Anime Meta-Review


Night Warriors


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

I was so tempted to give this a worthy rating, because since it is an anime conversion of a fighting video game I didn't expect much at all. The story concerns a vampire lord expelled to earth after attempting to take over the demon world (the story from the game?). Of course having adapted earth to his liking (filling it with monsters, blocking out the sun) it's not exactly the world we know. So while he is planning his next fight with the demon world various other characters are exploring a world locked in conflict between creatures of the dark (ie. the characters from the game and various monsters) and humanity. Indeed we spend a lot of time with a half-breed who is largely locked in conflict with both sides of himself, which is rich material for momentous soliloquy's (and becomes a core plot item in the second half). Meanwhile there are humans who have become monsters, humans who have retreated into themselves and a monstrous cat-girl who is amongst the most human character (and that includes most of the humans). While all this stuff is bubbling away a race of robots decide that humanity is too violent and a world reset is needed, and acheivable by exterminating everyone and everything. Then there's the solar god from the depths of space, and before you know it there's blood and destruction everywhere.

Sound confusing? You bet it is. You see the game, darkstalkers, was a reaction to the unbelievable clean cut martial arts fighting games. All the characters are `monsters', albeit pumped up versions, and the moves are not restricted by human reality. Given such a strange basis it is no suprise that only a very weird story has any chance to tie it all together. Although even with this level of weird they still fail, with a number of characters getting only cameo appearances. Indeed some get most of their footage in the opening sequence. What is suprising is that there is actually quite a lot of talking...not exactly dialogue since most of it is consists of people angsting, bragging or philosophising to themselves. It's not exactly deep, and it is laid on pretty thick and some ideas are repeated a bit much, but it's not too stupid and it gives some depth to the title. Likewise there are all sorts of `momentous' scenes, some of which are actually quite good. The main problem, and the thing that limits it to a place here, is that there is just way to much `heavy' talking, weirdness, super power fights, characters and momentous scenes for 4 episodes to contain. This combines with the somewhat erratic world design (especially in technology) to cause the show to almost collapse under the weight of what it attempts. This also leads to a lot of the segments feeling rushed.

The visual style is interesting. I strongly suspect the user of computer assistance as the style is very bright and clean. Likewise the use of perspective and moving camera's (especially in the fights) is pretty intensive. The fights are interesting with them almost feeling like a sequence of `moves' tied together with slow-motion `poses' in between. Still, it works okay, and the effects (which are very common) are actually quite good. Some of the game attacks look pretty strange, but I can cope with that. The power level on this one is pretty high as well, which helps. The character design is strange, although some of this is doubtless from the game. The female characters (gotta like the cat girl though) are fairly cool, but at least two plumb the depths of how little clothing you can get away with in an anime. The backgrounds and wider scenes are a bit erratic in design, but pretty well done and lead to some nicely staged scenes. The music, voices and presentation is loud, fast and aggressive. Like the story the speed and variability in what is happening is a little too much, and somewhat breaks the overall anime. Still, the look and style is interesting, different and entertaining to watch.

Akemi's AnimeWorld has a great and detailed review which indicates that it has moments of quality and depth, but only merits an average mark when all is considered. The character role summaries are pretty spot on. The Anime Critic has similar thoughts in this review calling the result `characteritis'. Lord Carnage has a short review in which he admits to being pleasantly suprised. Although not enought to give it more than an average mark.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:22 WST 2009