Friday, 16 May 2014

Ani-MAY-tion Month: Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend (1989)

The '80s, as far as I'm aware, is the decade when people here in the UK REALLY started to take notice of anime. Akira is the title, I think, that really led to an increased interest in the form, but there were other titles that came along to help. Personally, discovering Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend as a teenager was quite an eye-opener. Especially as I didn't even know what the word "hentai" meant back then. I'm not sure that many others did either.

Based on comics by Toshio Maeda, this is a film edited from some previous anime episodes, but they're all put together quite seamlessly (as far as I was concerned). It's a tale chock full of demons, big battles, sex, nudity, more sex, tentacles, and all of the stuff that would ensure my attention was held as a teenager. The plot is quite simple - an entity is about to enter Earth that will reunite the different worlds and make everything better - but it's given plenty of twists and turns as characters try to find the entity in time to either help or hinder it.

The vocal work here is okay, but I'm not going to list everyone or single out anyone for praise. Nobody really stands out. It's competent stuff. The animation is, likewise, competent. Crude at times, and many scenes are just far too busy, but it puts onscreen what is needed (well, needed by this particular storyline). Director Hideki Takayama, working from a screenplay by Sho Aikawa, does a good job, and it's impressive that neither writer nor director stayed away from the more extreme aspects of the material.

But the most praised must be given to Maeda, who had the warped and brilliant imagination to come up with the whole thing in the first place. Okay, it's often juvenile stuff (especially in the first half hour), but it's also enjoyably insane, full to the brim with nastiness, and the kind of epic tale that can often only be given justice in comic/animated form. I don't really understand the appeal of hentai, but I do sometimes enjoy demonic beings fighting one another, and plenty of blood 'n' guts. Which this delivers in abundance.


Pricey, but this seems to be the best option for now -

No comments:

Post a Comment