Anime Meta-Review


Tokyo Babylon


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-2 of 2
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • people: CLAMP
  • made: 1994
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This is one of the first video's I borrowed, at the time I thought it was fairly weird. Of course being more experienced I now know it's just Clamp style. The story concerns two episodes in the life of a medium in a modern tokyo where psychic powers and magical rituals exist . And those who wield this power tend to get dragged into situations that expose the horror that is also a part of this vision. It must be said that the writing is secondary in this series (another clamp tendency) to the visual experience and atmosphere. Indeed the story could be considered a weakness, with some wierd pacing, relatively simple structure and an awful lot of coincidence (or fate) needed to make it work. The back-story also tends to get delivered in `chunks' which makes it feel forced, but possibly this is just a realization of the limited time available.

Still some of the scenes of spiritual horror (mainly in the first) and graphic physical violence (in the second) are quite intense and have a strong sense of style about them. Indeed the general ambiance, and hints at something greater, are well done. The characters are interesting, albeit with some weird fashion tastes, but because we spend so much time with the episodic characters not that much is done with the main characters. In addition Suboshi, the medium, is neither particularly forceful either in power or personality which leaves the episodes even more in the hands of other characters. The production is capable, but not without some signs of budget limits, and has some nice visual effects. The second episode is probably the better of the two, although it is also the more violent. It's amusing because I strongly suspect this got a local commercial release because it contained horror and despite it being an example of clamp style.

Well, the Anime Review certainly likes it, giving a very positive review. Although not quite as much as Akemi's Animeword in this review, although while I will accept that the situations are interesting and atmospheric, I wouldn't say the plots are `complex'.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:26 WST 2009