KILLING BITES – Mid Season 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)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: If you’re planning on picking up Killing Bites, you have to be able to stomach the sleazy B grade sexual content alongside the ultra violent action. The surprising thing is that while the show does feature the female cast in provocative outfits, particularly in the end credits, features brief nudity and several attempts at sexual assault (with the worst assualt always implied rather than shown), there’s a lot more to the show beyond the sleaze. It’s still going to upset or offend anyone uncomfortable with nudity and sexual misconduct in anime but Killing Bites also offers the best of B grade schlock entertainment with over the top characters, over the top action and violence with its ridiculous premise of human fighters having their DNA merged with all sorts of animals to create the ultimate fighter.
Tom: Killing Bites lets the audience know right away what kind of show it’s going to be, with attempted rape and a bit of nudity in the first episode alone. While the nudity was a one time thing, the first episode’s attempted rape is a strong sign of things to come, and should not be ignored. No, Killing Bites likes to wallow in that end of the schlock spectrum, content to feature attempted rape, actual rape, and more nasty ongoings through its first six episodes. It’s never terribly graphic, often leaving the actual act for off-screen or allowing our heroes to defeat the rapist before they succeed. But it’s there, it’s an intrinsic part of the show. Alongside the frequent use of rape as a threat for our heroine and her friends, the series mires itself in extreme violence, with frequent blood splatter and mutilation. It’s where Killing Bites shines, a series not unlike Terra Formars in its obsession for over the top brutality. The series spends most of its run-time building towards or enacting these brutal fights, with little effort placed in exploring characters, offering up trans-formative arcs, or anything else. One way in which audiences might be disappointed is the lack of actual killing. By Episode six only maybe two of our hybrid animal fighters has died, and that’s a big maybe as characters seem capable of recovering from the most brutal of bashings.
Linny: Besides action, there’s entertainment value in the design approach to the Therianthropes. Some feature impressive and intimidating physical transformations into their animalistic form whereas others can look downright goofy. Killing Bites also offers some solid humour, sometimes intentional and other times unintentional thanks to its outrageous premise and style. The show is well aware of how clueless its male protagonist is and doesn’t hesitate to crack a few jokes at his expense, even having him be aware of his own shortcomings for hilarious scenarios.
Tom: While the series does boast some incredible action, usually paired with solid animation and detail, there’s a strong usage of CGI later on, reminding me of Fall 2017’s Juni Taisen. That series struggled to maintain quality, eventually resorting to full CGI for the action, a most jarring shift. Killing Bites isn’t quite as bad however. While the usage of CGI hits strong in episode six, it’s paired with the same quality traditional art. The only problem is the blending, as the CGI doesn’t always offer the same fluidity in movement, and stands out as painfully obvious next to the rest of the show’s visuals.
Linny: Killing Bites features after credits skits that have a completely different vibe from its main content. It takes an everyday life approach to showcasing our heroine Hitomi and her friendship with a ‘normal’ human classmate named Oshie, always for comedic purposes. The show keeps comparing their friendships to the relationship between two types of animals, using that for comedic effect with almost every episode ending on a ‘bad’ note for Oshie and the show reminding us that she is not a Therianthrope, like Hitomi. It’s a solid source of laughs ever so often, almost like a refreshing reset after all the more violent and disturbing events that happen in the main episode.
Tom: You’ll notice we haven’t discussed the series’ characters all that much. There’s a reason for that. Killing Bites is so focused on its absurd brutality, it never stops to explore anyone. I mentioned it earlier, but it begs further discussion. Yuya and Hitomi remain our two main characters, and while the cast has filled out around them, everyone is locked into a trope ridden persona. We’re six episodes in and even our main characters have hardly changed as individuals. Yuya is the same bumbling male lead, who exists as little more than an audience self-insert to explore this strange underground fighting world with, and Hitomi continues as the bad ass female who is all about kicking ass. Neither character has moved an inch from their introduction. The rest of the cast is even thinner. Ultimately though you’re not here for the characters, and in some ways Killing Bites shaving off any attempts to explore its cast is a good thing, as it leaves more time for the wild and absurd action to take center stage.
Linny: Every anime season has a few B movie like schlock filled shows that are generally dismissed and rejected by many but manage to find themselves a small fan following who love them for their schlocky content. Killing Bites fills that spot for Winter 2018. The great thing about Killing Bites is that it manages to be one of the more enjoyable examples with animation that’s never amazing but avoids looking like it was made on a minuscule budget, or rushed due to time constraints. You don’t watch shows like Killing Bites for the characters or plot but rather for the exaggerated approach to entertainment, in this case action packed battles and all kinds of human-animal hybrids. If you can sit through the occasional sexual assault, Killing Bites may actually surprise you by how mild its sleazy, fan service content actually is otherwise. Its main focus is presenting ridiculous showdowns between animal-human hybrids and if that’s enough to entertain you, Killing Bites is sure to be a fun ride.
Tom: Killing Bites is as if Terra Formars stripped away its flashbacks and character motivation, leaving its entire run time to build towards and feature chaotic mayhem and blood splattering action. It’s a singular approach, one that limits who you recommend the series to. While I greatly enjoy Killing Bites’ near singular minded focus, it’s not going to be for most people. It’s a series for those who just want action and pure violence. At that Killing Bites succeeds without a doubt.
Killing Bites is available for streaming via Amazon Video.