Anime Meta-Review


Fight! Spirit of the Sword


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Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • form: sub
  • source: anime works
  • dur: 30
  • made: 1993
  • Review created: Tue Apr 3 16:37:38 EST 2001
  • mod: none

I don't really get this one at all. If it's a pilot then the series looks like something worth getting. But as an stand-alone experience you're still trying to find your feet when the show is suddenly over.


As indicated it feels like you're entering a story that's already well established. It seems that a young guy has been given a family inheritance on his sixteenth birthday. And this being japan and anime that duty is to hunt down and slaughter demons. It seems that his family has been chosen by heaven to perform this task. He's not without some assistance though. For a start he's got two spirit warriors guarding the house (and taking care of the domestics). He's also got a spirit from heaven, who's bound into the sword that both seals and enforces the contract.

Of course being a teenage demon slayer is not without its problems. The main one being that `hunting demons' is rarely accepted as an excuse for missing class or being late to school. In addition these demons seem to be subtle, and not that common, so hunting them is not too easy. And finally it seems that the selection of the `heavenly spirit' who would assist him was not without some degree of politics. It does seem that being bound to a katana would not be much of an honor, but then heaven didn't look to be too exciting. In any case the pride of those who felt the position should be theirs was sufficiently affronted in the process that they have begun to move against the pair. And they are determined to act even if this aligns them with the forces of evil.


Short version of the's a great pilot. If it's not a pilot then it's really too short to be satisfying. We keep getting shots of the (shoujo) manga so clearly the Japanese audience was a lot more familiar with the material. As such the event portrayed is well after the story start, and we must depend on flashbacks to help us put the pieces together.

Which is a real shame because it's pretty cool. Not so much for the `demon hunter' bit which has been done a billion times before. More because this time it's done from a shoujo point of view. Thus the two house-keepers are actually a rather droll gay couple who seem rich in personality, which is quite a feat given their miniscule dialogue. Likewise the `villains' are atmospheric and subtle and the relationship between the lead and his `spirit' varying between deadly serious, comedic and even romantic. Although given that male spirits might occupy male bodies, or simply be effeminate shoujo hero's, telling the sex of the characters is more challenging than you might think.

The core of the show, as much as it has one, is the fight with a discovered demon. And indeed a demon who has an advantage over the hero. While this is a bit more traditional it's still pretty good, both entertaining to watch and in the character work during it. And some of the moves, especially of the two spirit warriors, has the shoujo style and cool in sizable quantities.

And then it's over. Ultimately nothing more than a minor event in a much larger story. A story that has roots we haven't seen and a conclusion we won't see. And there's really precious little point to that, indeed the taste is more aggravating than satisfying. As if the acknowledge this there is a `freeby' documentary on filming the voices. This is good fun, giving an excellent chance to see Megumi Hayashibara being very silly on camera, but ultimately it is filler to make up for the short duration of the anime.

The production itself is pretty good in general, clearly showing a shoujo heritage. Although there were some moments where the art got a bit `loose' and the character designs from the manga looked far more impressive. In addition the `bloodless' fight with the non-corporeal demon will hardly satisfy the shounen fight fans. The show also has limited `flash' with both heaven and the final fight looking a bit `ordinary'. The voices are excellent, not only Megumi but all the main characters, although the speaking cast is pretty small. The music was fine but minimal.

Other Reviews

None of my other sources have a review (yet) for this title. Although, that said, it doesn't look like there's much info on the net about the title at all. Which is sort of strange for something with a commercial release.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:18 WST 2009