Inuyashiki has a damn good crack at originality, creating a narrative that's bolstered by its sweet-natured titular hero, as his superhuman capabilities are explored from a stylish yet believable perspective. With an antagonist that very well serves the phrase 'total and complete scumbag', and a refreshingly harrowing interpretation of the superhero genre, Inuyashiki delivers an entertaining, albeit flawed, gratuitously gripping experience.
With his aging body and mundane schedule, Inuyashiki's life is depressingly dire. After relocating to a new home, his self-absorbed family scoffs at its mediocrity. Inuyashiki's reality plummets further following a visit to the doctor, upon which he is diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. With little left to live for, void of a sense of purpose, Inuyashiki keels over in tears whilst walking his dog at a park. However, a sudden explosion of extra terrestrial origin decimates both Inuyashiki, and a teenage boy situated in close proximity called Hiro. The otherworldly life forms responsible for this catastrophe hastily rebuild both men, retaining their human appearances and emotions, but replacing their blood, bones and body bits with cybernetic technology.
Following their revival, both Inuyashiki and Hiro unearth their possession of stupendous capabilities, from fantastical flight to wicked weapons. While Inuyashiki's new found strength is utilized for exacting justice and protecting the innocent, the vile craving for criminality Hiro bears sees him indulge in hideous murders to juxtapose Inuyashiki's righting of wrongs. Thus begins the age old tale of good versus evil.
Inuyashiki's kind hearted demeanour toward his dog, to his sincere care for his family, which in turn, is sadly rejected, to jumping on board with outlook of those around him, is a breeze. By stark contrast, Hiro is totally hate-able, committing murderous atrocities for nothing more than selfish entertainment. Watching as the black-hearted killer sadistically guns down a family in their own home is horrendously discomforting, yet fundamental to incentivising the audience in utterly despising his character. This divide between Inuyashiki and Hiro creates a fascinating narrative in which two polar opposite forces enact their individual brands of heroism, from Inuyashiki's defense of the weak to Hiro's merciless blood lust which he seldom justifies to himself via a psychopathic and twisted logic.
The art is par with today's standards and as expected from Mappa studio, has a Gantz like feel to it and even when there are moments of CGI, they manage to balance it and the overall result looks great.
As Hiro's vicious spree of killing ramps up, the show effectively utilises its bleak tonal properties to convey the repulsive cruelty of his actions. Shocks and shakes whisk audiences through Hiro's white knuckle roller coaster of brutality, all while providing an antidote to this horror in the form of its unlikely hero. As entertaining as Inuyashiki may be, however, a befuddled sense of storytelling bogs down an otherwise superb series.
Tamim Bin Zakir aka Shwag_Lord(PSN ID) is an enraged individual who seldom thinks of being generous to others. Feel free to devour his tranquility at email@example.com