「安堂直行」 (Andou Naoyuki)
“Naoyuki Andou”

Inuyashiki may only be three episodes in, but this show is already hitting with some serious force. For such an outlandish and arguably ridiculous concept, Inuyashiki has shown a remarkable capability of drawing out the best of two diametrically opposed viewpoints, showcasing not just the good and bad, but every little nuance in between. It may not keep up the pace going forward, but if this show can even remotely retain the impact seen thus far, it will be one of this year’s most memorable anime.

Probably the most intriguing aspect of Inuyashiki for me is not its dichotomous main duo as much as their developing complexity. Hiro is the obvious example, retaining that disturbing apathetic edge, but now featuring clear emotional connections. This was evident last week, but it’s on full display now, with Hiro not only pushing Naoyuki into actually going to school, but upholding his promise to protect Naoyuki from Naoyuki’s tormentors. Make no mistake, the kid is definitely sociopathic, but his friendship is genuine. While Hiro’s methods are assuredly wrong for the situation, there is little doubt from his actions that he cares deeply about Naoyuki’s well-being and seeing Naoyuki happy. Best evidence for this? The cold blooded murder at the end, Hiro didn’t do that just because some dog was barking, he slaughtered the family because of his frustration at Naoyuki rightly rejecting him. Similarly the two kids lived because Hiro very likely saw himself and Naoyuki in them. This guy may be concentrated evil, but he is certainly not one dimensional. Hiro is very much in search of a reason to live and until now thought he discovered it by fooling around and helping his childhood friend back to the proper path. With that friendship in ruins, however, Hiro is now back at square one and with no explanation for his apparent abandonment—not the best combination for a teenage sociopath. Expect Hiro’s extravagancies to only increase in strength and frequency from here on out.

What keeps Hiro so starkly defined of course is Ichiro, and once again we have the difference on full display. While Hiro gallivants off to deal with bullies, Ichiro rescues one lucky soul and saves an unfortunate family from a fire. He may also have helped a couple of cats out, but I cried too many manly tears then to ever admit it. Ichiro is very much the hero of this story, but he is not the hero per say. Hiro for example is completely wrong in his actions, but with Naoyuki he has the right intentions. The key facet of Inuyashiki is this difference between Ichiro and Hiro, one sees his powers as a gift from god, the other sees himself as a god. Now of course neither Hiro nor Ichiro consider themselves godly (Hiro in particular has no world changing desires), but both through their personal drives and new bodies are overtly upsetting the natural order of things. We may applaud Ichiro for saving critically ill patients for example, but is it the correct thing to do? Our morality says yes, but using those abilities will only draw attention to Ichiro, and with it an increasing inability to simply be an anonymous saviour—other interests would see to that. Cause and effect are heavily at work with both Hiro and Ichiro, with Inuyashiki effectively asking what changes (if any) will remain once both characters collide and inevitably leave the plane of existence. The answer may currently be lacking, but it’s clear the show has one in mind. With the memories both Ichiro and Hiro are leaving in their wake, for better or worse, their legacies will carry on.

Having set up the showdown to come and laid out the key differences between our duo, Inuyashiki seems ready to start getting down to business. I honestly don’t know what to expect going forward, but between Hiro’s subtle complexity and the sheer happiness felt watching Ichiro do good, I know it’s going to be one hell of a ride. There’s a lot of ground left to explore here, and we have only just begun.


  1. https://randomc.net/image/Inuyashiki/Inuyashiki%20-%2003%20-%2012.jpg
    I like how Ichiro doesn’t how to fight and flails his arm around. Yes he’s now a super-powered human robot that shoots laser, spawns a jet pack, and miraculously heals people but that doesn’t mean he immediately knows kung fu.

    Meanwhile, Hiro is still on a murderous rampage. I like how the voice of the dog, the woman, and the baby are stopped one by one with a bang. It’s creepy but this scene is handled well I love it.

    One Pinch Man
    1. It was an amazing scene, but if his punches can make that thug flip twice before hitting the ground, he should be able to power through having a hand pressing down on top of his head.

    2. The killing scenes are bloody disturbing for how “natural” they feel, no melodrama, no over the top bloodshed, just one soft spoken kid casually executing people—it’s amazing. I especially like how Hiro’s voice acting fits these scenes, there is an argument that the show’s voice acting is poor, but Hiro’s VA has sociopathic villain down perfectly.

    3. also…

      How “young” is his ability to learn? Can he learn now quickly with his new brain? is he an Genuis like Sasuke?

      You can have an Super Body, but are you Hulk or All Mighty?

  2. He’s a psychopath and all but when i see him casually kill trash bullies who straight up lead people to suicide for fun, i understand him. If you would give the same type of power Hiro has to literally any single one of trash teens that have been features in the show so far you would end up with the same result, if not worse, those scum in the park were ready to beat a hobo to death, and basically killed an old man from their perspective.

    1. It would likely be different for each person though. No doubt a lot would use such strength to put those people in their place, but I doubt many would go so far as to actually kill them. Even in the worst instances, killing is an action that does not come easy, you often have to be trained into the mindset, or lack the limiter in the first place like Hiro. Otherwise Ichiro would probably have slaughtered the guys this week without a second thought.

  3. It is a little bullshit that the only other guy who got turned into a mecha is prime supervillain material, but whatever, it’s fun.

    Better to have an antagonist than to be alone at the top of the mountain, from a storytelling perspective. Very western comics vibe.

  4. Definitely new to see the youngster being the villain and the elderly to be the good guy. By now, I feel like the show has done explaining how much of the opposite ends these two characters are. Now, it’s time to really get to the story of how they will come across one another.

  5. I really like how Ojiisan genuine feeling of wanting to save people as how he cried and then he thank god for giving him that power to do so.

    And Hiro just got triggered again when his best friend dumped him. I knew it was gonna turn ugly when the scene at the bridge


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