The All-Pagan Anime Review


It’s that time again! Time for me to color your dreary gray lives with a little animation. Particularly those of you who have been patiently wading through my magical-girl heavy reviews, waiting for that day I review the good stuff - horror anime. Demons, and mutations and lots of sex - all the important things in life.

As always, my reviews are on a four star system.
* Mutation, screaming - and that’s just the audience. Give it a miss.
** If you like that kind of thing, you’ll like this.
*** This is worth leaving your computer for. It’s got plotline, or animation, or kick-ass baddies
**** It doesn’t get better than this! Animation, plot, characters, magic, this has got it all

Demon City Shinjuku - I had to start with this one, didn’t I? It was pretty much required of me by the anime reviewer’s rules.’s got lots of demons. Most of them have wings, and swarms of them seem to be invading Tokyo. Why? Beats me. That’s not really the point, is it? The point is the gouting blood, lots of screaming and flocks of flying demons. Fans of this series rave about the art, the plot, etc, but I basically found it to be typical of the “demons invade Tokyo” genre. There is a bad guy, yes, and he is suitably insane and power hungry, but this series didn’t make me a fan. Damn little magic, no good demonic magic.

Nightmare Campus - This series is typical of the “sexually obsessed demons invade Tokyo” genre - and despite that this series is awful in every way, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Young, nerdy Masao Sera stumbles upon an ancient demon lair at an archeological dig and disappears - presumed dead. When he returns to his high school he finds it overrun with students who have turned into demons. As it turns out, Masao has also been demonized - when he gets angry, he turns into the biggest, baddest demon around - and he fights to save his school, and the love of his life. But don’t let this synopsis fool you; this series is about the sex. Lot’s of it, very little with any provocation, and often with a variety of humans/entities. What this series lacks in plot, characterization, art and magic, it makes up for in moaning.
* for actual merit **1/2 because I rather liked it anyway

Yu Yu Hakusho - It’s not really horror series, per se, more a shounen (boy’s) series, but it does have lots of demons and monsters...and it has Ogata Megumi as one of the voice actors, which sets it in the “must-have” category for me. Plus, this series has some amusing characterizations of the Shinto/Buddhist afterlife. Urameshi Yuusuke, a complete loser and juvenile delinquent has died doing the one unselfish act of his life. Unfortunately for him his death was meaningless, and the powers that be have no idea what to do with him. While dead, Yuusuke learns that he does have some people who care about him after all, and he decides to return to life. Yuusuke is given psychic fighting powers, which he uses to assist the judge of the dead (a binky-sucking Enma Jr.) in keeping the balance between the human world and the world of the demons. Yuusuke is joined by Botan, the goddess who guides the dead to the afterlife and her ferocious baseball bat, his rival/best friend Kuwabara, and two demons, Hiei and Kurama, (Whaaaaaaa!!!! Kurama!!!!!) whose powers help Yuusuke defeat even the most recalcitrant demonic being. Like Dragonball Z, this series is about the fighting, and the plot occurs in between the fights, which are full of posturing and long pauses. (In fact, DBZ fans, watch out, because YYH has been licensed for American distribution and should arrive on our shores next year for American television.) But listening to Kurama scream “Rose Whip” is good enough for me - and I like all the characters in this series, especially Kuwabara’s sister, who is either too cool for words or psychotic, I’m not sure which. Magically, this series is silly, demonically, it’s worse. But the bits of magic, mythology/religion and testosterone make an altogether enjoyable experience.
***1/2 - just for Kurama (waaaa!!!)

Vampire Hunter D - Can’t forget the goths out there, can I? I haven’t seen more than clips and short scenes of this, but all I can say is, whether you are a vampire person or not, check out this series! The original was practically the ultimate goth experience, anime noir, and the new movie on DVD is supposed to be even better. It’s on my list, just for the magnificent art. How can anyone resist beautiful vampires? Beats me. Just get it and see for yourself.

3x3 Eyes - Fuggi Yakumo is your basic average kid who works to support himself as a transvestite cocktail waitress, who meets up with a child named Pai. In the course of protecting Pai, Yukumo is creamed. While Pai cannot bring him back to life, it turns out that (surprise!) Pai is, in reality, a powerful Tibetan entity who is trying to become human. Pai cannot bring Yakumo back to life, but she can and does turn him into a zombie, so that he can help her with her quest. Typically, in every episode Yakumo dies in some horribly violent and needless way, because he can. This series has all the usual goofy mysticism of anime, and in this case, the mythology/religion/magic is all faux-Tibetan, which caught my attention. It’s not so much about the fighting as YYH, but there’s a fair amount of it, which I like. I also like that Pai, who is a cute 13 year-old girl, turns into a complete babe when she uses her powers. For something a little different, this series is actually a lot different. I’d certainly recommend it to those of you who like mutations, blood, gore, and random eyeballs popping out of things.
*** The art’s merely okay, but the random Tibetan mysticism is fun

- Erica Friedman