Check-in Station: Ninja Slayer ep1 (I wasn’t expecting what I should have expected)
I’m going to come out and say it. I don’t have nearly enough experience with this kind of anime. I see part of this show and I immediately think hyper violent 70s era Go Nagai. And I didn’t watch nearly enough of that you comprehend what I’m seeing now. That said, I came to see a show where ninjas are killing ninjas. And that’s what I’m getting, along with very creative weirdness.
There’s not much for me to dig into here. There’s not much in the way of pretext. We basically get a set-up, see what’s going down and then are left to assume that there is going to be quite a big more bloodshed in the future. The hero appears to be an undead, brought bad from the death, or near death by a vengeful spirit. He appears to be nothing more than another victim in his salary man suit, about to suffer a painful, atrocious death at the hands of a pair of sadistic weirdo shinobi. And that may have been true, if not for the vengeful spirit that turned him into a skilled killing machine.
The back story is simple, and could apply to most any vengeful spirit, or superhero or vigilante. He had a family, they were murdered. You could blind him and give him Kingpin as a nemesis and he’d be Daredevil. You make him a burnt out ex-soldier, put a skull on his chest and make him Punisher (actually, he’s pretty close to Punisher in terms of motivations and lethality). I’m not expecting much depth for him in the future really. But I wouldn’t mind it either.
The real stars of this show were the animation styles. I was shocked when I saw the South Park style animation take over for a bit, I say this for lack of a better term. I think many a person would accuse studio Trigger of being cheap with this little production. The drastic changes in art style coupled with several very long, still a pauses in production lean to that. But I don’t doubt for a moment that this is just intentional lengthening for the sake of tension and atmosphere. It’s weird to see a show that mostly appears hectic, but in actuality is in no rush to deliver its story.
I do wish I had come into this production with more knowledge of the shows it is so clearly influenced by. But that’s just not the case. As it is, I still wish to enjoy this show for the unique, violent and mindless romp it appears to be. All I’m searching for is true entertainment, so if this show keeps delivery this kind of stylish, over-the-top ninja violence, then it will be an easy watch for me.
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