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[ café reviews ]



Yuugen Kaishya
(Phantom Quest Corp)
Incident File 01: Kiss of Fire

Distributed by: Pioneer LDC (Japan, North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, suitable for family viewing
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Director: Chigira Koichi Producers: Madhouse, Pioneer LDC Character Design: Ueda Hitoshi English Version Executive Producer: Translation by: Pioneer LDC

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

A rash of serial murders has hit Tokyo lately in the vicinity of Tokyo Tower. Five young girls have recently been killed, their bodies virtually drained of all their blood. It can only mean that the coffin which has recently shown up in a Japanese private collection is truly that of the one and only Dracula of Transylvania. Hired to destroy the vampire, or at least prevent any more deaths, Kisaragi Ayaka is on the case to hunt down the vampire; only there seems to be two of them. One of whom is decidedly helpless and oddly enough, anemic.

[ capsule review ]

I really enjoy light-weight humour -- it takes you mind off the daily woes of life, which is probably why people enjoy sit-coms. Yuugen Kaishya may be more conventional that say Akira, but it certainly isn't mainstream comedy -- sort of a Mamono Hunter Yohko that's better written, and aimed squarely at the established business person. Very light-hearted, with a script that's well written and moves along at a nice clip. Kisaragi Ayaka is not your typical animé heroine, either -- she's older than the typical teeny-bopper we've become so accustomed -- a nice touch. Karino is very remenicent of Peter Falk's Columbo character in appearance. Animation is pretty decent, and the soundtrack is kind of catchy -- I really like the opening theme, which starts out in a very typically Japanese ballad format, and then segues into what sounds like Jerry Lewis' Great Balls of Fire. The plot is a twist on a usually typical two-character mistaken identity theme -- though this one uses vampires, and one of the vampires is most definitely atypical. There's obviously a lot more material than just the four OAV's (apparently, this is based on a manga series); I do hope more episodes are produced!
- AN

I'm not sure why this series didn't catch on that well, but it did come out at roughly the same time as Mamono Hunter Yohko. In any case though, the story here is your basic vampire running around creating havoc, with a bit of a twist. An anemic vampire who isn't a baddie of all things! While this series is nothing absolutely fantastic, it is fun to watch. The translations are a mixed bag in this case. Sometimes they are well done, other times they are kept fairly loose to keep the dialogue going. The animation is pretty typical for an OAV series, although the music is better than average. The voice acting is well done, I especially like Karino's rather hopelessly clumsy (and lost and confused) character, although Mamoru's method of waking Ayaka is also worth mentioning. There's some word-play that happens in this episode particularly dealing with Karino going off to get something for breakfast for Ayaka (which makes for a good trivia question although it is explained at the end of the tape as well). Word-play is not a major part of the story or humour of this show however so much as just the situations that the people will find themselves in. Fighting a vampire only to have him faint on you? Still I sometimes wonder why Tokyo and Tokyo Tower are such major draws for disaster in Japan. I'd hate to know how often they've had to rebuild both! - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 4 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 4 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 4 stars N/A

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