I checked out the first episode of this anime way back in January, but I never got past the first since it made absolutely no sense. I got some comments telling me I should have watched some more. So did things actually get clearer?
It’s true, Haruhi did a pretty good job of getting me hooked while jumping around plotwise in the story. The difference between Haruhi and Tokyo Majin is that Haruhi took advantage of my Media Arts student love of bad filmmaking. Tokyo Majin just has a bunch of badass fights!
It probably is unfair to rate an anime based on just the first episode. That’s why the previous post was a “first impressions” one and this is a “review.” So onto my analysis of this anime!
Here’s a quick plot synopsis from what I understand of it. And this might be very wrong since I felt out of the loop during most of the time I was watching Tokyo Majin. Some kind of mysterious evil power is infecting the world. Apparently this evil power manifests in a bunch of different forms like ghosts, zombies, giant balls of zombies, etc. It’s unknown who is causing this to occur, but at the same time, ordinary people are getting super powers. Five high school students are using their powers to fight whatever threatens the city.
After watching five episodes, I’m still taking the stance that plot is taking a backseat to action. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing since the quality of animation is really top notch. Still, I’ve really only taken away the fact that the character designs and animation is really pleasing.
The battle scenes are what defines this anime. Anything else is obligatory talking and walking so that the animation budget doesn’t get blown in the first five episodes.
This is not to say that I don’t like certain elements of the plot. For the most part, the five main characters are all pretty generic. There’s the mysterious newcomer, the guy who doesn’t like the mysterious newcomer, the oujo girl who can’t fight and the yuri paired servant who protects her, and a random wrestler to round out the crew. I DO like the meganekko reporter who is always looking for the next “dai-scoop.” But you all know I have a thing for meganekko… And while the yuri relationship between two of the characters seems merely suggestive, it is my stance that suggested yuri is much better than no yuri at all!
So plotwise, the anime just doesn’t make sense right now. And the parts that do make sense are overly sentimental and sappy. At one point, a character exclaims: “We formed a band to make music, not to kill people!” Yes, we get it, murder wasn’t a founding principle of Crow. But you just have to accept the fact that sometimes, forming bands leads to murder.
I’ll say a little bit about the DVD production quality. The picture quality is quite good. It might just be because I watched this on my MacBook, but I didn’t see any problems with the quality at all (my desktop usually exacerbates the interlacing on DVDs). The voicework isn’t bad, with a lot of fun profanity sprinkled about for good measure. The subtitles seem fine too, though there are some interesting choices choice words like “cripes!” Overall, I think ADV did a good job localizing a fairly difficult anime to work with.
So Tokyo Majin is, in essence, really great fight scenes that are dulled down by intermittent plot. There’s an overarching theme with mysterious bad guy and his tag-along loli. Personally, I prefer my anime with good animation and an interesting plot. I’m sure a lot of people will really like this anime for all the action contained within. For me, however, the action parts are not worth weathering the dull parts.
Many thanks to ADV Films for sending me a review copy of Tokyo Majin Volume 1!
2 replies on “Tokyo Majin Vol. 1 – Anime DVD Review”
I watched the entire tokyo majin series, and the plot is sub-par. Overall, it’s not worth watching.
It sounds like I’ll definitely have to pick up the DVDs, if they do indeed have good quality footage. When it was still airing, the quality was absolutely terrible which ruined the great sense of style the art has, it looked like I was just watching an extra-large YouTube upload.
As for the plot, all I can say is that it pretty much doesn’t make any sense until a certain point where they just tell you everything (thankfully, although it comes rather late in the season.) The action of course, does carry the series surprisingly well. The first episode was always a bit nonsensical even after that plot point, but the second season is a lot easier to chew (plus, makes the characters much easier to care about) and the end of the first season was spectacular despite similarities to a few other entries of those ancient power/curse/rising dead genres.
Along the way there’s also some implentation of the sort of psychological horror genres that really trip out the viewers which would certainly, again, benefit from better quality, so I imagine the 2nd DVD would have a lot more interesting happenings in it, and the 3rd would, ironically, consist of the majority of the storyline.