Demon City Shinjuku Anime Review
Over the years I have watched Demon City Shinjuku a few times. Recently I decided to watch the movie again. I had forgotten how serene the movie can be and yet so violent at the same time. The movie takes through a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of today’s age.
Demon City Shinjuku is a 1988 anime film directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri based after a horror novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi.
Demon City Shinjuku Plot
The film follows a young man named Kyoya Izayoi and his journey into the demonized Shinjuku area. During the opening of the film, a man named Genichirou and another named Rebi Ra are fighting on the rooftop of buildings. The two were once a students of a Nempo martial art user named Aguni Rai. Rebi Ra ends up killing Genichirou and letting loose a few demons into the Shinjuku area. Ten years pass by and Kyoya (son of Genichirou) is now left with the aftermath of his fathers failures. Rai asks Kyoya for help when the World President (Kozumi Rama) is attacked. Kyoya refuses at first but reluctantly goes when he finds out the World President’s daughter goes to Shinjuku to save her father. Kyoya ends up following out of guilt. The two are now in the dangerous zone of demons and must find a way to Rebi Ra and defeating him.
I have watched the movie several times but only recently understood it better now that I am more mature. The story is not hard to follow, it’s just a little confusing. The scenes can change quickly, but it does so in a calm state. It’s nice due to some of the violent scenes it an have. Not that it is gruesome or very graphic, it had little graphic scenes. Those graphic scenes tend to be towards animals. The one thing I didn’t like about the movie. The plot was interesting, but not enough time was given for a lot of details.
Demon City Shinjuku Characters
There are only a few characters in the movie that stand out.
The main character Kyoya is your typical 80s anime male lead, acts nonchalant and has no real motive to save the world. But he does so anyways. I would say I liked his character, but again there was no time for a lot of development. Of course he does like women and that is why he saves the Presidents daughter. He is stronger than he looks as well.
Sayaka Rama is the presidents daughter. To be honest she is basically just like Relena Peacecraft from Gundam Wing. She looks weak and scared, but is actually very strong willed and determined. Her character got a little annoying towards the end for some reason. She seemed to just do stuff without thinking sometimes and got into trouble which could have been avoided.
Rebi Ra is a typical antagonist that wants power. He sold his soul to get stronger than Genichirou. Other than the opening and the last scene, he is rarely seen in the movie. That is a little frustrating because there could have been more. He was just a tool in the end.
Mephisto and the unknown kid are two people who are actually trying to help Kyoya and Sayaka in Demon City Shinjuku. Mephisto is a quiet guy and just reminds me of Darkside from Darkside Blues. The kid is just atypical child about to turn into a teenage punk. These two are crucial to Kyoya finding Rebi Ra and the kid is even used against Kyoya by one of Rebi Ra’s demons to stop him.
There are three demons in the movie that Kyoya and the group have to fight. The first one is your typical arachnid type demon. Looks big and strong but on the inside (literally) easy to take down. The second one is a roundish water demon. The third is a serpent type female demon that tries to use her sexuality to distract Mephisto. Honestly the enemies could have been better. They were taken down to quickly.
Demon City Shinjuku Animation and Music
The animation was actually really clean for the times. It reminds of you any 80s anime from that time. The scenes are serene at times and even the music can draw you into them. The music really helps with keeping the plot calm and leaving little to be tense about. There honestly is no suspense in the movie due to the cut away scenes and the music. It looks like the director used Miyazaki’s technique of ‘ma’ (intentional emptiness).
Demon City Shinjuku Overall
The movie does have some graphic scenes when you see an animal around. So do be aware of that please. There is also a little sexual scenes, but nothing serious. With that said, the movie is good if you just want to watch a quick movie and not think to much. There really is not that much dialogue. Overall I would say it’s good for the time it came out. If you wanted something more interesting I would say to read the novel or even the manga. The movie can leave you disappointed in the end when it comes to final fight as well.
Overall Grade: 5/10