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The Survival Horror Anime Hidden Gem You Can Binge On Netflix

The Netflix original anime "High-Rise Invasion" has flown in under the radar since it was released in February 2021 — so much so that it has exactly zero critic ratings at Rotten Tomatoes (and thus no Tomatometer Score). Over at the Anime News Network, the writers debating the series' merits both noted that they'd never heard of the anime before being given the assignment. So, yeah — this one's a true discovery, if you're into it.

"High-Rise Invasion" has isekai elements, in that the main characters are dropped into this world from elsewhere. It's a particularly brutal world, full of skyscrapers connected by suspension bridges, where ground access is impossible and figures in white masks incite despair and death. High school student Yuri Honjō finds herself trapped here and, through her mobile phone, quickly discovers that her brother Rika is also there. The surprises come fairly fast, and so does Yuri's determination to find her brother and defeat the Command that she realizes is controlling the masked killers, who turn out be called Angels. She soon discovers an ally in another girl, Mayuko Nise, and then, of course, learns more about the world as she goes through it.

Is it any good, though? To date, this is a hyperviolent series that's received a mixed reaction. Some love it; some don't. But for those who do, it's a true hidden gem.

The show gets mixed reviews, but some fans love its over-the-top quality

"High-Rise Invasion" can be an absurd yet binge-worthy TV experience that provides a good amount of gory fun during its first season. Both Anime News Network reviewers agree the series doesn't make a very good first impression with what writer Steve Jones called "good old-fashioned death game setup," which includes an attempted sexual assault early on and scenes that involve a lot of women's underwear. But Jones came to love it early on, noting its unpredictability and hilarious ridiculousness and saying, "This is the kind of over-the-top grindhouse garbage I wanna see if I have to dig my way through the dump." Now that's quite a testimonial!

The other Anime News Network writer, Jean-Karlos Lemus, wasn't quite so excited about "High-Rise Invasion," though he did find the series memorable and the antagonist interesting. He said he actively disliked it at first but ended up being "indifferent" to it overall. 

On Rotten Tomatoes, 32 fans weighed in to give the 12-episode survival horror series a 69% Audience Score, which is pretty decent. But individual ratings were pretty much all over the board. User Raphael Z gave it a five-star review and said, "Despite the exaggerated violence, the anime is well developed in history and graphic quality." Others criticized the English dub, the pacing, and the fact that it was "tropey," like Kristi B, who called the series "absolutely atrocious." Three-star reviewer Chris C criticized the lack of humor and the gratuitous panty shots and noted it was not exactly groundbreaking. "Familiar territory," the user commented.

So, "High-Rise Invasion" definitely not everyone's cup of tea. But, it might be yours if it sounds interesting to you.