KILLING BITES – Anime Review
Synopsis: Yuya Nomoto, an ordinary college student, met a mysterious high-school student called Hitomi. At a deserted landfill, he saw her transform into a beast and fight a Leo monster. They’re Brutes who have brains of humans and fangs of beasts. Hitomi is a Ratel, a Brute with the strongest killer instinct. Nomoto gets involved in their battles called Killing Bites. (Official Amazon Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Killing Bites has attitude, reflected in its strong, over the top designs for its wealth of battle hungry characters. The series often relies on still images for its more brutal attacks, but thanks to the detail and dynamic art these are often eye-catching. The series does start to struggle in the later half, as more non-conventional characters designs are depicted with CGI that never really fits with the rest of the visuals, becoming extremely noticeable for one major baddie in the final episodes. It gets the job done however and is forgivable thanks to the otherwise high quality character art surrounding it.
Linny: Killing Bites is very self aware of the kind of show it is; the kind that prides itself on being corny, over the top and perfectly suited for fans of the ‘so bad, it’s good’ genre of entertainment. That’s not to say that Killing Bites is complete trash, rather it is so absurd and over the top that it’s hard to be considered as a serious piece. Killing Bites revels in crafting stunts, actions, plot and characters that are extreme and cheesy; all of which come together to make its audience chuckle with glee at the insanity of what’s on screen as they watch human-animal hybrids tear at each other with flair.
Tom: Killing Bites is all about shock value schlock. It revels in the violence and absurd narrative twists, particularly as we approach the final episodes. In fact comparing the beginning to the end, Killing Bites almost starts off humble. After its wild opening featuring eye-catching fighting animation, attempted-rape and more, things slow for a bit. The series takes its time establishing a few important characters before gradually ramping the insanity up over the course of a lengthy tournament that eats up most of its run-time. But it’s this tournament where Killing Bites finds its footing and it really starts to come into its own with a building intensity that only gets more absurd and insane week to week.
Linny: ‘Low brow’ shows like Killing Bites tend to include a lot of male gaze pandering, tight shots of its female cast’s assets, revealing clothes, etc. This show is no exception with ending credits that have the girls depicted in semi naked fashion, parading their bodies on the screen. The show literally starts off with an attempted sexual assault, has a villain character who won’t shut up about his determination and enjoyment of forcing himself upon women, a ‘battle’ where an opponent uses ‘pheremones’ to ‘distract’ others, and the final episode has an implied incident as well. It’s not going to sit well with those who are sensitive to such content but for the most part, the show avoids being extremely graphic about depicting those aspects.
Tom: Yuya Nomoto, our mundane, average guy lead, is our window into this world of human-animal hybrid fighters. But once the tournament begins, his role increasingly shrinks, to the point where it largely feels like Hitomi’s story. Hitomi is very much a Goku type lead, obsessed with fighting and care for little else. Her spunk and feisty nature make her a treat to watch in a series completely earnest that what you see is what you get. There’s no pretending Killing Bites offers any depth and that honesty feels refreshing as the show goes full in on the violent brawls between Hitomi and the other Brutes who seek to rip each other limb from limb. There’s a wealth of personalities surrounding Hitomi to give the cast some real attitude. From Nakanishi, the feisty rival Cheetah hybrid girl, to Inaba the skittish, yet easily aroused rabbit girl. Few characters are all that unique, but remain lively and boisterous enough to give the show an endearing vitality.
Linny: The human-animal hybrids, or therianthropes as the show calls them, have interesting designs. A lot of them look impressive and intimidating, though some of are a bit of a dud with their animal features making them look more goofy than imposing. Once the show enters its tournament arc, it’s a non-stop parade of therianthropes, high adrenaline showdowns and brutal take-downs with constant twists and turns as people resort to all kinds of strategies to try and win the game.
Tom: Killing Bites solidifies itself as something more than mere schlock thanks to a magical, immediately memorable ending with a tornado of wild and violent surprise developments that send the series out with a bang. It’s here that Killing Bites begs for a second season and I can’t help but find myself eager for a continuation, hoping to see the series top itself in sheer absurdity.
Linny: While Killing Bites is high-intensity violent and brutal, it also has a fair amount of comedy , both intentional and unintentional. Some of the best comedy (if a bit cliched) comes in the form of an after credit section that narrates the tale of Hitomi’s classmate, Oshie who is unaware of Hitomi’s true nature but completely besotted with her all the same. The comedy revolves around Oshie’s initial confusion at Hitomi’s more peculiar habits and then moves onto Oshie’s very obsessive attempts to get closer to Hitomi, all the while her behaviour is compared to animals like some pseudo nature documentary. This comedic segment will either prove to be a nice little tension breaker or feel completely at odds with what just occurred in the episode, depending on the viewer’s mindset and taste.
Tom: Killing Bites becomes one of Winter’s most memorable titles through embracing its schlocky nature to the absolute fullest. It’s a series that knows exactly what it is and never pretends to be anything but. It’s certainly not for everyone, and the fact that it so gleefully wallows in seedy content such as rape, or at the very least implied rape, is understandably off-putting. But if you’re on board for sheer-violent absurdity and schlock that can be so extreme it becomes enjoyably comedic, Killing Bites is absolutely something you need to go back and experience before delving too far into Spring’s line up.
Linny: Killing Bites’ charm lies in its sheer ridiculous nature. It’s a show you watch to be impressed and amused by how absurd the violence and the personalities get. If you try to watch it seriously for even a moment, you’re going to end up either offended or even disgusted. If the sound of watching animal-human hybrids engaging in all out battle sounds both amusing and interesting, you may be just the right audience.
Killing Bites is available for streaming via Amazon Video.