Inuyashiki is a show about two people, one a teenager and the other a man in his 50s, who get abducted by space aliens or something (the viewer never really find out) and are killed. The aliens, who seem to have a conscience about killing humans, decide to replace the humans, however they replace them as superpowered robots that have a full range of technical, digital, and healing powers. This all happens in the first episode.
The elder man struggles to learn how to use his powers. He achieves a certain amount of competence to go around saving people in emergency situations, and curing terminally ill patients at the hospital. The teenager learns quickly – the viewer never even sees his learning process, he just knows how to use it fluently. He doesn’t cure people though, he kills people anonymously for fun. Then, the teen begins to struggle with the consequences of his actions.
The meaning of Inuyashiki is pretty blunt: our society is giving powerful technology to younger generations before they are ready for it, before they can understand the consequences of their actions. The adults, who traditionally have passed down society and values to younger generations, are struggling just to understand how the mechanics of society.
Younger people are proficient at using technology but lack substance in their purpose (so the show states, very generally). Society risks falling apart because of this gap. Inuyashiki has strong things to say about smartphone use and trolling, among other tech related behaviors.
This was a good show, a bit disturbing in its violence, so definitely not for kids. It was also a quick watch at only 11 episodes.
“The Gestalt has a head and hands, organs and a mind. But the most human thing about anyone is a thing he learns”
Related – I also recently just finished re-reading More than Human, an old sci-fi novel about a group of odd kids and emotionally unstable people who form a new type of higher being through their telekinetic powers and mind communication.
The message in MTH, we find out at the end, is that this “new being” has always been incomplete because they’ve lacked a sense of ethics or morality. The human that fills this role role of ‘conscience’ is spectacularly unspectacular, but this is what ethics is. Not flashy, and very necessary. This with this new member, the being is able to advance into a new realm of existence. The reader gets a glimpse of this at the end, which is fantastic.
Both Inuyashiki and More than Human are relevant today because they are telling us, 60 years apart, that sure it’s great to know how to do things, but unless we have knowledge and balance about what we are doing, things can go haywire quickly. ‘What’ matters just as much as ‘How’. Teach substance.