Anime Meta-Review


Demon City Shinjuku


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Magai Toshi Shinjuku
  • alias: Monster City
  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: magic_war
  • made: 1988
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Also called `Monster City' in some western releases? Having mentally linked this with Legend of the Overfiend in my mind I was expecting a horror, but in fact this is a pretty straightforward magical warrior title. The story begins with a prologue 10 years before the main stories. Two swordsmen confront each other on a skyscraper roof, one has a wooden sword glowing blue while the other has a gothic style metal sword glowing red (which is equivalent to saying one is good and one evil). sadly the wrong one wins and for the next ten years the Shinjuku region of tokyo is a haunted and evil infested ruin, but is that the end of the evil warriors plan? Well, ten years later a young swordsman is informed that not only is it not, but that he is the only one in the world who has any chance of stopping a dire outcome. He responds in a reasonable fashion, ie. he tells the messenger to get bent, but the sight of a young female bravely risking her life, despite having no abilities at all, flicks his hero switch to the `on' position.

In truth the whole back story is simply to give a bunch of opponents and a stage on which to teach them a lesson. The creatures are tough and dangerous, and the environment they enter has been severely trashed, but the horror atmosphere is not really even attempted, let alone successful. Admittedly there is a fairly cool `ghost' portion in the middle, but it is largely divorced from the story. Still, while there are few surprises this is competently written and designed and makes a pleasant watch. Indeed some of the secondary characters, including the pleasantly gothic mephisto, are responsible for adding enough interest to almost push the anime up to a higher notch. Additionally bonus points for the female character being a suprisingly interesting and complex character, when her actual story requirements are basically `damsel in distress'. Actually come to think of it the action hero is probably the least interesting character.

The animation follows the same pattern. It is pretty much what you can expect but done with a definite skill. While far from modern it is more than sufficient to tell the story and even manages some impressive scenes and effects. The setting looks more like bombsite than horror demonic but is fairly well done. The character design and animation is good and some of the action is very nice. It is somewhat of a problem that the action often ends with `energy blasts' rather than physical moves, which is disappointing. It must be mentioned that the conclusion will leave the action fans pretty disappointed. The voices were acceptable but unremarkable.

Well, those THEM have no tolerance in this review, saying that while it has good animation it has nothing else. The Anime Critic is a bit more positive in his review saying it had the potential to be good, but just ended up lifeless and boring.


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