Catchphrase for the Umpteenth Time.

This is going to be a short post, because Killing Bites is exactly what it seemed like from the start. It does two things, and does them well: bloody violence and sex appeal. There are some specific elements I’ll go into, but let’s fly high and talk about those first real quick.

Killing Bites is bloody. It’s almost recklessly violent, in its willingness to throw away named characters (as long as they were male and not plot important and/or attractive), which makes sense in light of the ending. That allows it to deliver on the blood sport aspect, since these characters are very much fighting to survive. The action is very anime—including special attacks to the point of absurdity, see: Hitomi’s “Slash”, what a humdinger of a name there—with plenty of intense reversals and unexpected twists that I very much enjoyed. I could have gone for more tactical depth instead of every character continually pulling out more facts about their animal that leads to their newest attack—though that probably shows the wisdom of completely changing the dynamic after a single arc. They were already losing me with the second transformation/”origin” therianthrope stuff with Hitomi. Still, all in all the action is good, just as I expected from the first episode.

The fanservice ended up being less prevalent as the season went on. I think? Actually, now that I think about it, it was probably about the same, outside of the noticeable spike due the Civetone Wrap. I just got kind of used to everyone showing a ton of skin, and once the female characters went more than a little beast, it wasn’t my thing anymore. I have to appreciate the rock hard abs on damn near every therianthrope, though. Respect.

As for the details of the series, I’m of a mixed mind when it comes to the ending. I want to talk about that more because, for most of the season, the plot was only seemingly there to get us from one battle to the other, and I was cool with that. Killing Bites is pretty simple at first: a bunch of rich bastards are making animal-people fight, now that’s happening. Cool! We’re here to watch animal-people fight, so viewers and audience were on the same page. All the zaibatsu stuff was mostly just good for seeing who was scheming what and who would get a comeuppance, like when the Mitsukado ojou-sama started gloating and then got all embarrassed when it became clear it wasn’t over. That was great! (Her getting raped after that, less so.)

So when Shidou launched his coup and Nomoto got killed, I was deeply uncertain. This has always felt like a series where, though the characters may take things seriously, the series itself doesn’t. Killing Bites is absurd, and it’s best when it plays up that absurdity so the audience can enjoy the spectacle without sensible reality intruding on the proceedings. Smashing the whole system and killing off one of the main characters seems like a great way to throw cold water on the ending. That said, I already talked about how the current setup might not have had much more in the way of legs (there are only so many more facts about the Honey Badger the author can trot out), and the way the writers quickly moved from Pouring Cold Water to Mysterious Leveled Up Nomoto In The Bushes kind of brushes away any sour taste with a desire to find out more. Plus Nomoto had an actual arc where he went from spineless coward to learning the value of making active decisions in his life (even if that decision is to do nothing), which sets him up to be a potentially interesting antagonist. Whoda thunk it?

All of which is to say that, in the end, Killing Bites is exactly what we thought it was. It’s a bloody spectacle of a violence orgy that takes refuge in audacity and isn’t afraid to make decisive changes to its world. I like that, even if it never really elevated above that point. No matter though, having a show where you can sit back and watch the animal-people butt heads isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s a pretty good time.

I could have done without Hitomi saying her damn catchphrase every blasted episode, though. That got old. We get it, sharper fangs. Jeez!

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  1. The anime covered the 1st 6 manga volumes/30 chapters, which make up Part 1 of the story.

    Part 2 is still ongoing as of Vol 7. Vol 10 was the latest book release.

    There isn’t enough source story at the moment for a full S2, so we’d have to wait a few years for the story to catch up to a good cutoff point for Part 2. Or the production committee/publishers confirm a S2 commitment like with Kakegurui and Made in Abyss.

  2. Things to see in Part 2:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I thought I did, but Part 1’s ending has forced me to reassess the true meaning of Killing Bites. I’m hoping to get a clearer answer in S2, otherwise in future manga chapters.

    2. I was under the impression that it was the one with the sharpest fangs who wins, although i can sort of understand why you may have missed that bit of detail. If I’m not mistaken,i think the show only mentioned it once; it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment.

  3. Dumb, bloody, entertaining show. It was never mindblowing but was routinely silly enough and fast enough to keep me watching. My highlight was the rapist snakeman getting his double-headed totally-not-a-dick ripped off by Ratel. I’d certainly watch an S2 if it happened to drift along.

  4. Its weird, I liked this show all the way up to the whole “Yoko rape moment” in the final ep. It just made me have a sour-taste with this series. Like….is this the authors’ way of officially getting back at Yoko? I mean….good god, this behavior I expect from antagonists, but freaking Leo. While he wasn’t on the good side, he moreover was one of the “cooler” characters that the other characters looked up to as a fighter, like Tiger. And the fact that Yoko continues to be around him, potentially as his mind-broken sex slave is just….ugh. Seriously Japan. Rape isn’t something to use as a revenge tactic. Especially when the character themselves’ main fault was just being too arrogant. “Well, Yoko was being too much of a bitch…so I’m going to have her raped on the finale! That’ll teach her!”

    Plus Hitomi asking for Cobra to be fixed….really girl? Dude straight up attempted to rape you. And at that point, its not rape, but murder. That Cobra dick would have tore her apart, and we all know we would have done it considering how much he talks about sticking his cobra dick inside of girls. That would girl literally anyone. Hell, bet that he killed the girl in the bathroom when he ran into rabbit at the party, but they obviously had to not draw her body completely eviscerated.This show…sure has a hard on for rape.

    Anyways~I digress. Enjoyed it for the most part, but the final episode had me going throughout the day feeling empty whenever I thought back to it.

    1. I wouldn’t really say the rapey-ness of things is really for enjoyment (though, those that do enjoy it, much less saying Yoko “deserved it”, need help), but I feel like it was more pointing at one of the very likely dangers of Shidoh’s plan of turning all of humanity into Therionthropes under the belief that it would “advance humanity” – the fact that, while humans may gain various animal-based abilities that would allow them to do things beyond any normal human, they also gain the animal instincts that comes with it.

      You notice that, throughout the series, they obviously were pointing out such aspects of the animals when they were using a skill or something, and with Leo, they specifically mention the animal nature of the lion in the wild in that, if a rival lion fights and defeats the current leader of the Pride, the first thing they do is kill any and all lion cubs that leader sired, then forcibly mate with the lionesses in order to replace those cubs with his own children. So who’s to say that new wars wouldn’t start over “territory” and such?

      And if someone like Cobra is any indication, the plan also doesn’t take into account an individual’s own nature. Cobra clearly was a sick, twisted rapist even before being turned into a Therionthrope, and abused his animal abilities as such. So even though the epilogue showed a sunny, pristine city full of Therionthropes, there is more than likely still a very dark place underneath it all.

    2. @SDFGS

      I didn’t take Youko’s rape as something the story was saying she deserved (see HalfDemonInuyasha’s point about Leo’s animal instincts), but it also didn’t seem to be condemning it. That left a bad taste in my mouth too, since it managed to touch on two sins at once: rape and slavery. Not ideal, to say the least. It struck me as the writer saying, “This is a bloody, violent world, this kinda stuff is gonna happen,” which is perhaps true, but also not realizing that there’s a difference between a fight and a rape. It struck me as tone-deaf, but I also expected something like that to happen (certainly since the Cobra incident, which I also found distasteful), so I was only frowning about it for a few hours.

      Leo was always an antagonist though. Remember that antagonist does not = bad guy. He was opposed to the protagonists of Hitomi and Nomoto. Though that’s not to say that a protagonist wouldn’t rape in a story like this. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen either.

  5. It’s not about whether this series was a fanservice show or just a shameless B movie excuse to show off mindless gore.

    The one with the sharper fang wins, that’s Killing Bites!

    Giorno Giovanna

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