Demon City Shinjuku
Review by David Bingham:
The story opens with a sword fight on the top of a tower in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, and doesn't slow down much. It centers around Kyoya Izayoi, the son of Genichirou, and Sayaka Rama, the daughter of the Federation President (the Federation would be something like our United Nations) and their attempt to stop Levih Rah from turning the world into a hell on earth.
Levih Rah was once studied Nempo (a mystic martial art form) along with Genichirou, but traded his soul to the "demon void" for greater power and killed Genichirou. Shinjuku suffered a major earthquake at this time, collapsing into a war zone populated by demons. The plot is not complex: Kyoya and Sayaka, armed only with his bokken (wooden practice sword) and Nempo, must go into Shinjuku, fight assorted demons, then find and kill Rah.
The animation is gorgeous, and the action very well thought out. The movie contains some fascinating characters, my favorite of which is Mephisto, a very cynical spiritual healer who saves the duo. The ending, when it comes, is far too brief for my taste (I would have preferred a more lengthy fight) but satisfying none the less. The movie is simply an example of good, high quality anime.
Sayaka's character is interesting. She has no fighting skills at all, and yet manages to overcome a fire demon by seeing it is not evil, but merely hurt and angry. Her caring matches Kyoya's fighting ability, making a very well rounded team.
Parent's Guide Rating:
yellow (parental guidance advised)
Profanity: Very limited--maybe a dozen swear words total.
Sex: Almost non-existent. One character makes some fairly oblique references to sex, but Kyoya and Sayaka don't even kiss. Well, they almost do right at the end, but I'll leave that for you to see. The only nudity is a female demon that exposes one breast during a fight, maybe 30 sec. of exposure total. At one point Sayaka is accosted by a gang that tries to rape her, but she's saved before they get anywhere.
Violence: Frequent, but rarely graphic. Almost no blood at all, though there are several severed limbs, a cat ripped to pieces (we only see it's shadow) and a dog's side ripped out. No "splatter" at all in the entire movie.
The violence is quite intense within the above mentioned limits, and the demons (especially the first one) are genuinely frightening. This movie is probably too intense for younger children.
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