“Inuyashiki Ichirō” (犬屋敷壱郎)
If you plan on watching episode one of Inuyashiki but like me haven’t yet let me warn you now.
Tissues are a must!
I described this anime on twitter as a anime about a old man who finds a dog, finds out he has cancer, gets turned into a robot and then becomes some kind of robot superhero yet I haven’t actually cried at a anime more in my life then I have here. Like Up! did with its small montage that showed true love, Inuyashiki in 25 minutes showed us not only true sorrow and loneliness but also how amazing humans can be when they put their own lives on the line for others.
Of course not all people die and get reborn as alien cyborgs but you’ll get what I mean.
Ichiro Inuyashiki is a lonely old man. His family are hard to please and treat him like a nuisance, they have no real love in their souls as he brings home a stray dog and they instantly want it out of their home, and it gets to the point where the man finds out he has 3 months to live with stomach cancer and he has no one but the stray dog to tell.
It broke my heart to tell you the truth. Inuyashiki as a character doesn’t say much, we just follow him on his day to day life, and it just so happens to be some of the worst days of his life. Even when he finds out he has cancer he can’t get hold of any of his family and has to face that news on his own. Hell they don’t appreciate the house that he had built for them and leave him on his own to unpack the boxes as they go out to eat.
When he goes out and starts crying with Hanako, the dog, its just a horrible scene to sit through because you are watching him at his absolute worst and I kinda know how that feels. Dogs don’t judge, they aren’t materialistic so in some ways I was comforted knowing he had a canine friend at this point but it was a bleak and heart breaking scene. Seconds later and there is a explosion, he dies and some aliens have a argument about putting him and some other young lad who was there back together using their technology which just so happens to be weaponary. He wakes next morning on his own with Hanako and goes through the day slowly realising what he’s turned into.
It was the end of the episode that truly killed me though.
Whilst walking in the park with Hanako and coming to the conclusion he needs to find the young guy who was there too he comes across a load of kids who have taken it upon themselves to torture and pretty much kill a homeless guy.
It plays to that old saying that you never know what is going on with someone else. I mean regardless of anything the kids were in the wrong but they also didn’t realise they were attacking a man on probably the happiest day of his life. He’d got a job, was getting a second chance with his wife and just as it all looked like it was getting better these kids come out of nowhere to attack him and kill him.
I can not tell you how much that hurt to watch.
In a way I knew that Inuyashiki was going to save him but at the same time you just felt for this guy. You didn’t know him much, he wasn’t a main character, he was introduced seconds before the attack but you just understood. He’d seen rock bottom and was pulling himself out of it. He had a job, a apartment to go to the next day and his wife coming back to him. Someone was beating the horrible system that most of the time is impossible to climb back up when you fall down it and then along comes some entitled punks who think they have the divine power pick and choose who dies?
I’m no fan of robotics or anything like that so I was always a bit apprehensive about the robot side of all this but it was beautifully done.
Inuyashiki is still lost. Being brought back hasn’t taken away the loneliness or pain. He was about to walk away and leave the kids to it before he realised that he has nothing to live for so who cares? He steps in front of them and is the first to really be killed by them just for the alien tech to take over and disarm the kids safely whilst also recording the whole thing.
I LOVED that the technology took the video and uploaded it and made it go viral so that people could name and shame them. The ending when the kid is there in tears saying their life is over? GOOD! I wish that could happen more often in reality. Homeless people are still people and usually they have horrible stories of how they got to be homeless and preying on them for entertainment is for the scummiest parts of society.
Seeing Inuyashiki realise he has something to live for at the end was just amazing and rounded off such a good episode.
If I had any worries about not liking the sci-fi element of it then those worries have disappeared. Behind the craziness of the idea lies such a sad and wonderful story about a 53 year old man who isn’t wanted, isn’t appreciated and has everything a human needs in the world yet doesn’t have a meaning to live. The thought that I could find out tomorrow I have cancer and not think of one person who would cry for me is terrifying but that is the reality this character lives in and no matter what batshit crazy thing happened to him midway through the episode they made him more human in the first half then many character get in a whole series of a show and instantly makes you want to continue his journey and see what happens to him.
If the dog dies though… Boy nothing better happen to Hanako. His kids can go burn in a fire for all I care but that dog.