「地球の人たち」 (Chikyuu no Hito-tachi)
“People of Earth”
Asteroids, tales of redemption…and Donald Trump? Well I think there’s no denying Inuyashiki knows how to make the most out of a finale. Frankly I knew what was coming this week having spoiled myself a couple weeks earlier, but the results still left me smiling nonetheless. Say what you want about pacing troubles or ridiculous world-ending plot resolutions, but there’s something fun about watching all of Inuyashiki’s various pieces come together much the same way it started: with a bang. Plus we also arguably got the best impression of a President Trump responding to impending world doom, so there’s that.
I think I’m coming to love this current timeline of ours.
When this season rolled around, Inuyashiki had to be the show I was most looking forward to. It was sci-fi, it had a sexagenarian lead, and came from none other than Gantz’ author. I would be hard pressed denying my excitement, and while I probably hyped it more than I should have, I’m quite content with the results.
The key for Inuyashiki is treating it as glorified popcorn entertainment. Popcorn entertainment with bite yes, but popcorn entertainment nonetheless. While the show features some remarkable development in regards to Hiro and features a surprisingly strong tale of humanity relating to Ichiro’s personal redemption, these elements are never the dominant aspect. Questions such as why Hiro was at the park in the first place, why Ichiro’s family had the sudden 180 in the last episode, or why Mari received fleshing out (but Takeshi did not) are never answered, replaced instead by shock-inducing scenes and some ingenious mass murder situations. It’s a story meant to visually awe and impress, using a set of increasingly outrageous thrills to patch over a noticeably thin framework and hide the shallow depths below. Much like the over the top summer blockbuster, thinking too hard here will only invite frustration, caring too heavily about the plot inducing annoyance. Inuyashiki is an imperfect story, but makes up for it in style.
Story issues aside, if there was a major problem with Inuyashiki it would be in animation and pacing. MAPPA has been a noticeable tear of late, but there’s no denying Inuyashiki (much like Shoukoku no Altair) has received the proverbial short end of the animating stick, using large amounts of CGI and featuring some hilarious visuals even by B-grade movie standards (and trust me, I’ve seen plenty *stares at his disaster movie collection*). The choice of CG makes sense considering the intricacy of Inuyashiki’s robots, but how it turned out will likely put off some expecting “better”, particularly for the action scenes. Moments of rushing too did not help Inuyashiki either, with certain developments barely touched on before the next big thing hit the screen. This was arguably most noticeable in the finale, but even elements such as Ichiro’s family featured throughout could have done with more screen time to help flesh out otherwise weak details. Hiro after all received significant development throughout, it would only be fair to provide Ichiro (the titular character of the show) and his family similar care and attention. Heck one additional episode likely would have been enough, if just to better buffer the change in Ichiro’s family following his mechanical reveal. Stories never need to answer every little concern (and some certainly provide too much detail), but the more they can give the better enjoyment the audience often finds.
While Inuyashiki is not the best thing since sliced bread, it arguably did the job it had to: entertain. Sure it may have been lacking in spots, but by hell was it never boring when it came to both action and catharsis, and definitely gave me the feels on a few separate occasions. The only thing holding it back is that it could have been so much more. Just a few more explanations, a little more character development, a better thought out (or paced) ending, simple additions like these potentially could have transformed this from just a good show into a great one. We probably will never know what Inuyashiki could have been with a little more elbow grease (depending on how the live action version turns out), but what we received here is more than enough to satisfy the appetite. Imperfect though it may be, Inuyashiki is at least deserving of a watch from anyone with the curiosity. One way or another, it’s a show that will not disappoint.