When I plugged the synopsis of Kemono Michi: Rise Up into the Weiner 2600 — the machine that decides which aspect of Hot Dog our content represents — the damn thing told me to schedule it for Fucking Day. And I just don’t understand: Kemono Michi is supposed to be an anime about a Japanese professional wrestler who loves animals, then gets sucked into a kind of fantasy world where he has to become a wild beast tamer. Look at these adorable scenes from the opening credits:
This show is about a man becoming best friends with a bear, Weiner 2600. While I do find that concept intensely erotic, the Attorney General of Alaska has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am an outlier in that regard. This shit is as wholesome as a church picnic before someone mentions the gays.
Of course, I am well aware that Japan can turn anything into a porno, and the whole country grows 4% more erect every time you doubt that fact. But I just don’t see it happening here.
The setup is that our hero, Animal Mask, wants to quit wrestling to open a pet shop. Most professional wrestlers dream only of the day they can quit injecting steroids straight into their testicles professionally, and switch to strictly recreational use. This guy dreams of selling puppy chow. That’s downright heartwarming.
And this is Japanese professional wrestling we’re talking about here — if American pro wrestling is about veiny meat-monsters thigh-choking racial stereotypes for ‘roid money, Japanese professional wrestling is about all of those things plus war crimes. You ever see a fluorescent light match? You’re supposed to flee the county if you so much as crack one of those suckers, and Japanese pro wrestlers spend forty seven minutes shoving them up each other’s assholes.
Is the most adorable thing to come out of wrestling this side of Captain Lou Albano struggling to read cue cards about video games he only understood enough to fear.
Our purehearted paladin even does his wrestling moves alongside his adorable little dog:
I am all in on this show. It’s even got a proper, full-body dropkick in the first scene, and proper, full-body dropkicks are my spirit animal.
In the middle of the match, Animal Mask gets pulled over to some generic fantasy world, where he’s supposed to be their hero…
And he instantly bodyslams the mystical princess that summoned him.
This show may have a pure heart, but there’s only so far you can bend the suspension of disbelief… and implying that a woman might go unviolenced within twenty feet of a professional wrestler just pulls the audience right out of it.
But you know, the suplexing princess scene actually makes me understand what’s wrong with this categorization: Weiner 2600 analyzed the show for panty shots and came up with a rate of 865/hour, so it mistakenly shuffled this show into Fucking Day because it doesn’t know that’s Japan’s absolute legal minimum.
That’s okay, Weiner 2600: I will accept gratuitous cartoon panty shots that make me embarrassed to be a man, to be human, and to have working eyeballs, if that price buys me cute dogs doing dropkicks. I’ve seen anime before.
There’s even a legitimately funny bit where Animal Mask runs out into this fantasy world dressed like a benchwarmer at a Kubrick orgy and the townspeople instantly call him out on it.
He tries to plead that he’s all wrestler and no molester:
…but we all know the only difference between those two things is a referee.
I know this site is for showing you hopelessly broken things that slithered over here from the Wrong Dimension, but I messed up on Kemono Michi. This is just my new favorite series. I honestly don’t see how this show about a Speedo-clad man who loves animals could go wrong.
I immediately see how this show about a Speedo-clad man who loves animals can go wrong.
Oh fuck it’s happening so fast. No, you can’t do this to me — w-we had a rapport going, show. You just spent ten minutes establishing credibility, charm, normality; there’s no way our adorable hero is going to-
…instantly transform into a sex monster and try to power-rape everyone he sees. What the screaming shit, Kemono Michi? We’ve gone zero to the bathroom in a furry convention in .6 milliseconds. This has to stop, this-
…is going to get so much worse before it gets better, isn’t it?
Here we go.
I feel immensely betrayed, and all goodwill I have for the world has been irrevocably shattered.
In that screencap up there, a cat-girl is begging our hero to stop taking deep, perverse huffs of her wolf-man brother. But Animal Mask only came to this world to do two things: Smell animal crotches, and smell animal crotches (after banging them). For the record, none of the sentient beast people are into this at all:
And there is zero doubt that Animal Mask thinks Informed Consent is some sort of Yes cover band.
I’m so sorry. I should have given you a trigger warning. If you’ve ever helplessly stood by as a psychotic bodybuilder groped your poodle, you are surely having flashbacks to Jason Statham’s birthday party by now.
Oh, okay. It’s just belly rubs.
That’s seriously how the show tries to justify this scene, forgetting that they spent extra time drawing the naked terror in the wolf-man’s eyes as his autonomy was taken from him. Wolfie is shown here apparently enjoying it, though later he is overcome with shame and guilt, and tries to shower off the psychic filth. That is not a joke, that scene happens in this show. Kemono Michi goes out of its way to show you the consequences of Animal Mask’s unwanted advances, but never stops him from doing it.
I hear at level 55 you get an epic mount. Do not ask what the epic mount is.
HIS CROTCH-SNIFFING LEVEL IS OVER 9000!
The show loves to set up the same joke over and over again. See, Animal Mask seems like he’s suggesting perverted things…
When really he just likes animals!
Then, before you can relax, they flash to his idea of ‘liking’ an animal, which is straight pornography:
I do not understand the joke!
If the setup is that Animal Mask says something that sounds sexual, when he really means something innocent, you cannot punctuate that by smash cutting to him twisting a wolf-girl’s fuzzy nipples.
Every scene plays out like this:
“Oh no, he’s a pervert.”
“Oh wait, he meant something innocent.”
“OH SHIT HE IS INSIDE OF ME I WAS INCORRECT ABOUT MY FIRST ASSUMPTION.”
That’s not a joke structure, that’s tearful testimony.
How did the pitch session go for this show? Did they bother actually writing down the words ‘SUPERPOWERED ANIMAL RAPIST GOES TO DISNEYWORLD’ or did they just tongue-kiss a panda on the conference table until the producers were so psychologically broken they’d greenlight anything?
I am not cherrypicking one scene out of context here. Later in the episode, Animal Mask encounters a cerberus, body slams the beast…
Then gleefully huffs its asshole.
Magical sparkles of delight alight in the air around his head. This scene drags on for like a full minute while the camera zooms in on him growing happier and happier with what he’s found in the hellhound’s anal glands.
I want to be clear: This is not classified as pornography. I didn’t turn on my special Recursive VPN (that’s a VPN that routes through another VPN in case the feds raid the first VPN) and trudge through the dark parts of the internet to unearth this obscure, condemnable porno. I found this fucking show on Hulu right next to Friendly Neighbor’s Pie Enjoyment Competition and Nick Offerman Reads Poetry To Ducks.
This is the worst thing I have ever seen in anime and I have seen anime before.
Here are the ending credits.
Pretty cute way to close out a show about raping werewolves, Japan.
Weiner 2600, I once again owe you an apology. Your methods are unimpeachable and I understand now, too late, that you were trying to warn me.