Killing Bites First Impressions
“Humans who have gained animal abilities through the latest advancements in gene therapy. They appear no different from normal humans, but, by transforming, they change into battle form.”
For anyone who has read a plot overview or seen so much as a single promotional image for Killing Bites, it should really come as no surprise that it’s trash. That can be okay. There are plenty of enjoyable things that are trash. Fast food, pop artists, action movies; these have plenty of entries that could be considered enjoyable trash. Truth be told, I don’t have a good deal of anime that I consider both trashy and enjoyable. Normally, when I review a title, I will make note of other anime that I find comparable, and use them for the purpose of contrasting them in a manner that will be useful for those who are versed in said series. Killing Bites, of all series, proves to be difficult to compare and contrast since the best candidate for cross-analysis I can think of would be a version of Highschool of the Dead that I didn’t find repugnant. Maybe you could argue it’s like an ultraviolent version of Talladega Nights, stupid in all the right ways. Let’s be clear, Killing Bites is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in ages, and I can’t deny that I enjoyed watching it.
A key factor to Killing Bites’s success is it knows it isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and it maintains no illusions about this fact. The show starts off with a botched rape attempt that ends with all the offenders, outside of a less than willing driver, torn to shreds. This is how the episode leaves the gate! The driver, Yuuya Nomoto, is then told by the not-so-helpless victim to drive the van to a remote location, a junkyard filled with corpses. At this point, it reveals the woman, Hitomi, is a human-honey badger hybrid designed to fight in secret battles organized by four zaibatsus who covertly control Japan’s economy and who monitor these fights via orbital spy satellites. You see what I mean? It’s utter nonsense. It must be. It couldn’t even begin to make this work AND have it make logical sense. By the time we’re even five minutes in, Hitomi is already entering into combat with Leomon. … I just figured out a point of comparison. This is the anime version of Hobo with a Shotgun. It’s goddamn ridiculous and it wouldn’t have it any other way.
I should add, given that he’s a main character, that despite being wrapped up in an abhorrent crime as well as being a bit of a wimp, Nomoto isn’t made out to be irredeemable. It’s made clear he was simply told that his friends, whom he didn’t know particularly well, wanted to go “Pick up chicks.” He also makes an effort to stop them, even if, unbeknownst to Nomoto, they had already been stopped in a more permanent manner. Point being, he isn’t a bad POV character for a series like this, and it can be fun how he alternates back and forth between finding Hitomi adorable and absolutely terrifying. The two of them have decent chemistry, although not necessarily in a romantic sense. The action is well animated and stylish. The studio, Liden Films, doesn’t have a ton of work under their belt. They were behind The Heroic Legend of Arslan, which I sort of forgot existed, and Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, which I never actually watched. Still, despite being a relatively new studio at only 5 years old, they still put in the work for this one. The OP is flashy and stylish, all glitz and no depth, but that’s in keeping with the ensuing episode it’s advertising. In the end, Killing Bites has no pretense. It’s fun trashy and insane.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- Birdy compared Killing Bites to Akame ga Kill, which is a slightly apt comparison, though Akame ga Kill did come with a sense of pretense. Plus, the idea that Killing Bites is supposed to take place in our world makes it seem even more ridiculous.
- This is a weird one for me. Within a minute, I had called both that I was going to enjoy this, and it would be pants-on-head stupid.
- In my Marchen Madchen review, I mentioned I had gone through the list of upcoming anime with friends, Birdy and Ammy. When I got to this one, Birdy turned to me and asked if the main character was a catgirl. I wish I had gotten a picture of their expressions when I told them, “Honey badger.”
- If I may borrow a line from a certain Youtuber, “Anime is trash, and so are we!”
This is an episode that kicks off with the murder of gang-rapists and ends with a female flasher/slasher. Killing Bites makes no excuses and simply promises to keep things as insane as possible. This is stupid, stupid, stupid fun. See for yourself. It's worth it. But, yeah, I can't give it a higher rating than this and still hold on to my self-respect.