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"This is a very well done anime. Story pace is just right and keeps you rivited to the screen. The story takes place in, where else, futuristic Tokyo. At this time, most all of the city is controled by a mega-corporation. But, there are a few 'free zones" or pockets of rebellion. This story takes place in one such part of Tokyo called Kabuki Town, or the Darkside of Tokyo. The anime revolves around a small band of rebels and a dark stranger who emerges from within via a cryptic looking horse drawn carraige. It is a nice blend of sci-fi and mystic fantasy. The DVD version allows choice of language and subtitles. This is an excellent anime. Well worth the price of admission."
Just Whose Story Is This?
Shanshad | Discworld | 11/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the future, the Persona company owns 90% of the world's surface and rules what they own through a restrictive and violent tyranny. One of the few bastions of freedom not owned by the Persona company is Shinjuku Tokyo, The Darkside of Tokyo, the most dangerous place around, but also the one place with true freedom. Few people stand up to the Persona tyranny, bands of rebel terrorists fight to destroy Persona and their main computer systems located on their space satellite home called Heaven.Fortunes begin to change when a mysterious figure-a man riding with a coach and four horses-arrives from the fourth dimension. Why is he here? And what is his message of renewal that he brings to the disparate characters of this saga? He calls himself Darkside, and appears to be a strange mystic that somehow unites characters with a deeper part of themselves.Then there is the single escaped terrorist who seeks haven in Shinjuku and dreams of a world free of control by the Persona corporation, Tatsuya. His life and mission become tangled up with a band of misfit rebels in Shinjuku, lead by Mai-a street-smart blond woman with an inner core of steel she uses to protect herself from her past. And he befriends Selia, a troubled woman who's family was lost to the tyranny of Persona. Other characters abound, almost all of them allowing tantalizing glimpses of their lives, but never quite explaining what it all means. These characters are never cute or whiny, maintaining a sense of gritty reality in a world gone wrong.I quite enjoyed the story and the ideas presented, but for anyone who is looking to have the questions raised by the anime also answered may be disappointed. By far the strongest element in this is the characters and their transformation through the story. Selia and Mai especially dominate the scenes, unusually strong and self-sufficient women for an anime. There is a bit of frontal nudity (a tortured prisoner) and some rather sadistic violence (of the same prisoner) for the first few minutes of the anime. Beyond this, most of the violence is fairly tame, with some gun battles and several deaths, but not extremely visually graphic. The plot never quite crystallizes the way I hoped. The telling feels more like the opening of a complex story arc that never went any further. The introduction of "Darkside Blues", performed by a street-player was a decidedly disconcerting addition. The tune never quite fit the story for me.The artistry is excellent. Hedeyuki Kikuchi whose talents are also seen in WICKED CITY, DEMON CITY SHINJUKU, and VAMPIRE HUNTER D lends a dark, detailed and slightly gothic edged style to this futuristic anime. The dub on this particular video is decent, although at times the translation feels a little too obscure, and I'm hopeful to find a subtitled version to compare. Looking for a clear-cut story? This probably isn't for you. But if you're a viewer who likes the unusual side of anime and enjoys character development and the artistry of anime, I recommend you check out this particular anime. Happy viewing! Shanshad ^_^"
An interesting movie that demands your complete attention.
arxane | Oklahoma City, OK United States | 10/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before I begin, I'll say that "Darkside Blues" was based off a manga (Japanese comics) series of the same name. After watching this movie, it's easy to see that it was made especially for fans of the manga. Still, just because you haven't read the manga doesn't mean you can't enjoy this movie. Just like "Serial Experiments Lain", however, you have to pay close attention.At first glance, "Darkside Blues" might be considered a gothic horror film, especially since it's from the creator of "Vampire Hunter D" and "Demon City Shinjuku". But "Darkside Blues" is anything but a horror film. It's more like a drama...a very dark, modern-set, sci-fi drama. The atmosphere is very moody and at times quite depressing. The characters, while not as fleshed out as they should be, are far from stereotypical. Surprisingly, the plot of "Darkside Blues" doesn't center directly around the title character, Darkside, although he does play a key role. To me, this is one of the more interesting ways a title character can be presented in a movie, and it works in this one.One thing about "Darkside Blues" is that you have to pay attention, particularly with the dialogue. While people who have read the manga might understand this movie easily, people who haven't will have to watch every image and listen to every piece of dialogue to fully understand what's going on. And even then the viewer might not understand completely. Some major questions are left unanswered in this movie, and depending upon your tastes this might frustrate you. But if you're open to using your imagination, this movie will give you a field day.And while I haven't heard the Japanese version of this movie, I have heard the English version, and it is surprisingly good. Not "Princess Mononoke" good or "Cowboy Bebop" good, but good nevertheless.All in all, "Darkside Blues" is an interesting way to lose yourself within the realms of your own mind and soul. If you're ready to think your way through a movie, then go ahead a try out this anime."
An intriguing anime with a memorable character
Peter murphy | United Kingdom | 02/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This anime remains apart from most in so much as it has an adult plot that combines the best elements of storytelling with brutal violence. The story is set in a Bladerunner environment with one Mega-corporation owning most of Japan. There are small areas of rebellion known as the Darkside of Tokyo. Far more interesting than this typical plot is the arrival of a possibly supernatural stranger. To reveal more would spoil a well crafted plot. The animation is exellent, the music suits the pace of the movie. The dubbing is also good, and the overall quality of the anime is very high. A manga recommended for fans of wicked city, vampire hunter 'D' or any horror anime. Thus it makes an exellent purchase."
[SaB] | Tampa, FL USA | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had to watch this movie 3 times before even getting the grasp of the plot or what the hell was going on, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't fascinated by it. The mystery of the characters, specially Darkside, is so intriguing. The fact that they don't tell you anything straighforward but instead leave you to figure out what the hell's going on, is fantastic! This is a very complex anime and if you're someone who got bored with "the end of evangelion" then probably you will think this anime stinks. I'm a sucker for weird and different things, so naturally I love this movie. The animation is old school, but it's still very, very good. A very disconcerting, yet perfectly fitting thing was the music sang by the old man with the guitar. At first I was like: What the hell?, but after a couple minutes it felt perfect for the scene, in fact the whole movie. Regardless of whether it's a slow paced movie, it's still very interesting."