Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Madara Anime Review

Anime Works
Complete Collection - 1 disc
110 mins. - 2 episodes
$29.95 (2003)
ISBN 631595031720
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Yuji Moriyama
Studio - Bandai Visual

Synopsis: King Miroku is an evil despot with unparalleled power ruling over a humanity mired in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  He holds captive a lovely princess who bears him twin sons.  One is stillborn and the other has incredible psychic potential to eventually overthrow his father.  Miroku doesn't hesitate and kills the living twin in order to harvest his chakra.

Fast forward fifteen years and we observe a pair of travelers journeying through the desert.  They come across a town untouched by the rough touch of the Mouki, Miroku's henchman, due to an ancient mystical ward surrounding the town.  The young Madara is apprentice to his Grandfather and both are wandering blacksmiths.  People use prosthetics called "gimmicks" in this land and blacksmiths are able to repair the complex cybernetic machinery components.
King Miroku rules with a pair of heavy metal dragon boots
Madara meets and becomes smitten with an attractive girl from the village named Kirin who is also an orphan.  It's revealed his entire body is a very powerful gimmick put together by his Grandfather.  The town's ward is mysteriously destroyed and a group of Mouki raid the village.  Madara must summon his courage and fend them off, but their leader is a diabolical magical creature which even a battle gimmick may not conquer.
Madara and Grandfather sense danger in the village
His battle gimmick awakened, Madara begins his quest to overthrow Miroku and reclaim his chakra.  Kirin accompanies him and they meet up with two rogue princes with considerable psychic abilities.  Madara and his allies must overcome a horde of deformed monsters on their way to an ultimate showdown with Miroku.  

A bunch of werewolves (the Mouki) attack the villagers
Secrets are revealed as Madara's brother may still be alive!?  A pair of ancient war machines lie in wait to be resurrected and put to use again.  Can Madara avenge himself and save this hopeless world?
Kirin does her best damsel-in-distress imitation
Pros: Lots of old skool anime action, Madara and Kirin are endearing/funny together, some good plot twists (like Madara's twin brother), very brief nudity, the princes Chaos and Seishinjya were good supporting characters
"Grandfather" perfects Madara's battle gimmick body
Cons: Slightly dated animation, plot is pretty standard/boring, some of the characters/visuals had potential yet never really went anywhere (like all those random creatures at Miroku's castle)
This freaky monster can only be stopped by Madara!
Mike Tells It Straight: Madara is another post-apocalyptic anime from the early '90s with both mediocre plot and animation.  It's sad, but I'm a sucker for these old shows and usually have to pick them up when I see them.  I was surprised Bandai Visual put this together since the character/monster designs were fairly lame.  Guess I can blame the original manga for that one.  Madara still had a few good moments - mostly Madara and Kirin getting to know each other along with some okay fight scenes.  
These two princes join forces with Madara and Kirin
The show doesn't explain anything about the world Madara lives in nor how things got so bad.  I liked the idea of gimmicks/prosthesis, but how the heck would people be able to use/create sophisticated bionics in what appears to be a medieval-type society?
Yeah, Madara can shoot his arms off like Mazinger Z
If you're looking for the standard spikey-haired anime protagonist and old skool action then check out Madara.  It's waiting for you in the dollar bin at Best Buy.  

TO BUY and Recommendations: