Monday, November 18, 2013

[Anime Review: Summer 2013] Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou Episode One: Every Dog Has His Day

Alternate titles: InuHasa, Dogdr: Guy dies for random stranger. Guy ends up as dog. Random stranger adopts dog. Random stranger turns out to be dog's favourite author.

Story: The problem isn't that the concept is far-fetched-you come to accept and just roll with wacky concepts when you watch anime-but that the story is so poorly knitted together, events so contrived and the humour so forced that it makes it hard for the audience, who sets disbelief aside out of protocol anyways, to buy into it. Potentially, InuHasa could be downright hilarious; it has the set-up and characters to pull it off, after all, and yet it still manages to fall short, with scenes such as the few opening minutes coming off forced as Kirihime swipes her scissors through the air, calling out empty-sounding insults and Kazuhito barely dodging them as he calls out "Sadist", already a broken record before opening theme. Sadly, there's also a poor balance between the humour and other elements, which further cheapens the forced comedic moments. So although it certainly has potential, mediocre execution drags the story down to a plain ol' C. Here's to hoping episode one was just warming up for better things.

Characters: While there are a large number of female characters brought up or shown without much context or explanation, the first episode focused exclusively on Kazuhito and Kirihime. They both have their quirks, but neither are deep or draw any interest. Humourously obsessed with books, Kazuhito is easier to relate to than the attractive and seemingly good at everything Kirihime. Kazuhito (although sexist and homophobic) is just an ordinary guy who really, really likes books. As an avid reader, it's easy to understand his plight when he's trapped in the cage, pathetic in his need for a book and reading any words he can see in the pet store out of desperation.While neither of them make for great characters, Kirihime is certainly the weaker of the two. It's easy to understand her drive to try and learn about lots of different things to make her books better, but it appears she's just plain good at at least a few of them. Additionally, considering her young age, it would be damn near impossible to manage to pump out that many best-sellers and still have time to learn many other things. Unfortunately, her only flaw at this point appears to be her poorly directed sadistic streak, as she still appears to be a kind and considerate person. These unrealistic, unbalanced earn this category a mere C.

Animation: The animation is easily the worst aspect of InuHasa. The clean, mostly attractive character designs are usually on form, but look shiny and plastic, especially against the flat, dull backgrounds. Together, they bring words like "cheap" and "tacky" easily to mind. Movement was stiff and noticeably stood out at so any time Kirihime was writing. To cap it all off there were a couple times when the layering was just plain weird, such as when Kazuhito was caged up in the pet store. Either out of laziness, budget restrictions or both, instead of attempting to animate Kazuhito through the bars, they bars in front of him simply faded out. Later on, during a cross-section featuring both Kazu and Kiri, the weird layering / fade out issue recurs. All these issues don't make the poorly executed story line any more believable, and earn poor InuHasa a D+ in animation.

Sounds: The opening theme was an unappealing mix of the song and the characters hollering at each other, and the end theme seemed to be sung by (or at least lip-synced by) the yet-to-be-introduced idol character. Neither songs were great and the first one was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Both were accompanied by some awkward (and generally offensive) animation. Between the two themes and the mediocre background music, this show only scores a C-.

Some out of place fanservice during and after Kirihime's shower, not no unnecessary or contrived breast jiggles or panty-shots at this point.Kazuhito's remarks after he unwittingly read the BL novel were definitely homophobic ("oh noes I almost got excited!"), but at least he was semi-mature about it after ("Maybe Akiyama is experimenting with new genres. Maybe I'm experimenting with new genres.") He did however, make numerous, unnecessary, unwanted comments about the size of Kirihime's breasts. Bitch, she didn't grow them for you. Watchability rating comes out to a NEGATIVE FOUR.


InuHasa isn't exactly recommendation worthy, but it's not bad enough to avoid. The production appears to be rather mediocre and the story is poorly executed, imbalanced and rather contrived, but there were a few funny moments. There are worse shows to waste free time on.

Originally posted on July 3rd, 2013

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