Kemono Jihen Episode 1 Review: Fresh Start and New Beginnings

Kemono Jihen Is Off To A Fresh Start With Its Anime Debut

In a small village, Detective Kohachi Inugami is hired by the innkeeper to discreetly investigate the gruesome deaths of some of the local animals. While there he befriends the young outcast, nicknamed Dorotabo, who doesn’t seem perturbed by the mistreatment he receives from the villagers. The episode has a lot of charming moments between Dorotabo and Inugami as the detective waits for whatever is killing the animals to strike again. While Dorotabo seems emotionless you can see how getting treated nicely for the first time in his life has an effect on him, however small. 

The one thing that was annoying was the level of cruelty demonstrated by both his Aunt, the innkeeper, and her son, Yotaro. I understand that it was supposed to be exaggerated to juxtapose with Dorotabo’s indifference but it just seemed unnecessary. 

It’s then later revealed that Dorotabo and Inugami are demons named Kemono. Dorotabo is specifically half-ghoul and human, Inugami also reveals that he [Dorotabo] was not abandoned by his parents as previously thought. After defeating the demon that was killing the animals we learn that Inugami’s real job was to kill Dorotabo. Before killing him Inugami asks for his real name and whether or not he wants to find his parents.

Kemono Jihen

The first time Kabane (formerly Dorotabo) smiles is when he tells him that it’s okay for Inugami to kill him because he doesn’t want to see his parents. Could you imagine if the anime ended there? How cruel would that be? But it turns out that since Kabane is a ghoul he can only die if his head is cut off. The episode ends with Dorotabo officially dying but Kabane beginning his new life at Inugami’s detective agency where two more young Kemeno live. 

Overall the first episode of Kemono Jihen was pretty solid! I was worried that the pacing would be off, sometimes these new shounen anime take forever to really get going but the pacing for this episode was good. The scenery was stunning and the animation really compliments the art style. I think some could say that they don’t like how emotionless Kabane is but I think part of the charm of the manga is watching him develop desires and feelings as he travels and meets new people. Kabane’s development is something to look forward to in the anime and hopefully will be further developed in the coming episodes. 

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