Image source: ノイタミナ YouTubeチャンネル on YouTube

Created by Hiroya Oku of Gantz fame, Inuyashiki is a tale of duality. When something alien crashes in a small park in Japan, two people—an elderly man and a high schooler—are killed. The aliens, unable to heal the two, instead remake them as androids with technology far beyond anything the planet has seen before.

Anime Basics: INUYASHIKI LAST HERO

Image Source: アニメ「いぬやしき」公式@2017年10 on Twitter

The elderly man, an office worker named Inuyashiki, lives a horrible existence. Shunned by his ungrateful family and almost a non-entity in his own life, he has every reason to hate the world. But when given these powers that make him akin to a god, he decides to help others. Of course, having amazing abilities and knowing how to use them are entirely different things.

Image Source: アニメ「いぬやしき」公式@2017年10 on Twitter

On the other hand, the young man, Hiro, has a pretty good life. He’s semi-popular in class and there’s even a special girl who has her eyes on him. While his Mom is a bit on the poor side, his father is quite wealthy. But when he get his powers, he thinks only how they can benefit himself and those close to him—and this almost always means hurting someone else.

In other words, it’s the story of two people: one who finds meaning in his life by helping others and the other who finds meaning by hurting them.

Image Source: アニメ「いぬやしき」公式@2017年10 on Twitter

With such a setup, it’s obvious the two are headed for an inevitable confrontation. But along the way, the two will learn what it truly means to be a hero and what it means to be a villain.

The story basically has everything needed for a great superhero tale. There’s a hero who’s working to figure out his powers and the meaning of his new existence while still trying to do good. Opposing him is a villain who is on the same journey but in the opposite direction. In the end, they are gods among men and the only real threat each faces is the other.

Image Source: アニメ「いぬやしき」公式@2017年10 on Twitter

The other thing that makes the story so great is Inuyashiki himself. Main characters in fiction tend to be young—especially in Japan. Inuyashiki, on the other hand, is in his late fifties and has aged horribly. He’s got a family and a job but he’s basically a helpless, weak old man to start. Yet he is the hero of the tale and shows that age matters a lot less than spirit. It’s a great change of pace to show that it’s not only the young who have a chance to change the world for the better.

If you’re a fan of superhero stories, morality tales, or just want to see a main character that’s not a high schooler or adult in his 20s, Inuyashiki won’t disappoint.

Inuyashiki Last Hero can be viewed with English subtitles on Amazon Prime Video starting from October 12, 2017.

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