「新宿の人たち」 (Shinjuku no Hito-tachi)
If Inuyashiki falls apart in its final two episodes, this will likely be the week which began it all. From killing cops to doing 9/11, Hiro has quickly advanced into villainous insanity, proving he not only has no serious threat (at least for now), but powers which outmatch anything in anyone’s wildest dreams. Normally I’m one content to sit back and admire the chaos in these situations, but with only two episodes left and Ichiro still largely playing second fiddle, it begs the question just what Inuyashiki’s end game really is.
For Hiro this week nothing certainly changed from prior behaviour, with the kid following his mindset through and through. He firmly believes the state of Japan has ruined the happiness he briefly found with Shion, and so the state must die, citizens and all. It’s a typical overreaction from one who cannot see the forest for the trees, not understanding that severe actions have consequences and that in some way he may be wrong. Shion’s rejection of Hiro of course best shows this, refusing to not only use the money Hiro has been sending her (somewhat explaining why the police have not tracked them down yet), but also entertain any idea of a future with the mass murderer. Hiro’s stupefaction is a textbook sociopathic response, unable to understand why his killing is wrong or why someone clearly close to him would find issue with it. So what if I slaughter? I’m just doing it because they are threatening my life! Since Hiro cannot empathize with those he sees as strangers (i.e. anyone not in his immediate circle) he cannot understand the moral reasons those originally close to him turned on and rejected him. This is an issue set to only grow more dangerous as Hiro accepts his isolation because those friends and family were the only thing largely regulating his actions. Without a grounding force to guide him (rightly or wrongly), Hiro is set to truly lose control.
While this development would typically be great from a villain standpoint, the problem starting to crop up is the lack of noticeable countermeasure. Hiro effectively has a monopoly over deus ex machina killing, capable of machine gun fire through a television while Ichiro struggles to find him through conventional radio waves. While it makes some sense how Hiro goes about his revenge (I’m suspecting concentrated, high frequency pulse waves from speakers, explaining how smartphones and TVs both can kill) and why Ichiro struggles learning what Hiro easily picked up (think how troublesome computers and complex electronics are for most seniors), from a story standpoint it’s becoming worrisome. Hiro needs a challenge, a roadblock of some sort to put him in his place, even if only temporarily. Sure it’s fun watching him down planes from the sky and execute news anchors on live television, but such things eventually grow boring without proper hero to combat them. Ichiro is the only one who can bring Hiro to a halt, and the longer this inevitable confrontation is held off, the less time Inuyashiki has to forge a decent conclusion from it. I’m far from giving up hope on Inuyashiki just yet, but with only two weeks left to conclude this tale, the warning sirens are starting to sound softly in the background.
Guess we shall just have to wait and see what next week brings.