Netflix He is always willing to please his subscribers, even anime fans, and that is why in recent years he has decided to produce animated series collaborating with some of the main studios in Japan, such as MAP, Production I.G, e Bones, Just to name a few. This association has led to a significant increase in souls arriving on the platform.
Last October, the streaming giant, on the occasion of the Netflix anime festival, has announced numerous titles coming this year, including the recent Thus spoke Rohan Kishibe (retrieve our review of Thus Spoke Rohan Kishibe). Our attention, however, was focused on High-rise invasion, adaptation of the manga of the same name by Tsuina Miura and Takahiro Oba, which was presented as a violent and brutal anime. A few hours ago High-Rise Invasion arrived on Netflix and after seeing the pilot we are ready to tell you.
The opening moments of High-Rise Invasion are enough to make clear just how violent and twisted a series is.: Through a particular image filter that evokes a videotape, a man in overalls is seen extracting a katana from the skull of his victim, while a pool of blood is spread on the floor.
The shot moves behind the killer and when he turns around he reveals a white mask with long eyes and a smile that is hardly reassuring. After the initials, we find Yuri honjo high on a roof, desperate because she can’t contact her parents, but luckily her brother answers the phone Rika. With this file we can find out what is happening: Yuri was at school, when suddenly she found herself in a world of skyscrapers alone, which, however, have blocked access to the lower stairs and do not have elevators; there is no way to get to the ground floor; the roofs of the various buildings are connected to each other by long wooden bridges. Masked people are not ordinary killers as they are not tasked with killing their victims, but instill fear and despair, to the point of tempting them to commit suicide; only when the victim does not want to kill himself can he be killed. Rika tells her sister to keep calm, because he too is trapped there and they will be able to meet soon: he just has to get to a tall building, which is located in the center of the skyscraper city. The situation degenerates when the man with the katana reaches Yuri and destroys the telephone, the only means of communication he had.
The girl, scared, crosses the bridge, but is joined by her executioner; luckily she is saved by two policemen, but her happiness does not last long. One of the two agents is actually a stalker who, after killing his colleague by making him fall from the ceiling, wants to abuse the protagonist.
In the distance, a masked sniper observes the scene and decides to “save” Yuri. The student manages to escape, after recovering a pistol from the policeman and starting a fire with her body, to generate a blanket of smoke to hide behind.
Without going any further, suffice it to say that Yuri, after confronting and defeating a masked maid, discovers that the masks are actually electronic devices that control people’s minds, inciting them to kill. The young woman realizes, therefore, that behind the masks there are no monsters with human features, but real human beings.
The only way you can escape from that crazy world is a helicopter that can only take one person outside. At the end of the episode, Yuri meets a girl like her, suggesting that in that reality there might be other survivors.
Net of an increasingly urgent and frenetic pace, we must highlight some obvious writing problems, very conscious of having seen only the pilot. Once the vision was finished, numerous questions piled up that in one way or another prompted us to continue the vision, hoping to receive an answer. In fact, there is a strong desire to find out exactly what world Yuri is in, how he came to it, who are the masked men, what are the masks, who is behind everything, and why does he act this way. These are just some of the questions that have arisen, but there is one in particular that stimulated us more than necessary to complete the vision: when the protagonist flees from the masked sniper, he is seen holding a photograph of the protagonist with “For my older brother, Yuri“.
We do not exclude that there may be some kind of link between the girl and the sniper, who may have come to that strange world years before, perhaps as a victim or perhaps for work, and found a mask, but has not gone completely mad; This would explain why when he had both the student and the stalking policeman at gunpoint, he wanted to kill the second, perhaps to protect or help her, and to avoid being discovered by those in charge of everything, he continued to hold her at gunpoint.
In short, the open questions are numerous, but we fear that in 12 episodes (at the moment we do not know if there will be a second season) we will not be entirely satisfied. The thing that convinced us least is the absence of a real plot, at least for the moment: High-Rise Invasion seems to focus solely on the protagonist’s attempt to escape the attackers and we would not want him to focus only on this because it is the premises for an interesting series, with a few twists, they all seem to be there.
What we have not been able to fully accept, leaving us a bit confused, is Yuri’s sudden and sometimes mindless evolution we’ve seen since the pilot. In short, the young woman goes from being scared by everything in front of her, to putting aside her fears and finding the courage to continue, even killing a person or burning them in order to survive.
Furthermore, some reactions seemed out of place, such as when she meets the masked maiden and is impressed by her physical abilities: instead of fleeing or reacting in some way she watches the enemy’s movements with fascination. We would have preferred to witness Yuki’s development during all 12 episodes, in order to have a well-defined and more appreciable heroine. In addition, we note some moments that give the production light cheerful tones: situations that cushion the tension and ruin a title really revolves around suspense and violence.
Katanas, rifles, scythes
As for the plant, High-rise invasion is more than pleasant. The guys in the studio Zero-G they used a line that is kept mostly clean, except at times when the shot is moving away; the CGI is reduced to elements of the scene, like the helicopter, and it adapts well to the manual stage, going almost entirely to the background.
Even if there are no fights at the moment (but given the type of production we think they will be absent), the animations are fluid, and they manage to give the appropriate thickness to the most violent scenes, thanks also to the good visual representation. , like when masked men chase their victims, or when people fall from the roof, convinced that they will be saved, because smash to the ground.