Urotsukidoji Legend of the Overfiend (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, September 29, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, August 17, 1999

What They Say
According to legend, the world consists of three dimensions – the Human World, the World of Man-Beasts and the World of Monster Demons. Every 3,000 years, the Overfiend is brought to life through the body of a human to destroy the existing world and unite these three dimensions.
However, the Overfiend’s new world is a sickening place of horrendous violence, uncontrollable lusts and supernatural forces beyond comprehension.

Is there any hope for humanity? Will The Legend Of The Overlord become reality? From the animation geniuses who created Space cruiser Yamato, this is the astounding and controversial theatrical masterpiece which single-handedly launched the “erotic grotesque” genre of Japanese animation, and has yet to be equaled – most definitely not a cartoon for children!

The Review!
The first of two movies, Legend of the Overfiend is a decent disc overall. Audio on it is in both English and Japanese and sounds find. It's essentially a stereo mix of an original mono source, so there's nothing amazing about it and depending on your set up, most of it will be coming from the center channel anyways.

The video is pretty decent overall, but not a huge leap over VHS due to the source material. There was some significant shimmering line noise in certain places, especially sections that had lots of city backgrounds from a distance, but most of the close up and mid range sequences looked fairly decent.

Older fans will note that there's very little new in the cover artwork for this release, since what's worked well in the past should work well now. This release continues the clear keepcase tradition and provides some bits of information on the inside as well as some more black and white artwork. I have to admit, I love the "Absolutely not for children" tag. A title like this certainly earns it.

The menu system is pretty simple and works well, though there's little flash to it. Selections are quickly accessed and everything works properly. Take note, that there is no selection for subtitles anywhere as there are none on the disc.

As for the show itself, well, it's an odd thing. I had originally seen this in its original unedited 5 episode form back when it came out, and that was raw without subtitles. Suffice to say it made an impression, and I was certainly pleased when I learned it was licensed.

CPM has made two releases for these 5 episodes: the movie versions which contain spliced together footage and the Perfect Collection which presents them as originally seen. As such, the movie versions have never been subtitled and the Perfect Collection has never been dubbed. For good or bad, that's just the way it is.

The movie version in itself isn't bad and the dubbing isn't atrocious. Granted, you have to wonder where some of these women learned to moan, and they try a bit too hard to synch the voices to the lip movements, but that's pretty common especially from a show dubbed a number of years ago.

Watching the movie versions has always been something of a chore for me since I'm one of those elitist purists who like things as originally presented. The dub is one thing, but the removal of footage and the streamlining of the story always sets me wrong. Knowing what footage was removed and from where, you have an odd sense while watching it.

But these shows are definitely worth watching. They're the defining titles of the erotic horror genre that they started and as such actually have a really great story behind all the sex. Those who hate sex in anime stay away, but if you're not bothered by it, these are worth checking out if you don't like subtitles or want to get an idea what the upcoming Perfect Collection release will be like.

English Language,Japanese Language,Comics,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Anime 18
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 108
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Urotsukidoji