At only 58 years old, year of overwork and stress has Inuyashiki Ichirou looking like he is well into his 80’s. Ignored and disrespected by his family as well as diagnosed with cancer, all seems hopeless. However, a light descends from the sky and strikes Ichirou where he stands. When he awakens, he finds he is a new man, one augmented with alien technology. However, he sees this as just the power he needs to become a hero and earn the respect of his family.
As another rare example of how CGI in anime can occasionally actually look okay, Inuyashiki uses it to create what the Gantz mangaka is known for – combining shitty reality with something out of this world. If you are looking to keep that going, then check out these anime recommendations.
For Fans of Cold and Cruel Worlds
Quietly overnight, the world was overrun by aliens that took over human bodies. Luckily for the young Shinichi Izumi, he was sleeping on his arm and trapped the alien parasite trying to take over his brain in his arm. Now with humans unable to understand the alien in his hand and aliens seeing his failure to take over the brain as unsatisfactory, Shinichi and the alien Migi must work together to survive.
One night, one encounter with aliens, and the main characters in both series are changed forever. Of course, both series feature main characters that are innate good guys, but when they discover other aliens, they find that they are not so good. While Parasyte has more gore, they both show how terrible a setting in the normal world can be.
Kei Kurono is an apathetic young man that, while waiting for his train, runs into a childhood friend. When a homeless man falls onto a track, his friend coaxes him into helping save his life. Unfortunately, the train comes in and they both die. However, they both wake up in a strange room with other recently deceased and a big black ball that tells them to kill aliens to gain their freedom.
As Inuyashiki was created by the same mangaka that created Gantz, it is only natural that the similarities are myriad. In both series, they feature a world that is normal and terrible, but there is something not so normal going on, typically behind the scenes. As the series goes on, this weirdness comes to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Both series also deal extensively with alien sci-fi elements.
Tokyo has become a cruel and deadly city where human-eating ghouls disguise themselves as normal humans and feast on flesh in the shadows. However, that isn’t in the world of Kei Kaneki, a bookish college student, until he finds himself on a date with another avid reader, Rize. Unfortunately, when Rize turns out to be a ghoul, he is saved by a twist of fate, but finds himself born anew as a half-human, half-ghoul hybrid.
After an event, both main characters find their lives drastically changed forever. Afterwards, they are faced with a choice – be bad or do good. While it isn’t much of a choice for either main character, there are times in both series where they end up questioning their choices.
Immortal humans known as Ajin first appeared in Africa 17 years ago. While they were labeled a threat to mankind, to many they were just an infrequent news items. However, for Kei Nagai, a high schooler studying hard to be a doctor, he discovers he is an Ajin after being fatally hit by a car. Now on the run from the government that wants to imprison him, Kei must find a way to survive.
The first notable similarities is that both shows are made extensively using CGI, though it looks a little better in Inuyashiki. However, both shows feature main characters that have their lives permanently changed after various events and start a completely new life full of struggle. However, while Inuyashiki is a straight-forward good versus bad series in a shitty normal reality, Ajin works in terms of grey in a more dystopian, but just as dark, reality.
For Fans of Good Versus Evil
Light Yagami is a high school prodigy and genius. However, he has an ever-increasing boredom and disdain for the rotten violent world. One day, he happens upon a notebook, called a Death Note, which states that if you write a name in it, the person will die. To his surprise, the notebook’s claims turn out to be true. This Death Note, the property of the Shinigami gods of death, gives Light the power to change this world and he decides to become its new God by executing all criminals.
Despite Death Note’s supernatural elements and Inuyashiki’s sci-fi elements, both shows function the same on a fundamental level. You have a good guy and a bad guy, and they fight each other, often without even knowing it. Both the hero and the villain think they are doing the right thing as well. The difference is that you actually follow the hero in Inuyashiki as the main character.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
In the not so distant future, mankind has advanced to a state where the transplant of the complete body from flesh to machine is possible. This has blurred the lines between physical and technological worlds. Unfortunately, criminals can also make use of this technology, which led to the rise of Sector 9, a government agency that operates independently and deals with this new kind of cyber crime. Section 9, led by Daisuke Aramaki and Motoko Kusanagi, Section 9 deals with crimes typically with success, until they find themselves faced with the rise of a new hacker who goes by the nickname The Laughing Man.
Ghost in the Shell doesn’t just share the same story of good guys fighting bad guys (though they may be more morally grey in Ghost in the Shell), but they are both essentially about cyborgs. Although Ghost in the Shell goes to great lengths to build the lore behind the technology and Inuyashiki is kind of just like ALIEN MAGIC~, they both have main characters that end up with various augmentations.
Dr Kenzou Tenma has the perfect life as one of the world’s most renowned brain surgeons. However, one night he is presented with a doctor’s most painful choice – to save an injured child or the mayor, both mortally wounded. Against his colleague’s advice, he saves the kid. However, when a series of crimes start happening around him, all evidence points to the child he saved.
Both shows are deeply steeped in realism, but that doesn’t mean some ridiculously unrealistic things can’t happen. This is more prevalent in Inuyashiki with the whole alien technology thing. However, both tell the same core stories of good versus evil, the difference is that the two characters that are pitted against each other in Inuyashiki both have the same technology.
For Fans of Second Chances at Life
Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are your typical middle school girls, but one day they encounter a cute creature named Kyuubey that offers to grant them one wish. In exchange for their wish, they must become magical girls and protect humanity from witches. While Sayaka accepts right away, Madoka is more hesitant, not knowing what she would wish for. However, her decision is even further delayed when the mysterious Homura Akemi, a transfer student, begs her not to accept.
Not all series need to use traditional art and animation to tell a dark story. While Inuyashiki uses CGI, Madoka Magica is all about the moe. However, don’t be fooled by either, both shows tell very dark stories about otherwise average people being thrust into what seems like someone else’s life through various circumstances. The real difference here is that while Inuyashiki is tech, Madoka Magica is more magic.
Arata Kaizaki is an unemployed 27-year-old that has thus far been living with the financial support of his parents and part-time jobs. After leaving his first job after only three months, he has not been able to find proper work. However, after a night of drinking with his friends, he meets a mysterious man that offers a drunk Arata a pill that will turn him 17 again so that he can redo a year of his youth, all expenses paid. Will Arata find what he needs to live a happy life after one year in high school again?
Both series are about people getting a new lease on life through some sort of cosmic intervention. However, let’s be clear, ReLife is for people who want something a little more laidback and upbeat than Inuyashiki. It also doesn’t feature any sort of alien tech, more so human developed medication that they don’t really go into in the show. However, in both shows you watch two people otherwise down on their luck reform their lives.
If we missed any better anime recommendations like Inuyashiki, then let the world know in the comments section below.