Yes, she’s a honey badger, no, she doesn’t give a shit, yes, that’s the last time I’ll make that joke.

It’s not an uncommon trope to see reference to major zaibatsu – giant conglomerates – that control Japan from the shadows. However, did you know that they’re fighting each other in deadly bloodsports, and now exclusively use genetically modified half beast half human hybrids with super powers to do so? Well, now you do!
A group of rapists learn the hard way that their highschool target is one of these hybrids, after an attempt to subdue her in the back of their van results in them all being dismembered. The only one spared is the hapless driver of the van, Nomoto, who was unwillingly roped into the situation – and who was about to stop the other guys before the girl did it herself.
The strange girl orders him to take the van into a junkyard, where he ends up getting unwillingly roped into another even weirder situation – he has to act as her sponsor in an impromptu Killing Bites – the name given to the beast vs beast deathmatch – against a gigantic lion man. While the match seems unfair, the girl – whose real name is Uzaki Hitomi – is actually a Honey Badger (or ‘Ratel’), the most fearless and ferocious of all small mammals. After defeating the lion in a bloody spectacle she ends up having to live with Nomoto under the order of her ‘creator’, a professor Shidou. Meanwhile, Nomoto must continue to act as Hitomi’s sponsor, because Shidou has high hopes for her future in the Killing Bites, calling her his masterwork.
This collage-aged guy gets a little too excited about getting to live with a highschool girl until he gets reminded about the risk factor – by another trench-coat wearing, tit-flashing hybrid who attacks him in the park.

someone get that poor girl some pants

Here’s some fun trivia: years and years and years and years ago, my younger sister was about 8 or 9 years old and wanted to make an original manga to draw and had me help her to come up with a plot. For some reason what we came up with was a thinly veiled ripoff of Angelic Layer where, instead of using fighting dolls, kids would magically transform into animal hybrids and fight each other. When I first read the synopsis of Killing Bites a while back, that was all I could think of. Memories. Killing Bites is kinda like that, except there’s a whole load of blood and nudity.

People have already made a lot of comparisons to other things with this show, ‘it’s Ikki Tousen for furries’, or ‘It’s Tokyo Mew Mew except instead of magical girl fights there’s ultra-violence and boobs’. And they’d pretty much be right – this show is exactly what it says on the tin and doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. It’s incredibly violent, it literally opens with attempted gang-rape, the main heroine spends most of the run-time in her underwear and there’s the aforementioned trenchcoat wearing tit-flasher at the end. I was aware of all this going in, so I was honestly prepared to hate Killing Bites and to have it be the low point of this season’s First Impressions experience, so I was a little surprised that I actually didn’t think it was… that bad.

Of course, when I say ‘it’s not that bad’, I say that in the way you might say a carnival hotdog ‘isn’t that bad’, or a slice of some no-brand greasy microwave pizza ‘isn’t that bad’. Objectively both those things are pretty terrible if what you want is gourmet food or something remotely nutritionally sound, but if you’re in the mood for garbage…they’re not that bad. What I’m trying to say is that Killing Bites is schlocky violent hypersexual nonsense, but it’s so upfront about it, basically standing there, tits out, all ‘yeah, this is what I am, what of it?’ that it manages to be entertaining regardless. I certainly found it more entertaining than DamePuri, anyway.

The worst thing about the episode in my opinion is the attempted gangrape at the start, which is possibly the worst way possible to start a show. True, it’s cathartic to see the guys get butchered, and it was also nice to see that Nomoto did not feel remorse for his so-called friends (only horror) – it would have been easy for him to go into a spiel about how they ‘did a bad thing but that’s no reason to kill them!’, but he recognizes his new friends were scumbags who probably won’t be missed. But it’s still a cheap way to establish a gritty tone, and in the end it was basically just to establish that Nomoto is a good guy who wouldn’t do such a thing. My other issue is with Hitomi – to be honest, I don’t have a problem with her spending most of the episode half-naked, I just wish she wasn’t a highschooler, because that just gives it an unnecessarily sleazy angle. The thing is, there isn’t any reason for her to be a highschooler other than her appearing – extremely briefly, in a uniform at the start. She doesn’t look like a highschooler to me, and Nomoto’s a college student – she even mentions how she will be taking leave from school from now on so it’s unlikely she’ll actually be in a uniform again, which just makes me wonder what the point of it even was. The show wouldn’t lose a thing making her a college student as well – except for Nomoto getting weirdly creepy about how he gets to live with a highschool girl.

I find the overarching background plot about the Zaibatsu, and all the creepy dudes who sit around apparently betting on these beast-people, extremely stupid and kind of pointless – this show is already ridiculous, and I’m sure most people interested in animal people attacking each other would be content for there to be no reason other than the fact that they just feel like it.  But I actually do kind of like Hitomi – her gives-no-fucks personality is fun and its kind of cool to see a muscular body like hers in an anime (and we do see a lot of it…), and even though her habit of going all cutesy moemoe around Shidou – who is probably in his 40s at the least – is a little annoying, she does make me want to watch at least one more episode. I mean, you don’t see a honey badger girl every day.

I at least want to see how her fight with Miss Flasher goes because it’s sure to be stupid.

Out of 5,