Doomed Megalopolis

volume 4 sleeve

Official Blurb:

"Long ago, in the Heian era (794 - 1185), Tairo No Masakado lost his life trying to create a Utopia on the Kanto Plain. The Masakado is now beleived to be the guardian spirit of Tokyo and according to legend anyone who disturbs him is eternally doomed."

"Doomed Megalopolis is a four part series based on "The Tale Of The Capital" by Hiroshi Aramata".

Director:        Kazuhiko Katayama/Kazushige Kume
Copyright:       Toei Video Co. Ltd./OZ Co. Ltd.

Language Format: English Language
Running time:    50/45/41/39 mins
Certificate:     15/15/15/18
Label:           Manga Video
Catalogue no:    MANV 1016/MANV 1021/MANV 1025/MANV 1031
Price:           £8.99 each
Release Date:    Aug/Oct/6th Dec 1993/14th Feb 1994


Chapter 1:

This isn't a well-known anime, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's well worth a look. Part 1 is set in Tokyo in 1908. A rapid building program is underway as the city expands. A hero of the Heian era (794-1185) is buried in what is now Tokyo and is its guardian spirit. However an evil Satanist plans to disturb the sleeping Guardian with highly destructive results.

The cast includes a rival sorcerer, an innocent young girl, her male friend, and her brother. Part 1 is very attractively animated, with interesting characters, and is exciting, with some spectacular magical happenings. It's also interesting because it's set in a real historical Japan. The villain wears a military uniform which may well be symbolic of the rising militarism of the time. And if you remember anything about the early 20th century history of Tokyo, this adds an extra tension..

The British-dubbed dialogue, is well cast and well acted, but this time it does sound rather incongruous in a 100% Japanese setting. This is Cert. 15, but the preview didn't look to be particularly suitable for juveniles, as the horrific contents are on a par with 3x3 EYES. Parental discretion is advised.

Manga Entertainment Ltd should be commended for bringing this video to our notice, and at the modest price asked it's well worth buying. [Geoff Cowie]

Chapter 2:

A continuation of the interesting and stylish anime incorporating 20th century history, horror and psychic powers. Just as good as Chapter 1, and the childrens' song sticks in your brain a while. [Geoff Cowie]

Chapter 3:

Yet another psychic defies Kato's latest attempt to ruin the megalopolis. In this chapter the pioneering underground railway system of Tokyo is threatened with attack from supernatural forces; seams of 'dragon ore' are suspected. Meanwhile the diabolic Kato once again tries to exploit the situation. The opening of the video is rather dry and may leave viewers wondering who these characters are: in fact Keiko Tatsumi is aunt to the young psychic Yukiko who was born to Yukari Tatsumi after the latter was impregnated by Kato. As the situation develops there is some very dramatic and suspenseful action. This volume is by a different director and doesn't quite match the high standard set by the preceding chapters; it's also shorter. However if you've got Chapters 1 & 2 you'll probably want to get this too. [Geoff Cowie]

Chapter 4:

The concluding chapter, in which the evil sorcerer Kato uses an incantation to bring down the moon. The dialogue is splendidly full of pseudo-scientific jargon and the descent of the Moon is very visual and quite thrilling. Priestess Keiko Tatsumi is again in the forefront of the struggle to defeat Kato, and the climactic sequences are a visual treat. [Geoff Cowie]