Anime Meta-Review




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Title Info

  • alias: Utengo Kabuto : Ogon no Meno Kemono
  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
  • made: 1990
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Read on before putting money down for this tape, because it earns its place here partly because while it doesn't aim very high, it does it well. Thus any rating is very dependant on your personal tastes. One of the things it doesn't do very well is tell a story, as this is a fairly minimal component. Effectively some historical Japanese village is now under the heel of the lords widow who is practicing being evil. The daughter of the dead lord is held prisoner somewhere within the castle, from which no one returns. Of course the tall, dark cloaked sword wielding stranger who just walked into town isn't going to be bothered by such things.

And this is all the basis required for an action fest mixing samurai, oriental magic and cyber-technology. In other words things get weird quickly, with enemies both magical and technological standing in the way of Kabuto, and the remaining loyal samurai, as they try to recover the princess and free their town. The characters are largely as expected, with design and dialog being fairly archetypal, but are competently handled. The design of some of the tech and magic gadgets is quite nice and the hero is sufficiently `cool' that there is never any real doubt who is going to win.

Being an older title the visual impressiveness of some of the action has faded a lot, which probably makes this tape a poor investment. On the other hand the design is good and some of the action is nicely set out and looks pretty `cool'. It is interesting to see that character and design tend to survive the animation dating. The characters are shallow, but well designed and voiced, with Kabuto doing the full `cool dude' thing quite well. The final showdown is somewhat disappointing, but some of the action environments are good. There is some quite graphic violence, and nudity (evil women appear to become allergic to clothes) but not terribly offensive. Really, there is not much to say, it is a well produced, but dated, action and effects flick which can still be enjoyed.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:20 WST 2009