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Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Makaitoshi Shinjuku (original title)
A young warrior must finish what his father started by battling his way through a city of demons and defeat a diabolical psychic who has opened a portal to hell.

Director:

Yoshiaki Kawajiri

Writers:

Hideyuki Kikuchi (novel), Kaori Okamura (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hideyuki Hori Hideyuki Hori ... Kyoya (voice)
Hiromi Tsuru ... Sayaka (voice)
Kiyoshi Kobayashi ... Rebi Ra (voice)
Kyôko Tongû Kyôko Tongû ... Chibi (voice)
Yûsaku Yara ... Mephisto (voice)
Ichirô Nagai ... Rai (voice)
Osamu Saka Osamu Saka ... Rama (voice)
Banjô Ginga Banjô Ginga ... Genichiro (voice)
Takeshi Aono ... Hag (voice)
Arisa Andô Arisa Andô ... Waitress (voice)
Junko Akimori Junko Akimori ... Girl (voice)
Kôji Totani ... Rapist (voice)
Asami Mukaidono Asami Mukaidono ... Yin (voice)
Naoki Tatsuta ... Water Demon (voice)
Hirohiko Kakegawa Hirohiko Kakegawa ... Earth Demon (voice)
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Storyline

Kyoya's father was a great warrior, killed at the hands of the diabolical psychic, Rebi Ra, who has now opened a portal to hell in the city of Shinjuku. It falls to Kyoya to finish what his father started and battle his way through demons, while protecting a young woman from harm. The only problem is that he's not exactly your classic hero type, and his powers are still latent. Written by Sinedd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Man Against An Army of Monsters......With The Fate Of The World At Stake!


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

25 October 1988 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Demon City Shinjuku See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A role playing game was released by Guardians of Order in 2000. See more »

Quotes

Mephisto: Remember this, Pandora's box released chaos. The gods saw the dispair her actions caused so they released one last item with the others so mankind could bear to go on, the gift of hope. 'Til next time.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Johnny Mnemonic (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

???
Performed by Umeda Motoichi
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User Reviews

 
Had high hopes, got let down a little bit by this one
5 August 2011 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

1988's "Demon City Shinjuku" is a movie that I had extremely high hopes for, but got let down instead. That is not to say that the movie is really bad, it's just disappointing. The OVA (original video animation) is directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, that much-feared Anime' (Japanese animation) film director behind "Wicked City" (1987), "Ninja Scroll" (1993), and "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" (2000). The story is from the Manga (Japanese comic book) series by Hideyuku Kikuchi, who was also behind the original novels for "Wicked City" and "Vampire Hunter D."

"Demon City Shinjuku" reunites both Kikuchi and Kawajiri for the first time since "Wicked City."

Just to get this out of the way, this is an adult Anime', but it comes nowhere near the lines crossed by "Wicked City" and "Ninja Scroll." You know what I mean: the frequent and explicit sex scenes/nudity and extreme violence. "Demon City Shinjuku" is fairly bloody, but is hardly super-graphic in nature. What would probably earn this movie an "R"-rating if it were live-action or received a theatrical distribution in the United States would be its decidedly coarse language (this review is based on the English-dubbed version) and frank presentation of demons, black magic, and the ghostly netherworld. (It's also interesting to note that some of the characters in the English-dubbed version have British, Mexican and German accents, rather than just standard American English.)

The OVA is set in the near future, where Levih Rah, the demonic overlord of Tokyo's Shinjuku district, is trying to bring about a literal Hell on Earth by attempting to open up a gateway that would allow his benefactors in the demonic underworld to roam free in our dimension. The story is set 10 years after Levih Rah defeated the heroic swordsman Genichirou Iyazoi in a duel, which ultimately led to Levih Rah taking over Shinjuku, which eventually became a crime-ridden, demon-roaming necropolis ("city of the dead" in Greek).

Now 10 years later, Levih Rah and his demonic forces are once again attempting to bring about the apocalypse, but this time standing in his way is Genechirou's teenage son Kyoya, who also possesses extraordinary sword-fighting skills in addition to the power of Nempo, a form of internal energy that is analogous to the concept of chi in Asian philosophy but is presented here as being something much closer to The Force from the "Star Wars" movies. Kyoya is aided in his travels by the beautiful Sayaka Rama, daughter of the World Federation President; Chibi, a young Shinjuku street hustler; and the enigmatic mystic Mephisto.

"Demon City Shinjuku" is a vastly uneven and oddly paced feature but is nonetheless entertaining. To me, that's what really counts, despite the obvious failings of Kawajiri's abilities as a director. Where the film redeems itself, I believe, are in its creature designs and story. The creatures in this OVA are pretty cool-looking and terrifying, and it's interesting to note that shape-shifting is very often a recurring theme in Japanese depictions of other-worldly creatures. The story is also very cool and engaging but what draws it back occasionally are flat characters and a disappointing climax that really lets you down considering everything that led up to it.

This OVA is not a failure, but it's an interesting feature to watch nonetheless. Even though it was directed by Anime' master Yoshiaki Kawajiri, I would not consider it essential viewing in his catalog of otherwise impressive and stunning Anime' features ("Ninja Scroll" remains my personal favorite of the director). I would recommend only watching if you are a hardcore Kawajiri or Hideyuku Kikuchi fan.

7/10


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