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Manga / Inuyashiki

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You wish your dad was this badass.

Inuyashiki is a seinen manga created by Hiroya Oku (author of Gantz) and published in Kodansha's Evening magazine from 2014 to 2017.

It tells the story of the eponymous protagonist, Ichiro Inuyashiki, an elderly salaryman who is shunned by his family and co-workers. One day, while walking out with his pet dog, he is caught in the blast of an explosion caused by an unknown entity, and finds himself reformed as a cyborg. He then decided to use his power to do some good and save people, but as it turns out, he wasn't the only one affected by the explosion — Shishigami, an emotionally disturbed teen, is using his powers for destruction and violence. Things come to a head, and Inuyashiki soon finds himself as an unlikely hero in a desperate fight to save Japan- and soon enough, the world.

An 11-episode anime adaptation by MAPPA was released in October 2017, adapting all 10 volumes of the story. A live-action film adaptation was released in 2018, the first part of a planned trilogy.

Do not confuse with Inuyasha.

The manga provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Repeatedly in the anime, most notably with Hanako, and whenever Inuyashi or Shishigami's robot bits are showing. And even when they aren't.
  • Actor Allusion: Yes, Takaya Kuroda voices a buff, intimidating yakuza member with an elaborate dragon tattoo and a strong punch. Of course, Samejima is much, much less kind than Kiryu Kazuma.
  • Adapted Out: The meteorite and the Yakuza are nowhere to be found in the live-action version. The live-action movie is meant to be part one of a trilogy, so that may change.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Inuyashiki in the live action movie looks closer to his age, unlike in the manga, where he is in his 50s and looks closer to his 70s.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The entire plot of the series happened because an alien spacecraft crash-landed into the two main characters and the aliens decided to cover their asses by irresponsibly replacing them with high-tech Killer Robot copies of themselves. Ultimately, however, their screw-up does unintentionally save the Earth from a meteor strike.
  • An Aesop: Anyone has the ability to become a hero or a villain very quickly. Just the same, everyone can go from a hero to a villain and back again just as quickly. The concept of a "hero" is constantly challenged by the story as well — despite being an incredibly badass cyborg with what are essentially Astro Boy's powers ramped up, Inuyashiki is still a doddering old man for the most part. He still saves the day in the end, but at the cost of his own life.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Implied in the manga, as in the last chapters Shishigami remembers something that they said when he was being rebuilt. Averted in the anime, in which the aliens talk in Starfish Language.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When Inuyashiki and Shishigami fight each other, Inuyashiki rips off both of Shishigami's arms. In the movie, it's just one arm and his leg.
  • Asshole Victim: The internet troll that doxxed Hiro's mother, leading to her suicide. The trolls that mocked her afterword were taken out next in a montage.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played straight for most of the series with Shishigami, due to bullets and such just bouncing off his skin. Averted, however, when Inuyashiki and Shishigami fight each other —Inuyashiki rips off the back piece of Shishigami's head casing, and both of his arms.
  • Beware the Superman: While Inuyashiki uses his powers for good, Shishigami uses them to indulge his love of death and destruction.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Hiro shows that there's some humanity left in him and pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to stop an asteroid from crashing into the earth... which isn't enough, prompting Inuyashiki to do the same. But his relationship with his family was on much better terms than it was at the beginning of the series.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Hiro loves his mother, has a good relationship with his father, cares very much about Ando and Shion but simply cannot comprehend why the people he cares about find the fact that he is a serial killer absolutely horrible. Several times, he is shown to be genuinely uncomprehending in the face of their horror.
  • Body Horror: Ichiro and Jiro's body parts flayed out when they use their cybernetic parts definitely count as this.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Inuyashiki's daughter Mari is this in the beginning. After being saved from a burning building by her father, she has mellowed out considerably.
  • Cool Old Guy: Inuyashiki himself. While he has a lot of trouble dealing with the world, his first instinct after his transformation is to try and use it to help as many people as possible.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The asteroid about to collide with earth, which is only mentioned near the end.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Both Inuyashiki and Hiro actually deconstruct this, in the way they embrace the "do anything" part as much as the "robot" part.
  • Dramatic Irony: When Inuyashiki is diagnosed with cancer, he laments that his family won't care if he dies. After he sacrifices himself to save the world, they're all crying their eyes out.
  • Driven to Suicide: Shishigami's mother kills herself when she learns that he's the serial killer.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Hiro, in spades.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Inuyashiki's own family is this. His wife and two kids basically ignore him most of the time.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Since the meteorite does not appear in the live-action film, Inuyashiki is now accepted by his family after saving his daughter from Shishigami and his heroic deeds are recognized by the media. The only bitter part is that Shishigami now has no family to live for and he leaves his friend behind, leaving to parts unknown. Also doubles as Adaptational Alternate Ending.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Special Assault Team deployed by the NPA to deal with Shishigami. Most of them were wiped out by him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Shishigami's debut episode is all about this. First, he starts using his powers to cause several car crashes and endangering civilians just to show Ando what he can do. Then he proposes to kill whoever had beat him up so bad that he became afraid of going to school, without a shred of anger or hesitation.
  • Evil Counterpart: Shishigami is this to Inuyashiki; they both lost their humanity and became superpowerful machines in the same incident, but whereas Inuyashiki seeks to re-affirm his humanity by using his powers to help people, Shishigami tries to get the rush of feeling human by murdering them.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Shishigami still loves his mother, despite being an Omnicidal Maniac in every other way. He also shows to have a soft spot for Ando, Watanabe and maybe for his father.
  • Exact Words: In the anime, Shishigami predicted that his self-detonation on the asteroid would change its trajectory and save Ando and Shion. By Inuyashiki's simulator, the asteroid's current trajectory does avoid Japan, but would've hit the Atlantic Ocean and put all the nearby continents in danger (North and South America, Europe, and Africa). Shishigami may have saved Japan, but Inuyashiki wanted to save the world.
  • Expy:
    • Shishigami is this to Shion Izumi from Gantz. Both characters are exceptionally attractive students in their respective classrooms, and are both adrenaline seekers (Izumi's love of participating in Gantz Games and Shishigami's love of killing innocent people). They both even have a soft spot for just one girl in particular.
    • Inuyashiki is Superman in most respects. Can hear everyone in the world crying for help, is nigh indestructible, Super-Strength, the works. He has the same personality to boot — incorruptible and humble despite his power.
      • He's also pretty similar to Astro Boy. He even sings the Astro Boy anime theme to help him keep calm as he figures out how to fly.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Inuyashiki cripples the members of a whole Yakuza chapter, leaving them blind and tetraplegic, as a punishment for all the lives they tore apart. Crosses over with Cruel Mercy, as Inuyashiki expresses his utter loathing for this kind of people, enough to wish for their deaths, and yet he adheres to Thou Shalt Not Kill.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Shishigami is the embodiment of this trope. He actually has a conversation with a girl about her favorite manga, after murdering her parents and younger sibling in cold blood. And then he kills her too, just because she wouldn't stop crying over a little thing like, oh, cutting her hand open.
  • Foreshadowing: The anime opening is full of surreal imagery, one of which consist of Inuyashiki's face falling from the space in direction to earth, likely referring to the asteroid in the final arc of the story. There is also references to the fight between Shishigami and Inuyashiki and Mari being trapped in a building on fire.
    • Also only in the anime, there's a news program mentioning the asteroid during Episode 8, relatively far from the finale. This contrasts with the manga, in which its existence is only mentioned once at the very beginning of the story when the aliens mention that Earth "is about to be destroyed".
  • For the Evulz: Shishigami's entire motivation for being a monster.
  • Finger Firearms: Shishigami is very capable of this, they're the least of his offensive capabilities. Later on in their fight, Inuyashiki uses them as well. They've been suggested to actually be an alien laser weapon so efficient that despite having a tiny emitter and being completely invisible, they can put holes right through people and objects.
  • Healing Hands: As cyborgs, Inuyashiki and Shishigami are both completely capable of this. Inuyashiki in particular spends quite a bit of time sneaking into hospitals to cure the people there. Like in the Surprisingly Realistic Outcome example below, it doesn't take long for the doctors to notice what he's doing and spread the word, but when they confront him about it they simply ask him to keep doing what he's doing, without trying to force, investigate, or exploit him.
  • Good Feels Good: Nothing gives Inuyashiki greater joy than using his powers to help others. It is the thing that makes him feel most human.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: This is ultimately Shishigami's nature. He starts off as a serial killer, but after some time with a fellow classmate, he begins using his powers for good. However, after his classmate and her grandmother are shot by the swat team, he enacts revenge against the police.
  • The Hero: Inuyashiki is the one who tends to help and support all those around him.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: When Inuyashiki gets knocked out, his body usually acts on its own and begins firing lasers at his assailants while flying him to safety. Shishigami has this ability too, and then the two finally confront each other they eventually knock each other out and then their safe modes fight each other.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When Inuyashiki hears a family trapped in a fire too far to reach on land, he tries to use the flying ability he saw Shishigami use. It takes a while to get it started, he can't fly with any stability, he botches the landing, and he does it all while singing the Astro Boy theme song. He makes it in time to save two people from the fire. When Ando joins forces with Inuyashiki, he has to help him learn how to access other functions as well based on what Hiro told them they can do.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Slight undertones of this can be seen in the scene where Shishigami talks to a pretty girl whose family he just murdered. He caresses her face and her hair and ends in a gesture probably meant to be comforting, all before slicing her hand up and then shooting her in the head as she made a desperate attempt to run away from him.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Inuyashiki has to give Shishigami a hand with activating his self-destruct sequence after the latter has decided to sacrifice himself to save mankind from a giant asteroid for the rather prosaic reason that the self-destruction of the alien combat units involves pressing the eyeballs in with one's thumbs, and Inuyashiki has just ripped Shishigami's arms off.
  • Immune to Bullets: Inuyashiki doesn't die or even bleed when he's hit with bullets, but can be incapacitated when shot enough. Not that his body isn't perfectly capable of defending itself without his intervention.
    • The same seems to apply to Shishigami as well.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Inuyashiki and Ando.
  • Lack of Empathy: Shishigami's defining trait, by his own admission, although it doesn't apply to his family, Ando or Shion. He can feel generosity, kindness and even love, but only to a very select group of people. He goes out of his way to kill a random family (mother, father and their children, one of whom is a little boy) just to see if he can feel something for them. Even when they plead for their lives, he still doesn't feel anything bad for them. Quite the opposite, in fact.
    Shishigami: [after killing the father, causing him to drown his son] I'm alive.
  • Left Hanging: The aliens. Their only appearance is when they rebuild Shishigami and Inuyashiki, then they are completely gone from the story. Questions about who they are or what they were doing in the earth are left unanswered.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Shishigami shoots Inuyashiki the first time they meet (after being robotized). The latter survives.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Inuyashiki and Shishigami are each capable of launching hundreds (or possibly thousands) of tiny missiles simultaneously, which are so smart that not only are they capable of roboteching beautifully to strike hundreds of different targets with pinpoint accuracy, but can apparently vary their payload from being less than that of a bullet (for example, to deliver a Fate Worse than Death to 237 yakuza thugs by targeting each one's eyes and vertebrae simultaneously so that they're left alive but blind and quadriplegic) to being powerful enough to cause massive explosions that shake the city buildings around them.
  • Magic Pants: Even when their clothes are damaged from their abilities, neither Inuyashiki or Shishigami's pants get ripped too far past the thighs.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. It's hard to find a male character in the series who doesn't cry. Even sociopathic Hiro cries his eyes out on numerous occasions.
  • Morality Pet: Shishigami has a few. The first one is his mother, whom he loves dearly. The second one is his childhood friend Ando, but they later have a falling out after he tells Shishigami to turn himself over to the police. The third and most obvious one and is Shion, a classmate who even manages to make him stop killing and start helping people instead. Unfortunately, after she and her grandmother are shot during a SWAT raid, he goes back to being an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Mundane Solution: After the yakuza episode is made public, Ando reasons that someone out there has all the powers of Shishigami, and the best idea he has to find this person is... just yelling for help in his own home. It is literally Crazy Enough to Work.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Averted in the manga, as Donald Trump is clearly stated to be the President of the United States. Downplayed in the anime, as the President's name is not mentioned, but he's still clearly based on Trump.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Samejima says that the yakuza is fully capable of hunting down Inuyashiki and his family after the nonfatal massacre of yakuza leaders — but they drop out of the plot at the same time that he does.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Shishigami attempts to invoke this to Inuyashiki after they finally meet, claiming that, despite their different motivations, they are only killing and saving people, respectively, because both want to feel as they are still alive and not just being machines that pretend to be their old selves.
  • No Sympathy: When Inuyashiki tried to call his family about his cancer diagnosis, they callously ignore him.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Ultimately what the conflict boils down to, with Inuyashiki as the heroic protagonist and Shishigami as the antagonist.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Like Inuyashiki, Shishigami was also turned into a cyborg by the explosion, but unlike Inuyashiki, he is a sociopath who decides to use his powers to murder people just because he can.
  • One-Man Army: Both Inuyashiki and Shishigami have moments as this, taking down several heavily armed foes without any significant damage.
  • Only Friend: Given how poorly Inuyashiki's own family treats him, the only friend that actually cares about him is a dog named Hanako.
  • Pretty Boy: Shishigami is a very handsome young man, and his physical attractiveness is often mentioned in the manga, especially in the online medium. In spite of being suspected to be a serial killer, there are some people out there who made fan clubs for him.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Shishigami gives his life to stop the world ending asteroid by triggering the bomb within him to shatter it into small pieces. However, the explosion doesn't neutralize the threat and it takes Inuyashiki to finish the job.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The aliens that came to Earth at the beginning of the story are completely irrelevant in the end. The reason for their presence is never explained. The story is about Inuyashiki and Hiro, and what they do with the power they were given.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • After Shishigami's mother is Driven to Suicide, he goes out of his way to kill every one of the 2chan trolls who laughed at her death, one by one, starting with the one who leaked his identity to the press.
    • Later, when Shion and her grandmother are nearly killed by a SWAT team sent to take him out, Shishigami lays siege to a police station, killing everyone inside, as well as another SWAT team deployed outside. Afterwards, he declares war against all of Japan and starts committing mass murder.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Shishigami always says "bang" whenever he shoots his finger gun. He even goes "ratatatata" when using it as a machine gun to kill the reporters who find and accost his father after he's outed as the serial killer. This is also unintentionally funny when both he and Inuyashiki have a shoot-out: the sight of a middle aged man and a teenager making finger guns, shouting "BANG!" and then reacting like they'd been shot would likely make a witness who didn't know this was actually deadly serious smile.
  • Selective Slaughter: When Shishigami invades another house to kill the family that lives in it, he finds that there some copycats of his "work" in there that already killed the father. Shishigami kills the copycats and spares the rest of the family, the mother and his daughter. However, in a possible subversion of this trope, he probably did it just because killing the murderers already satisfied his bloodlust.
  • Self-Deprecation: Hiro tells Ando that the internet always calls Gantz a "shit tier manga."
  • Shout-Out:
  • Something Only They Would Say: When Inuyashiki reveals his cybernetic nature to his family and sadly notes that he may not be the real Ichiro Inuyashiki, his wife asks him where they went on their honeymoon, and when he can recall it with perfect clarity, she happily realizes that it is him.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the live-action movie, since the meteorite does not appear, Inuyashiki is now living happily with his family and now being accepted by them. Shishigami is still alive too, but he is now all alone and heading to an unknown place.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Gantz. Both are brutal and unflinching in their depictions of human cruelty, but Inuyashiki is far more optimistic, with an All-Loving Hero (as opposed to the initially selfish and unlikable Kurono) and a message that even the most reprehensible people can have a chance at redemption.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Shishigami goes on a mass-murder spree with his powers. It doesn't take the authorities very long at all to track him down. Not that they are able to do a thing to stop him when they find him.
  • Tears of Joy: The homeless man Inuyashiki saves in Episode 1 breaks down in these while thanking him. Inuyashiki also did the same at realizing how he had helped save someone's life and realizing he's still human.
  • Take That!: Donald Trump is depicted quite unflatteringly. His speech about the meteor about to destroy earth?
    • "I have no regrets. I became president of this great land. The rest of you losers can go do whatever the hell you want."
  • In the manga, he even declares murder legal.
  • Teens Are Monsters:
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: What is baffling about Hiro is that he is a handsome, popular, sensitive young man who loves his parents and his best friend and is perfectly capable of forming genuine attachments. To his friends and loved ones he is protective, kind and generous. To literally everyone else, however...
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Inuyashiki would rather use his newfound powers to save people.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Somehow, the aliens are so good at restoring Inuyashiki and Hiro with memories intact into their new bodies that it takes quite a while for them to figure it out.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Inuyashiki's family after he rescues his daughter, Mari, from a building on fire.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Inuyashiki has no form whatsoever. When he fights a group of thugs, he flails about very ungracefully, but when he lands a blow, he floors them.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ichiro keeps shredding his shirt every time he flies, so he's shirtless for most of the series.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The trope that triggers the plot. Both Inuyashiki and Shishigami are rebuilt as super-powered cyborgs after being accidentally exploded by aliens.
  • Weirdness Censor: Inuyashiki goes to the doctor again after the incident — and leaves the doctors racking their brains over some very weird-looking x-rays. No specialists are called in, and the matter apparently never spreads out of the hospital.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: After Hiro guns down a bunch of reporters in front of his father's home, his father and his family are never seen again.
  • Yakuza: Appear quite often as enemies to Inuyashiki. There's an arc where the Big Bad is a "high level" Yakuza mobster.
  • Younger Than They Look: Inuyashiki is 58 but looks a lot older. Many people comment on this. This is most likely due to the cancer he had taking its toll on his body before the alien ship crashed and he was resurrected as a cyborg.