Doomed Megalopolis - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 175
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Doomed Megalopolis

Doomed Megalopolis

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: November 26, 2002


Doomed Megalopolis
© ADV Films


What They Say
Set in Tokyo during the first decades of the 20th century, Doomed Megalopolis tells the story of the powerful mystic Kato's obsession with the conquest of Tokyo-"the greatest city on earth." But Kato's actions awaken the long-dead spirit Masakato, the legendary guardian of Tokyo. Unable to stand along against Masakato's power, the calculating Kato uses an innocent woman as an unsuspecting pawn in the hope of producing an offspring capable of challenging Tokyo's mystical protector. But Kato never counted on the effect that a team of unlikely heroes would have on his sinister plans. Nor could he anticipate the destruction his spells would cause for the millions of innocent citizens of Tokyo...

The Review!
Another result of ADV?s deal with Macek to get a lot of the old Streamline titles out, Doomed Megalopolis is a horror tale filled with action and suspense.

Audio:

The English sound track provided is a simple stereo mix with no directionality detected. The bass in the soundtrack is well balance, and isn?t overused. I couldn?t hear any distortions, hisses, or pops in the soundtrack. All the dialogue and music was clear. This is the old streamline dub.

Video:

While there are scratches on the print, it doesn?t distract from the show, which is just ten years old. There is macro blocking and some other compression artifacts that can be found in the dark blues at points through out the DVD, and in the background shots. I only began to notice them upon a second viewing of the DVD.

Packaging:

Looking at the cover, the first thing I thought was, ?What is M. Bison of Street Fighter 2 doing on this?? It?s not Bison though, but the sorcerer Kato who is out to destroy Japan. He just also wears the hat of a Chinese military man. A star is present on his hand, though it?s an upside down star that is present in the series. There is an image of modern buildings being destroyed by lightning, yet there are none present in the series.

The back mentions that this is for 17+ and the package contains the English language version produced by Streamline Pictures directed by Carl Macek. I do have to make the observation that the cover insert is too big for the keep case. The top part of it extends past the plastic. The keep case is a double Alpha that holds the two DVDs for this release. No insert is included inside.

Menu:

Both DVDs have static menus with a clip of music playing. You can select Episode 1, Episode 2, Scene Selections, or ADV Previews. Of course, one of the first things I did was check out previews for Full Metal Panic, and Samurai X: Reflection. Scene selections give you four entrance points into the film, Intro, Act 1, Act 2, and End Credits. Considering each episode is forty minutes in length, the number of chapter stops is quite low.

Extras:

There are no extras.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Supervising Director Rin Taro, with the animation studio Madhouse behind him, brings us a chilling tale set in Tokyo at the beginning of the Taisho Era, or 1908 for those us unfamiliar with Japanese history. Japan at this time was moving away from it roots and adopting many western practices. All the government officials for instance, wear suits.

During the Heian Era (794-1185), Tario No Masakado died on the plain of Kanto trying to create a utopia in Japan. Tokyo was built on that plan, and Masakado is now believed to be the guardian spirit of Tokyo. Next, let?s introduce the evil sorcerer Kato in 1908, a man bent on destroying Tokyo. Kato believes he can somehow use Masakado to help him destroy Tokyo. He does this by targeting a young girl, Yukari.

Yukari is a happy young woman whose brother, Tatsumiya, is in charge of the government?s plan to modernize the building of Tokyo. Accompanying Yukari is Narutaki, who obviously likes her but won?t say anything about it. Kato slowly takes over her spirit, and we?re supplied with plenty of images of naked women and a penis monster coming out of a woman?s mouth. Considering I haven?t seen any hentai in seven years, that was quite a shock.

A priest named Hirai though, with his apprentice Kamo arrives in Tokyo at this time to protect Tokyo from Kato. A fierce battle takes place, with Hirai, Narutaki, Kamo, and Narutaki?s friend Kamu trying to protect Yukari. They succeed, but not before Kato impregnates her. Yukari is brought home, but she has terrible nightmares of the event. Her brother, Tatsumiya, goes to help her, but upon seeing her naked breasts, rapes her. Sick little puppy. Thus ends the first episode.

The second episode begins with an epilogue of the previous one, as several things are wrapped up. We then move forward to 1923. Yukari?s daughter, Yukiko, is now fourteen years old. Yukari is slightly insane, and Narutaki is handling Yukiko?s education. Nightmares though, begin to plague Yukiko, foretelling the return of Kato. Kamo, Narutaki, and Kamu join forces again, to stop Kato from taking Yukiko. Yukiko is the key for Kato to control the powers of Masakado. While, the three stop Kato again, their actions, or inaction rather, help trigger the 1923 Kanto earthquake.

The third episode introduces us to the shrine maiden, Keiko Tatsumi, who marries Tatsumiya in order to protect Yukari and Yukiko from Kato. After everyone protects Tokyo AGAIN (evil villains just can?t ever give up), we move onto episode four. This time, Kato uses the most absolute evil device of them all, calculus, to direct the moon towards the earth. I mean, if you just wanna destroy Tokyo, why not just plummet the moon onto it?

Doomed Megalopolis uses twisted imagery, magic, sexuality, blood, and plenty of action to draw the user into a well-written tale that spans several years. The heroes in the series, with the exception of Keiko, all have flaws in their characters, which lead to Kato lasting a lot longer than he should. Tatsumiya especially, is a very twisted character with a very unhealthy obsession over his sister.

There are very few hard subs on this DVD, which are only used on the opening credits in the first episode as the staff names appear on screen during the opening sequence. One sign that is not subtitled in any way over every single episode is the actual name of the series. There are plenty of signs during the show that I wish were subtitled. Soft subs could have nicely handled this.

Despite being English dubbed only, Doomed Megalopolis is a masterful work that should be enjoyed, especially if you?re a fan of horror. Most horror anime that is brought over is just senseless, but there is a strong story here.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jnager 3/13/2012 8:21:02 PM

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