“Resident Evil Infinite Darkness” Review: Netflix Anime Is A Fun Watch
resident Evil, Capcom’s groundbreaking video game series that essentially invented the survival horror genre, has been around for 25 years and 28 games, so getting started in 2021 can seem like a daunting endeavor, with mythology and lore that sits on it. ‘span hundreds of years and many dubious pharmaceutical companies. If you’ve been wanting to embark on the biggest zombie franchise on this side of The walking dead, Netflix’s latest anime Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness offers a distilled version of everything that makes people love this franchise in a compact package.
Located between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident evil 5, the show opens in the fictional country of Penamstan, where a civil war ends up being the least of people’s worries when a biological weapon, or a zombie, begins to infect everyone. Years later, the nations of the world are not entirely satisfied that the United States is still occupying Penamstan. But when a zombie attack occurs in the White House, it reveals layer after layer of conspiracy.
On the surface, Endless darkness works great as an entry-level zombie story. You’ve got a long history of politically charged zombie experiences and plagues, an idealistic protagonist investigating the real depth of this thing, and an action hero caught in the middle of it all as a zombie incident threatens to take over. start a war. That said, it does help to get acquainted with the franchise’s larger tradition. There are only the briefest of mentions of Racoon City and in-game events, and allusions to the sinister Umbrella Corporation are very important. resident Evil as a franchise has always been rich in commentary, and Endless darkness is no different. While less specific than the games, the anime still interweaves a lot of storylines that touch enough to make it more than just an action-horror show.
As an animation production, Endless darkness and director Eiichirō Hasumi mimic the look of games, right down to CG-animated photo-realistic character designs. In fact, the entire show does a great job translating much of the gaming experience, from stepping out of a zombie-infested hallway to the smallest of investigative item moves, like Claire flipping a photo frame to inspect his behind. Unfortunately, not all of the designs are great, and some characters end up looking like lifeless plastic action figures.
Fans who are hoping to see some of the more horror-centric elements of resident Evil may be disappointed with Endless darkness‘lack of scares, especially at a time when games are returning to their survival horror roots, most recently with the release last May of Resident Evil Village. There’s no fear the characters won’t make it, no jumps await at the end of the long, dark hallway, but the show makes up for it by being a damn entertaining shoot-em-up. Inspired by Resident Evil 4the action-oriented tone, Endless darkness is more focused on creating thrilling action scenes, including phenomenal melee hand-to-hand fist combat with a zombie monstrosity that could easily fit in as the main villain in the games. Likewise, the White House zombie outbreak streak in the first episode provides one of the most thrilling action sets in the entire franchise, performing even better than a similar level in Resident Evil 6.
It’s not like the anime is entirely devoid of horror imagery. On the contrary, there are moments of gruesome body horror that can make even longtime fans squeamish, especially when the zombies are creatures other than humans and trapped in an enclosed space.
Endless darkness works both as an introduction to the larger resident Evil world and also as a treat for fans of the franchise, as it focuses on two very popular characters – Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, who do not appear in the adaptations of Paul WS Anderson until the fifth and second films, respectively. As Leon becomes the badass action hero that he was in the games, Claire gets the short end of the stick, with an arc that feels important but ends up being rather redundant, and its inclusion ends up being of no use. other than fan service and recognizability.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness makes it seem like it sets a new standard for video game adaptations on television, giving newcomers and longtime fans a reason to step into this complicated and exciting world of government conspiracies, greed and zombies . Even in the many non-playful adaptations of resident Evil, this anime marks the start of an exciting new era for the zombie franchise.
Rafael Motamayor is a Thrillist contributor.