「犬屋敷麻理」 (Inuyashiki Mari)
Well I’d say it’s safe to say the excrement has firmly hit the rotary device. Inuyashiki certainly wasn’t holding back with its cliffhanger last episode, but I’m not sure I was expecting the results this week. Mass murder sure, but a unilateral declaration of war accompanied by some left field development for one terrible daughter? I might never cease to be surprised by Inuyashiki, but some things are definitely more surprising than the rest.
While Hiro’s shift into Terminator mode is arguably the least shocking aspect this week, it’s still intriguing how it played out. I honestly was expecting Shion and/or her grandmother to die, and by hell they very nearly did, if not for the wondrous power of mechanical godhood. There’s definitely some cheesiness throughout the scene (notably the SWAT-esque boys shredding grandma without a second thought), but it’s arguably realistic in the sense you can never predict how a forced entry will go. Everything comes down to a few seconds, and with adrenaline pumping and no certainty as to the physical or mental state of the suspects, any move (ex. Shion’s scream) could quickly be taken as an act of aggression. Plus the whole scenario led to an even greater display of wholesale slaughter so cannot complain too much about the details. If anything I’m left more confused about why Japan’s police force would let Shion and grandma go when they know their faces and have a bank account to track. Probably just have to chalk it up to them worrying more about an invincible cop killer I guess. Maybe a conspicuous lack of manpower too, always a possibility.
The more fascinating part this episode, however, had to be the focus on Mari. Once again I was fully expecting Hiro to be the one who would bring her into this story, but lo and behold Ichiro actually revealing all, albeit coincidentally. This development, much like Hiro’s before, shows Inuyashiki is not so much a story about two duelling cyborgs with clear cut mental differences, but how simple changes in circumstance, big or small, are often all it takes to find a meaning in life. As the bodies (and subsequent experiences) of Hiro and Ichiro have given both a new outlook on life and a reason to press on, Ichiro’s support for Mari’s dream (and potentially his acts of kindness) give her the encouragement needed to persevere in her desire. Whether down to Mari simply not seeing what was before her eyes (teenagers have a terrible habit of that) or Ichiro not being home enough to stay in tune with her, both have been metaphorically talking past one another up until this point. Of course Mari has yet to reveal what she knows to her father, but with Ichiro’s secret now out in the open, I imagine it will not take long before Ichiro finds common ground with the family who have all but left him to die. After all considering the path Hiro is now walking, it won’t be long before robot grandpa starts gracing the Inuyashiki television screen alongside the bang bang boy. The future of the Japanese police force depends on it.
With only three episodes remaining and Hiro now essentially at war with the Japanese state, I dare say we are in for some amazing fireworks as Inuyashiki gears up for its grand finale. What that is I have no bloody idea, but with talk of an asteroid and the likelihood of the military getting involved, you can be sure it will not disappoint. For better or worse, Inuyashiki has come too far to give up just before the finish line.