High-Rise Invasion’s Bait-and-Switch Is Ripped From Naruto’s Akatsuki

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of High-Rise Invasion, now streaming on Netflix.

In Netflix's new horror/survival anime High-Rise Invasion, Yuri's team tries to escape the murderous gaze of Aikawa but find themselves outnumbered. As a God candidate, Aikawa has full power with how he can control masks in this abnormal world of skyscrapers, but he's angry with the failure of Kusakabe and other minions to eliminate the opposition.

As a result, Aikawa decides to unleash his greatest weapon, which turns out to be a bait-and-switch that's quite similar to an arc with Naruto's Akatsuki.

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Aikawa sends Kusakabe's troops out with more firepower, which shockingly includes an annoying Mask in tights. This mysterious young man isn't even taken seriously, coming off like a peripheral figure who keeps annoying Yuri's brother, Rika, when he's taken prisoner by Kusakabe. However, when they find Yuri's crew, his small-framed figure calls Aikawa who releases a seal via some keywords over the phone. This activates the kid to make a shocking Hulk-like transformation into the Great Angel, said to be the most powerful mask around.

And make no mistake, he lives up to that mythical tag. The unsuspecting lad is nearly invulnerable and lighting-fast -- so much so that when Ein tries to cut him with her samurai sword, she only slices an afterimage. Not even Yuri or Mayuko can match him, with his crowning moment being when he catches a bullet and flings it back at the doctor, Aohara, killing him. It's a sadistic act but the Great Angel believes this is a holy crusade, all in the name of justice and setting the world right against "demons" he deems unworthy.

The way he was initially positioned as a prankster is comparable to the Tobi arc in Naruto. There, this masked member of the Akatsuki was comedy relief, being cursed out for nagging everyone. However, it was a misdirection, a distraction just like what unfolds with the Great Angel. Tobi was actually Uchiha Obito in disguise, operating like this so no one would take him seriously.

This allowed Obito to be a fly on the wall everywhere he went, protecting the integrity of the mission for Madara. It's a nice twist for warriors to be portrayed as humorous lackeys, and in both properties, these figures turn out to be nearly unbeatable.

Obito would decimate most of Naruto's army, setting up Madara to finish the job, while High-Rise Invasion's Great Angel wreaks tremendous destruction. The only difference with this mysterious young man is he wants to stop Aikawa but doesn't know he's actually doing Aikawa's bidding. It leaves Yuri and Mayuko petrified in the high-rise war as they're out of ideas, proving Aikawa to be a true genius as he manipulates both sides -- especially the Great Angel as a weapon.

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