The first volume of Inuyashiki showed a lot of promise with a unique protagonist and some pretty good writing and artwork. The second volume, which I didn’t review, drove the story into intriguing, darker territories with the big bad’s introduction.
What does the third volume bring us? Is it good?
Inuyashiki Vol. 3 (Kodansha Comics)
Translated By: Stephen Paul
Lettering By: Scott Brown
A young woman named Fumino is living a completely normal and rather happy life with her fiancé… until something awful changes all of that. A monstrous Yakuza enforcer named Samejima sees her one day and decides to make her his own. She barely manages to escape him, but that doesn’t deter him from continuing his pursuit. This incident brings in our hero, Inyashiki, to help fight against him, but even our powerful robot hero may have difficulties with this beast of a man.
The Initial Impression:
The second volume of Inuyashiki was pretty dark with the arrival of the new villain, but still had an optimistic and upbeat bent in some areas as our hero continued to learn about his new powers and started regularly helping people. However, the third volume REALLY ramps up the darkness, getting tense and pretty uncomfortable to read at times as this poor woman and her boyfriend are dragged into a malicious Yakuza member’s world. It’s gritty, brutal, and far more graphic and explicit than the previous two volumes for better and for worse.
Story-wise, while not badly written, this arc feels superfluous to the rest of the series so far. For the first half of the volume, it plays out like a grimy, thrilling crime flick involving this young couple and the antagonistic crime syndicate. While it’s hard to read at points and it leaves you on edge, you are left wondering what this has to do with anything until the main character arrives. Even after Inuyashiki shows up, this story still feels out of place in the manga. None of the previous characters or subplots from the last two volumes are mentioned here (almost as if our lead character happened to interrupt a different series already in progress) and there was no character growth for our lead. It really feels like a draft for a crime drama that got mixed into the script or that the creator decided to take an abrupt detour into story idea he had kicking around the back of his head for a while.
Probably the brightest and happiest moment in the volume. This does not last long.
The very first chapter of the book I’m rather iffy on. The initial introduction to Fumino and her scene with her fiancé are ridiculously cheesy and upbeat. They go on about how happy they are, about how they are getting married, and being so lovey-dovey. It feels soooo incredibly telegraphed that something bad will happened to them, especially considering the opening with Samejima’s ‘plaything’ overdosing and him then raping a guy who wouldn’t move over in sauna. It’s kind laughable in how painfully obvious and ridiculous that the creator is setting up tragedy for this couple.
Is It Good?
Inuyashiki Vol. 3 is an odd detour for the series. It doesn’t really feel like it has much to do with the main plot or any of the characters we’ve seen thus far, despite than having our hero showing up halfway through. Outside of that and some storytelling choices, Inuyashiki Vol. 3 is pretty good though. It’s a decently told story with phenomenal artwork that makes it worth a look. If you liked the last two volumes and know what you are getting into, definitely give this volume a shot.
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