Hit Monkey is a weird one. It’s an anime inspired Marvel television series that features a monkey becoming a hit man with the help of an assassin ghost, getting involved in a gigantic mob conspiracy to elect the prime minister of Japan. Did I mention that he’s a monkey?
There were a number of things that kept me from finishing this series in a timely manner. Almost dying in an ER, the holidays, other things being on television, but mostly it was just my blase reaction to all of it and this is coming from someone who was fully aware that this was an ultra violent television series about a monkey with a gun.
Long story short: This series just didn’t grab me in the way it was supposed to and I think it’s because, to be honest, there were too many episodes banking on the sheer novelty.
Ten episodes may not seem like a lot, but when you take into account that the series was primarily, “Monkey has gun! Blood! Violence!” It got very old very quickly. Particularly when when humor that should have gone hand in hand with the concept was sacrificed multiple times for melodrama.
Basically, this was a story that should have been given five or six episodes tops to tell its story and not dawdle because, in the end, the intrigue and the violence and the humor really began to mesh as the series eyed an end point and started to take advantage of lesser known Japan-centric Marvel heroes like Yuki and The Silver Samurai. When it had a goal and ran for it, the show was good. There was ticking clock. It was exciting.
Most of the time, though, Hit Monkey chases its own tail with endless violence that, instead of being novel and hilarious, end up numbing. The banter with the ghost assassin played by Jason Sudeikis was tiresome and never… ever funny. The only time I ever became interested in Sudeikis’ character was when his actual character was explored and his motivations became more altruistic. Of course, that was near the end when the show started having a goal.
In closing, this limited series could have benefitted from being a lot more limited and a lot more focused on ending than just existing as an amusing novelty which, of course, made it less of a novelty and a lot less amusing.