3×3 Eyes: Seima Densetsu Review

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Rating: 4.5/10

Plot: Four years after the ending of 3×3 Eyes, Pai is still missing and Yakumo continues to search high and low for her. He eventually finds her living as the high school girl Pai, or Pa-bo, Ayanokoji, and she has no memories of who she really—Oh come on. Amnesia? For the love of crap. Anyway, she doesn’t remember who or what she really is, who Yakumo is or anything else about her life before four years ago. Yakumo and she decide to go off and find a way to unlock her memories, but Benares is still around waiting to resurrect Kaiyanwang.

Breakdown: Pbbbbbbbbbbbbttttttttttdisapointmentbbbbbbbtttt.

Damn shame too. I was actually looking forward to some resolution but nope. Just a ton of confusion, the always cliché since the beginning of time plot point of lost memories and an ending that, while being unexpected at least, was just plain stupid and still resolved nothing.

I will give this series some credit. The pacing is at least better than it was in the original series. It plays things out at a fairly decent pace now with three episodes coming in at 45 to 50 minutes long each instead of four episodes with a half hour each, but that is just weighed against the story issues, continuity problems and even the fact that the show is basically ignoring most of the first series.

The show’s main issue of amnesia really does just make you roll your eyes and facepalm, and it negatively impacts this show hard. Even when it’s done well, amnesia stories are just so overplayed in every medium. Oh and let’s not forget the little thing about Pai already having some modicum of amnesia in the last series as she wasn’t able to remember anything before she started journeying to become human. So now she has compounded amnesia. That coupled with the fact that she already has dual identities makes her a head case for the textbooks.

To make matters worse, the amnesiac Pai, or Pa-bo, is extremely annoying. Whereas Pai was very innocent, cute and even funny, Pa-bo just cries and calls out the names of various people when they get hurt. She’s very much your typical whiny female lead, mostly useless, and that’s just painful. I missed the hell out of Pai during this whole show, and she never returned once.

Yakumo used these past four years to get much more badass, and I welcome that change because it was something I really wanted out of the first series. However, since Yakumo went up in badassness and Pai got a major downgrade, he’s now pretty much the typical knight in shining armor who just fights and tells Pai to run away.

We have some new characters to play with this time around.

Jake MacDonald is your stereotypical loud, incredibly rude and violent American character who only cares about money, money and more money. He wishes to enter the Holy Land of the Sanjiyan in order to gain everlasting youth because somehow this will make him a millionaire and not a government experiment.

Neparva is a Tibetan monk who has been helping Yakumo for some amount of time.

Tin Zin is a funny old master monk.

Ran Pao Pao is a feral demon child who has the ability to turn into a giant four-armed crazed demon. While she was initially controlled by some random bad guy named Choukai (who also has the most annoying laugh ever), she befriended Pai because she was kind to her and now acts as her servant.

And no, no old characters besides Pai, Benares and Yakumo appear in this series. No Ling Ling. No Mei Shin. In fact, no mention of them whatsoever is in this series, which is incredibly weird considering they still have the statue of humanity that is needed to turn Pai into a human.

We do learn more about the Sanjiyan (though calling them ‘holy demons’ kinda threw me. In addition to being an oxymoron, they were just called flat out demons in the original) and we learn a little bit more of Pai’s past, such as the fact that her real name is Parvati the Fourth and she was actually engaged to Kaiyanwang before he became all evil. Why he became evil or how child Pai sealed him away when he slaughtered all of the Sanjiyan without issue is never explained, but something’s better than nothing.

The ending was…..so weird. Follow me here. Amnesiac Pai wasn’t even Pai at all. In order to seal her memories (instead of just killing her because Benares wanted to use her power to strengthen Kaiyanwang when he awakened) Benares used a demon snake and turned it into three diamond symbols. During their battle at the end of the previous series, he used his attack to strike her head with the symbols. The snake, or Hawasho, didn’t just seal Pai and Sanjiyan’s memories, the snake became the new Pai that they’ve been conversing with this whole time….

I was side-swiped by this. Not many mysteries end with ‘And she was a snake the whole time!’

Hawasho has two choices at the end – either obey Benares’ orders and forget about all of this yet again in order to live out her life with her friends like she wanted, or she could recite a spell that would release the snake from Pai’s body, unleashing the real Pai and Sanjiyan and simultaneously destroy both him and the altar of Kaiyanwang.

She decides to do the latter after kissing Yakumo, which, considering we now know she was a snake this whole time, is kinda icky. I don’t even know why Benares gave her that choice. Dumbass.

After this, Benares is gone, Kaiyanwang can no longer be resurrected I think and Sanjiyan has returned. Pai’s personality is sleeping for some reason so Sanjiyan is running the body now, and she decides to stay in her holy land to recharge until Pai comes back out.

Sanjiyan is also being oddly kindhearted for some reason. She’s come out twice in this series and both times she was pretty OOC. The first time was understandable because she didn’t remember who or what she was so she was acting like a crazed psycho out of frustration and confusion, but kindness out of her when she remember who she is is just weird.

She tells Yakumo to wait in Tokyo until the day Pai finally awakens, but that’s not all. Sanjiyan has somehow granted Hawasho with the life of Pai Ayanokoji now sporting brown hair instead of black, which is even stranger because Sanjiyan still has black hair when she’s supposed to have brown….And Pai’s eyes are consistently covered up for some reason. She also has no memories, again, of her adventures with Yakumo.

This part was also quite odd to me…..Yes, even outside of the obvious. It’s not like we knew Hawasho before this happened. It’s a non-character that was introduced 20 minutes into the final episode. Sure, we know Hawasho as Pa-bo, but that was the demon snake’s personality while trying to fulfill Benares’ wishes. Hawasho was technically the one with amnesia. We’re basically supposed to be happy that a random snake demon got her happily ever after.

While this ending did end the big issue with Benares and Kaiyanwang, in a really really really unsatisfying way especially considering that Kaiyanwang never got revived, it barely even addressed the main theme of the entire show which is to make Pai human. They didn’t even unlock the secrets of the Statue of Humanity from the previous series. Who knows if they ever did it because it was last in the hands of Ling Ling and Mei Shin, neither of which are even mentioned in this series.

I guess we’re just supposed to assume that down the line Pai becomes human and Yakumo gets his humanity back as well and they live a happy human life ever after, but why waste all of this series on amnesia when you could’ve been addressing the main story all along?

Art and Animation: I actually think both are a step down from the original. It doesn’t look as detailed, Pai’s fang is suspiciously missing, and the animation seems kinda clunky at times. The colors also seem a bit off, as Pai’s eyes look almost pink sometimes, and, like I mentioned, her hair is black for some reason throughout most of the series instead of her regular brown.

Music: I still really liked the music, even if it didn’t seem as memorable as the original.

Bottomline: It was just such a disappointment. Supposedly the manga fleshes out things much better so I’ll probably check that out, but I really wanted the anime to be great. Don’t get me wrong, there were still various cool parts, touching scenes and funny lines, but not nearly as endearing or awesome as the original series.

Additional Information and Notes:

3X3 Eyes Seima Densetsu was directed by Kiyoko Sayama, who also directed Saber Marionette J to X, Skip Beat!! and Vampire Knight. It was written by Kazuhisa Takenouchi, produced by Studio Junio, now known as SynergySP and is currently licensed in the US by Geneon, now known as NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan LLC.

Episodes: 3

Year: 1995-1996

Recommended Audience: Yakumo’s still immortal so he continues to flex his gore muscles. Several other characters also get pretty badly wounded to the point where I have no clue how they survived. There are a couple of instances of bare female chest, one from a mannequin demon and a few more from demonized Ran Pao Pao, which considering she spends half of her time as a small child can actually be kinda squicky. She’s also naked as a child several times. Some mild swearing, no sex. 14+

Shin Devilman (Manga) Review

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Rating: 4/10

Plot: Akira and Ryou are suddenly thrust through various points in time where they’re tasked with defeating a demon in each time period that is set on ruining the timelines.

Breakdown: It’s a Devilman/Doctor Who crossover! 😀

……………………..No, it’s not. *sigh* I can dream.

This is a series of kinda short stories in that they are indeed separate stories but there’s the main theme and characters of Devilman/Akira and Ryou keeping them all together, and they’re still technically part of the canon in the Devilman series.

This…is kinda an odd duck. I never expected Devilman to be in this type of manga, yet here we are. Devilman and Ryou traveling through time fighting time stream hating demons. There are five stories in all spanning across numerous time periods and locations, so let’s just plow through them all real quick.

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Story 1: Late Spring in Vienna – So, believe it or not, the first story is actually the oddest of the bunch. The first chapter involves them going to pre-war Vienna where they detect the faint scent of a demon around an artist and his distributor. For those who are already making internal connections here, yes, it is what you’re thinking, but oh it is a lot crazier than that.

The distributor shows a sold painting of a woman that the artist fell in love with but lost her to an army captain. Despite the distributor being very much money hungry, the artist cares more about putting tender care and detail into his paintings.

Akira and Ryou decide to leave, resigned to the fact that a demon’s not around. They later follow the artist and the distributor to a huge house where the scent of demons gets stronger. The painting from before is being sold to the head of this house, despite the artist’s desire to keep it. His distributor, however, will have none of that and hands it over.

The head of the house accidentally gives them too much money, and while the distributor is more than happy to keep the extra, the artist finds it to be a mistake and runs back to return the money. As he enters the house, he sees the man, Schultz, slashing at the picture in front of his long lost lover.

Schultz states that her husband died on the battlefield and that she’s now his somehow. He relishes in the supposed fact that the artist has given up on her entirely, the proof being that he sold the painting of her.

He bursts into the room in an outrage and finds that Schultz is actually a fire demon, who promptly burns up his love, Stephanie. Devilman rushes into the scene and destroys the demon. The artist watches on as the house burns to the ground. As his distributor, Mr. Harnisch, runs to ensure that he’s alright, the artists yells at him to stay away and says that he hates all of ‘his kind’ and that he’ll dedicate his life to eradicating all of the Jews….

For all of you playing along at home, the correct answer is: Adolf Hitler.

Yup, the artist in this story is Adolf Hitler, and while he had already shown a disliking of Jewish people before this whole thing happened, the story makes it out like the main reason behind the mass genocide of Jewish people was that his first love was killed by a Jewish fire demon. A Jewish fire demon…..a Jewish fire demon. Oh manga. The things you make me type.

I just have all sorts of questions right now. Let’s start with the main plot of this whole side story. Why time travel of all things? Time travel is so touchy of a plot thread since it just causes so many plot holes and continuity errors that it’s a nightmare to deal with. This story in itself is causing plot holes.

So does that mean, since Devilman saved Hitler, that leaving him there would’ve killed Hitler and kept the holocaust from happening? Did Devilman just inadvertently cause the holocaust? Did Devilman really have any impact on the events of that day since the time that they were in at the start seemed to have experienced WWII?

Also, it’s not like it’s some surprise as to who it is either. Unlike what I did here, the manga gives the artist’s name right at the start, though they don’t divulge that his last name is Hitler until the very end. Gee, an artist in pre-war Vienna who dislikes Jewish people and has the first name of Adolf. Golly gee, who could he really be?

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Story 2: Jeanne D’arc in Hell – Next chapter, we learn that Ryou, unknowingly utilizing his satanic powers, is the one making them travel through time in order to, I suppose, combat time traveling demons that are trying to mess up history.

This time, Devilman goes to France where Jeanne D’arc is trying to end the Hundred Years War. Demons decide to kidnap her from the battlefield and bring her to hell where she’s put on trial for her sins. The sins in question being trying to end war, which the demons find to be beneficial to humanity in regards to progress, and hearing voices, which they claim are really demonic and not heavenly.

She’s saved by Devilman and continues her quest, though the chapter ends on a rather somber note as it reminds us that shortly after this event she was arrested and put on trial for being a witch (though, technically, the charges were heresy and repeated instances of cross-dressing.) She was found guilty and burned at the stake.

Would’ve been a little better to also add that there was a retrial later which not only found her innocent, but found that the previous trial was not conducted justly and the person who convicted her was implicated with heresy for his biased view on the trial. But then again this is Devilman, wouldn’t want to have any happy-ish endings.

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Story 3: The Beautiful Goddess of War: Nike of Samothrace – The next chapter is a bit intriguing. The goddess of victory, Nike, is giving modern weapons to an army in ancient Samothrace, allowing them to easily take down their enemies in hopes of taking over Greece.

Akira combats her when she ‘reveals’ that she’s actually Amon’s long lost lover and coaxes him into remembering her, proving their love by stating that he fell for a human who looked like her while he was in his human form. Devilman basically falls for it, but Ryou breaks him free of her ‘spell’ and lops off her arms and head with a sword, leaving a famous statue of her also without its arms or legs.

I guess it’s intentional that we not know if she really was telling the truth or not. Devilman still seems to harbor feelings for her after her death since he clutches her head with a somber look like he does with Miki later on. It’s possible that Ryou’s more Satan-y side took over for a bit and killed her for the sake of either keeping Amon for himself or protecting him legitimately. *shrug*

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Story 4: The Bewitching Queen of Versailles – In France, Ryou and Akira travel to just before the French Revolution where they learn Marie Antoinette is being controlled by a demon who is planning on forcing the armies of her native Austria to completely overpower the French revolutionaries and take over Europe. They go inside her heart and beat the demon and the chapter ends with both the demon and Marie Antoinette getting beheaded……Pretty lackluster story, to be honest.

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Story 5: The Demon of Little Bighorn – The final chapter starts out with Ryou and Akira kicking back as a part of the Cheyenne Native American tribe. They’re particularly close with the chief of the tribe, Crazy Horse, and his little sister Tiana, who has shown to be quite smitten with Ryou, though he states that he has no interest in girls and even nearly confesses his attraction to Akira.

They go off to do some hunting and fishing for a while, and Crazy Horse prepares for a meeting with the Sioux tribe to join forces against General Custer and the 7th cavalry.

As Ryou and Akira fish and hunt, they discuss the odd fact that they’ve been in this time period for quite a while (maybe a few weeks or months) yet no demon has attacked.

Just as they ponder that, we discover that General Custer and his troops were possessed by demons and have executed a sneak attack on the Cheyenne tribe as Crazy Horse and his men were meeting with Sitting Bull and the Sioux. They viciously slaughter the villagers with guns and swords and are gone before Ryou and Akira put the pieces together.

They find Tiana raped and murdered, and Akira, in a deep rage, slaughters all of the 7th cavalry, and history supposedly embellishes the story saying the Native Americans were the ones to beat them.

Now you must be wondering, ‘Hey, that’s the final chapter? How do they get home? Does beating demons through time five different times really just end everything?’ Well, the answer is……..

I have no friggin’ clue.

Immediately after the end of the Battle at Little Big Horn, we cut to Akira walking through what seems like a burning desolate wasteland of an earth while carrying a suitcase. He remembers various battles from the past, but mostly he remembers his time with Miki.

He continues to walk and remember her before he halts and opens the case. It contains Miki’s severed head, which just raises all sorts of questions as to where and when we are right now. I’m almost entirely certain this manga started before Miki’s death.

He buries Miki’s head and gives her a cross as a headstone before Ryou calls him over. Akira walks past him through the destroyed earth and we end.

What….the….hell…

What was the point of all that? Seriously, what was the point? Despite bringing us to various points in time and space, the main plot stays the same. A demon is going to do something that threatens something that is supposed to happen in history. Devilman beats the demon with absolutely no problem and they jump to another point in time and space to do the exact same thing. Wash, rinse, repeat.

They try to bring more Devilman-y things to it like saying Nike was Amon’s lover, but that went no where and those instances are few and far between.

And what was that ending? Was that hell? They looked like they were still on earth. The earth’s destroyed yet Ryou’s not in his Satan form? Akira’s not dead? How did they get back? I know Ryou was the one sending them through time because demons were infiltrating time but why were demons infiltrating time if Ryou/Satan is the one calling the shots with the demons? He told them to go through time and screw it up just to go back in time and fix everything? Did the demons give up after five tries or were the rest of the demons in the time stream in the cavalry at Little Big Horn?

Bottomline: I don’t want to say that this manga’s a waste of time……but I’m pretty much gonna. Really the only story worth reading is the first one because Hitler and Jewish fire demons…..Just…you have to actually read it to believe it.

If the other stories had been as baffling as that one, I could’ve gotten into it more. But like I said, it’s really just historic stories with Devilman V. Demon shoved in there somewhere. They bond with some people through time, but it’s hard to establish any sort of true connection in a 40-60 page chapter. I never really felt bored reading these stories, but they just don’t bring much to the table, Devilman-wise.

Additional Information and Notes: Shin Devilman was written by Go Nagai and Hiroshi Nagai (under the pen name Hiroshi Kouenji), illustrated by Go Nagai and published by Shougaku Sannensei.

Chapters: 5

Year: 1979

Recommended Audience: Being Devilman, there’s still plenty of gore and several instances of nudity. There’s also an implied rape and kinda an implied shot of a silhouetted closeup sex shot, if that even was a sex shot and not just kissing. The final chapter in particular is just a huge blood bath. 16+

Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek Review

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Rating: 8/10

Plot: There’s a rumor going around that, late at night, in a certain part of the city, you can follow mysterious lit signs that read o-to-ko-yo. One sign for each symbol, leading children through the streets to play a game of hide and seek. Six children gather at the designated area wearing fox masks and start the game. Some say demons appear to take the children away, and some kids have indeed disappeared. In this game of hide and seek, who is ‘It’?

Breakdown: I’ll admit, this is an Animating Halloween leftover. I started watching it for the series and just never got around to watching the rest until now.

Shame, because this is a pretty interesting little horror anime. It’s not the scariest thing in the world, but it’s fairly creepy and has numerous creative aspects to it.

The movie itself is merely a 26 minute long short, including credits, so there’s not a lot of time to flesh out characters. However, you do get to know a decent amount of their personalities at least.

It isn’t quite enough for me to feel too emotional when we get to the ending and several of them meet their fates, especially not the twins who I could swear were demons themselves with their glowing red eyes.

Really the only ones you have to worry about are Hikora and Yaimao. Hikora wanted to play the game because his sister, Sorincha, supposedly played the game a while back and has been missing ever since. Yaimao is his best friend, determined to help him find her.

While the big twist is indeed very creative and interesting, I can’t help but note that the rough idea of the end game was predictable. It’s obvious there’s something up with that girl. They even noted that there was seven people when there are only meant to be six. I won’t say anything beyond that, but it is a bit too easy to see where they’re going.

The absolute ending was more sad to me than scary, plus these kids are really stupid to keep pursuing this mysterious game when kids are legitimately going missing. I know some are looking for their loved ones, like Hikora, but most are just curious.

The designs, and particularly sounds, of the demons were very creative and well-made. None were particularly horrifying, but they served their purposes well enough.

The art and animation are done in cel-shaded CGI, which takes a little bit to grow on you, but I believe it works pretty well given the environment they’re in. I think it helps that all of the characters are wearing masks for the entirety of the movie, so we don’t have to see the usual odd CGI facial designs. I did enjoy the various versions of the fox mask as well.

The music is very well done, adding plenty of ambiance to the story.

Voice acting, Japanese, is very well done. Everyone emoted really well and were very fitting for their roles. I especially enjoyed ‘Sorincha’s voice work.

Bottomline: It’s an enjoyable little horror story that could easily be told around a campfire. It’s a tad on the predictable side, but it has a creative and unsettling enough ending to make up for it.

Additional Information and Notes: Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek was written and directed by Shuhei Morita, who also directed Coicent and Tokyo Ghoul. It was produced by Comix Wave Films, and is available in English dub by Central Park Media.

Runtime: 26 minutes

Year: 2005

Recommended Audience: Children do die, but in very non-graphic ways. That’s about it. 10+

Yami Shibai 3 (full) Review

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Plot: A little boy drawing on a slide presents us with tales of demons and monsters.

Breakdown: Well, now we’re at Yami Shibai 3, the season most people seem to hate with a passion, for some reason. Nearly every comment I saw about this season was slamming it in some way.

People ranking the seasons always put this one last or called it terrible. The comments on the individual episodes called the stories stupid, boring and plain not scary.

I will admit, the sudden change in format and the seeming change in subject matter was a bit difficult to deal with. However, is it really on the lowest rung of the ladder for this franchise?

Episode 1 – Lend it to Me: 8/10 A creepy little story with a successful jump scare at the end. In hindsight, the monster looks a tiny bit silly, but it’s only on screen for a few seconds and it’s not that bad.

Episode 2 – Tunnel: 9.5/10 I called this episode the scariest one of the series so far, and I would probably say that statement still stands up even after watching the rest of the series. Successful jump scares, creepy atmosphere, freaky imagery – it’s just a really effective episode.

Episode 3 – Rat: 6.5/10 The first ‘meh’ entry of the season, I’m not that freaked out by rats, the husband is a complete ass, and the final imagery is a little silly. It’s a bit squicky, but doesn’t really warrant anything above an ‘okay’.

Episode 4 – The Noisy Hospital Room: 7/10 Creepy setting with a couple of decent scares, but ultimately disappointing with somewhat silly visuals.

Episode 5 – The Museum of Taxidermy: 6.5/10 Another creepy setting with some nice atmosphere, but ultimately predictable and kinda meh.

Episode 6 – “That Side” Festival: 6/10 A mixed bag in regards to freaky imagery, but not really that scary and has a fairly sad ending.

Episode 7 – Behind: 5/10 This one is just completely ruined by the visuals, which are cartoony and laughable. The sad part is that the actual story is fairly strong, but the imagery just makes it fail.

Episode 8 – The Empress Doll: 8/10 This one had so much going for it. Great atmosphere, creepy environment, freaky visuals and creative ideas, but it is marred very badly by the BOO ending.

Episode 9 – The Fourth Man: 4/10 Fitting that this episode receives a 4 rating. This episode has a decent enough set up, but it’s predictable from start to finish, the visuals aren’t that creepy, the monsters are very easy to avoid and the ending is cheap.

Episode 10 – Merry-Go-Round: 7/10 Very effective in its setting and atmosphere with some pretty freaky moments, this one also just ends up being silly in the end. And I mean really silly. Despite the silly ending, this was a very memorable episode that made something unique out of itself instead of relying on clowns like I was worried it would do.

Episode 11 – Cuckoo: 4/10 Rating given mostly for atmosphere and buildup, this isn’t scary at all, is barely interesting in its story and ends up being pretty silly. Plus, I really believe that grandma is a bitch. She must’ve known what that clock really was, yet she just lets her granddaughter get caught up in it.

Episode 12 – Water: 2.5/10 About as interesting and creative as its name – this episode is milk toast at best and silly at worst.

Episode 13 – Drawing: 9/10 The best season finale of all three seasons, and a very well-written and composed tie-up to the story of the little boy who has taken over the narrator’s job this season. The actual story itself is a little predictable once you get into it and the visuals aren’t fantastically scary, but it’s a great entry in this series and really makes up for the narrator’s absence, especially the absolute end.

Overall (Rounded Up) – 6.5/10 Though, to be technically fair, this season beat out YS2’s raw score by about .2 during calculation.

Additional Information and Notes: Yami Shibai 3 was directed by Takashi Taniguchi and Tomohisa Ishikawa, and was written by Hiromu Kumamoto. It was produced by ILCA and is currently licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.

Episodes: 13

Year: 2016

Recommended Audience: The Museum of Taxidermy is pretty much the worst you get in terms of gore, and even that’s not too bad. Typical scary situations and whatnot. 7+

Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 3 Episodes 5-8 Review

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Yami Shibai 3 Episode 5 – The Museum of Taxidermy

Plot: A young couple are on vacation when they decide to seek refuge from the rain in a museum of taxidermy. While the husband is enjoying all of the various stuffed animals, the wife is aggravated and creeped out. She quickly leaves the museum and her husband follows later, but when he returns to the museum to find his lost hotel key, he finds that the museum is creepy than his wife thought.

Breakdown: Taxidermy?! Now you’re really cheating, Yami Shibai. What’s next; clowns?

So yeah, taxidermy is creepy, and the episode pretty much goes the say you’d probably expect. I guess it’s a little freaky, but overall it’s just kinda meh. I will say that the prank that the husband plays on the wife was kinda funny. I don’t know why I laughed out loud at that.

Also, if everything was the way that it was when they arrived, why did they not notice? Let me just say that people typically move every now and then, especially children. The entire place being dead quiet, no pun intended, with no one moving? I’d notice that on my first visit.

Episode 6 – “That Side” Festival

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Plot: Miki and Asako are two young girls enjoying a festival. When Asako is having so much fun that she wishes to stay there forever, she finds that she just might get her wish.

Breakdown: This one is also a bit of a miss to me. I feel like season three is relying a bit too much on monsters and demons and while this can sometimes be freaky to me, I just don’t find it as scary as ghost stories.

That being said, there is some freaky imagery in this episode, but it’s also hit or miss since there are several different types of imagery here. It is a bit sad that all of that happened to her just because she was having so much fun that she never wanted it to end. Poor girl was just enjoying herself.

Episode 7 – Behind

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Plot: A bunch of teenage boys are away overnight on a field trip. One of them shares a scary dream that they had about a creature that appears behind him and he knows he cannot look at. However, he is forced to look at the creature after it grabs his head and turns it towards it. But it’s just a dream….right?

Breakdown: Boy I am not on the same page as a lot of commenters on this series. This is one of the few episodes in YS3 that I see people giving praise to for being legitimately scary and I just don’t feel it.

Sure, the idea of a creature that you can’t look at but forcibly twists your head and prevents you from closing your eyes is a bit creepy…..it’s the visuals that break the atmosphere for me.

You’d think that a creature who is breaking the necks of its victims to force everyone to look at it would be creepy-looking, but it’s not. All of its victims have faces that look like Halloween themed twirly lollipops and their eyeballs bulge out of their faces like cartoons. And the actual creature itself looks very similar. The story is creepy, the imagery is damn near laughable.

Episode 8 – The Empress Doll

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Plot: Many teenagers go into abandoned houses as tests of courage, and this group has wandered into a house that is in pretty good shape for being abandoned. They see a bunch of hina dolls in the living room and notice that the empress doll is missing. Thinking another teen taking a test of courage must have taken it as a trophy, they continue to wander the house. However, the empress doll is still there….

Breakdown: This one started out really good. Standard format of a bunch of teens trying to prove they’re all brave by going into an abandoned and possibly haunted house in the middle of the night with nothing but some flashlights and a sense of curiosity. The atmosphere is great, the tension builds up well, they had a great idea in the middle of the episode that was utilized very well, and the visuals were pretty creepy too….

But the ending completely ruins it. Let me just say, you get sucked into the creepy environment, the weird doll vibe, the feeling of being watched, you see something terrible happen and wonder what’s truly behind them and then they straight up BOO! OOGABOOGABOOGABOOGABOOGA! You. It’s just disappointing. Even ending the episode without revealing the ‘monster’ (ala cut to black and screams) would’ve been a lot better than what we got. They already had a pretty good shocking jump-scare-ish moment right before the end, why ruin it with something that cheap?

Animating Halloween – Yami Shibai 3 Episodes 1-4 Review

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Yami Shibai 3 Episode 1 – Lend it to Me

Plot: A man decides to stop off at a public bath after work. It’s very late, and after the usual hours of a public bath, so he has the place to himself. As he washes up, he hears a girl on the woman’s side of the bath ask to borrow a bar of soap. He’s happy to lend it to her, but starts to get weirded out when she asks for more…..and more…..and more…..and more.

Breakdown: First things first, the first two seasons were presented in a traditional kamishibai format. A man in a creepy mask, our narrator, would gather the kids around the miniature stage and present the story for the day.

Now, we have some kid on a slide singing to himself while drawing a picture as our intro. What was wrong with the narrator? You’re purposely trying to emulate a kamishibai. Those are usually presented by such performers with stages, not kids sketching on the slide. How do you screw up your own intended style?

Later, during the end credits, we see that the kid is being fed these stories by a floating mask that resembles the mask the narrator used to wear. As each episode goes by, more masks join him, IE, there are two in episode two, three in three, etc. So I guess the narrator is just whispering his stories to a kid to give him inspiration to draw instead of putting on a show. He either got lazy or had to sell his stage and puppets to post bail or something.

Now for the story itself; it’s pretty damn creepy, and the final jump scare/reveal of the ‘girl’ actually did get me. I didn’t really see where the story would be going from the start, so that was a pretty nice twist.

Let’s just say she asks to borrow stuff like a razor and scissors and let your imagination go for a bit.

After a lackluster season two, season three starts off pretty strong with a creepy, creative and legitimately scary note. Hopefully the rest of season three will be just as good……Still miss the narrator, though….

Music-wise, I’m not liking the new ED that much, but the one for the second season grew on me a bit so maybe this one will too.

Episode 2 – Tunnel

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Plot: Two men are on their way to a hot spring, but they end up getting lost in the middle of the night. As they enter a tunnel, they run out of gas. They decide to take a break from pushing the car and hope a car drives by that can help them find a gas station, but they’re not alone.

Breakdown: Wow, just wow. People said Yami Shibai 3 was the least scary season, but screw that because this episode is the scariest of all the seasons so far. It has eerie atmosphere, a familiar setting, creepy visuals (I won’t explain them full out, but let’s just say there are creepily smiling faces involved) and plenty of squickiness.

Even the ambiance in the music selection is fantastic. There’s a jump scare in the middle of the episode that completely got me because the freaky thing was suddenly on screen yet there was no music cue or music at all. It was just silence and then boom it was there.

While I can admit in hindsight that the actual monster is somewhat uninspired on base design, the one addition to its features is more than enough to make it memorable and freaky.

Episode 3 – Rat

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Plot: A married couple moves into a new apartment, but the wife, Machiko, is freaked out by the appearance of rats in their new home. Her husband, Ken, isn’t bothered at all, and tells her that she has to get used to the rats since she chose an old and cheap apartment to move into. He lays down some traps before he leaves on a business trip, and Machiko tries her hardest to get used to the rat problem. Maybe she gets a little too used to them.

Breakdown: This one was just meh. First of all, let me point out what a complete asshole Ken is. What husband tells their wife to ‘get used’ to a rat problem in their home? That is horribly unsanitary and unsafe. Even if it wasn’t, it’s something that obviously makes his wife uncomfortable and even scared. That in itself should be enough to get him to call an exterminator. He doesn’t even really seem to care when one of the rats bites her. Just living with rats is bad enough for your health, but being bitten by one? Go see a doctor!

Second of all, I’m not really all that freaked out by rats. Sure they’re fairly gross and a little creepy, but I was never too concerned with them.

Finally, the ending is predictable enough and the final shot of what happens to Machiko after Ken returns is just a bit on the silly side. The animation done to her while she’s talking is a bit freaky, but it’s overall kinda silly.

Episode 4 – The Noisy Hospital Room

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Plot: A man is staying at the hospital while he gets some tests done. He has a nightmare that something horrible is happening in a strange room at the end of the hall. When he wakes up, he’s covered in sweat, so he goes to find a nurse to help him get changed. He finds no one but an old man and the room from his nightmare. He hears the voices he heard before in the room, but a nurse stops him and tells him to stay away from that room. The next night, he decides to open the door anyway, and despite being knocked down by some force, he finds the room empty. Is there really something worth hiding behind these doors?

Breakdown: I can safely assume that hospitals freak most of us out even a little bit, and while there are one or two creepy moments in this episode, it’s mostly disappointing. They don’t explain what the things behind the door really are nor do they explain what that weird truck with the human shaped-statues driving around in the middle of the night is.

What we do get is a little on the creepy side, but the creatures look ultimately laughable and cartoony. It kinda breaks the atmosphere a bit. Plus the timing is off, building up to an obvious jump scare that isn’t even really a jump scare.

I’ve started to notice that season three is moreso about demons and monsters than it is about ghosts. So far, none of the stories have been ghost stories. They’ve all been monster or demon stories. That might hurt this series more than you might think….

Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai Episodes 5 and 6 Review

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Yami Shibai Episode 5 – The Next Floor

Plot: A father is taking his son out to buy his birthday present at the mall when he suddenly has to leave for work. His mother is tasked with buying the boy a gift, but the mother coldly guilt trips his father by saying outright that his work means more to him than his son. Irritated by his wife’s attitude and her gall to say such a thing in front of their son, he merely wishes he were left alone. However, when he boards the elevator, he finds he just might get his wish.

Breakdown: This one works a bit better without the backstory as it’s one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ morals, essentially. They typically don’t need intricate backstories to really get a decent grip on who’s doing this and why.

This segment was probably the creepiest one of all so far considering its familiar and modern setting and everyday events. While the mother is a major bitch, this family is also very realistic, allowing you to connect with them and worry for the safety of the father.

Problem is, I feel like the father didn’t deserve such a fate. He has a very valid point; it’s his working so hard that allows him to buy nice gifts for their child and, of course, live what I assume to be a fairly comfortable life, yet his wife is treating him like garbage and trying to alienate their son away from him. She’s literally saying ‘Yes, son, Daddy cares more about work than he does you. Now let’s buy all sorts of nice stuff for you with the money he makes from that job he has.’

Of course he wished to be left alone after that. Anyone would be pissed off if someone said that to them. We have nothing indicating that his dad’s a workaholic asshole. If he was, he wouldn’t have been there to begin with.

Really just makes you feel bad for the father and the son. Hell, I feel even worse for the son because now he has to deal with being brought up by his slag of a mother who will probably only talk about his father in a bad light as he grows up.

I kinda have to wonder if the mother was the one who triggered all that because she sure looks creepy enough.

In the end, this one was legitimately scary with imagery, atmosphere and relatability working in its favor, but you do end up feeling bad for the poor guy.

Episode 6 – The Overhead Rack

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Plot: A man who is extremely fatigued from working day in and out rides the train home one day when he spots a weird blob-like creature on the overhead rack.

Breakdown: This story kinda explains itself, which is nice because it negates the seeming need for us to be given a backstory. From what I can surmise, avoiding spoilers as much as I can, this creature on the overhead rack used to be a person who committed suicide by train and now he’s killing people off by possessing them and forcing them to kill themselves in the same manner as he did.

Another thing about this episode is that the art is noticeably different. Everyone looks kinda distorted and odd compared to how the art usually looks. If I wanted to analyze this whole short on a psychological basis, I might say that this is depicting depression. He is annoyed by how happy and energetic everyone else around him is, perhaps envious that his life is so exhausting and disheartening, and his views on the world as a whole are distorted, like how everything is depicted as just being off.

The creature may represent suicide ideation, even though this man has shown no real inkling of wanting to kill himself before this creature’s appearance. It’s latching onto people who specifically seem depressed and force the ideal on them, which is an interesting way to approach that topic to say the least.

Finally, the creature is incredibly creepy, though we don’t see how creepy it really is until we get a closeup. At first, it just seems like a red blob with a bit of a slit for a mouth. But when it gets closer we see that it has a realistic mouth with gnashing teeth and a shaking eyeball. Like I mentioned, it’s surmised that this thing was a person who died by suicide by train, so I assume this is a depiction of what was left of his body as a creature. In which case I say that is damn effective. This show really has an awesome knack for frightening visuals.

Devilman (Manga) Volume 5 FINALE Review

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Rating: 9/10

Plot: As humans continue to be pitted against each other and the anti-demon forces mowing down any and all suspicious people in their path, it seems like Akira’s biggest threat isn’t the demons but a majority of humanity. When Satan finally shows his face, and hope for humanity seems at it’s dimmest, can the devilman army rise up and save what’s left?

Breakdown: Well, just…wow. That was incredible…and massively depressing.

In this volume, our finale, Akira’s devil identity has been revealed on live television by Ryo, who has recently come to realize that he’s been Satan all along. Miki’s family eventually understands his plight, but tells him to leave in order to help protect the family from the anti-demon forces who may attack them for harboring a demon.

Despite him immediately leaving, the anti-demon forces storm the Makimura house and take Miki’s parents. They eventually torture, dismember and kill both of them before Devilman has a chance to save them.

Back at the Makimura household, a huge group of people are enraged that the anti-demon forces left Miki and Tare alone when they’re probably demons as well. They attack the household and despite a great effort by Miki and one of the thugs who has allied with Akira, all three of them end up getting horribly murdered by them. Miki in particular is made out to be an example, and her corpse is dismembered and placed outside the house on pikes.

Devilman is horrified by how far humanity has fallen and completely loses his drive to save any of them since they’re all lost in his eyes. However, there’s one person he still wishes to protect – Miki. When he returns to the Makimura house and finds his beloved murdered outside, he loses all hope and only wishes to take down the one who started it all.

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20 years later, humankind reaches extinction. The earth is in ruin, and only devilmen and demons remain. After a long and hard battle…..

Akira fails. He dies in the aftermath of the final battle, and Ryo sadly recants his tale to Akira’s body without realizing he is dead. Once he realizes that the man who was his best friend, the man he fell in love with, is dead, he mourns his loss as an army of angels comes to exterminate the last of the demons from the earth.

See what I mean? In the end…it was all for naught. Humanity went to hell before going extinct, the devilmen lost, Akira died, Satan and his army took over and it wasn’t even a victory for them because in the end Ryo/Satan feels like he made a big mistake and lost the only person he really cared about in the process, and the demons still end up losing in the very end.

One could say it’s a bit of a happy ending because if the angels arrived to take out the demons, there might be some plan to revitalize the earth and humanity, but in the end it’s a very dim finale.

I will say that Ryo’s reveal as Satan was really not what I expected at all. I always assumed he was taken over by Satan during the Black Sabbath, but he was actually Satan for his entire life. He assumed the identity of Ryo Asuka, who was the technical first victim of the demon apocalypse, and had his memories erased by one of his henchmen in order to truly immerse himself in humanity and understand them in order to fully defeat them. His falling in love with Akira is also what prevented him from getting killed by the demons on one occasion.

If there are a few things I feel this finale did wrong, though some of this is because I read the first volume of Amon before this.

Miko amounted to nothing. She doesn’t appear in this volume at all. Some weird-haired devilman speaks with Akira a few times, but really no other named devilmen appear which is really weird considering the devilman army is a huge part of this story. In addition, it really seemed like they were starting something with Miko in the previous volume but just forgot about her, which is a damn shame because she seemed like she’d be an awesome character.

Dosuroku didn’t do much either. In fact, I have no clue what happened to him. Akira calls him ‘Roky’ once and he entrusted him with the knowledge that he was a devilman, which implies they became good friends, but he disappears and is never even seen dying. I mean, considering all of humanity was wiped out in the 20 Year War, it can be safely assumed that he quickly died, but I would’ve liked to have seen something come of his character.

Despite Miki not being annoying for the first time in ever (except stupidly saying she won’t fight the army of people charging her house with torches and weapons intending on killing her and her little brother. I understand why, but come on. Look where you are, take in the situation and toss a molly.) and even being a little kickass, her relationship with Akira just wasn’t done well enough for me to give two shits about her dying.

She was incredibly annoying for a majority of the series, Akira treated her like crap several times and they just never shared any really good moments of connection. Near the middle of this volume, they share a nice embrace, but that’s it. The romance just wasn’t handled well enough for me to really care when she died.

In fact, I was way more impacted by Tare’s death. That poor kid didn’t deserve to go out that way.

The ending also leaves a few notes to really think about. Did Akira’s cause really matter in the end? Humanity proved to be just as selfish, fearful and vile as Satan believed they were from the start. Men, women, children, babies; all of them mercilessly murdered by humans and demons alike.

You could also say that the ending is perpetuating the lesson that Satan learned. God wished to destroy the demons because they were violent and evil beings, and Satan wished to destroy humanity because he thought the same of them. When the angels arrived to supposedly wipe out the demons yet again, could this start the cycle again? If humanity is restored, is it just damned to another massacre at the hands of something else?

Despite the dark ending, I am actually perfectly content with it. Sometimes you need a story with deeply tragic ending. Not all stories can end happily. Not all heroes can save the day. We may escape into media like this to get the happy endings we’ll never have, but sometimes the sad endings can really make you appreciate the good endings; both in fiction and real life.

Devilman is an awesome series, and while it does have its problems it is still a really great read. It’s not for those without a stomach for gore or dark and tragic tones, but it’s still a great manga that I’d fully recommend.

ENTIRE SERIES RATING: Based on an average of all of the volumes, Devilman gets a final rating of 8/10

Final notes: I really loved this one shot of the people who attack the Makimura household, It’s purposely drawn erratically and colored in sloppily in order to give them people a monster-like look.

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Recommended Audience: There’s still plenty of gore around every corner, and a graphic small child death. A couple of instances of nudity, no sex, minor swearing, dark tones. 17+

….Previous Volume

Devilman Volume 3 (Manga) Review

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Rating: 8/10

Plot: The demon threat is getting worse by the day. More and more people are being attacked by demonic beings, and Devilman is trying his hardest to keep up. With a new worldwide attack launched by the demon king, Xenon, the demons aim to make humans crazy and play off of their fears, hopefully allowing them to form a window which will ultimately allow the devils to wipe out humanity and take the planet back.

Devilman realizes that their newest plan has resulted in the creation of several other devilmen in the world, and he plans on making a devilman army to stop the demons before they wipe out humanity, or before humanity wipes themselves out.

Breakdown: This volume is more broken up than the previous ones as it actually involves several stories instead of just one long story.

The first story involves a spider demon called General Demon Zan possessing, but not merging with, everyone at Akira’s school, forcing the students to attack him. He’s forced to hold himself back and try his best to kill the spiders instead of the people. After saving their lives and earning their gratitude, Akira enlists the help of the thugs that have been appearing time and again in the series. They manage to help him beat the spiders, but Zan ends up escaping.

This story is a bit on the boring side, other than some creepy and cool visuals. Miki is at her worst so far, as she’s almost entirely relegated to being Akira’s fangirl…No, no, I’ll do you one better; she’s his lap dog.

He barks orders at her and treats her like crap, she backs down and obeys and even apologizes for being a very mild nuisance. She gushes over being told to grab his back when they’re attacked by possessed thugs with spiders on their heads all the while thinking that Akira smells good as it’s ‘the smell of manliness’, doesn’t try to fight the possessed people at all and only starts batting them away with her book bag in a panic while screaming for Akira.

And the cherry on top, later she gets jealous of a five year old girl who is Akira’s friend because she seriously believes something romantic is between them. She even calls her a brat just because Akira was nice to her.

Oh and she finds the thugs who tried numerous times to rape her and possibly kill her ‘sooo cool!’ after they decide to help Akira with the possessed people. *huff*

This story did get us an interesting view on the demon situation, likening it to predators and prey, and we get more hints that something is seriously off with Ryo (in a demon sense. He was always kinda crazy even before the Black Sabbath). However, it’s definitely the weakest arc so far.

The next story, however, is probably the strongest and most emotionally impacting story thusfar. The kid I mentioned before is named Sachiko, and she used to be Akira’s neighbor back when he lived with his parents (he lives with Miki’s family now as his parents are away, I believe). She doesn’t stick around with Akira and Miki for long before she’s set off on a train back home. The train enters into a pitch black cave that is revealed to be the stomach of a turtle demon, Jinmen, one of Zan’s henchmen.

Jinmen possesses the ability to consume human beings and replaces sections of his shell with their faces. While he claims the people are actually still alive within his shell, dialogue suggests that the people truly are dead; if not, they’re very close to death and will die soon with no way of saving them.

Devilman shows his first signs of true emotion since his merging, even crying several times when he’s realized what’s happened to Sachiko. He’s horrified that his attacks hit the faces of the shell, ‘killing’ the person that they hit. this leads him to the terrible realization that the only way to kill Jinmen and free Sachiko and the others is to punch a hole right through the shell, and subsequently Sachiko’s face, weakening him enough to finish him off.

I really like this story. Despite Sachiko having an incredibly minor part before her death, she seems like a very sweet kid who loved Akira dearly. Her sad monologue after Akira finds her only adds more weight to the situation. While her final death was very sad and impacting, I felt the most for her when she saw the face next to her get destroyed. She understands and accepts that she’s dead, yet she still has to witness something that horrible.

They did a great job with writing Sachiko to fit right in for an emotional impact for Akira without feeling shoehorned in. I especially like how the second to last page shows a split of Devilman’s face and Akira’s face with Akira’s crying in his section. Plus, they broke the taboo of killing a kid, meaning there’s even more tension since now we know that no one is truly safe.

The next story kinda compounds that sentiment, and while the story is also very sad, I felt it should’ve been placed somewhere other than directly after Sachiko’s story.

Tare, Miki’s little brother, is out late at a park with his friend, Susumu. He wants to go home, but Susumu says he’ll stay at the park tonight since he doesn’t want to go home. When asked why, he says his mother beats him all the time, and apparently there’s been a trend of mothers killing their children. She not only beats him, but she frequently sics her dog on him, even trapping him alone in a room with the dog.

He’s covered in scars because of the incidents and only feels safe when his dad’s home, despite the fact that his dad doesn’t believe him about his mom. However, his dad is usually very late so it’s not worth it to go home.

When Tare offers to have him sleep over at his house, Susumu’s mother arrives while acting pretty normal. She claims that Susumu makes up crazy stories since he’s alone so much, and even proves that the dog loves Susumu by letting the dog loose and walk up to him. After hearing his father’s home early for a change, Susumu agrees that he was lying, and he and Tare part ways.

When he arrives home, he finds his father is not there and his mother is mad at him for revealing her secret, also revealing that she and the dog are demons. When his dad arrives home, he shows that he’s also a demon and Susumu’s disembodied head is seen in a pool of blood in the final panel.

Again, Go Nagai does a great job of making Susumu a real character to us while also not having any other scenes before this. Susumu seems like a realistic enough abused kid. He seems somewhat numb about what’s happening to him and gets really excited when even minor positive things happen. His expression changes to that of defeat when his mother reveals that his dad isn’t home and he turns into a simple frightened child when the demons reveal themselves.

While I feel this would have more impact either further before or further after the Sachiko story due to the fact that it’s two child death stories back to back, this is a good, albeit short, story. Rest in peace, Sachiko and Susumu.

The final story arc is the big scene of the volume to lead into volume four. The demons have set out their biggest attack yet, which is to not really attack at all. They’re purposely merging with people who still have reason, something that needs to be gone in order for a proper merge to occur, hence the Black Sabbath.

When this happens, the demons and the humans they’re trying to inhabit quickly die. The sudden rash of people turning into monsters before dying sparks public panic all across the world. It’s so bad that a hydrogen bomb is launched to Russia in an effort to tamper the threat. With the various governments of the world and everyone else panicking, the world is on a fast track to destruction.

This is solidified when the gargantuan demon king, Xenon, emerges, blocking a majority of the view of the sky over earth, claiming that in five minutes the first wave of attacks from the demons will truly begin. Those who survive the first wave will be sure to die in the second, and if any stragglers remain after the second, they’ll continue until every last human is wiped out.

Realizing that the string of failed merges has resulted in the formation of some devilmen, Akira plans to create an army of devilmen to help him combat the demons. However, Ryo stops him as time runs out as there’s nothing they can do at the moment, even with Devilman’s power. The only thing they can do is sit and watch the war between the humans and devils unravel, forcing them to watch what Ryo calls the greatest show of history.

This is also the debut of Miko, who is an ex-thief who has recently changed her ways after a demon tried to merge with her. I guess the merge was a success because despite the fact that her body changed, her consciousness is still very much her own. She believes this malformed body is a punishment from God in response to her bad behavior.

Also, we learn that she can shoot acid from holes in her chest that can melt people into puddles in seconds.

Awe. Some.

This entire story is a big buildup, but on it’s own, it’s pretty awesome. The aspect of wanting to attack humans psychologically is very interesting and definitely a believable thing for devils to do. Xenon’s introduction was just fantastic. Showing him as such a huge being that he casts over a large part of the sky and can be seen from every country at once is just amazing. His design isn’t terribly great, but meh.

Plus, the end of the volume really leaves you on edge for what might happen, especially considering that it seems like Devilman may actually sit this war out, at least until they have a game plan. The humans have no chance against the demons, so I’m expecting an all-out massacre until Devilman and Ryo get their shit together.

Recommended Audience: All of the previous warnings remain except maybe nudity. The gore and creepy factor seem amped up in this volume, though. 14+

Next Volume…..

…Previous Volume

Spectral Force Review

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Rating: 1.5/10

Plot:
Once upon a time, in a place called Neverland (Peter Pan’s calling his lawyers) there was…..uhhh….an angel getting crucified…..A demon army….a sword….a war…..a princess…some guy named Chick….The end?

Breakdown: Have you ever watched something that you actually put effort into paying attention to, yet it’s like the show itself didn’t want you to watch it? That’s Spectral Force.

Spectral Force is based on a PS1 game of the same name. I’ve never played said game, but if you’re a fan, this may be more for you. However, I hope the game is a lot better than this anime, because nothing whatsoever interested me here. The only reason I watched all of it is because it’s only two episodes long.

This show isn’t even laughably bad. I can’t find anything to really rant about. It’s just awful in all of the bad ways.

The art and animation are pretty bad. The actual art itself is passable, but the animation is cheap and the CGI is horrendous. And I mean horrendous. The character designs, barring maybe Chick, aren’t very memorable, and the demon extras look as generic as they come with most of them looking like walking skeletons.

The editing is also awful. Transitions and cuts are so jarring and confusing that it makes is seem like it wasn’t even done being edited.

Let’s move on to the story….Story….right…Ummm…Errr, demons run the earth I think, some demon king dies and the demon princess is left to lead the demon army while the humans try to take over. Or something. I’ll give it a couple of points for having a flipped version of a cliché story, but it’s still pretty cliché. Who thought just from my completely half-assed plot summary that this story was cliché?

Oh and let me spoil the ending….nothing happens. Hiro, the princess, meets another demon named Jaddo who turns out to be her brother who apparently was banished because his father thought him ether too powerful or too ‘evil’ to stay in the royal line (?? I mean….they’re demons) Something happens and the big fight never happens.

The elves (yeah there are elves and, surprise, there’s nothing that differentiates them from the human-looking demons) come to help the demons and it just kinda ends….I don’t even know where Jaddo went or why he left the battle or why the battle ended. There are several characters that appear and seem to be established but have no information given about them.

I can give it a couple of other points for the music because it was actually pretty good, but felt more suited for a video game.

The characters are all forgettable as that thing you forgot a few minutes ago and they’re all basic stereotypes except maybe Chick who’s only memorable in the slightest for having a dumb name and being a glasses-boy with guns.

The only other light spot is the princess’s fake arm, which looks awesome, but it’s doesn’t do much so eh.

The acting, Japanese version, is also blech to okay.

Bottomline:
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to slip into a coma? Watch this. If you like entertainment, watch something else.

Additional Information and Notes: Spectral Force was produced by Idea Factory and it’s licensed in the US by ADV films. It was written and directed by Yoshiteru Satou

Episodes: 2

Year: 1998-1999

Recommended Audience: Surprisingly, for an anime that basically glorifies demons to an extent, there’s not much violence here. There is a semi-graphic crucifixion of an angel that seems to have no bearing on the plot. No nudity, no sex, not even swearing. 10+