What is it?: People all over Japan are being affected by a virus that turns them into monsters. By day, two scientists, Komada and Koshigaya, seek the virus’ cure, and by night, they slay those who have no hope of regaining their humanity.
What?!: One of the scientists is himself infected with the virus and has to restrain himself around some hot young thang who accompanies the pair of scientists on their journey. I wonder if this is a metaphor for something?
Wingman: Koshigaya relentlessly ships Komada with said young lady, Murakami, although whether he is successful in hooking them up is something I shan’t reveal!
Biohunter was adapted to OVA form by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, which should tell you most of what you need to know about this. There are sexy times aplenty, loads of tentacles and enough violence to make anyone a happy camper. It’s not bad, either; pretty gross, but it keeps things simple enough to stay coherent, and even the English dub is OK. When it comes to this sort of thing, though, I want more incoherency, and I definitely want more outrageousness. The identity of the main killer the scientists track is nice enough, but not unheard of for this sort of thing. But of course, maybe it’s saying something about the power system of the time? Ha.
32. Crystal Triangle
What is it?: A poor man’s Indiana Jones finds a box with two crystal triangles. After doing some Science, he finds that the triangles hold the key to the lost message God included with the Ten Commandments. The Russians (despite being godless communists) and Americans are also keen to get their hands on this message and go after our intrepid hero with gusto.
What?!: God is an alien fetus.
By the way: That’s not Jerid from Zeta Gundam. He is a warrior voiced by Norio Wakamoto. Sadly, he is not the main character.
Crystal Triangle is what happens when your dad makes Raiders of the Lost Ark. It has all the parts, but none of the understanding of what makes Indy so cool and charming. But there is plenty of midlife crisis Indiana Jones exchanging “clever” lines with hot CIA agents and college-age chicks who are definitely not going to turn evil and definitely not get possessed by evil spirits at some point later in the movie. What a suggestion! There are some decent set pieces, though, and the revelation of God at the end is worth sitting through all this stuff. I laughed quite a bit!
What is it?: Kamui Shirou is a whiny douchebag who unfortunately has powers that are key to saving the world . . . or destroying it! *DUN DUN DUN* He can join with either the Dragons of Heaven, who are dedicated to preserving the Earth, or the Dragons of Earth, who are dedicated to the destruction of all human life so that the planet can be purified. Unfortunately, Kamui’s friend, Fuma, is fated to be on the opposite side of this battle and kill 75 percent of the cast so that the movie can be 90 minutes long.
What?!: The creators fly by the seat of their pants so much that they had to invent a character to fill out the Dragons of Earth, because the last one had not been introduced in the manga when they made this movie. He is as inconsequential as one would expect.
Decapitations: X/1999 has some hilarious ones.
As I explain later in the Harmagedon entry, I like the director of this movie, Rintaro, for the most part. The key to liking Rintaro, I think, is to accept that he gives no fucks about telling a coherent story most of the time. He just wants to draw some cool fucking shit. I can dig that. X/1999 fits right in line with that approach: the story makes zero sense because there’s no time for it to make sense. It kills off the two best characters with the most gripping backstory and conflict in the manga in the first 10 minutes of the movie, likely to save itself the trouble of telling their story. They’re not even named during the battle, and if they are named during the movie, it’s likely during some throwaway conversation when nobody gives a shit anymore. They literally exist to have a cool-looking battle and die. That is pretty much Rintaro in a nutshell.
The main reason I don’t really consider this a good Rintaro movie is that the ratio of “cool looking shit” to “vapid, boring dialogue” is tilted too much to the latter. It’s all “OMG UNMEI” this and “I AM KAMUI AHHHHHHHHH” that. Yawn. More apocalypse, please.
34. Demon City Shinjuku
What is it?: Kyoya Izayoi’s father is killed by the psychic demon lord Rebi Ra, who proceeds to open a portal to hell in Shinjuku, because he’s kind of a dick like that. A decade later, Kyoya is asked by the daughter of the world president to cut up some demons and save the world. Kyoya isn’t totally down for this, but he ends up doing it, anyway.
What?!: This is a Kawajiri joint, so the whole movie is basically one big “What?!” moment. Everyone in the English dub has a completely different accent for some reason. Maybe that counts?
Tentacle ladies: Heroes are always fooled by them.
Demon City Shinjuku has many of the hallmarks of a typical Kawajiri outing: Good animation, demons out the ass, lots of violence, good mood setting, etc. But Shinjuku isn’t quite as enjoyable as, say, Biohunter, even though it is just as pulpy. Why is that? I think it’s because the characters just aren’t that appealing. In Biohunter the scientists feel like they’ve been friends for a long time. They have a good rapport going, and it’s interesting to see that play out while they’re blasting demons. There’s nothing nearly that fun in Shinjuku. The disgusting demons have to carry the movie, and while they do an admirable job, they can’t quite finish the job. I will say, however, that it is almost always entertaining to see someone take out a giant spider demon.
35. Psychic Wars
What is it?: A broad-shouldered, monotone-voiced surgeon gets psychic powers and must go to the past to stop an invasion of evil demons. Along the way he tags up with some hot stuff who is definitely not the woman who hopes to trigger the evil demon invasion, I mean I have no idea where you’d get a silly idea like that.
What?!: Psychic powers come from cancer.
What kid of cancer?: Old lady cancer.
Psychic Wars in a nutshell: The hero’s psychic powers make him glow and punch and kick stuff better. That is the amount of thought put into the action, the characters, the plot, and the animation. I think the hero is monotone because he’s matching the amount of energy the staff put into the production of this OVA. But if you want to watch Big, Hulking Surgeons Punch and Kick Stuff, then here’s your anime!
36. Tekken: The Motion Picture
What is it?: The evil Heihachi Mishima organizes a fighting tournament, as evil people in fighting games are wont to do. In this tournament are Heihachi’s son, Kazuya, who is out for revenge; Jun Kazama, an agent with Interpol; Hong Kong detective Lei Wulong; and more.
What?!: There’s also a giant cyborg and a boxing kangaroo. And dinosaurs.
Heihachi: Worst dad ever.
I was sort of looking forward to the Tekken movie, if only because the Tekken games have a reputation for very bizarre stories, even among fighting games (whose stories are normally utter nonsense). Unfortunately, it takes more than half the movie for anything interestingly weird to happen. Most of it is boring bullshit like Kazuya angsting over his shitty dad, or Lei doing some stupid investigation or a hilarious Native American character design or whatever. It wasn’t until the boxing kangaroo showed up that I started enjoying myself. Then there were cyborgs and dinosaurs and stuff, so it did get sort of awesome by the end.
37. Sword for Truth
What is it?: A samurai slices and dices his way through hordes of minions to rescue a princess from a deadly ninja clan. There are also demons and other ninja clans.
What?!: I don’t know why you’re shouting; this isn’t that crazy, as far as terribad goes.
Opium: It leads to lesbian sex. Always.
Sword for Truth – opium-induced lesbian sex aside — is fairly tame as far as terribad anime goes. Sure, it’s violent, but not to an insane extent. The story’s not especially incoherent. It just goes in, does its thing and gets out. That’s probably part of why I don’t like Sword for Truth maybe as much as I should. It’s not nearly as good as the best samurai anime, but it also doesn’t quite have that same air of insanity going for it as the best of the best in terribad. It’s just there.
38. Doggy Poo
What is it?: The heartwarming tale of a freshly-produced pile of dog shit going through an existential crisis.
What?!: That pile of crap next to our hero is apparently a dirt pile, but I don’t buy it. Also, it looks like Grimace.
Birds: Fucking assholes, all of them.
I can’t be too hard on Doggy Poo, because 1) it’s clear this is a story for children, and 2) it’s at least trying to teach kids that everything and everyone has value, even if you’re a pile of dog shit. But come on. It’s a pile of dog shit. Sorry to crap all over the moral like that. (And of course the cute pile of dog shit is hired to put a lovely face on the whole thing, while the real dog shit out there cries itself to sleep at night because it can’t match that standard of beauty.) The English dub is kinda racist, too, though no doubt unintentionally so, which makes it all the funnier. MAYBE WE’RE ALL JUST DAAAAAAAAAAAWGY POOOOOOOOOOOOOO
39. Mutant Ninja Turtles: Superman Legend
What is it?: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continue their never ending fight against moeblob Krang, who is accompanied by the comedy stylings of manzai trio Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady. As always, the turtles are aided by their fairy companion, Crys-Mu, who provides them with the mutastones, which transform the Ninja Turtles into super-powered fighting machines!
What?!: Shredder goes on vacation to “[his] hometown of Japan” at one point. And the Foot Clan vacations in Miami.
URUCHAI: URUCHAI URUCHAI
As you might gather, this TMNT anime tinkers slightly with the formula. The first episode is a tour de force of hilarity as the Turtles and their universe are anime’d up like fucking crazy, and new shit is unveiled at every corner that is sure to make Turtle fans react like, “WAIT, WHAT?!?!?!” The second episode . . . not so much. Despite Shredder returning to his roots, this episode is nowhere near as amusing or stupidly inventive. That first episode is oh so worth it, however, even if it will ruin your childhood.
40. Haru no Ashioto: The Movie
What is it?: Three girls attend a peaceful school. One day, however, the tranquility is shattered when a teacher pulls a coup d`état on campus and takes over the school with the help of much of the student body. The three girls, whose names are utterly unimportant, must battle their way to the top and end their teacher’s reign of terror.
What?!: The end pulls an anticlimactic twist that is almost on the level of California Crisis, but not quite.
Shonen powers:These girls have them, and they use them well.
Honestly, I didn’t think this was that bad. It’s quite silly, and the ending feels as if it should come with a photo of some dude shrugging with a stupid look on his face while the Price is Right horns play, but it’s fun enough for a one-off OVA about a silly school coup. I really wish this had been able to go further, though. Like, I could imagine this being unbelievably hilarious if it were stone-faced serious about a totally stupid subject. Actually, what am I talking about? Everything after the halfway point of Guilty Crown is basically what I want from this. Never mind!