Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tactics - The Complete Series|
Director: Yoram Gross
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Supernatural sleuth and writer, Kantaro Ichinomiya, spends his days fighting demons and writing about his adventures. Accompanied by Haruka, the mysterious Demon-Eating Goblin, and a band of demons and monsters, Kantaro br... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Tim Lasiuta | Red Deer, Alberta | 02/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tactics: Supernatural Adventure With A Twist!
Not all Manga is created equal, just as not all Manga is good.
Fortunately, Tactics is not only good, but well executed. The plot line is simple. Supernatural sleuth, Kanato Ichimiya, travels the Japanese countryside, fighting demons and writing about his adventures in hopes of finding the final resting place of the Demon eating Goblin. Once he finds the demon eating goblin, Hakura, joins with Kanato and their supernatural adventures meet the `real' world while struggling with seemingly irrelevant editors deadlines.
This is clearly a series that reflects a different mentality than North Americans live in. The supernatural aspects of the manga culture are familiar to the oriental readers, but we `rational', readers scarcely recognize the spiritual battles that go on around us. Kanato, sees the battles as real, and his experiences with Yoko, the fox demon, Sugino the White Goblin, and the many other demons in the first 25 episodes, leads to an unlikely conclusion in "Unseen Power".
Interesting. Dramatic. Well Animated. Literate. All these descriptions apply to Tactics aptly. This is not your normal manga. This is Sam Spade Meets the Sumo gods, Blade meets Mephisto, or Batman and Ras Al Ghul. It is humourous at times, but that element is meant for the younger audience, but beneath the cute art (character wise), lies something more deadly.
Thematically, we can ask the question, can a demon be good? Or it our word demon too loose a translation from Japanese. Is monster more accurate. What about evil one? We also have to ask the question, by what authority does Kanato fight with?
The DVD presentation includes all 25 episodes, original Japanese commercials, TV spots, a still gallery, and bonus music videos for "Embrace the Sun and Moon" and "Premonition Infinity". All in all, a good package that will satisfy the inner manga fan in everyone.
Check out Tactics at your local video dealer, comic book store, or online [...].
Too fun, too short
Elysium | California, USA | 10/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was first a comment on Tim's review, but it sort of grew...
I don't own the DVD, so I don't think it is fair of me to review the DVD itself; I have no insight into the extras, any easter eggs, or the menu utilities, or any of that. However I watched Tactics when it was broadcast on SciFi channel, and again in a fansubbed version online; from this I'd recommend watching in Japanese with subtitles if your household viewership is old enough to read. The Japanese voice acting and casting are better than the English dubs, in which I find the main character, Kantarou, to be a bit whiny.
This is an anime worth viewing, but a bit slow at first. The first episode is a little obscure to western audiences because it features mythological creatures familiar to Asian audiences but not to westerners, and some early episodes are entertaining but not memorable. The series improves as it goes on.
It is aimed at 11-14 year olds, I think, but is suitable for school age kids. There are some mildly suggestive scenes that will go completely over young-kid's heads, as when in the first episode a girl sucks the finger of the icicle-making goddess in fond reference to sucking on an icicle in the winter, but which to adult eyes looks a bit erotic. There's also a two-part episode (10-11, or is it 11-12?) with a pair of creepy 12 year old girls who shock the (20-something) protagonists by attempting to seduce them. But in general the light-spirited ghost stories are fun and suitable for school age and up.
Woven in small bits throughout the 'fluffy' ghost stores there's a very endearing (filial? romantic? platonic buddy? master-pet? who knows...?) love-story between the two male leads that I think is what keeps adults interested. I think if this latter had been more prominent in early episodes the series might have had more staying power and stayed in production longer.
Kantarou, a human, fights only those yokai who cause trouble for humans, but unlike other monster-hunters his goal isn't to destroy his opponents, but to destroy their hostility (which reminds me a bit of the philosophy from the martial art Aikido). Occasionally he has to exorcise a ghost that clings to this world to push it into its next stage of existence, but his intent is for the ghost's own good. His goal is truce or even friendship between ordinary beings and the spirit world; his religious affiliation appears to be Buddhist.
Kantarou is one of the few characters in anime who reminds me of real people--he likes to sleep in, would rather play than work, is constantly scrambling for money, is basically a good guy but often does the expedient rather than 'what's right'. But all this plays to the comic elements of the series, and sets viewers up for a few surprises when despite his flaws he rises to the occasion. (In one early episode Kantarou says, 'Leave the dangerous stuff to me', to which Haruka somewhat sarcastically agrees. Kantarou more than proves himself later.)
I'm always disappointed by translations of the Japanese word 'yokai', which usually translates as 'monsters' or 'phantoms' but also includes critters that are more like elves and gnomes and such in western myth--they are 'magical' but not necessarily aligned with any 'higher power' or moral standard. More specifically, the character Haruka is a 'tengu', a word translated as 'goblin' in the dubs. He's an enemy of ogres; his name in a prior time was 'ogre-devourer' (onikui); the dubs translate this as 'demon-eater'.
A tengu is a pretty standard critter in Japanese myth, like elves or werewolves in western stories. Unfortunately, the current Japanese vision of a 'tengu' looks a lot like the western vision of an 'angel', so westerners--including western characters inside the story--tend to get a bit confused about what Haruka actually is. A quick read about 'tengu' on wikipedia will get you straight on this.
For the most part, the stories are, essentially, situation comedies. I am reminded of some silly 1950's shows like 'My Favorite Martian' and 'Mr. Ed'.
The biggest problem with this series (other than the annoyingly cloying-cute Suzu)? It is too short; it seems to end just when it has hit its stride. The 25th episode is clearly an attempt to provide some closure to a story which, in anime form, stopped somewhere in the middle. I'm told in Japan the story continues beyond this point via the Manga, but it hasn't yet been released in English; the English version of volume 7 of the tactics Manga is due out in early December and I think that volume will catch up the Manga with the Anime. (Amazon sells the Manga...) I hope there's more after that..."
I was expecting more
DynomiteWins | Costa Mesa | 06/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The high points of this series for me were the visuals and the story's setting. I thought it was decently animated but visually the colors and backgrounds were detailed and very pretty. I particularly thought the setting which portrayed a Japan that was slowly changing based on the influence of Western thought and Western practice making it's way in was very unique and special.
The story itself started off great. I loved the set up and the potential it had. Initially the movement of the story was good and I enjoyed watching stand alone stories as well as watching the progressive storyline develop in the background. I was surprised when the series ended so abruptly - bringing the progressive storyline to a peak and wrapping it all up in two episodes. Rather than a gradual peak and denouement, it was suddenly over before it even began. It was pretty jarring. Also, the English dub is pretty bad - very over-acted -so I'd skip that altogether. There is definitely some "boy love" in this series - although nothing graphic, the two main characters express feelings in a way that is construed as more than just friendship.
In any case, this was an enjoyable and unique series to watch, but it left much to be desired."