Anime of the Week: Inuyashiki

Holy Moly, this show was excellent.

Art/Animation. While the art style of the show isn't my go-to favorite, it is objectively good. It pulls a sense of realism into the usual style of anime. The main element I'd like to talk about is the 3D animation. While most of the time the use of 3D animation in anime makes me cringe, Inuyashiki may be the exception. Normally, I dislike 3D animation because it's distracting, and pulls me out of my immersion in the content because it's just plain inconsistent with the hand drawn elements of the work. In Inuyashiki, however, this detachment adds to the story. Inuyashiki and Hiro are regularly flipping between 3D animation and hand-drawn. They are hand-drawn in perhaps their more human-seeming moments, but when they fly, use other mysterious abilities, or communicate that they are not, in fact, human, the animation shifts. This shift gives a sense of uncanny within the series. The awe and horror with which the characters look upon Hiro and Inuyashiki is similar to that of someone meeting Sophia the Robot.

Characters. This show gives me goosebumps. Anime tends to be guilty of having characters exist with the sole purpose of developing another (main) character. This is not the case in Inuyashiki. Each character has their own goals, personality and troubles. Our hero, Inuyashiki, struggles with mortality of himself and others. Our antagonist, Hiro (the irony!), fights deeply rooted loneliness due to his trouble connecting with others. Inuyashiki's family members all have their own struggles and goals as well. His daughter, a pretty-girl secretly striving to be a bestselling mangaka, and his son, just trying to find a way to not be bullied at school.

Plot. The plot of Inuyashiki revolves mainly around Hiro and Inuyashiki learning to cope with their recently-acquired nonhuman bodies. I can't spill too much about the plot because I desperately want everyone to watch this heartwrenching show...

Overall Inuyashiki is a masterpiece. It may be one of my all time favorite series. The depth of characters and skillfull writing kept me on my toes the entire time. I'm not one to cry at as show, nor am I one to yell at the television, but there I was: a ball of mixed emotion.

Please give this show a shot.

-L. Dean