This 1988 OVA reunited author Hideyuki Kikuchi and director Yoshiaki Kawajiri of Wicked City (1987). Ten years after his father Genichirou was killed battling the evil Rebi Ra, teen-aged Kyoya Izayoi is called to stop Re... more »bi from releasing demons from hell onto the Earth. Demon City borrows heavily from Star Wars: Ag'ni Rai, Genichirou's teacher, tells Kyoya that he must learn to harness the web of spiritual energy that flows among living things. This minimal training, plus his father's sword and the love of beautiful Sayaka enable Kyoya to destroy Rebi Ra. The film is oddly paced, with a long build-up to a disappointing climax, problems that are exacerbated by the very stiff vocal performances. Kawajiri uses color with his accustomed skill, especially in the monochromatic opening duel, but Demon City hardly ranks among his important works. (Unrated: suitable for ages 16 and older: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, brief nudity) --Charles Solomon« less
"Demon city is a mixed bag of anime. The story centres on the life of a young kempo swordsman who must travel to the forbidden city to avenge his fathers death. Aside from this typical storyline the anime features some exellent voice casting and memorable people such as the angel Mephisto.It has it's downside though.The main critisism is that the story might not appeal because it lacks the depth and scope of more established mangas.Anyone interested in this type of anime should see the superior Wicked city.Although this is still a worthwhile purchase for anyone who likes horror anime."
One of the First I Ever Saw, and Still One of the Best
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 04/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As I look at my collection of anime, I now realize, with the purchase of Demon City Shinjuku, I've complete my own personal set of anime, and that is the first ones I ever saw. But Demon City Shinjuku was different because it was the first truly uncut anime I had ever seen and I think the second of any anime, cut or no, after Akira. So therefore it still has a special place for me, and watching it now, almost a decade later, I still remember all those amazing moments that happen in this horror anime. And I still wonder why in the world would the main character use a wooden sword to battle demons and sorcerers... (It's symbolic, I now realize, sort of Tolkien-esque.)
The story of Demon City follows the exploits of a young man named Kyoya as he helps the president's (of Japan) daughter in destroying the threat to all mankind that festers in what has become known as "Monster City Shinjuku" by its few human inhabitants. But Kyoya is an unwilling hero in this tale, forced to follow in his warrior father's footsteps and battle an evil sorcerer bent on world destruction named Rebi Rah. First, though, he must learn all the required skills of his sword technique, and during this quick training he battles demon after demon and begins to learn that he might have what it takes to save mankind, as well as winning over the girl he's falling for.
What I like most about this movie was the fact that it followed all those classic storytelling elements. It uses foreshadowing, it throws complications at the characters, and there is enough character development for a viewer to learn to like them. What I didn't like about this, however, was the horrible voice-acting. Well, maybe not horrible; it wasn't melodramatic and there was emotion, but I don't really remember ever hearing anyone in Japan of having a Mexican, Romanian, or Southern accent. It was just a little over the top, and in many cases it ruined the horror of the moment as they were just too comical to believe. Luckily, there is a subbed track, though I still wish that the dubbed track was remade for the newer DVD release.
However, even with the bad voice-acting, I can't help but recommend this anime to any true anime fan. The action is superb, the animation is excellent even to today's standards, and it is one of the classics in anime, directed by one of the best and most well known anime directors around, Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Ninja Scroll, X)."
A great adventure
Chumash | CT, USA | 10/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I won't bore you with a recap of the plot, except to say that this is an exceptional example of the relucant-hero genere. This movie is very violent, with plenty of blood & guts, but there is no--repeat, *NO*--sex! There is brief partial nudity by a female demon, and the human heroine is almost raped by demons, but the rape attempt is broken up before much skin is shown. Also, the heroine's clothes seem to magically repair themselves afterwards.
The (relucant) hero lusts after his gorgeous companion, but somehow restrains himself. He doesn't even make a pass at her until...well, see for yourself. I give it 5 out of 5 stars."
Good, could have been better.
Bruce D. Biel | Anaheim, CA | 06/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had originally seen this in Japenese, then some bootleg dubbed version, thoroughly enjoyed it, so I decided to pick up the DVD. The movie is good, but the English dubbing in this DVD definitly left a bit to be desired. The waitress at the beginning had a very heavy southern accent (wich is fine in Georgia or Alabama, but not when you are supposed to be Japenese)and it also had alot of unnecessary prophanity dubbed into it. And a character who was neutral to an extreem, Mephisto, sounded like he borrowed his accent from other Anime, specifically Vampire flicks. Alot of F**K for no reason at all, it seemed that it was used to fill in gaps in the translation.
Now bad dubbing aside, it was a well done and very entertaining movie. The classic good vs evil/ avenging a dead relative adventure movie. IT was a fun movie with alot of action, and it definitly belonged in with other classics like Bio Hunter and Wicked City, albeit this is tame in comparison to either of those. It made the action very enjoyable without having to have carnage/nudity in every other sceen, not that it offends me when it does, but its nice to see action make its point without it sometimes. Good developed, SHORT, story. Fast paced, lots of action, with an ending that left the movie done and resolved.This would have been 4 stars if the dubbing had been better."
Best in Japanese audio with subtitles!
Peter murphy | 08/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had to write this review because this anime is so way better in Japanese audio, and with english subtitles (and even better if you understand a little Japanese to realize that the english audio is almost totally not related to the plot, or what the characters are saying!!). The character design and emotive styles of the main characters, which includes the hero, the heroine, the hard-to-figure-out-which-side-you're-on "Mephisto", the red-haired, long red nailed, elastic bodied shape shifting woman who kills via poisonous kisses (precursor to Ninja Scroll - same director!!!) and the monsters are wonderful! In the Japanese audio, the characters are so much more appropriately emotive and the voice actors are perfectly cast! The movie has this kickass young college student type hero who teaches Kendo (a traditional martial art that is looked on with much respect by people of this culture) and who is reluctantly dragged into a demonic type of conflict because he doesn't want to refuse to help a pretty girl who asks him for help. This lovely sweet, girl (and no, she's not boring) just happens to be looking for her father who is being held prisoner as part of some large conflict and it is when she, so obviously ill-equipped to fight the evil forces, resolutely walks into the darkness because she knows no other way than to rescue her father, that her actions move our hero to join her cause and she finds herself grateful and surprised that he would be willing. I like her. She's got guts. I like the hero too. I also like the bad guys, and I like the monster that's got teeth and a gaping mouth in the middle of his abdomen. I like all the voice actors for the Japanese audio, but I especially like the voice actress for the red-haired venom dripping lady and her blatant r-rated little back-and-forth conversations with Mephisto. (PS- please do not have kids watch this DVD - this is really for adults) Just as another reviewer wrote that he liked the whole DVD (and he was talking about the dubbed version) for the red-haired lady's entanglement (literally - I kid you not) with Mephisto, I also enjoyed it, but there is so much more to this DVD than her. There is a very touching scene near the end when the young heroine comes across a distressed child spirit that has lost her way, and she gets bitten by the child, and our heroine, rather than retreating or striking back, insteads chooses to understand and love. Quite a generosity of spirit, and bigness of heart. You feel so good at the end of this DVD and it ends lovely. I love this movie (in Japanese!!!). It is one of Kawajiri's best (he of Animatrix fame- he did the "Program" clip on that DVD and he also did Ninja Scroll) and the character design is gorgeous, the eyes are less gigantic and the features are more realistic. Buy the Japanese audio version! Or turn down the english part, and just read the subtitle!. You would love it more if you heard it in Japanese. That red-haired lady "purrs" her words in Japanese. She is great!"