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Hataage! Kemono Michi Anime Cover

Score: 6.83/10

Hataage! Kemono Michi [DUB]

Eng Title : Kemono Michi: Rise Up

JP Title : 旗揚! けものみち

Year : 2019

Genre : Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen

Season : Fall 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 24 min. per ep.

Studios : ENGI

Synopsis

Professional wrestler Genzou Shibata sports the body of a mountain, but beneath his hulking appearance is a man with an extreme affection for animals. Facing off his opponents in the ring as the legendary "Animal Mask," Genzou wins the hearts of crowds everywhere with his iconic tiger persona. During the bout for the title of World Champion against his greatest rival, the Macadamian Ogre, Genzou is suddenly summoned to a fantasy world by a princess. With her kingdom being threatened by a monster infestation, she pleads the wrestler for assistance—to which he answers by knocking her out with a German suplex! Escaping the castle and finding himself stranded in a mysterious land, Genzou decides to begin his career as a beast hunter to capture and befriend creatures far and wide. Joined by the wolf-girl Shigure, the dragon-girl Hanako, and the vampire Carmilla Vanstein, the professional wrestler pursues all kinds of dangerous requests for the sake of fulfilling his dream as a pet shop owner. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

I must admit that I was a bit intrigued by this unique twist on the standard isekai format, so this was one of my most-anticipated Hataage! Kemono Michi of the season. The first episode, if anything, exceeded my expectations. It may be really, really wrong in some regards, but it’s also maybe the funniest opening episode to a series that I’ve seen all year. f

Really, I’m trying to remember the last time that I encountered a first episode with so many laugh-out-loud moments in it. The whole concept of applying pro wrestling to the isekai format is in of itself a stroke of genius. Animal Mask gets to be summoned right out of the middle of a match, so people have to wonder if that was part of the show or not, and he gets to introduce a very different fighting style to the fantasy setting he’s arrived in; I’ve seen people in tabletop fantasy RPGs build characters around grappling and pinning attacks, and Animal Mask is doing exactly that. The way he’s dressed for the ring also opens up a whole line of cracks about how he’s a pervert because he’s only wearing wrestling shorts, even though there’s nothing in the slightest perverted about it.

However, the writing wisely does not rely on that gimmick alone; they make him a complete kook as well. Animal Mask is not just over-the-top as a top-rate wrestler; he’s also over-the-top as a dedicated animal lover. His wrestling moves on beast people and cerberus monsters are finished off with submission cuddling and his zeal for showing his love for animals can come across as quite creepy, especially when directed towards beast people. That his antics can come across as sexual even though he’s (probably) not intending them that way is the one place where the humor falls a bit flat, and I could see this getting uncomfortably edgy at times. What he does to the princess who innocently summoned him – by dropping her in a German suplex, complete with the princess’s perspective as it happens – is the defining moment so far and definitely something we haven’t seen before in an isekai title. I did also find it a bit amusing that the princess did not seem completely averse to the idea that Animal Mask might be getting sexual towards her when he was setting up for that suplex. I hope the series comes back and addresses that again at some point.

The technical merits of the first episode are actually pretty good, the character designs so far are quite appealing, and kudos go to the composer for how the musical selections are used. Parts of this could easily get too edgy for some tastes, but I found the first episode plenty entertaining enough that I will almost certainly be following this one. You can also free Hataage! Kemono Michi anime watch online and free download.

When I first watched the trailer of Hataage: Kemono Michi, I didn’t have too many expectations of it. In fact, I thought it would continue in the vein of the loathsome isekai from previous seasons which did nothing but frustrate me. But how wrong I was?! It seemed like a very generic story of a hero summoned to a magical world to defeat the demon lord, make a harem, just with some animal love added in. To be honest, Kemono Michi is very much that. Just that it’s a ton of fun to watch. What would a hero do when he’s faced with a three-headed demon dog? What would he do when he comes across aggressive dragons? Well, in this show, Genzo would rather tickle the hell out of the demon beasts to tame them than use his fists to kill them. He loves all beasts, whether they be demi-humans, orcs, or demon beasts, equally and unconditionally. Major warning that it can get kinda gross when he’s sniffing the beasts, as well as when he does the German suplex on some of the female characters, exposing their undies to the world. Written by Natsume Akatsuki, the author or the hugely popular isekai, Konosuba, Kemono Michi follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and attempts to entertain by making fun of itself rather than attempting to have a serious tone and failing pathetically at it. I’ll admit that the gags got old after a few episodes but as a whole, the show still remained entertaining enough for me to have a positive view of it. The plot becomes interesting just at the right time before I start feeling the overuse of certain comic elements, which is what allowed me to retain my interest instead of getting bored of it. The plot is the same as a lot of isekai anime: Genzou, a pro wrestler is summoned to another world in order to defeat the Demon Lord, kill all the demon beasts and become a demon beast killer. But don’t call him by the name “demon beast killer”. The consequences are best understood by asking the princess who summoned him as well as the multiple people who call him by that name in the show. Throughout the season, Kemono Michi manages to keep the plot just about interesting enough while throwing in its bouts of comedy whether that be through the pro wrestling antics of Genzo or his unending love for all beasts. The main cast of characters apart from Genzo includes the wolf girl Shigure, who’s the first to join Genzo’s “party”, and she’s the one who takes care of most of Genzo’s financial affairs. Hanako is a dragon in the form of a girl is a food maniac who’d like to eat all the beasts she can find. Her servant, Carmilla wants to be acknowledged by Hanaka while wanting to do everything that’s best for her. That’s all there is to them. But the show makes it work such that all of them contribute to the comedy one way or another. Some of their mannerisms do wear out towards the later part of the show though, so that’s a small negative. There’s not much to say about the production aspects. Produced by a new studio named ENGI, the art, animation, and sound were unremarkable but fared reasonably enough to not become an eyesore. The opening is somewhat catchy but not something that I’d listen to over and over again, and the OST isn’t too memorable either. However, being a new studio, I’d say that they did a fairly decent job. Overall, Hataage: Kemono Michi was a great improvement over the isekai that we had last season. I think It managed to accomplish what it wanted, that was to make people laugh even if it got somewhat repetitive towards the end. I was a bit confused whether to give this a 7 or an 8. It was entertaining enough that 7 as a review score would be too low but 8 is considered really good anime category. In the end, it's in the middle ground between 7 and 8 for me.

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