Violence Jack: Slum-King
Another "dust collector" found in the dim recesses of a video lending library. And this one was so far back even the wrestling videos had a higher precedence. Then again, given that the Violence Jack series is regarded as one of the most violent and brutal anime ever made I'm sort of glad it was somewhat hidden.
The world as we know it has been reduced to ruin and wasteland through a massive comet impacting on Earth's surface. Volcanos, earthquakes and floods adding to the catastrophe that has devastated human culture and decimated the population. And naturally, in response, the survivors go into full on Mad Max mode and descend into a primitive and brutal society. And in the particular society we meet the slum-king is at the top of the tree through the power and brutality of his savage followers.
The slum-king has only one enemy, who has beaten him before. That man is Violence Jack, a monstrously large human with a seemingly endless taste for violence. His first name is Violence, and his second is for his trusty Jackknife which helps him at his work. So when Jack wanders into the slum-kings lands, and interferes with his slave-trading minions, violence and death on a massive scale is certain.
Yep, it really is about that simple. See, Jack doesn't actually talk much. He simply wanders around the wasteland and kills anyone who annoys him. Which, considering the brutal environment, is just about everyone. When the followers of the slum-king hear about him they are determined to find and kill him. When they try to kill him he's determined to kill them. In between the two events a lot of other people get killed.
The plot is complicated a little bit by a side story. For some reason, that boggles the mind, it seems the only thing that can be harvested in the wasteland is pretty young girls, with submissive personalities and nice casual clothes. Their role in the story is to be trained as sex slaves so that this show has both sex and violence. However one of them has actually been wandering the wasteland (in her nice casual clothes, without supplies, or weapons, or skills) looking for her lost boyfriend. The idea is that this forms the character part of the show.
I actually considered simply adding to the existing Violence Jack review I have rather than writing a new entry. But there are two reasons I didn't. The first is it doesn't actually connect with the first one, the second is that this one doesn't have any where near the same power as the first. Don't get me wrong, both of them are extremely violent and eminently avoidable. But this story shows a writer pretty clearly running out of steam.
The first one was, to put it bluntly, perverse and psychologically twisted, that's what made it so nasty. It was the product of a sick mind inventing hellish futures that degrade and destroy people. This one is about a monstrous figure, who is clearly supernatural, having a long and bloody fight with other monstrous people. It's too straight forward to have much in the way of character and psychology. The sex slave element, which is actually very tame by Go Nagai standards, ends up having absolutely no meaning or relevance. Likewise the characters that do get speaking parts, the captured slave girl story, is pretty lame, uninteresting and largely disconnected from Jack's rampage. Even the way in which that story ends makes it clear that it had no special meaning.
In short it's really rather boring. There's lots of scenes of graphic, but not particularly well animated, death and dismemberment but it's so obvious that is whats going to happen. Endless waves of nameless and faceless thugs go up against an even bigger thug who cuts them into bite sized pieces. And since there's no real doubt as to who is going to win there's no suspense and little interest. Meanwhile the other characters play out their meaningless little story to extend the running time. So it's both tasteless and boring, well done to whoever wrote this.
Fairly awful. The character designs are pretty basic, the animation is quite dark and the movement is limited. The injuries sustained tend towards either the flying limbs or gouts of red paint modes favoured by low budget slasher flicks. Violence Jack, as befits a huge and seemingly invulnerable man, doesn't tend to be particularly agile so the action isn't very interesting. The characterisation and dialogue are poor and given how many people die in the show there's no point in getting too attached to anyone. It also tends to kill people in a really offhand way, as if the author has got bored of them more than anything else. Average voices, with terrible dialogue, and no music that I noticed. It's not nearly interesting enough production to make up for the many failings elsewhere.
The world is destroyed by a cometary impact and reverts into neo-savagery. If you've seen Mad-Max or one of the hundred other post-apocalypse movies you know how it goes. One part of this world is ruled by the brutal slum-king and his violent and depraved followers. Into this world walks the giant and powerful violence Jack. There's a lot of explicit violence, some sex references and a whole heap of story elements that fail to make this anything other than both trash and boring.
There's only one review from my regular sources and it's for the first tape ("Hell Town"). I don't really think any of the other anime reviewers are going to be putting this on their "must see" lists either.