Not since Death Note have I seen something so good in the Anime area! Inuyashiki was released this year and it is over 18 material. Strong violence, loads of deaths, sex (implied and explicit), drug abuse and two protagonists so well defined by their traits that I thought they would be like L vs Kira again!
I was wrong.
The story starts off with Inuyashiki, a 56-year old timid old man who wasn’t really appreciated a lot by his family, finding out that he had cancer and not a lot longer to live.
He’s hardworking, doesn’t talk much and very sweet. He even adopts a dog he found. He goes to the park with his dog, and as he’s crying away, a boy walks into the scene. Shortly after,an alien aircraft crashes into them and pulverises them.
In a hurry, they re-assemble them based on robotic skeletons and gives both the old man and the young boy powers. An arsenal of weaponry and the ability to fly, heal, scan and locate, jam and broadcast.
Inuyashiki and Hiro then don’t meet for a bit longer as they both find out what they can do with their newly acquired skills. Inuyashiki finds peace and happiness into helping his fellow humans, curing terminal patients, saving a girl from the Yakuza and performing a healing act on a poor kitty hit by a car. He’s good to the core. And he shows so much humanity – in acts of kindness and mercy and even his “killing” is not done consciously. He blacks out and the machine in him takes over and maims or paralyses the opponents.
Hiro (despite his name), is a cold-blooded psychopath with not much care other than those who are closest to him. It’s not something that the aliens caused, it’s something that he was way before he was hit. He considers other people’s lives worthless. He comits some gruesome murders into the second episode of the series. He just walks into some random people’s house and goes “Bang” killing the mother in the kitchen.
He then goes to the bathroom where the dad was bathing the son and tortures the dad and when he kills him, he lets the child drown. He then kills (slowly) the teenage daughter who just returned home to the massacre.
Inuyashiki hears the cries for help but he is unable to save the girl on time as he was stuck in traffic. But he does see the carnage and he does see the killer. He is set on stopping Hiro.
In the mean time, Hiro shoots some bullies in school and his best friend so far decides to stop seeing him (and I believe he tips off the police). At this point, Hiro was portrayed as the scum of the earth – but he seems to turn a new leaf when his mother is diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
He quickly heals her and gets some money for both of them. He truly loves his mother and would do anything for her. They even planned to move to a nicer place and Hiro swore he would never kill again. I’ve never seen in any series (except Dexter), a serial killer who is able to control his urges and psychopathic tendencies.. so I couldn’t wait to see if there would be a collapse.
And it came with the failed attempt to arrest him. He escapes but his mother is left to face the music and soon the internet trolls get to her and she commits suicide.
I was surprised to see how well Hiro used the internet to take revenge. He killed all the trolls on the huge forum 2chan and I have no idea how the laws of physics functioned when he killed a guy through the monitor screen. “Bang!”
I’m half way through the season but I can’t wait to see how it ends. I thoroughly recommend it even for psych-analysis. Power corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. Will Inuyashiki turn out like Hiro? Will Hiro redeem himself? And you know what they say: you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats those weaker than him.
[Update] I have finished the show and I am absolutely amazed at the character arcs for both protagonists. Bonus: An animated version of Trump screaming about the US on the telly. I loved that!