Sunday, January 16, 2011

暗黒神伝承 武神 -Takegami:Guardian of Darkness

File:Guardian of Darkness.jpg

The only reason I obtained this DVD is because of my interest in Seikou Nagaoka's music.  He's the only reason why I'm exploring other anime.  I always go back to this DVD every now and again just to hear this epic score.  I'm mad that it didn't get a soundtrack, especially since there is a song at the end. 

A three episode OAV, is something really not worth passing.  Any longer would probably be a drag.  This anime is dark, which makes it very slow, even during the action sequences.  The voice cast as can be heard, may be fitting for the role, but they don't know squat about acting.  It's worse than the Anime 18 voice actors.  I'd say Koichi's voice is most normal, and Terumi's is ok.  Everyone else just lags behind. 

Episode 1 starts out with nothing but music that chills the spine.  Then we get an upbeat tune and we get some humor from this episodes characters.  Though thats the only high point.  This is all about Terumi's crush and the bullies from school.  It's kind of confusing at times how the supernatural forces take over and heighten the drama of teenage life. 

Koichi is my favorite in terms of character design.  It's rarity to see a male lead to get unnatural designs.  Everyone else is normal.  Terumi did not look ugly in the begining.  She was cute, and only lost the freckles.  I don't see the Hollywood makeover that this episode was talking about.  I like Osayo, very cool, mysterious, but the lifeless voice actor kills her.  I refuse to watch in Japanese.  I usually like the English cast better, but they don't perform. 

The dragon and monster designer is by Masami Ohbari.  What a fantastic and realistically evil creatures he has concepted.  Too bad we barely see them in the anime.  The eight headed dragon only focuses on the lead head, and the lightening dragon appears for brief seconds.  Like Susano was fighting with air. 

Episode 2 is not exciting, very slow pace till the very end.  I find the Osayo background most intriguing.  The music played in the lust scene was just beautiful.  Action music was much better, as well as the ending dramatic theme.  Stunning.  Animation was ok. 
 Opening scene for Ep. 3 was aesthetically beautiful.  We get another confusing Japanese/Chinese history/myth lesson.  I love the divine music(aren't you getting tired my nods to the music) played with the images of the mythlogical characters.  The portraits of these historical people are awe inspiring.  Much better than our teenage lead characters.  Kenichi Ohnuki is our character designer.  He keeps it real, nothing too fancy.  Better than most typical anime characters, being cute and big eyed, or just plain silly. 

The action returns in this episode, but again with the confusing otherworld characters.  The addition of Kouichi's cousin wasn't that much of a plus.  Niether was Juinbo's interest in Terumi.  His voice actor was even slower than Osayo.  The head priest was neat, but slow again. I like the new monsters.  We get a lot of cheap action flicks.  At times the imagery in the fights are better than most, then we get still images of the opponents throwing punches.  It's that kind of on and off again effect, that lowers this animations value.  I
 The only thing going for this animation is the artwork, design, and music.  Of course, I went into this for the music, and it didn't disappoint.  In fact, it should be made an example of.  I don't know how Seikou Nagaoka does it.  He must get some kind of feeling watching this.  It definetly wouldn't keep you entranced if it was for the rocking soundtrack.  Character designs are standard fare, with the exception of Isenagi and Isanami.  Ohbari's monster designs are hard to surpass.  Hiruko would have to be my favorite, especially the face's armor, directly above.  Animation, like I stated at the end of the last paragraph, is fluid at times, and then they take shortcuts.  English voice cast is lifeless, but at the Japanese track is definetly a lot more lively.  Where its quite in the English version, there is a party in the Japanese. 

It is not an really worth the original price, but I have kept it.  I didn't pay much for it.  Unreel Magazine states on the back of the box, "Watch it, enjoy it, then go back and watch it again!"  Though, thats what I've been doing, but not to watch, to listen.  That comment is one of those damned marketing and sale enhancing tools.  I certainly encourage you to watch this.  I want to rewatch just to understand the mythology.  I have my reasons for popping this back into my player.  Other than that, it doesn't really warrant a repeat. 


  1. I have to agree, the music for this anime was fantastic. :)
    Though, there actually WAS a soundtrack released back in 1991. I recently managed to get my hands on it and was just searching for a translation of the track names, when I stumbled across your webpage.

    1. My review for the soundtrack is up. Please let me know what you think of it.

  2. Really, appreciate the comment there Naotoki. I actually went searching again out of desperation for the OST after I did the review. Found a few, for cheap, and had them shipped immediately. I had started a review for it, but blogger didn't save it. Though now that you have commented, I have the ambition to rewrite it. What did you think of it?