The following anime caught my eye in trailers but I was not sure if it was something I would cover here. Leave it to come peeps to drop by and tell me to check it out, which I did. My reviewing it qualified to be covered here. Question is whether it is worth watching or not. Let us find out as we take a look at High-Rise Invasion.
WARNING: The following anime features a lot of blood and gory violence not suitable for younger audiences or viewers who have difficulty watching gruesome murders. Viewer discretion is advised.
Note: As the cover says this is a Netflix anime.
Alternate Title: Tenkuu Shinpan (Japanese)
Genres: Action, Ecchi, Horror, Thriller
Number of Episodes: 12
G-Rating: 8/10 (Favoritism)
Objectionable Content: High. Lots of blood, violent kills and PG-13 sexy ladies.
Plot summary: Upon witnessing a man’s head cracked open with an axe, 16-year-old Yuri Honjou trembles in fear and confusion as she flees from the masked assailant, only to find out she’s trapped in an abandoned building where every door is mysteriously locked. Desperately searching for a way out, Yuri runs to the rooftop, but a world with no signs of life stands before her, surrounded by high-rise buildings. Though filled with despair, once she learns that her brother is also in this strange place, Yuri is determined to find him and escape. However, she soon finds that there are more masked murderers in the area, anxious to terrorize their newfound victims and satiate their sickest desires, leaving Yuri to question if they will be able to make it out alive.
Best way to describe what to expect from HRI is, for viewers who remember this anime, something like High School of the Dead but less ecchi and, from what I remember, more brutal and violent.
Oh the ladies do get into various fanservice situations and positions, certainly, but compared to other PG-13 or R rated ecchi action shows like the aforementioned HotD or Senran Kagura HRI is tame in comparison. For one thing there are no gravity defying or bulletproof “assets” and the girls’ clothes/uniforms do not get shredded to the point the girls are left in their lingerie or naked (all the time anyway). My point is the fanservice is basic for ecchi action shows, which is appreciated.
Back to what the show is about. Viewers follow Yuri facing numerous psychopathic masked killers and sometimes unmasked people who succumbed to despair or madness. Fortunately not everyone is hostile though obviously Yuri does not befriend them right away. As the story progresses she learns more about her situation, the masks and some idea of what the purpose of the purpose of this rooftop world she and many others were mysteriously zapped to.
When it comes to character development, besides the important ones like Yuri, Mayuko and Rika-kun side-characters, as is usually the case in shows with large casts differs. Some have brief straight to the point backstories, others hint at what they went through before being zapped to this world and then there are those who most likely are fleshed out in the source material. Expect to not know much about certain side-characters. The important characters on the babyface side are all cool, some side-characters are neat while the villains are hit and miss on purpose.
The most prominent side-characters besides Rika-kun are Kuon and Sniper Mask. Kuon is an ojou-sama in Japanese or polite young lady in English who has some kind of hidden power that makes most masks not target her while Sniper Mask is something like a classic cool amnesiac anti-hero, only here his amnesia makes sense.
Speaking of the masks are psycho killers, yes, but there is of course more to them. There are the basic grunts but as the story progresses there are masks capable of strategizing and thought.They, along with the world have their rules, strengths, weaknesses, personal goals besides the one fed to them, roles and more. The amount of rules and loopholes is a bit much at first but give it time and they will become less complicated.
The presentation is solid. Character designs are familiar but get the job done. The fights and brutality are good. The soundtrack on the other hand I can best describe as “80’s/90’s action anime-ey”. Readers familiar with shows of those time periods need only listen to the first action theme and get what I mean. The OP is pretty neat and the ED is solid.
Next are the main duo. First up our lead heroine Yuri. She is a classic sexy action anime heroine. What makes her stand out is her, I suppose, mood swings. One minute she is a nervous wreck, then once she finds some kind of advantage immediately goes to badass mode for as long as it lasts then suddenly she is either trembling or making snarky remarks. It is difficult to describe that part of her but generally she is a kindhearted goofball who fights to protect the people she cares for and put an end to this insane world they are in. By the way, she is not a brocon, just cares for her brother very much.
Mayuko is more straightforward. She had a troubled past that seemed to make fitting in this “kill or be killed” world easy for her. However, after meeting Yuri EVERYTHING changed…
…for the better. Yeah. This was why peeps recommended I check this one out and I would say their relationship is a nice draw.
Overall High-Rise Invasion is a fun popcorn flick anime so long as viewers can handle the gory violence and are okay with basic ecchi goodness. The main characters and important side-characters are cool, other side-characters and the villains are hit and miss. The presentation is solid and Yuri X Mayuko are lovely. My one gripe is this is yet another “manga lure” show. This is one of those “if what you read sounds interesting check it out” anime. Hopefully the show being on Netflix means there is a chance for a second season.
PS: English dub is pretty good.