Demon City Shinjuku

Magai Toshi Shinjuku
Also Known As: Monster City
Genre: Action/Horror
Format: 1 Movie
Allegiance: Japan Home Video/Madhouse Studios
Director: Kawajiri Yoshiaki
Vintage: 1993
Intelligence Agency Report by: The Macaque
The evil Levi Rah has taken over Shinjuku, and turned it into a city crawling with nasty looking demons. In three days time all mankind will face its doom, as Rah is planning on opening the gates of hell in the heart of the city. Since no one has dared to enter the demon city in ten years, the future of humanity looks very uncertain. However, help is at hand form an unexpected source. A young girl named Sayaka is determined to face Levi Rah, as her father is being held hostage inside the demon city. Luckily she doesn’t have to do it all alone, as a young man named Kyoya decides to join her, and protect her from harm during this dangerous journey.

Field Agent Report by: The Macaque
Overall 5.00

Demons strike the heart of Tokyo and only one person can rescue the world. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? Actually this anime probably had somewhat more to offer the viewers when it was released back in 1993 (highly unlikely). Even so, it still fails to amaze in any way.

First of all, Demon City Shinjuku’s main idea lies in showing lots of blood and gore. No surprises there as the director, Kawajiri Yoshiaki, also made such movies as Ninja Scroll and Wicked City. See, demons and demon-slayers make for a nice splatter. A part from the half baked idea of an evil man who wants to destroy the world without any apparent reasons, the plot is weak on every single area. Some might argue that the relationship between the two protagonists, Sayaka and Kyoya, might make up for the pointless violence. This could only be truely meanigful to people who poke anthills with sticks only to see the little ants running around in a random fashion. Hiding small hints of romance into the story here and there is an outrage, a crime against the whole genre of romantic movies. It’s all infact just a very bad cover-up, a true Watergate among anime movies, for what the production team actually meant to show. In other words justifying a great deal of fan-service among the slaughter.

Even the music sounds like it had been summoned by Levi Rah from those opened gates of Hell, as it’s mainly synthesizer hits, one after another. Hey, it’s only music from the beginning of the nineties. What did you expect? Nirvana?

But, and here’s the big shock, for a very mediocre anime, Demon City Shinjuku still manages to show some surprisingly nice artwork. The animation is quite smooth, and the backgrounds are actually very good looking at times. Too bad it’s all gone to waste with the pointless demon slaying-fest for a story line.

One can only view Kawajiri-san with amazement. Here’s a man that has stayed true to his principles when it comes to directing, and has never given in to more popular trends, like… say, reasonable plots that actually make sense or characters who don’t go around chopping up every single being that crosses their paths. No, Kawajiri will probably never give into such nonsense… and will therefore never be one of my favourite directors. As thus, the likes of Demon City Shinjuku will never be among my favourite movies.