OP: 「My Hero」 by MAN WITH A MISSION
「犬屋敷 壱郎」 (Inuyashiki Ichirou)
Out of all the shows this season the one I was most excited for must have been Inuyashiki. Lonely dad gone grandpa who gets run over by aliens and becomes a sexagenarian Robocop? Oh yes, I’ll be having some (all) of that. I’m not sure what to expect going into this one, but I will say Inuyashiki’s first appearance does not disappoint in the slightest.
What probably enraptured me the most about this show was main man Ichirou (Kohinata Fumiyo). It’s not often we get characters whose age is found outside of the low double digits, but to also get one with a disheartening backstory and an agonizing life? Now that’s shooting hard for memorable. It’s an incredibly strong setup, although a lot of the impact will likely be lost if you have never experienced or personally know of similar situations. Having volunteered in a seniors centre and learned of my father’s own past, Ichirou’s life hits a little close to home for me. His story may seem played up for emotions, but a lot of poor, unfortunate people are stuck in similar situations, living a lonely life without a caring family or friends, and in the case of the elderly, often relegated to a meager room by those who simply wish they would hurry up and die. Not much gets to me, but these stories truly break my heart, men (and women) who should be at the centre of their families and looked upon with respect for what they’ve done, but are instead abandoned by selfish pricks only out for themselves. Giving your all to take care of your family? Spit on as not enough in a world where young is best and hard, honest work is frowned upon. I promised myself long ago to always be there and do whatever is necessary for my family, and stories like Ichirou’s only reinforce that importance for me.
The real beauty of Inuyashiki so far, however, lies in how it utilizes this foundation. Rather than spending too long in the nihilistic quagmire, Ichirou quickly gets back on his feet and with one fateful decision, finds new meaning in his life. I admit it’s strange the guy would hardly question why his head is full of metal and where that arm cannon came from, but if you’re supposedly living on borrowed time with no one else caring, you’d probably roll with the punch(es) too. Ichirou’s dull acceptance though does pave the way for that very emotional display of joy, showing just how beaten the poor guy was before circumstances allowed him to finally overturn his apparent fate. It might seem like a minor thing, but realizing you are (still) human and are treated as a human? Often the only thing anyone ever really asks for. For the first time in a long time Ichirou feels alive, and as I can personally attest to, there is no better feeling in the whole damn world.
As the start of something new (in more than one way), Inuyashiki has hit all of the right notes for me and is definitely being covered some more. We may not get much in the way of answers regarding those aliens, the 3D might be annoying at times, and Ichirou’s voice may take some time getting used to, but there’s no doubt in my mind this one will be a blast all the way through. With a fine OP and the hints of something greater to come, Inuyashiki has everything needed to be one of this season’s best shows.
ED: 「愛を教えてくれた君へ」 (Ai wo Oshiete Kureta Kimi e) by クアイフ (Kuaifu)