Plot: A girl named Pai is the last of her race; the demonic immortal beings known as Sanjiyan Unkara, and she longs for nothing more than to become human. Along her journeys, she meets and cares for a sickly man who wanted to help Pai in her quest to become human. However, he died of his illness before he was able to do so and passed on the task to his son, Yakumo.
After searching for him for over four years, Pai finally found Yakumo and he begrudgingly accepted the task. He is soon accidentally killed by Pai’s friend, a demonic bird named Takuhi that lives in her signature cane. In an effort to save his life, she bonds her soul to his. This action not only revived Yakumo, but it also made him a Wu, a completely immortal being whose main role is to protect the one they’re bonded to. The only way they can die is if the sanjiyan they’re bonded with dies. Now they both quest for the statue of humanity in an effort to make them both human again.
Breakdown: I think this show gets a lot of flak because, at most, reviewers tend to give this show middle of the road scores with 5/10’s and 3 star ratings. This is an anime I actually rewatched because I never gave it a proper review before. I remember I really enjoyed it, and I also really enjoyed it this time around, if not more.
The characters are all likable and easy to grow attached to, the plot is pretty interesting and the two main leads are great. I also liked that Pai had two personalities – Pai, the innocent and child-like girl, and Sanjiyan, the cold and focused warrior. The show does have some really intense and epic moments that make this a great ride to sit through.
However, I can’t deny that those reviewers with less than great views don’t have a point in some of their criticisms.
The first episode is very rushed to the point where it’s bordering on ridiculous. Later episodes get better pacing, but it’s still a problem. I would’ve liked to have seen this show have more episodes to space out major events better. I think 3×3 Eyes should at least have eight episodes, but I would’ve hoped for 10-13. It deserves a much longer run outside of four episodes.
Because the manga’s story is smushed into this short OVA, many characters don’t get fleshed out much if at all.
The final episode, while being good, ends on a cliffhanger for many aspects of the story. Where’s Pai? What happened to her? What is the deal with the statue of humanity? Why do so many beings want it? It sounds like it only has the purpose of making beings human, but why is being used for resurrections too? Is Benares dead? Are sanjiyan only immortal in the aging aspect if they’re not immune to murder? It seems silly to me that they have the power to make others immortal from all types of death, but not themselves.
Art and Animation: The art is dated and not that great. I can’t bring myself to dislike it that much. I’m a sucker for the old styles. Still, the facial features are the worst of it as the actual character designs and landscapes are pretty well done. Animation’s decent, but not fantastic.
Music: Only BG music available, and I really enjoyed it, especially the song that usually plays in the opener (but it’s not the OP). It’s very fitting, energetic and impacting.
Voice Acting: Japanese – Pretty great performances all around, except for a few lines here and there. Pai’s VA did an especially good job switching between the high-pitched and child-like voice of Pai to the deeper and more pronounced Sanjiyan.
Bottomline: I have a soft spot for this series, and it really is worth a watch. I am disappointed that it never got a longer series to work from, but there is a three-episode sequel I have yet to see that hopefully fleshes things out further and gives us a legit ending.
Additional Information and Notes: 3×3 Eyes was directed by Daisuke Nishio, director of Dragonball, several Dragonball movies, the first 199 episodes of Dragonball Z and Air Master. It was produced by Toei Animation and it is licensed in the US by Geneon. There was a sequel released in 1995 called 3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu.
Recommended Audience: No real nudity, but a girl who is about to get sacrificed is in barely any clothing. No sex at all, but maybe a grope or two. Little bit of swearing. The main note here is the violence and gore. In order to show off Yakumo’s immortality, he dies several times over the course of the series in bloody and gory ways. He gets impaled with giant talons, gets brutally run off over with a bus, has a bridge fall on him to the point where he’s so injured after that his head pops off like a pez dispenser, hacks off his own hand etc. There’s also a gory scene with a girl who is possessed by a demon (and the reveal of this possession creeped the hell out of me). So……14+.