Anime Meta-Review




By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-3,6-7
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • form: sub
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Sure it's a bit formulaic, but what's wrong with a formula that's such good fun? Anyway, as all anime watchers know the real danger in Japan (apart from school-girls) is demonic possession by the plague of demons that seem to inhabit Japan. Well, in one small town a historical figure did something about it and bound the biggest, meanest demon he could find in order to take the others out. Switch to the current time and his 55th descendant, a young schoolgirl, suddenly discovers that evil is back in style and it isn't taking prisoners. As things begin to look bad it turns out that Zenki has actually just been put on hold, bound within the stones of the temple for times such as these. The twist comes when this Zenki looks a lot like an angry demonic kid and proceeds to get his lights punched out. It turns out that Zenki was not an entirely willing participant in the whole deal. In fact there are really two Zenki's, one a giant of demonic might that feeds on the essence of evil, and the other a really annoyed, troublemaking little kid. The good news is that our lead has control of this change (though not directly of Zenki). The bad news is that evil is rising again and they consider Zenki a problem that must be addressed. It looks like a bit of horror and a lot of demon bashing is on the horizon.

Experienced anime watchers can guess at how this works. We've got a young girl, although in this case she does have (shinto?) religious training, getting dragged into modern demon wars. We've got conflict and comedy between micro-zenki and the lead, as well as a quite good supporting cast. The tone is light and there's a lot of nice dialog, comedy and character work to keep the pace high. And then in the background there's the forces of evil who have immense powers, including the ability to transform humans into demons shaped by the nature of their desires. Thus these demons, and their powers and forms, are highly variable, evil and occasionally even a bit spooky. This invariably leads to the main character, and thus Zenki, getting dragged into the fight for a nice episode concluding demon bash. So, while it is not going to score high on the originality scale and the environment seems a bit contrived, it's a pretty solid basis for some quite entertaining stories. And, while I haven't seen much, it looks like it does a pretty good job of it. Certainly I didn't find any difficulty in watching these and i'll be looking to hunt out more.

The production is not that modern, looking like a slightly dated OAV style (for what that's worth) but it means it's quite watchable. Certainly the characters look pretty good and some of their movement and physical animation is good fun. The production also manages to suggest quite a believable, yet interesting, world. There's also some suprisingly good magic, with the special effects and demon designs occasianally being quite impressive. Strangely enough this seems to have stolen from the action climax, or perhaps the `large' zenki is too hard to animate, because the final combat is often suprisingly unimpressive. Lots of sliding still frames, indicated rather than animated action and Zenki using his `killer move' (an elbow spike) to finish them off. Still, skilled, solid and eminently watchable production backed up with quite good music and skilled voice acting and a firm foundation make this a show worth checking out if given the opportunity.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:27 WST 2009