From the creator of “Gantz”, Hiroya Oku’s “Inuyashiki” is not a sequel or spin-off of one of the best sci-fi horror manga. But, we know that we want to want another of his works. In this anime, he invited us into a simple concept of hero and villain. However, I’d rather say it as two anti-heroes fighting each other. Regardless of the title, “Last Hero”, this is about Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami. It’s about two people who have different ideologies or coins from two different sides.
After meeting them by chance in a field, Ichirou and Hiro have a mysterious power that changes humans forever. The incident made their bodies Terminator-like. This show portrayed two characters alternately. The first two episodes introduce their character, personality, and reaction. Ichirou is an old man who has a family. However, he is very difficult to be open as a father figure. After being diagnosed with cancer, he was so depressed and didn’t know what the purpose of his life was anymore. It came and miraculously, his cancer then disappeared. For a house of gold heart, he uses that power to save people. He saved people and put many consequences on him.
On the other hand, there is Hiro. Simply put, he is an antagonist in this show. He is a man who was indeed born from his scene as a psycho. He is not too evil to be able to kill millions of people after getting that power. Plus, he didn’t have any intention or reason why he did it. But, he is an overpowered character. He uses that power, simply to stand on the “tower”. But, his character is rather humanized about his love for his mother, Naoyuki Andou as his best friend, and Shion Watanabe. When Andou stabbed Hiro from behind, Hiro still considered that he was his best friend. On the other hand, it doesn’t change any facts other than he is a psychopath.
There are good and bad people. If there are crimes, there are certainly heroes. But what if the heroes exist but the world keeps lives peacefully? The hero’s role is in vain and no one would want to care for him. I think this series shows an intriguing of who society is when viewed from two sides. More precisely, Hiro and Ichirou are representations of society today. Ichiro felt alive after he saved many people. On the other side, Hiro felt alive after he killed many people. They are around us. It’s just that, this show gradually pushed its characters into a God-complex overpowered experiment.
Ichirou is the main character who acts as a hero. The character representation is so real. There are thousands, millions, or even billions of people like Ichirou in our lives. There is no-nonsense or exaggerated drama. His character illustrates a society that also views people like Ichirou. He works hard but his family doesn’t care about him. He was ostracized and his days were filled with various hardships. For Ichirou, the power he gained can turn him into a monster if he can’t control it.
There is Hiro who was born from the seeds of alienated people. He thinks that this world is fragile. Hiro uses his power without any reason, nothing. However, it shows how his character emphasizes what if people who have revenge get such strength. Ichiro and Hiro show what humans are. Humans are complex. There is something we cannot realize but we never focus there because we are busy with other things.
Relationships between characters are shown ahead of time from the first episode to the end. The relationship between Ichirou and his family has real and deep emotions. It’s pure into their hearts that was initially never familiar. However, it shows before there is a transition when they are still together and back to being family again. I don’t find memorable from other supporting characters. The supporting characters that have an impact on the actions for the main characters are such as Mari Inuyashiki, Naoyuki, Shion, and Hiro’s mom. It shows the psychology of impact very well. As the relationship between Hiro and his mother, it’s kind of ironic but there is a counter-attack before the next episode. It’s, personally, hard to say edgy just because there is too much violence in it. But, the author seems to know since he wrote “Gantz”.
“Inuyashiki” has good visual quality. I know MAPPA since “Terror in Resonance”. Aside from the anime, they worked on other projects such as “Kids on the Slope”, “Yuri!!! On ICE”, and the Winter anime this year, “Dororo”. But, the quality of this anime is so good. At first, I felt weird with the CGI which was still a little stiff. I still like the beauty of CGI from “Land of the Lustrous“. But, they handle it very well.
The characters’ designs are self-explanatory and interesting. The action and violence are over-the-top. The more episodes progress, the higher the quality is. However, they were then a little tired after several episodes. They removed the CGI partly differently in the first episode. The soundtrack is self-aware. Sometimes, it’s full of action, suspense, and sometimes emotional. “My Hero” by MAN WITH A MISSION is one of the most memorable opening songs at the season.
“Inuyashiki: Last Hero” turns Superman like a baby who still uses diapers and just learns to fly. A simple story but its impression is so realistic and full of thousands of relatable experiences that exist. Just that first episode, we are immediately attracted to the two sides of the coin. But for me, this is not a story about a hero against a villain with such a generic story. It explores how the circumstance of society today. A show that also explores a person’s psychology and a message about life. This show combines sci-fi with psychology with the modern settings of Japan and its world. One anime that is very rare in its scope.
4 out of 5 stars.