Tokyo Majin Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
November 26, 2007 by Dennis Amith
DVD: Tokyo Majin Vol. 1
DISTRIBUTED BY: ADV Films
DURATION: 125 minutes (Episodes 1-5)
RATED: TV MA V
RATIO: 16:9 Anamorphic
RELEASE DATE: December 11, 2007
Tokyo is the setting of where waves of mysterious deaths happening throughout the city and the dead have reawaken and are controlled by monstrous creatures and are seeking power that could bring about the final apocalypse.
As the police and the people of Tokyo are helpless, five unlikely heroes have come to save the day. They are students of Tokyo Majin!
“Tokyo Majin” (Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchō: Tō) is an anime that has already ran for two seasons this year on Japan’s satellite anime channel Animax and has spawned a PlayStation and PlayStation 2 video game years earlier.
Similar to the popular “Megami Tensei” video games, fans of the video game series (first game was on the PSX back in 1998) have been wanting an anime series and now, here it is.
The series revolve around five students of Megami Academy. The school has been rocked by students that have gone missing at their high school and deaths are mounting.
A new student named Hiyu Tatsuma has come to the school and gets acquainted with the other students such as the brash Horaiji Kyoichi of the kendo club, Daigo Yuya of the wrestling club, Sakurai Komaki of the archery (kyudo) club and Misato Aoi, the student body president and from a wealthy, powerful family.
Throw in a few characters for comedy relief which including Tohno Kyoko, reporter of the school newspaper (behaves like one of the paparazzi) and Maria Alucard, a teacher at Megami Academy.
Upon watching the first volume, I will say that the first episode was a bit confusing. You are introduced to characters from days old, to characters in the present and without any proper introduction until you get to the second episode. But what you do see from the first episode are cool characters, cool animation and fighting and violence that you come away wondering if this is like an “X-Men” or “Persona” style of anime that takes place in high school.
But once you get to the second episode, you get to know a little bit about the characters and how each of them are so different from each other. What you are able to piece together is that Tatsuma was sent to the school for a reason, Kyoichi is a fighter but a total dick and even more to Aoi, Daigo is a tall brute that wrestles but loves to cook and has a thing for Komaki and both Komaki and Aoi are best friends.
Episode 2 goes into the five discovering their powers.
In episode 3, crows are attacking the city and also, a mysterious figure is spying on the five. This leads to a battle between the five and Umon Raito, a lightning wielding fighter and former lead vocalist of the rock band CROW.
In episode 4, you are introduced to Karasu Ryouchi, the leader and lead guitarist of the rock band CROW who joins with the bad monsters and is given the power to manipulate lightning and electricity and takes on the five students. It appears that Ryouchi doesn’t like his former bandmate Raito for a reason.
In this episode, you get to learn about the band CROW and why the band disbanded. Also, the five learn that they are not the only people gifted with supernatural powers and that there are others using their power for evil.
In episode 5, the five heroes discuss their new lives and how living a normal life will never be the same. Students continue to die and this time, the next target is student body president Misato Aoi. This is the introduction of doctor Iwayama Takako who has the power to treat patients wounded by demons.
The animation for “Tokyo Majin” is pretty cool. What I like is the different color usage for day, night and early evening. I enjoy the character designs. It’s very stylish and hip.
The audio for the English dub and the Japanese are both well done. I watched both series completely in English and Japanese and both are cool in their own cultural way.
As for the DVD special features, the first volume features the clean opening and closing animation, ADV previews and DVD credits.
“Tokyo Majin” is a very fast-paced anime that features a good balance of over-the-top humor and violence.
I know during these times of anime such as “Bleach” and even “Naruto”, anime about teamwork and the team taking on evil may be a bit overplayed. But I’ve seen it through the years form “Ranma 1/2”, “Fushigi Yuugi”, “Rurouni Kenshin”, “X” to the current cream of the crop anime with similar storylines.
And I suppose, one would wonder what makes “Tokyo Majin” so different from the others out there.
I suppose with “Tokyo Majin”, it reminds me of the popular NBC sci-fi show “HEROES” where people are suddenly with special supernatural powers and in this case, people are dying, the dead are coming alive ala zombies and some unfortunate things are happening in Tokyo. Then you have the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” type of feeling with high school people (who would probably never hang out), joined together for a common cause to eliminate the evil and take on those with powers who use it on the side of evil.
Now will “Tokyo Majin” rise up to be a classic like the other anime that I have mentioned? It’s too early to say.
It has a cool style to it, it has cool character designs and also cool J-Rock music. I found the characters mostly to be quite likeable and overall, I feel “Tokyo Majin” to be a very cool anime with a lot of potential.
Because this game is pretty much based on a popular video game, not too say that I was not expecting much but I will say that it definitely exceeded my expectations.
As for the DVD, I was a bit surprised that there were only just the offering of clean opening and ending themes but looking at the Japanese release of the DVD, it’s pretty much the same.
So far, I am enjoying what I have seen so far of “Tokyo Majin”. Awesome action featuring an akward team of heroes, each with special abilities going against hardcore demons, zombies and evil in general. A little humor hear and there. But it’s nice to see the human side of high school students who want to use their powers for good and those who just want to go on living their high school life and have fun and know that they will need to make a choice on how to live their life.
I definitely look forward to watching more episodes of this series!
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