Demon City Shinjuku box cover

Info

Available on VHS and DVD from U.S. Manga Corps.
Movie
90 minutes
Action/Horror
Version I Watched: Subtitled in English
Objectionable Content: Graphic violence, brief nudity

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Demon City Shinjuku

After watching Demon City Shinjuku I was left with the feeling that it *could* have been good. Heck, it could have been great. After all, it's from the creator of Ninja Scroll, but aside from the great technical presentation, there's little substance to be found.

The artwork is rather good, and does a good job conveying the mood. Every scene is rather monochromatic, whether it be gray, blue, purple, etc. However, this, combined with the moody soundtrack, really developed a powerful atmosphere which was genuinely chilling.

The premise (demons invading the Earth) has been used before and will be used again. I was kind of hoping this anime would put a spin on this concept. However, the plot is so devoid of any kind of depth, that outside of the premise there is little else. Basically, a powerful demon called Levih Rah has taken over the Shinjuku district of Tokyo and he is on the verge of bringing his dark lord onto Earth. A young man, Kyoya, with the help of the a woman named Sayaka, venture into the city to stop Levih Rah before he completes his vile plan. The actual events that do occur throughout the story seem to be simply filler, with little bearing on the overall story. Granted, some of the stuff that happens is kind of neat (I liked the bit featuring Mephisto), but you could've cut out half this movie without affecting the plot. There is also a rather glaring plot-hole which requires overlooking. I don't know about you, but if an entire city was overtaken be demons, I doubt the world would turn a blind eye. Sure, there are some hints that there had been government and military action there, but you'd think demons would attract a lot more attention. But, hey, it's only a movie, right?

As for the characters, they just ended up flat. Sayaka and Kyoya, the two main characters, come across as emotionless, somber, and highly uninteresting. We only get brief snippets of the villain, Levih Rah, and he might as well been a block of wood for all the depth he has. The only character I sort of liked was Mephisto, because his ultra-cool attitude seemed a lot more interesting than everyone else. Too bad he serves no real purpose in the story.

If you want a quasi-horror anime about demons and such, then Silent Mobius a much better choice. Demon City Shinjuku is just an exercise in boredom.

The Verdict: * * (poor)