I’ve already labeled quite a few shows this season as having unique or novel aspects to them, but I think Inuyashiki takes the cake. The titular character shakes up anime super hero norms by being 58 years old and looking considerably older. His origin story is sort of similar to Breaking Bad’s Walter White, that is being down on his luck and diagnosed with terminal cancer. But where the two diverge is when Inuyashiki’s flesh body is replaced with a robotic one, and he ends up using his powers for good (in the first episode, he saves another middle-aged man’s life).
Not bad as far as story hooks go, and I was actually moved by Inuyashiki’s cathartic moment at the end of the episode. I am aware of the fact that the series has been criticised for vilifying young people to an exaggerated degree, but in my opinion the first episode was still fine in that regard. I also really liked how it looked, especially the mechanical designs. A good first episode with a refreshingly different kind of main character.
Verdict: Good so far. Continuing.
After watching Episode 0, I can definitely see why so many people I know were immediately put off by this show. The first episode, which mainly took place in a flashback, featured Nazis as the main characters. Not regular Germans during WW2, specifically Nazis. And while there wasn’t as much overt glorification of the Nazis as I’d expected – the opening scene sort of made it clear that they’re still the villains, even though they appeared as the main characters in the flashback – the fact that the episode gave as much time to Nazi characters as it did still really rubbed me the wrong way.
And then there was the scene with the person of ambiguous gender, in which a Nazi implies that it was “people like that” who caused the downfall of the Nazis. This echoing of Nazi ideology and propaganda didn’t seem to serve the story in any way, and I personally found it very distasteful, even harmful. And I think that’s why I’ll give this show a pass out of principle. I may, however, watch Episode 1 to get a glimpse of what the non-flashback story is like.
Verdict: Passing on this show out of principle.