Surprise, it’s Netflix Anime! Who would have expected something like this when I do it all the time? I don’t know how many of these that I’ve done since running this blog but I am just going to continue doing this every once in a while. Especially since a lot of modern anime are thrown into Netflix Jail for a few months or longer before getting dubbed, or you know, Netflix orders series from production companies and then releases them on their own terms. I like the second option because it actually takes advantage of their Netflix platform and doesn’t ruin things for us seasonal watchers. Otherwise, Netflix continues to ignore or not care about the way seasonal anime is watched with literally every other streaming service that releases anime and it’s continually frustrating. You guys have heard that before. Let’s talk about some actually good anime.
In terms of only it’s story, High-Rise Invasion is a throwback to the early 2010’s when death games were much more popular than they were now. They are still making death game anime though. To me, that’s how it stands out from everything else out right now and how it can be so intriguing. It features a death game with kids from the normal world transported to the world of skyscrappers that are connected together through different types of bridges. How did they show up there? Does it matter? The people who end up their fight for survival against their surroundings, other competitors, and strange masked people in different costumes who want to demoralize contestants in order to get them to commit suicide. Things get wackier and different in the second half, but in a way that I enjoy.
High-Rise Invasion is the story of Yuri Honjo building a group of survivors to go against the very world she was sent to. This is a normal high school girl’s journey and rise to form an empire against what sent her to this world in order to find a way home. It starts small with Yuri fending for herself and only a phone call from her brother, Rika, to keep her focused. From then on, she starts gaining followers as she makes some good decisions in getting others to join her like Mayuko or bluffing other people with powers she doesn’t have for the moment. In order to complete her goal, she faces off against other people as the power of the masks is uncovered. The first half is very good survival material about pushing the weights of humanity in times where it might not be necessary and the mysteries of the people who wear masks and what those masks can do. People wear them and then find out.
People complain about the second half being a little slower compared to the survival based first, but I enjoyed it a bit more honestly. These characters are just so much fun that I love seeing them interact. I just don’t mean Yuri and Mayuko with their very yuri like relationship who lose some humanity to be better, but the way the mystical and air head Kuon with the ever so cool and confident sniper mask interact with each other, and who are aligned with Yuri and Mayuko, is very entertaining. The masked characters aren’t just wandering drones of chaos, but actual characters now. I also really like Johnny Yong Bosch playing a slightly hornier and slightly eviler version of Lelouch because he is just so good at that role. The dub is good guys. The voice actors know exactly what kind of series they are voicing for it and it drove me into enjoying it more.
If you look at the writing of the High-Rise Invasion and its characters, it’s not that consistent at all. I think that a character flipping from “help me, save me” no matter what the episode is in an instant is generally bad, but it works for this show somehow. There is just something addictive about watching High-Rise Invasion which is why it’s perfect for the netflix model. It has that continually “I have to know more” attribute to it that just makes it so much fun and engaging. It’s not original material at all, but what is anymore? We gone to the point where words like “unoriginal” and “derivative” don’t mean anything anymore. They are just buzzwords that people who think they are smart but aren’t use to demean a series they think are inferior. With that comes the fact that I can overlook its flaws for fun.
Another thing people seem to complain is the fanservice and honestly, I don’t mind it. I never thought I would write a post that defends the panty shots in it, but here I am doing that. The first thing I can say is that every panty shot never takes away from the action because it moves with it. I also think that the panty shots actually mean something in the way they show appear in the show. For instance, it’s like an opening up to other people and showing you trust them. That’s the way they are used in this show. Yuri trusting Mayuko means the obvious. The same could be said for Mayuko. This is over intellectualized bs on panties, but you know what? It’s anime. Things like that can happen that you don’t expect in anime.
The art and animation behind High-Rise Invasion feel very above average to me. The character designs themselves are incredibly diverse and full of personality, but the settings can be a little redundant after a while. That is part of the name of the game with skyscrapers attached to each other through bridges, but I think it got a little tedious for me after a while. The animation is generally good. There are a lot of slow moments with still frames, but I do think the animation delivers when it’s given to us. It’s fun, decently directed, and flows very well. There is some choppiness to some of it, but the overall product is very good.
In the end I will give High-Rise Invasion a good because it’s a very fun watch and enjoyable nonstop watch. I do think there are flaws that I’ve already mentioned before, but there is more good things here then bad to me. I think watching and enjoying High-Rise Invasion depends on how seriously you take it, which this show seems to want to have fun, and whether or not you can enjoy simple characters and you can enjoy the journey brought in front of them. I do. It’s a series that one can wind down with after a tough day or week or something and forget the worries of the world.