The only successful crossbreed of man and demon builds up its oedipal complex even more this time around.
What They Say
Kayo's demonic offspring lives and plots a diabolical family reunion with its otherworldly brethren! The Interplanetary Observation Agency dispatches a trio of beautiful female warriors to slay the invaders. But they're way out of their league, and the demon beasts will have their revenge - and a little lecherous fun! Contains episodes 3 and 4!
Demon Beast Invasion retains the original audio tracks found on the Anime 18 release which were always amusing as they were two stereo mixes encoded at 448kbps, which was most likely an accidental setting. Having less compression is a good thing but these two tracks don’t make out any better for it unlike some other series might. Demon Beast Invasion is a fairly straightforward stereo show in that it’s entirely center channel based to give it a full feeling. That serves the material well with a clean sound and nothing to note with directionality but it lets the dialogue flow well and there aren’t any noticeable problems with dropouts, hiss or distortions.
Originally released in 1992, the transfer for the two OVA episodes here are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio. The transfer is identical to the Anime 18 release from 2000 so there isn’t any improvements to be found from more recent compression technologies or potentially better source materials. Not that Demon Beast Invasion was ever going to be a great looking title as it has a slight budget approach to it with its animation, but the rendering here is decent all things considered outside of the noise and some of the blocking to be found in the darker blues of the night time sequences. In general it makes out better than some releases from this time period as there isn’t any seriously noticeable cross coloration and line noise is pretty minimal as well. Colors generally hold up well and there aren’t any serious flaws to be found with it.
The packaging for this release differs from past releases and it’s not exactly a good thing as this particular design is very murky and unappealing. The main piece is of Kayo, her clothes being torn from her as the demon's tentacles wrap around her, is a good one but with it being made from cel animation it's very soft and almost blurry in places. This is an old title with limited materials more than likely so the soft look of the characters isn’t a problem, but the combination of it with the background and the black case doesn't work well to make it feel even a little contemporary. The back cover keeps it simple with the black background used there, though the stars only show along the bottom. The top half has some associated credits and a decent summary of the premise before it shows off a few shots from the show and of one of the big demons. The technical grid is solid and the production credits cover the basics. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The main menu uses the same kind of star filled background to give it a bigger sense of self while the foreground piece has a good group shot of several of the characters from the series, albeit with their clothing at different stages of undress. The navigation layout is standard for Anime 18 at the time which was to have a lot of choices as well as auto-starting the show if you don’t select anything within a short enough window of time. The layout works well enough for navigation and is generally problem free, though it felt like it was lagging once or twice in moving from menu to menu. Like other Anime 18 releases from this early release period of DVD history, the disc did not read our players’ language presets.
None, outside of a brief pointless Meet the Characters segment and the anime artform piece which really isn't an extra.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the first two episodes of the series, you had to wonder what was really left to tell as the story seemed to have spent itself. The invasion had failed, the demons from space which were originally from Earth, put everything on hold after the first crossbreed found himself stopped by the pairing of Muneto and Kayo expressing their love. The demon beast, which amusingly never gets named, reacts harshly to this as a rejection of self and the defeat doesn't take long to occur from there.
This second installment in the series, encompassing the original third and fourth episodes, is a bit confounding at times as it seems like they're stretching to find a way to continue things. The demon beast, while defeated, is not dead as the parts of his body that remained have come back together and is attempting to heal himself through the pleasures of the flesh. But not any flesh will do as he needs the flesh of those who are close to his mother, Kayo. Just the basic touch of Kayo to someone else has proven sufficient and the demon beast has been working his way through classmates and teachers from the school. They haven't a clue why any of it is happening as they're taken, forcefully, before their bodies are shredded for the healing process to truly occur.
While there's a fair bit of demon beast action, there's also an emotional component that's played as Muneto and Kayo have lost the connection they had during the big finale in the first volume. Because of all that's happened, and particularly with Kayo giving birth to such a beast, the two of them are distanced from each other emotionally and physically, though there is an undercurrent of desire to be had between them. Their feelings are still strong but they have issues with actually getting close, no matter how much they want to. This is carried over into the second episode on this volume as well as the two of them are invited out to a far away temple by Kayo's friend Miyuki, a precognitive of sorts who tells Kayo that both of them will come.
What the pair doesn't know is that Miyuki has been taken advantage of – physically and emotionally – by the demon beast and he is using her to draw them in. It's a familiar plot, one that shows us a somewhat different demon beast, but it does move us out of the familiar city setting especially after the big moment of nearly destroying much of a city in the previous episode. Where Demon Beast Invasion sort of loses me is in its internal consistency, which I admit is asking for a lot from a show like this. Muneto's been a part of an interplanetary observation group since the start but with these episodes it's like he's almost never heard of it at times. When the first episode brings in a group of elite female warriors from the group, he's very indifferent to them and lacks a connection to establish what he and is partner went through in the first two episodes, especially with the loss of his partner during it. The introduction of various relatives for Muneto also throws off things since the impression given was that he wasn't even from Earth at times.
Another area of consistency that feels off with these episodes is the animation and character design itself. After the relative success of the first two, doing more episodes was a given but they tried to do better with the animation and designs, which in turn changed the look of it. The first couple of OVAs were fairly simple works and here there isn't the same kind of on-character modeling that you'd hope for. Muneto is unrecognizable in several scenes and Kayo ends up with a much squishier face than you'd expect at times. There are areas where things do look better, especially with more detailed backgrounds and better animation in general, but it's a very inconsistent piece overall.
The first Demon Beast Invasion volume had a quaint charm about it considering its age and all that it was trying to do with fairly simple animation. This set of episodes doesn't have much of that charm as it's trying to figure out what kind of story it wants to tell and then not doing it well. The stories here are all pretty much kept to the small side of things as the invasion is simply not happening here. Rather, it wants to focus on the oedipal complex that the Demon Beast has for Kayo as he tries to become one with her again. His reason for doing so is as sound as it can be for a show like this, but I'll admit that I wanted more grand scale invading instead of these small moments.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Meet the Characters, Comics
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.