films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Violence Jack: Evil Town

Baiorensu Jakku: Jigoku-gai-hen
1988 / 58m - Japan
Action, Sci-fi, Horror - Animation
Violence Jack: Evil Town poster

A fine example of 80s post-apocalyptic anime weirdness. A mix of action, sci-fi and horror, a very colorful and eclectic cast and a hefty dose of explicit violence. If you don't like the kind of anime that gave Japanese animation its bad reputation, then it's probably best to skip this series altogether.

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The art style is a little clunky and butch, but the character designs are distinctive and fun. The animation is fine, considering the limited budget. Some very nice-looking scenes, but if you're familiar with the typical anime cheats, it is clear where they cut some corners. For an 80s OAV though, it's not bad.

The plot is a pretty basic, nothing more than a solid setup for some very bloody, violent and gory fun. It's clearly not for everybody, but if you love over-the-top violence and depravity then there's plenty to like here. A film for a particular audience in other words, not my favorite kind of anime, but I do appreciate it from time to time.

Megazone 23 Part II: Please Give Me Your Secret

1986 / 82m - Japan
Action, Sci-fi - Animation
Megazone 23 Part II: Please Give Me Your Secret poster

A pretty cool sequel. The same setting and lead, but the story itself is quite different from the first film. It's still vintage 80s anime though, with biker gangs, mecha action, space invasions and some horror elements to try and please as many niches at once. It makes for a rather amusing film.

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Yahagi is on the run from the law, this time he gets some help from a notorious biker gang. This turns out to be a pretty inconsequential spat when an alien invasion threatens all human life on the Megazone ships. Of course Yahagi and his new friends are read to take on this extra challenge.

The animation is pretty rad for an OAV, sporting a detailed and distinctive art style and some energetic action scenes. The rest is pretty standard anime fare, but the fast-paced action, the grotesque designs and the fine blend of genres makes this a very entertaining series. On to part 3.

Violence Jack: Slum King

Baiorensu Jakku: Haremu Bonba-hen
1986 / 37m - Japan
Action, Sci-fi, Horror - Animation
Violence Jack: Slum King poster

A somewhat disappointing kick-off. I admit that I messed up by starting with the second entry in the series, but that shouldn't excuse the poorer quality of this first installment. The problem with Slum King is that it's a lot tamer than its follow-up. It's mostly just an introduction to the setting with some mild violence to fill in the gaps.

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The art style is less detailed and the animation isn't quite as energetic. The characters aren't as crazy or over-the-top either, giving it an overall cheaper feel. While there is still some gore and weirdness, it never makes much of an impact. It's still amusing to watch though, but it's really hard not to compare it to the much better second part.

The comparison may be a bit unfair, on the other hand I'm not sure if I would've continued with this series if I'd seen Slum King first. It's not terrible, but it is quite underwhelming and apart from a handful of solid moments, it's too cheesy and forgettable to make a lasting impression. Persevere though, because it gets better after this.