Reviewed by: Dallas Marshall
Released by: ADV Films
Age Rating: 17+
Region: 1 - North America
Length: 175 minutes
Audio: Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo
Tokyo is under attack as spiritual forces take over the burial site of Masakado, the city's Protector. Driven by his lust for power, the evil magic user Kato is determined to free the soul of the ancient warrior... and use its evil power to take over the metropolis! But the forces of good oppose him in the form of an aging priest, an alluring virgin, and a group of untested heroes. Soon, they will learn only too well that the ruthless Kato is not an enemy that can easily be beaten.
Before Metropolis, the excellent anime directed by Rintaro who also directed the not so great anime Doomed Megalopolis. When I first picked up this special edition 2 DVD set, I was expecting a classic anime to never be forgotten, but much to my dismay; this anime was a megalopolis of a disappointment.
To start off on this list of disappointments, is the lack of character depth. None of the characters seemed to have a purpose. It was like they were aimlessly living out the nonsensical script that they were sadly a part of in this substandard anime.
Speaking of lack of character depth, the one who was weakest in this department was the villain Yasunori Kato; I consider this the biggest disappointment about this anime. Kato, is the one character given the most attention; when I saw the cover, I was beginning to think that I was in for a real treat and that Kato was going to be one of the best anime villains ever to grace my television screen. But for one given so much hype, He was the most boring; in the story, Kato wanted to destroy Tokyo by summoning the legendary guardian of the city, Masakado. But little or no information was given in the story as to why he wanted to do such a thing. What I consider most annoying about this character is the fact that we know most about his motive, but not enough about him. As I was watching this anime, I had so many questions about who Kato was, and there was only less than a few seconds of time in this series used to even give a remote idea on the subject.
The story is beyond confusing, Doomed Megalopolis had a bad habit of throwing in plot lines and characters were they were unwanted or unneeded so much to the point were it was almost impossible to keep up with the storyline. Along with its morbidly confusing plot twists and turns it depended on an equally morbid short amount of time to try and explain the already confusing anecdote. It was hard to enjoy this anime because I felt rushed and puzzled.
However, not all hope is lost for Doomed Megalopolis. Some of things I found praiseworthy about this anime is the fact that it uses old Japanese folk songs in a way that would crawl under your skin and chill you to the bone, along with grotesque and gritty visuals that bring depth to the already creepy storyline. Shadows that creep into the corners of your mind, old Japanese style theater techniques and music such as the shimasen and Taiko drums that ring within your ear drums, and scenes of complete silence that keep you guessing what are is about to happen next; are what keep Doomed Megalopolis from being completely thrown into the proverbial mire.
Another strong point of this anime is it’s steady balance of action and character interaction. This anime does have a balanced quantity of fight scenes, not too much and not too little; it was just the right amount. And they moved at a pace that was easy to follow and were very entertaining to watch.
It was nice to see the characters interact in the way they did, realistically and vibrantly, even though their relationships, and their motives were confusing.
Sad to say though, Doomed Megalopolis is an overall disappointment and despite the good points of the show, the negative aspects of the series blotted them out. Doomed Megalopolis is not a horrible anime, but you can find anime that is better to spend your time on.