Original writer: Fujihiko Hasona Director: Hiroshi Negishi Copyright: Fujihiko Hasona/Futabasha/MOVIC/KSS Inc. Language Format: English Language Running time: 50 mins Certificate: 15 Label: Manga Video Catalogue no: MANV 1017 Price: £8.99 Release date: 1993
JUDGE isn't well known in anime fandom. The story begins in the offices of a large Japanese trading company, some of whose executives have been dipping their fingers in the till and dealing dirtily with those who might expose them.
In the world of JUDGE, justice is ultimately dealt out, when the ordinary legal system fails, by the Law of Darkness. The dead seek retribution from the spirit world for the crimes committed against them, and their pleas are communicated through the Statute Book, a living collection of judicial precedents recorded on human skin and controlled by the merciless Judge of Darkness.
In the real world, the hero is Mr Nice Guy, clumsy, passed over for promotion and treated with some contempt by his colleagues, except for one girl who is clearly fond of him. His secret identity is known to nobody. He is an attractive character, but the name of Clark Kent comes rather too quickly to mind. When he stumbles on some clues rather by accident, the real action begins.
JUDGE is a very black comedy. The animation is nothing special, but the British dubbing is good and the storyline holds one's attention sufficiently for the fifty minutes to pass pleasantly enough. [Geoff Cowie]