Yuya Nomoto is driving the van his newly-acquired "buddies" told him they were going to "pick up girls" in- which turned out to be, "grab them off the street and rape them." But the boys' intended victim, named Hitomi Uzaki, proves more formidable than they expected, and ends up forcing Nomoto to drive to a landfill, where she transforms into a part-Ratel and does battle with a young man who partially transforms into a lion. These partially-animal people are called Therianthropes, and do battle to amuse (and have their fights wagered on by) the four Zaibatsu Conglomerates who "secretly rule Japan."
WARNING: SPOILERS. Because I hated this. And coming up in the next sentence, too...
This show begins with attempted rape, and ends with cruel betrayal. And the middle isn't much of an improvement.
That middle consists of fanservice-heavy fights- somewhat like Ikki Tousen's, but considerably nastier (the combatants in Ikki Tousen had a sense of honor NOT universally observed here), combined with "furry" fetishism, and with all that, in turn, combined with the ruthless behind-the-scenes manipulation of events by the "bigshots" such as we've seen in Terraformars. As is common with these shows, we've once again got a "narrator" whose function is basically to explain how the combatants keep recovering from what surely must be mortal blows. (This is especially necessary for Hitomi, of course. "Ratel" is another term for the animal usually called a honey badger. I had no idea these creatures are actually completely indestructible...)
Anyway, Hitomi keeps threatening to kill Nomoto for his part in the attempted assault of her- and truth to tell, he IS at least guilty of poor choice of friends- but Nomoto gets a stay of execution from Reichi Shidoh, who created the Therianthropes, and who Hitomi is worshipfully devoted to. (Hitomi seems to have a lot of trouble consistently acting in a civilized manner. There is a reason for this.) It seems the four members of the Zaibatsu Conglomerates (who I guess you'd call a kind of Japanese Illuminati) are each fielding a team of therianthropes in a giant battle called- and this name surely didn't require more than 30 seconds of thought- a Destroyal. Nomoto is forced to pose as her strawman "backer" for Hitomi to enter the contest, but the role also involves making strategic battle decisions for her, so we'll just say that Nomoto's situation, which has been horrible (even with its fanservicey aspects) all the way from the beginning of this wretched adventure, becomes (arguably) even worse. I would say that the show in general, and Hitomi in particular, punish Nomoto a lot more than is strictly necessary...
The battles are typical shonen fare (e.g., megatons of braggadocio, and those aforementioned interminable rallies from apparent defeat), but as noted with some peculiarities due to the half-animal nature of our fighters in their transformed forms. I do believe this is the first non-hentai show I've seen where male genitalia are clearly visible, escaping the censor by being non-human male genitalia. (The owner of the genitalia could have been one of Nomoto's former "buddies" as far as his attitude toward women goes. Like I said, several of the fighters here aren't very good human beings, but they ARE animals (or at least partly so), after all.) At least all the Therianthropes have vertebrate base animals, so I guess they're evolutionarily more advanced than several of the Terraformars animal-human hybrids were, for whatever THAT'S worth.
I did understand the behind-the-scenes corporate skullduggery here a bit better than that of Terraformars; the ultimate purpose of the most adept schemer does become plain. It's "nature red in tooth and claw" here for both the Therianthropes AND that cabal of businessmen, or, in Hitomi's favorite catchphrase, "The one with sharper fangs wins- that's what Killing Bites is."
But, my God, that ending…
Look. This is a show that's got a literal "bunny girl" who's way more bunny than girl. (Her feet are particularly memorable.) You've even got "furry yuri" (yes, REALLY), for pity's sake. (The circumstances that led to THIS were also memorable, in a particularly absurd way.) In my opinion, with all this sort of nonsense going on, the show just doesn't have the gravitas to engage in this sort of vicious nihilism. My first impression of the ending left me with feelings not that different from the ones I had at the end of King's Game The Animation- in other words, I was absolutely appalled.
Now in fairness, I hadn't at that point identified the individual in the hoodie, nor read the Wiki article on the manga. The latter gives some information about the former that did somewhat ameliorate my feelings, which turned this, to my mind, from an unqualified human disaster into...well, a qualified human disaster. I guess the moral of it all is, never trust someone whose heart is so obviously given to another...
I know, I know, you don't expect great art from something called Killing Bites. But something along the lines of Ikki Tousen would have been fine with me. THIS ain't it. It wallows in its own unpleasantness, and there's some kind of evil synergy going on here, for the whole seems even less human than its Therianthrope players. Yes, it's got its share of fanservice nudity, if you're in it for that, and Hitomi might even be popular with folks who like their tsunderes nearly completely "dere"-free. ("I'll kill you if you fail.") And there's the furry thing going on for fans of THAT. Just based on what I gleaned from the ending (without augmentation by other sources), you can bet I'd only go one star on this. So I considered the mitigating influence of the outside sources of information- AND poor, long-suffering Nomoto as well- and...well, I STILL couldn't go two stars. The whole thing is just too mean-spirited. Sorry to condemn you to one star, Nomoto, but it's not the worst thing that could happen to you. Or even DID happen. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Amazon does the TV-NR thing here. My assessment is: includes graphic nudity, sexual assault/rape, graphic violence, an omorashi scene (some creatures just don't cope well with being scared), and other unpleasantness too numerous to mention. I'm going 16+ here.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Amazon Prime
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Killing Bites © 2018 Liden Films.
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