With a great deal of money, influence, and access to highly advanced science, a quartet of corporations have mastered the ability to splice human DNA with that of animals. With this amazing technology, they turn people into therianthropes, as they are called, and have them fight to the death like gladiators. A hapless salaryman stumbles into this deadly arena of blood and money when his path crosses with that of a particularly ruthless and deadly high school girl, and the course of his life and death are forever altered by the competition known as “Killing Bites,” where – as they say in every episode – “the one with the sharpest fangs wins, that’s what Killing Bites is!”
I will applaud the creativity of the people behind this anime, applying their knowledge of various animals to fights between beast-people. There are the usual contenders of a lion, a tiger, and such, but also a few unusual ones, including a hippo, a rabbit, and a pangolin, the armor of which is surprisingly dangerous when it comes on a figure as big or bigger than most people. Easily the breakaway star, though, is the female lead of the show, who shares the traits of a honey badger. And if a natural honey badger can be dangerous to lions despite the difference in size, try shrinking that difference to no more than the variance between average humans, and the honey badger girl might as well be called the world champion already.
I will also praise the intricate plot behind the plot of the show, where the outcome of the current Killing Bites competition determines the future of mankind, being the last piece necessary to pull off a massive coup.
I will even say that the fights are interesting and fun to watch, the humor makes me chuckle, and… well, it is difficult to look away from some of the saucier scenes that manage to push the envelope without outright burning it.
And I will top it off with expressing my irritation that the last five minutes of the show set it up as if it were a prequel to some existing franchise, and thus the story isn’t only unfinished, it takes us through all the twists and turns and loop-de-loops to bring us up to the real beginning without taking us even one step beyond it! That has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves ever!
All that said…
…there simply must be a more straightforward means by which to justify the depiction of young, sexy beast-girls in very little clothing. I mean, if that’s what you really want to do, then do it! No great need to come up with some convoluted scheme that’s filled with blood, horror, murder, and rape! Sheesh!
Oh, yes, that’s all part and parcel of the show, too. Lots of people die in horrible ways, and at the end of it all, when the coup is successful, the lion-man takes a young woman by force. True, she was a fool and (pardon my language) a bitch, but that is no excuse. It was simply horrific to witness and made me vastly uncomfortable, even if they avoided a depiction nearly as explicit as is found in, say, the first episode of Goblin Slayer.
Of course, all the beast-men were simply depicted as beastly, no attention paid to making them look good at all, except the tiger-man. But the girls almost always kept their pretty faces and alluring figures in outfits that left precious little to the imagination. And with bodies and strength like that, it’s small wonder that a dirty old man who thinks himself a king was drooling over them in such a disgusting manner.
Basically, my frustration is that they could have either taken this notion of sexy beast-girls and done something less graphic with it, or they could have taken the plot they had, including its tragic conclusion, and made it easier to take seriously if they’d focused less on sexy beast-girls, but putting the two together was off-putting as much as it was riveting. It basically appeals most to the lower appetites, the primal urges which appreciate violence and sex, rather than anything dignified and uplifting.
And that is something which, as I am working to improve myself in whatever small ways, I find myself less and less willing to accept. Far be it from me to judge those who truly enjoyed this anime, but I generally found it lacking. If not for that never-to-be-sufficiently-cursed ending, and the wasted potential for a proper story, I would have finished this anime and felt very little about it.
Killing Bites is basically a festival of boobs, butts, and blood, and I can’t say I’m better for having watched it.
Rating: 4 stars out of 10.