Anime Meta-Review


Dark Warrior : First Strike


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • genre: magic_war
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
    • This title appears to be an unsuccessful pilot.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Wed Jan 17 00:12:53 EST 2001
  • mod: none

Wow, I thought I was dealing with an ancient and obscure video nasty. Who'd have thought that AD vision are still trying to sell this thing? In case you haven't got the hint yet, hold on to your money for just a second, and read on.

Mind you, the review they give on their own site is hilarious in terms of what it states, and what it leaves out. It actually makes it sound like a potentially good anime, and to be honest there are a couple of promising moments. The anime begins with a guy who's the hottest whiz in silicon valley. He's rich, got his picture on the cover of time magazine, and in a single year has developed both a new form of computer and built an AI to run on it. Mind you, it does look like the stress is getting to him. He's built some strange secrets into the core of the AI and has some bizarre plan to force everyone out of silicon valley so that the air will be clean to breath again. When he spots his beloved small town ex-girlfriend driving round in a hot sports car, she having dropped him for going to silicon valley, he's definitely a touch borderline.

Even worse it seems that the world is not finished with our hero yet. He finds no records of the girl he remembers so vividly in his memories. Yet when he confronts the real thing she has no idea who he is and is angry at him insisting on a name other than her own. And, from there, things get really strange. It seems that memories can not be trusted, indeed even one's own humanity cannot be taken for granted. And powerful, secretive, forces must both be involved in creating this situation...and even worse ready to move in now that their conspiracy is starting to unravel.

Pretty cool huh? I mean obviously it's designed to be the relatively deep opening to a, hopefully, long running series so some time went into this anime. The dialogs a touch unsubtle but there's a sort of cool horror ambience and a touch of mystery to be resolved. The question of what is really going on, and the truth of the leads past, is a familiar hook but still one that can intrique.

The main problem comes when they actually tell us. I mean, it was fairly obvious, with the opening giving some nutty rubbish about the rise of supermen. And, strangely enough, it devolves into a battle between one rogue super-thug and an evil corporation full of super thugs aiming for world domination. All the cool horror, the AI and the mystery is ultimately meaningless, replaced with some bad action, a serving of gore and a little touch of rape. And that's the good guy! The evil ones are even worse. After promising something interesting the most they can offer is this poorly written, unimaginative dull thump-em-up which is obviously going to devolve into a long tortured revenge quest. It's been done a thousand times before and most of the other versions are better than this. At least, on the positive side, most viewers seem to agree with there being little sign of a second episode.

And before you wonder whether awesome production and chilling special effects will save it let me set your mind at ease. The production quality is sloppy and cheap right from the word go. It isn't modern and the poor production makes it look even older. Ugly linework, which jiggles all over the place, awful flat and dull coloring and bad design make this look terrible. And the action is dull and desperate, heck even the gore and rape fans (who I assume do exist) aren't going to get anything out of this. In fact I have to hammer this home. Some of these series (Guyver or Baoh perhaps) have interesting `power' forms which have awesome combat powers. In this the enhanced form is just like a big thug and the moves are dull slugfests. It's just really, really poor. The voices are average at best and I don't recall there being any music apart from some rubbish over the credits.

If you have any sort of pride, or a love of anime, then let every copy of this turkey rot in ADV's warehouse. It's a very just revenge for them having bought the license in the first place.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:17 WST 2009