Anime Meta-Review


Violence Jack: Hell Town


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: burnable
  • people: Go-Nagai
  • form: sub
  • dur: 50
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title should offend everyone.
  • genre: hentai
  • made: 1986
  • Review created: Fri Feb 9 09:30:21 EST 2001
  • mod: none

This Go-Nagai offering is pretty's basically a nasty little exercise in violence and perversity, something I suspect is always on Go-Nagai's mind. However I can also state that there is nothing of value to be found here. So any one with any sense of quality or sophistication can move on. I watched it because the Anime Movie Guide said it was the most violent anime ever made (it isn't) and it had a story and a moral (it doesn't).

The actual story itself is so mindbogglingly primitive it is impossible to take seriously. Basically the anime opens and without any more ado there's an immense earthquake that rips tokyo apart. It's not revealed in this anime, but according to the Anime Movie Guide this is due to a comet impact and the scene is being copied all over the world, as well as in the other violence Jack OAV's. As all anime watchers know this is more than enough for Japan to fall apart as both a nation and a people and revert to savagery.

More specifically we discover that a section of shopping mall has been buried deep within the earth. And trapped within it are a small number of people who are doing the small scale version of reverting to tribal brutality. They split (impossibly) neatly into three parts. The first part are the weak but `normal' people with some primitive forms of law and management. Then there's the insane lunatic segment of the population who are in biker gang mode. And finally there's a group of fashion models, obviously designed to be victims, who seperated from the first group when all the `normal' males raped them all. In the six month's they've been there they raid each other, tap at the walls of their prison, and eat whatever food they can find, including far too much stuff that crawls. It's all so formulaic you've certainly seen much of it before.

And then comes Jack, a 12 foot monstrosity of a man who the first group unearth while digging for the surface. He doesn't speak much but it seems he can be reasoned with. We get to follow as he learns the truth about the various groups and makes his allegiances. However since his power is obviously great, matched only by the leader of the loons, it turns out that this is the final straw that will turn the groups against one another. This happening even as he shows them a way by which they can return to the surface.

I don't even know how to criticise get exactly what you might expect. There's lots of violence, most of which is gouting red-paint but some of which is graphic, murder, rape (lots) and even cannibalism. What makes it so nasty is that there's such obvious intent behind setting it up so this can happen, and that it is done with the `limiter' off. Fairly horrific things, such as knifing children, is represented as simply an `event' with no meaning. This lends a horrible `impersonality' to the whole process, as if the author knows what will get an effect but can't imagine why you might not do something.

At the same time the sheer artificiality is what robs it of it's power. I've seen violent anime's which have really horrified me because they were unexpected, graphic, and I had come to empathise with the character who get's killed. It's the sense of a real person being hurt, raped or killed that gives it power. This anime is so formulaic, silly and shallow it never achieves that. As a result while it's nasty it has little power. As I mentioned before though, this sense of the author `playfully' setting up such scenes is the thing that truly horrifies. Even the fact that Jack, and the boss of the thugs, are so obviously non-human makes it clear that it is an exercise in unhealthy fantasy more than anything else. I can't help but think that the main reason for so much of the violence is because it would simply be corny if it were not shocking.

The animation itself is nothing to write home about either. It's generally fairly simple animation with some detailed but average linework and dark, blocky coloring. And when the action starts the detail level drops even further. As I mentioned most of the violence is quick and fairly low in detail. The various rapes are sufficiently detailed to require digital censorship. And while numerous they are too short to excite those who get off on such things. The design is basic, and there's some very strange animation for the final battle which is seriously lame. Likewise corny bits like `glowing' eyes and Jack going transparent so we can see the naked woman in front of him abound. The voices are better than this deserves but the dialog is so corny and simple it doesn't matter. The music was negligible.


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