「東京の人たち」 (Toukyou no Hito-tachi)
“People of Tokyo”
I have to give Inuyashiki credit, when it wants to go all out it sure can. All my previous concern about a problematic ending seemingly cast itself out the door as not only did Hiro and Ichiro finally wind up duking it out, but we got the cherry on top for Ichiro’s “heroic” development. Sure it was a little rushed and we still have no bloody idea how Inuyashiki plans on wrapping things up in one more episode, but if the conclusion is anything like this week I will eagerly take it. All of it.
While the long awaited fight is likely to divide people considering the copious use of B-grade CGI, I found it wickedly entertaining. The key was the fluidity, there were few static scenes, instead replaced by a sense of both spatial and temporal change thanks to the constant shift in locations and the gradually darkening sky. Inuyashiki’s overall animation may have been—pardon the French—piss poor this week, but it arguably used CG the way it was meant to be: a way to better represent the action. Of course I may be biased as I also felt the soundtrack choice was deliciously on point for much of the fight, but there’s no denying Inuyashiki had its work cut out for it considering some of the stuff seen. Multiple planes falling out the sky, jetpack chase down major thoroughfares, the bloody ISS crashing down in a manner completely out of touch with actual re-entry physics? Pretty hard showing the awesomeness of it all any other way I’d dare say. Plus who could ever turn their nose up at that hilarious hand gun duel? Say what you will about the animation choice, but that duel of the bangs was quality at its finest.
The other key element this week of course lies with Mari, who seems to not only have redeemed herself, but given Ichiro the last push he needed to realize his meaning of life. There’s no denying the entire scene was cliché as hell and that Mari might have been better off staying dead, but the moment was useful for locking Ichiro into his good-natured role. In that moment Ichiro has found everything he was looking for, he has a reason for experiences and suffering, an answer for why he, out of countless others, wound up with a robotic body. It’s the veritable phrase “there’s a reason for everything” played out through a geriatric father, but as far as midlife crises go it’s one of the happier endings.
For Hiro, however, the same cannot be said. If Ichiro found happiness in his experiences, Hiro seemingly only discovered misfortune, plagued by a world seeing him only as a villain. Hiro’s sociopathy is already well-described, but it bears repeating that Ichiro really is the antithesis to everything Hiro takes as reality, a father who saves those Hiro believes are the root cause of the loss of his family and friends. As Hiro cannot understand why his actions are wrong or how he brought about this situation, he cannot see why Ichiro is looked upon with respect and reverence while he struggles from the shadows. It’s an open question whether Hiro will find peace in the end, but considering how much effort Inuyashiki has put into his development, I seriously doubt he will be left to simple villainy by the time the curtains close—who else besides Ichiro is supposed to take care of that meteor supposedly on its way?
One way or another, next week’s finale is going to be a blast.