High school kids? Violent killings? And lewd girls galore? Sure sounds like an average anime. However, High-Rise Invasion takes very familiar elements and implements some strong mystery, good animation, and entertaining characters to make a pretty well-rounded first season.
A high school girl finds herself on top of a building and witnesses someone in a mask killing another person brutally on another building. She then finds herself being attacked by a similarly masked figure and that sets in motion meeting various other characters, understanding the world around her, and trying to find a way out of her horrifying predicament. While the story is basically a mix between the Hunger Games and the Battle Royale, the deeper lore of why characters are killing each other and the rules of the world add a lot of depth and uniqueness. It’s still not original in the general premise, but I was surprised at how much lore had been established by the end of the season.
It’s hard to say if the animation quality is actually good. The designs of the characters, even though their simple, are effective at differentiating and creating unique people and enemies. The movements and fluid battles do look fine, but they never fully engaged or surprised me. It’s a perfectly fine anime to watch, there’s never a bad moment, but there isn’t anything particularly amazing visually.
Two things to note, the first is it’s a mature rating. Having a mature rating and saying clearly that there is nudity, violence, and suicide didn’t make it a surprise when those things showed up. I was a little surprised and a bit off-put by how much there was. If someone wasn’t killing themselves, then somebody was being stabbed, shot, or drenched. And if neither one of those things were happening then someone was looking up somebody else’s skirt, or their clothes were being removed. It’s totally understandable and fine all that happening in a mature show. However, it felt like the show was overcompensating some of its more thin story elements or character developments with violence and sex. This made all those “mature elements” excessively vulgar and lazy to try and make the show more engaging. The other issue with the anime is the lack of explanation of a couple of key story elements. There are a lot of rules and different aspects to this world, and some of the explanations were rushed and either not explained very well or never fully explained. I like having a lot of different elements in the world to make it complex and enthralling, but to introduce new concepts every episode and only explains some of them really well, it became a bit exhaustive and confusing.
High-Rise Invasion is an action-packed, intense ride that can pull the audience in very quickly. It does a good job of creating an intriguing world with lots of moving parts, it just suffers from the mature rating self-indulgence and some odd ambiguities in plot and character developments.