Demon City Shinjuku – movie review

Oh boy it’s been a while again hasn’t it? I’ve been away for a bit in real life so I had no time to post but here I am again back with an anime gem from the 80s

Demon City Shinjuku is directed by a very familiar face to me – Yoshiaki Kawajiri better known as the directors of such classics as Ninja Scroll, Vampire hunter D, The Animatrix, Wicked city and Neo Tokyo.

It tells the story of a young man called Kyoya Izayoi, a practitioner of Nempo much like his late father who was murdered by the evil Rebi Ra. In order to open the portal to the demon world Rebi Ra has called upon their help and got bestowed demonic powers with which he killed his father. Now 10 years later Kyouya is called to put an end to him before Rebi Ra can succeed with his mission. He is hesitant at first but after getting a visit by the president’s daughter he decides to help her.

The plot is nothing new nor special but it still manages to reel you in. What I really liked is that the characters were actually layered and very interesting, especially the mysterious Mephisto who shows up later in the movie. I was hoping to see more of him but maybe with characters like this the less you see the better they end up being. The mystery aspect of him was the best part after all.

If you have seen 80s horror anime you know what you are in for. The animation is very similar and so is the music. It’s not the best work that Kawajiri has done but it definitely was enjoyable. I especially liked the designs of some of the demons that we got to see, a shame really that we did not get to see more of them but I guess we can blame the pacing for that which was the weakest part of the movie. The ending specifically felt very rushed and anticlimactic. It did manage to get me in the mood to watch Ninja Scroll again which is great (spoiler alert for my next post).

In the end if you are looking for a movie to watch at night it might not be the best choice but if you are in the mood for a fun anime it’s perfect.

Final verdict: 7/10

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