Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Anime 18
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 210
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Urotsukidoji
September 29, 2003
Release Date: January 16, 2001
What They Say
© Anime 18
As the Overfiend slumbers, the mad emperor Caesar rises to power, enslaving a new race of demon beasts. As the bloodthirsty beasts capture the tyrant’s daughter in a brutal coup, the Overfiend must awaken to an apocalyptic battle of the Gods!
Includes all 4 episodes! The Review!
Overall Rating: 2.9
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 2
A long time ago I actually watched some Urotsukidoji III. It was back in the days when anime was just starting to come back. You know the days of Vampire Hunter D, Project Ako and Ambassador Magma. I was just getting into the stuff and was watching everything... and hey this had a mostly naked girl on the cover. Well suffice to say that I gave it two tapes worth a chance and it almost turned me off to anime forever. (until Gunsmith Cats appeared... thank you, Rally). Anyway it was kinda surprising to revisit this very show as my first hentai review.
In the technical department Urotsukidoji III doesn’t do too bad. It had pretty good sound and picture. There was a bit of artifacting here and there, mostly in the dark scenes (unfortunately most of the series is dark scenes). The sound was pretty good too. The menu had motion and music and reacted very quickly to the selections. The keepcase has just what you want from a Urotsukidoji cover, tentacles, a naked girl and the words Urotsukidoji on it. Fans of the show will go for it. The back has all the info except it’s missing the number of channels of sound, and a chapter listing (there is one on the inside of the cover). This does come in a clear keepcase (which I’m a fan of). Unfortunately the grade gets lowered because there are no subtitles for the Japanese track. At least there were none that I could access. But even if you check out the back it clearly states English and Japanese Languages but makes no mention of English subs. And if you plan on avoiding the dub and following the plot, the lack of subs makes it difficult. As for goodies, this disc is packed with stuff. It’s got a brief recap of the first 2 series, a Japanese trailer for the first two series, and a couple of pages from the graphic novel. DVD-ROM extras include: a gallery of stills, promotional art and video box art, some more pages from the graphic novel, character intros with some brief bios, a slightly more in depth summery of the first two series, quotes from reviews of the series and web links. It’s lots of stuff for fans and people (like me) who didn’t get a chance to watch the first two series. This disc gets a slightly above average score but it really could have used a sub track. I’m not sure why this was left out (could have been reasons beyond Anime 18’s control) it makes it a tough sell. You really have to be a fan of the series.
As often as people like to put down hentai titles as being nothing but animated sex with some flimsy story thrown in (in lots of cases they have a point), I have to say that this series of Urotsukidoji does not suffer from that. Yes it has sex in it (at least two scenes per episode). But it’s also got a plot, a great big mess of a plot. It’s not really a good plot, but it is a plot.
I was gonna try to write a good comprehensive summary but gave up. There is just too much going on here. The basics are simple. The Chojin is born (he’s kinda like a god-like being). The Chojin fears that the Kyo-o will destroy him. He sends his minion (our hero) Amano Jyaku to find the Kyo-o and stop it. Along the way Amano Jyako runs into a power-mad emperor type figure named Caesar. Caesar has enslaved the demon beasts and forces them to do his bidding. One of these demon beasts, Buju can lead Amano Jyaku to the Kyo-o. Unfortunately Caesar and his minion, Faust (gee, is he a bad guy?) also want the Kyo-o so they can rule the world after they destroy the Chojin. Throw in lots of tentacles, the sexy daughter of Caesar (Alector), and about half a dozen rape scenes and you got Urotsukidoji III – Return of the Overfiend.
The animation ranges from average-looking to really bad. It balances out to be slightly below average. There are scenes where it looks like some cut outs are just being moved around in front of the camera. The character design is pretty standard. The demons aren’t too imaginative and they just end up being a jumble of malformed parts with tentacles. Compared to the demons of Ninja Scroll or Demon City Shinjuku they fall miserably short. The women are attractive and drawn to suit the audience. How about the sex scenes? Well I’m not a big fan of rape scenes and that’s pretty much what you’re gonna get in this series. There is nothing entertaining or stimulating about a bunch of ugly demons raping pretty anime women, at least for me. The backgrounds felt thrown together most of the time, and I didn’t really notice any detail in most of the main settings. The fight scenes ranged from creative (a fight among airborne nuclear missiles) to boring (slave rebellion). Slightly below average grade in the animation department.
The sound was better off. Most of the battle sound effects were just what you’d expect. There was some creative use of various weapons and magical blasts and that brought the grade up. There is also a surprising amount of mechanical gadgets and these have some unique sound design to them. Not a bad job here.
As I said above this series has a plot, but it’s really involved and drawn out. First problem was that you had a simple story that could have been pulled off relatively easily in a movie or couple of episodes. Unfortunately there is nothing simple about it once the screenwriters got done with it. The result is that you have 210 minutes of long, boring story that really doesn’t make you care or like any of the characters. Our main character Amano Jyaku seems to be in it mostly as a cameo appearance. I think that Alector (Caesar’s daughter) has more screen time. Her character is so simple and weak willed that it was impossible to like her. She kept doing stupid things and accepting the horrible acts of violence toward her. Caesar comes across as a power hungry fiend and in the end he is supposed to be redeemed but he’s done so many heinous things it’s hard to feel anything for him. Buju is in a similar fix, when you meet him he’s about as endearing as a slug, and in the end you’re supposed to cheer for him. Most of my problem with these characters is that when someone is redeemed they usually feel bad about their past deeds. I never got that from either of these characters. Then as the series comes to a close you find that this was all set up to a long epic journey to Osaka to meet the Chojin. It made the whole series seem really pointless. I never got to know, or like, any of the characters in this series why would I want to see more of them in the next one. Now I know, this is supposed to be a show about carnage and rape. But seriously the way the female characters accept their fate after being repeatedly raped (by strangers and family members) is just wrong, especially when these characters don’t seem to suffer any type of mental anguish from these moments. Is this a brutal world where rape is common place, or is this just writers with the mentality of low IQ seventh graders working a story? The basic premise had potential. I understand that a brutal and horrible world of horror could have been fashioned, but for it to be terrifying and have an impact the characters must be realistic and make you feel for them. I was just angry at these characters for acting the way they did. Interesting idea: bad execution.
The English cast is really, really bored and devoid of emotion. There were some moments that rose slightly above absolute bottom of the barrel acting but they were few and not frequent enough to pull this up to average dub level. It’s not the worst I’ve heard, but it’s really close. If I hadn’t been trying to keep up with the story I would have watched this raw. Again I really wonder why Anime 18 chose to leave out the subs.
The music is pretty weak. Mostly it’s ridiculous in its obvious nature. Most of the time I burst out laughing at the “meaningful moments” music. It was like watching a bad sitcom. I honestly can’t remember what the rest of the score was like, but the “meaningful” stuff was so bad, this went down a grade as well.
As I said in my intro, Urotsukidoji III almost pulled me away from anime in the early 90’s. And watching it again, I know why. I have no problem with sex depicted on screen (real or animated). I think that Dragon Pink was fun (and it had a cat-girl) even if it had some rape scenes in it. End of Summer also handled itself better than this series. In those series there were some light moments or some moments of tenderness that made the sex fit better. Here it was violent and angry. It was keeping with the world the story was staged in, but the characters lack of feeling and the way it was all handled made this a chore to watch. The dub was fun to mock, but the whole thing was like watching a boring train wreck. If I hadn’t been doing a review, I would have shut it off. I’ve never seen the first two parts of Urotsukidoji, and if they are anything like this one I’ll avoid them. If you’re a fan of the first two then maybe you’ll be able to get more out of it than I did. But if you find rape without consequences disturbing, then avoid this disc like the plague.
Roman J. Martel
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Japanese Language,English Language,Urotsukidoji History,Graphic Novel Pages,Original Japanese Trailer
General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2