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[High-Rise Invasion]
AKA: 天空侵犯
Genre: Shonen
Length: Web release, 12 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: Currently available streaming on Netflix.
Content Rating: TV-MA (Strong violence, nudity, mature content.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Ikki Tousen (ANY season will do); Tower of God; Kill la Kill
Notes: Based on manga by Tsuina Miura and Takahiro Oba, published by Kodansha in Manga Box

High-Rise Invasion


Yuri Honjo and others find themselves in a world where the only places accessible are the upper stories of skyscrapers; lower floors are blocked off, and access between buildings is restricted to rope bridges. With a bunch of masked killers roaming around, Yuri's main thought is to get back to her brother Rika, but she gets sidetracked a lot, and gains some super powers as well...


I'm going to do this one mainly as quotes-and-comments. (Quotes from the show, comments MINE):

"Our Enemy Is One Who Desires Chaos"- Episode 10 Title.

And they're succeeding GLORIOUSLY at it, too. Very little in this show makes sense, at least on careful thought. We're told the Masked ones are "Angels" who want to bring people "Closer To God", but their usual method consists of terrorizing people into jumping off buildings. (The ONLY way you can reach street level in this place, apparently, is by committing suicide.) We're told the Masked ones ("Angels") won't kill unless they're attacked, a proposition which is definitively disproven in Episode 3, and yet we'll hear it cited as gospel again later in the series. Is this some Darwinian experiment? If so, it's not a very well-controlled one. The masks themselves alter the minds of their wearers, giving them superhuman strength (and, somehow, also near-invulnerability), but also making them obedient drones of whoever issued the masks to them. But there are apparently a few exceptional masks lying around that give one great mental power (and physical power, too- again, I'm not sure how that works) WITHOUT brainwashing the wearer. It is apparently these lucky few who find THESE masks (and put them on) who become the ones "Closer To God". Some of these winners of this sort of Mask Lottery (which also gives the recipient power to control certain other Masked individuals) want to rule things. (I guess the desire to do THAT is universal, no matter HOW insane the place is.) It's THOSE folks who are the immediate adversaries of Yuri and her allies. The power ultimately behind the place is being left to be dealt with in a later season, it seems. But if it's all a Darwinian experiment, that ultimate power seems resolved to not let things proceed to a conclusion, by shutting off all access these folks Closer To God have to what seems the nerve center of the place, a gigantic tower that sits in the middle of it, and clashes dreadfully with the surrounding architecture.

Oh, before I go on: sometimes when a mask is damaged, its wearer can regain some of their own will. This happens to two of our major players. In one of those cases, the person dons the mask BECAUSE it is damaged, believing (from the previous owner's statements) that it will allow them to retain their own mind, but the results are a bit mixed.

"Even though you may be a murderer, you don't seem like a bad person, Mayu"- Yuri, to Mayuko Nise.

This was uttered when Yuri and Mayuko first met, just after Mayuko murdered an innocent man in cold blood, apparently just because he MIGHT POSSIBLY get in line before SHE did. Her violent nature is meant to stand in contrast to Yuri, who tries to be no more violent than the situation requires; but nevertheless Mayuko becomes enamored of yes, Mayuko develops a yuri thing for...well, Yuri.

"It will be complete in about four minutes. Until then, I will answer any questions you may have"- Voice of the computer program being "installed" into Yuri's brain by one of the "benign" masks.

OK, so you TELL her that, but THEN you launch into a spiel that takes the WHOLE FOUR MINUTES, and doesn't leave the poor girl a chance to get a question in edgewise. Still, after this, Yuri DOES get to go all Neo-From-The-Matrix, dodging slo-mo bullets, knives, grenades, and other projectiles, her pistols blazing all the way.

"Is this girl an idiot?"- Sniper Mask, about Kuon Shinzaki.

She either IS, or she's at least the most COMPLETE ingenue ever seen in ANY world; and yet she's one of those Closer To God in THIS world. Go figure. She's got two major powers: she can go into a person's brain and undo some (though not all) of a mask's brainwashing; and she also controls a weapon that is WAY too destructive to be practical. She also has a complete crush on Sniper Mask, the guy I mentioned earlier, whose mask was damaged, allowing him to recover some of his will and, eventually, memories. (The Masks are named according to the occupations the wearers are supposed to represent.)

"I'll show you my Ultimate Killer Technique! It's called...Acting!"-Yuri

No, Yuri, in a real situation, if you had to depend on the acting ability YOU demonstrate for survival, you might as well concede to the inevitable and take the plunge off a roof, too. But as in most bad fiction, things work here that would NEVER do so in reality. As Mayuko says here, in a nod to the audience, "How could you pull off something so ridiculous as THAT?"

"I didn't need to see THAT!" - Mayuko, after seeing Yuri's panties.

Ah, but this show's creators knew SOMEONE would want to see them, and, in fact, I think we see Mayuko's OWN panties TWICE. ("Stripes!", noted Kuon.) It's a staple of shonen shows with female leads, after all. While Yuri may have a bro-con thing going, poor Rika, after bravely fighting alongside his allies for a while, eventually becomes the show's Damsel In Distress who has to await rescue by his sister.

By the way, I really don't understand why the villain waited as long as he did to pull that move at the end.

OK, OK, the show's art IS perfectly fine. THERE. SATISFIED?

Yuri's a plucky enough heroine, but the show's a confusing mess, the "plot" just a thin clothesline on which the combat set pieces are strung. The show's quite a bit more gory than the Recs are, by the way.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: We see decapitations aplenty, along with other slicing-and-dicing; myriad fallings-to-death (mercifully cut just short of final impact); and plenty of head shots (which seem to be the only sure way of killing one of the Masked.) It's naturally paired with loads of fanservice (not just panties, but nudity as well.) Netflix rates TV-MA. I fully concur.

Version(s) Viewed: Netflix Video Stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
High-Rise Invasion © 2021 Zero-G.
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