’s not one of the dumbest clichés anime dose all of the fucken time. It’s still one of the many that dose get under my skin. I mean in what plausible logical scenario would an adult find it necessary to force a child to fight demons or kill terrorists. Or even go so far as to have them genetically altered and sent into a radiation infused wasteland. Logically that would earn them a fucken one-way ticket to fucken prison for child endangerment.
But then again anime is a Japanese phenomenon therefore it’s a different cultural mindset that’s powering these plots so there are no doubt going to be differing views on children. I get that. Back in the day The Japanese Imperial Army mobilized 14-year old for the Battle of Okinawa. And few hundred years before that they trained children since birth to become samurai and shit back in the fucken Azuchi–Momoyama periods. So, it makes sense that certain anime’s have plots like these. The whole ninja angle makes a lot of historical sense. That shit I get.
And before you dipshits blow your tops and say “aaah the Japanese are all child abusers” also try to understand that in the 1940’s the United Kingdom accepted kids into the Home Guard when it was formed. Plus, there was also the Spartans and the fucken El Salvador and the fucken Ukraine all of which were guilty of enlisting children to fight wars. And let’s sure as hell not forget about them powder monkeys on union vessels during our own little American Civil War.
So, it’s not just a fucken Asian phenomenon, okay. So shut the fuck up.
The issue I take with this trope in modern anime however is how stupidly overused it is. As well as how implausible theyare. I mean for modern day Japanese society that doesn’t think of a person as an adult until the age of 20, a lot of their most popular shows– not just animated per say – seem to feature minors in highly dangerous situations.
“But AMF! Anime’s target demographic is the younger lads!”
Yes, I know. 13 to I think 22 was considered the age range of most viewers in japan. Don’t quote me on that though. But yeah, I get that! And if you want people to relate to characters then its logical to make them the same age as the character in question.
But it’s just that the implausibility of some of these scenarios are just so fucken farfetched that there asinine. Even by Japanese standards. Take Gunslinger Girl for example. It’s one the most notorious cases of this trope. It’s a story about underage girls who are rescued from various depressing circumstances by an Italian “Social Welfare Agency” some of which are very dark and depressing. But instead of patching them up and putting them into foster care or some shit it turns out the Agency is actually a front for a military organization specializing in counter-terrorism who then wipes the girl’s memories and gives them cybernetic implants and sends them off on missions kill terrorists.
And thankfully the reasoning as to why they don’t give adults these cybernetic implants instead is gone into. But the reasoning is still less then satisfactory.
And yeah sure, it’s a story not set in japan but its still a Japanese anime. And even then if you want to make that argument there’s still shit like fucken Coppelion, Ga-re: Zero, Blue Exorcist and fan favorite Neon Genesis Evangelion. Thousands of anime’s have done this and I see absolutely no end of them in sight. It’s just something that’s always nibbled on the under edge of my psyche as I watch these shows. And having these feeling you can probably understand the kind of attitude I had toward Shinji’s father. Got I hated him.
Bottom line though it’s one of most illogical and flat out over used clichés in the anime scene. Not nearly as annoying as the fucken tity trope of course don’t get me wrong. But it’s still annoying enough to always leave me rolling my eyes. That’s why anime’s with older protagonists are something I long for and can go a long way with me.
One of the reasons I fucken loved Tokyo Ghoul so much – along with many others – was because Kaneki was a fucken college student. Even though that’s far from the point of the show and we don’t even see him attend classes or anything like that. It’s just that the fact that in this sea of fucken overly redundant rehashed army of angsty teenage protagonists. Same goes with average sauce fucken moe shit like Kobiyashi’s Dragon Maid for example. It featured an actual working-class adult living independently, despite its cartoonish PG antics. And these anime’s prove very well that an anime can become popular even with an older protagonist at the helm.
But sadly – on average – no one really seems to take notice of that. But with the following anime we finally have a protagonist that’s new. Very fucken new. In more ways than one. Not only is the protagonist in the following anime an adult…. he’s a fucken old man. I mean seriously! Has there ever been an anime featuring someone above the age of 30 as the protagonist that has achieved a memorable status. If not then this anime is a god damn historical achievement on par with the fucken discovery of Penicillin.
And yes, that’s an exaggeration.
But the bottom line point I want to make is that this is the first protagonist of this kind that I’ve seen in my 20 long years of fandom. And to top it all off the source material is by Hiroya Oku the creator of Gantz.
Gantz is by far my most favorite anime and manga to date. And even though the main cast suffers from the same exact flaw I’m bitching about – them being high schoolers and all – it’s still cool because in the story there mostly just fucken unfortunate victims of circumstance. Instead of adults just shoving them out in to danger saying “yeah go kill these people” they just find themselves in a horrific situation that they need to survive through. And very few manga’s have ever achieved for me what Gantz has. It had everything I could possibly want from any piece of fictional media really. Not just anime. It had blood, nudity, sex, rape, a fucken delightfully vulgar ass English dub as well as old ladies and children getting murdered. I fucken loved it all. Yes, the 2004 Anime by Gonzo had a shitty ass filler ending that left me absolutely fucken furious. But! That doesn’t offset the fact that the anime had everything that I could possibly ever ask for.
If you like vulgar ass shit I can’t recommend Gantz to you enough. Even if you’re not a fucken fan of anime I recommend it. It is the fucken shit! And it just really grinds my fucken gears that this isn’t what’s considered to be popular in Japan.
Not just Gantz per say. Because really pretty much everything about that manga can be considered controversial. I’m talking about just more serious and dramatic themed manga adaptations in general with realistically done characters without over extravagant facial expressions or personality quarks.
And really I just love controversial shit. Real talk. I read Kodomo no Jikan and my pedo ass fucken loved it. And I’m still waiting for a fucken adaptation of fucken Tokyo Akazukin. Seriously that shit would be the best day of my god damn life. But of course, thanks to that pesky Tokyo Youth Ordinance bill I doubt that its ever going to be a thing.
Because…. you know….
But if not that. Shit like fucken Until Death Do Us Part or fucken Eternal Sabbath even would work grate for me. But no! We’re just stuck with the same fucken angsty teen shit 80% of the fucken time because that’s the only thing these dumb ass Love Live otaku are buying. But, it’s like I always say: You have to wade through the fucken swamp in order to find the gems.
And it just makes it all the more satisfying when anime’s like the following graces us with their presence. But! Is the following anime the awesome adaptation that I’m making it out to be?
Well…yes and no.
I’m The Angry Misanthropist Freak and this is my review of Inuyashiki: Last Hero. Let do this shit.
I know I just got done hyping the fuck out of this anime but really it has its fair share of issues I’m not going to lie. But the sheer fact that the lead character here is a fucken old man makes this unbelievably unique.
The story here follows 50 something year old man Ichiro Inuyashiki. Which actually isn’t considered old by Japanese standards by the way. But given the way he looks he’s often mistaking for a much older guy. Shown clearly when his daughter gets all embarrassed when her friend infers that he’s her granddad. And daughter issues aren’t the only sad unfortunate thing about his life. We join him of course in a very sour moment in is life.
His family to which he provides for are a bunch of ungrateful pricks, he has back pain and to top it off the poor mother fucker is diagnosed with cancer by the most nonchalant doctor on earth.
But destiny be loving! While crying his heart out to his newfound best friend in an isolated mountain range he – along with a young high schoolers that was there too for some reason – is caught up in an alien crash-landing that kills them both. But instead of leaving and covering their tracks like a logical species. The alien beings decide to revive them by basically making them weaponized androids.
I know I just got done saying I’m one for plausibility and everything. And I stick by that so I’m going to tell you right now. This shit is fucken implausible. It’s literally one of those “being given super powers by random chance” kind of deal’s. I’ll let you make you’re own call about something like this. After all that’s how fucken Spider Man and a lot of the other Marvel and DC super heroes came to be. Random chance! But for me this plot point is really weak.
I mean an old dude with a shitty ungrateful family who’s diagnosed with cancer not even a fucken day after getting blown off by his daughter just so happens to suffer an emotional brake down at a specific moment in time and runs to – not just an isolated park – but one where another kid just so happens to be at the exact same moment a alien ship teleports on top of them??
I’m, sorry but that’s a plot convenience that is just way to convenient. And that’s not even the thing that’s really wrong with the plot. The real problem I had with this anime was the kid. Fucken Hiro Shishigami. He’s the anime’s primary antagonist as he decides to use his power for evil. But let me tell you, this fucken clown of character is the biggest fucken question mark character I’ve ever seen. And I know that’s saying a shit load. But for real. This kid left me scratching my fucken head. I mean there have been quite a few question mark kind of characters in the history of anime. I mean we have fucken Shounen Jump for Christ sake. But trust me when I say this mother fuckers’ motives are completely and utterly fucked.
This is the classic story of an Angel vs. a Devil kind of plot. Being the kind old soul he is, Inuyashiki takes to using this new-found robot power to protecting the innocent and heal the sick. All the while slicing up the occasional yakuza.
But Shishigami. My god. This freak of a fucken character.
The twists and turns this mother fucker takes throughout these 12 episodes are insane. This is the first character I’ve ever seen that bounces between good and evil several times pretty much on a freaken whim. Unlike a kind malevolent robot like Inuyashiki he instead decides to become a murderous psychopathic piece of shit and turns into a crazy serial killer. And his motives for going down this route are sort of gone into at certain point but there never concrete.
Throughout this anime I fucken hated him. And no, not just because he’s the fucken villain. But because throughout this entire anime’s plot I just didn’t understand Shishigami’s character. Like at all. You know how in a lot of anime’s we’re treated to a flashback or something explaining why an antagonist has a murder boner right?
Well…here we don’t get any of that.
And the anime just abruptly throws it into my face. I know Oku-sans style relies heavily on shock value. Which is fine. It’s one of the reasons I love his work. And it’s been proven that shock value sells. I mean just look at the money all of the fucken Texas Chainsaw movies have raked in for proof of that. But here in the anime and manga – and the Chainsaw Movies too now that I think about it – it gives us simple shock value with Shishigami’s character without any context.
We’re at first given a pure hearted looking nice guy who laughs and hangs out with friends and literally fucken defends bully victim Naoyuki Ando like a good person. But at the end of the episode he fucken picks out a house entirely at random and then precedes to murder them all in the most straight forwardly cruel ass fashion you could possibly imagine.
Kudos to Oku-san for the grate out of nowhere shock value plot twist. But at this point the flaws with the entire cast – not just Shishigami but with almost everyone else in general – became extremely apparent. I don’t get any context once so freaken ever as to why Shishigami’s a murderous phycho anywhere here. No flash back, no traumatizing past that I can see. No nothing.
And he’s horrifically cruel while at the same time being matter a fact and chill about it. I mean during his first killing spree Shishigami emotionally and mentally tortures a high school girl for several moments while talking about One Piece…Yeah! Fucken One Piece.
This is some fucken straight up Michal Myers shit. And what this plot wants you to buy is that he’s somehow fucken physiologically unsound about his humanity after getting turned into a robot so he has to validate it by slaughtering innocent families. I guess that’s what they were going for at least. But it was just straight up fucken nonsensical. One could argue that that’s the point, ya know. Getting into the physiological aspect of a killer’s mind and all that can be what makes this so intriguing. And honestly when you think of it that way. There is some level of merit to that mindset here. I mean not even I would know how I would react to my head opening up like Inuyashiki’s did. The physiological toll that would have on me would no doubt make me desensitized of my one’s own humanity. But even if you can argue away Shishigami’s physiological state and justify it to the plot. There’s also his stupidity and bipolar disorder.
Later when he’s found out and gets his mother and his loved ones involved he fucken cries like a little fucken bitch about it. Like he didn’t know that prancing into people’s homes and Texan hold em finger shooting them wasn’t going to make the news and that he could just go to school like a normal little kiddy. I couldn’t help but hate his character portrayal for this. He honestly thought he could do this without getting his family involved and cries like a little bitch and gets pissed off at the entire nation of japan when they retaliate.
And he’s not the only character who pissed me off. Oh no Mr. Cool aid man oh no.
Enter Shishigami’s classmate Shion Watanabe who latter learns of his exploits but doesn’t give a shit. Why? …. Because she fucking loves him.
Succumbing to the mental illness called love is one thing. But loving someone who you know is not only a cyborg but also a murderous psychopath will really leave people questioning your sanity. It’s one of those weird “love despite bloodshed” kind of deals anime likes to pop on with now and then. And of course, it’s her love for him that eventually makes him convert to a better path…. for a few episodes. Then he goes right back to murdering people by the hundreds for pretty much the same reasons as the previous. She got involved and she suffered for it. So, he goes right back to his fucken conquest of slaughter.
Honestly the only other character here that makes sense – aside from Inuyashiki – is Naoyuki who tells Shishigami off and later joins forces with Inuyashiki to fight him. There are just so many things about these characters that just doesn’t sit well with me. It’s the first time I’ve gotten a murderous psychopath with very little coherent contexts to their motives. I’m not saying every anime has to pull off a fucken Elfin Lied and devote several episodes to a character’s inner turmoil. No not that.
I’m simply saying give them a good solid reason as to why there killing people. Good well defined, well flushed out characters do things for a good well defined well flushed reason. Good or evil. I’m all for killing! Yay for killing! Killings awesome! Killings fun! But kill with a fucken purpose. You always have to kill with a god damn purpose. Does the KKK burn black people just because they can? No, the KKK burn black people because their religious idiots who approve of slavery because the fucken bible tells them it’s okay. You know. There has to be a fucken motive!
I know I sound like I might be pushing my own ideals of what makes a good antagonist into your face. But can you imagine what it would be like if this became a theme with most antagonists. Could you be able to accept shit like the Green Goblin killing people because he wants to feel human. Or fucken Ra’s Al Ghul killing people just because he wants to feel human. Or fucken Lex Luthor killing people simply because he wants to feel human. It’s just a really fucken lame ass motivation that I can not in any way get behind.
But! As for everything else about this anime…. I fucken love it.
Everything else about this anime is top notch. I love sex and violence in copies amounts. And while its clear Gantz has a lot more of it. This has its fair share too. There are certain stand-alone episodes here that go into Inuyashiki’s fight against the criminal underworld including saving a woman from the aforementioned crazy bisexual Yakuza. And shit like that’s no doubt the biggest positive of this entire anime. The sheer badass’ness of this entire scenario.
I will say while Inuyashiki is given a shit load of awesome robot powers such as the ability to hear screaming voices from grant distances, fly at supersonic speeds and the iconic super strength. There’s kind of a sense of wasted potential to his character when you find out that most of the big time fights and action scenes here are when he’s knocked unconscious and the cyborg body actually takes over and dose the fighting for him. His body is mostly fighting on autopilot ninety-percent of the time. And I’ll admit I was a little turned off by Inuyashiki’s non-chalant’ness of this entire thing.
But these are all minor concerns and nitpicks that really don’t hold a candle to the amount of shit that this anime dose right. Such as the comedy factor for example. This anime doesn’t deliberately try to be funny at all but there were a few moments that legitimately made me giggle. Since his new robot powers are a total mystery to him at firs he as too pretty much learn as he goes. And that made for some of the anime’s more lighthearted scenes. I mean the part where he was teaching himself how to fly was fucken hilarious.
As for the animation here, this is by studio MAPPA who’s brought us shit like 2014’s Terror in Resonance, Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler and the fucken Garo series, so I knew right form the beginning that this was going to be something special. It’s outstanding accept for some minor pet peeves I have. One of em is with glossy effects on lips. And this anime has a lot of that. But that actually can be attributed to Hiroya Oku art style as he’s really keen on realism in his art. If you read a lot of Shounen or even a lot of Seinen Manga then come to this you’ll kind of notice that most of the characters he draws look like extremely spot on Asian people with a few over extravagances.
Excessive detail in the lips are one such case. And of course, they conveyed the look here in the animation. And it was something that I couldn’t stop staring at to be honest. As if Shion’s personality wasn’t annoying enough her weird ass fucken puckery ass lips kept staring me in the face. And since this is an anime that’s really in your face with the violence and sex you kind of have to have a strong stomach. Aside from the murder. There’s also shit like a yakuza that kidnaps, drugs and rapes women, as well as rapes the faces of men who piss him off. This is an anime that isn’t for the kiddies. Despite what a lot of dipshits out there like to say about anime being for kids I can tell you for a fact that this is something you wouldn’t want your fucken 10-year-old daughter watching. In fact if you know someone who give you crap about watching anime and thinks its for kids then I recommend that you show this to them to shut their asses up
As for studio hands this was duel-directed by Shuuhei Yabuta and Keiichi Satou. Both of whom have splendid track records. Shuuhei Yabuta was 3D director for the first seasons of Attack on Titan and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. And it really sucked that he couldn’t make a return for Shingeki Season Two. God knows it fucken needed it. And Keiichi Satou headed the CGI Gantz: O movie and Tiger & Bunny. You guys know Tiger and Bunny, right? The most studiedly over rated anime in history. I have absolutely zero fucken clue as to why it’s been ranked as the best anime ever by the Japanese. But…Pffft I’m fucken whiter then cottage cheese so what the fuck do I know right? Only the almighty yellow people can understand Tiger and Bunnies divine grace.
And while we’re on the topic of racism I’m sorry but as a fucken independent who’s ideals lean left I can’t go this review without pointing out how Oku-san and MAPPA playfully interjected a cameo of Donald Trump here. Voiced splendid by Bill Fleming.
And also in regards to the manga one of the best things MAPPA did here is almost directly copy and paste the manga from start to finish. If you like manga more than anime you can literally just skip the anime and read the manga and you’ll get pretty much the same story. Yes, there are a few minor differences like the manga going behind the scenes of how and why something happens where as in the anime it just fucken happens in order to save time. So, there are some details that the anime leaves out but their small unimportant scenes. But if you truly want the plot 100% how Oku-san wanted to convey it, then once again I say skip the anime and read the manga. But either way you really can just screw the anime and read the manga and get ninety-eight percent of the same plot. Or vice versa. The anime stays true enough to the source material to a degree that dose the manga justice. All the way up to its sad unfortunate but climatic ending. This is an adaptation that doesn’t spit in the face of the original author by taking bits and pieces out or ripping it apart at its leaser. This is a complete adaptation and I appreciate MAPPA for that.
In the end Inuyashiki: Last Hero is by far the best anime of the Fall 2017 season. The only real thing that’s holding it back is the idiocy and strange behavior of some of the characters and a few minor traits of the character designs. But other than that, holy shit is this something special.
The Final Verdict for Inuyashiki: Last Hero is a well-earned…8.7 out of 10. And gets the Science Fiction, Thriller and Blood and Gore Seals of Approval. An absolute must see regardless of the stupid character dynamics. I cannot recommend this to fans of Gantz or action anime’s enough. If you’re horny for freaken cybernetics and are all about the gore then this is something you cannot pass up on. But if you really have a hard time understanding characters sometimes or are extremely critical of things like character motives then a few of these characters are guaranteed to give you a fucken headache. But either way this is by far one of the best anime’s this season and it shouldn’t be passed up.
And with that I’m fucken done.