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Title (English) Kabuto
Title (Japanese) Raven Tengu Kabuto

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes OVA, Buichi Terasawa/NEP/KSS, 1992
UK: KABUTO (Manga Video, cert.15, 45mins, 9.99) KABUTO (a.k.a. Raven Tengu Kabuto)
Classification -
Review Script,storyboard, direction and character design: Buichi Terasawa, from a manga by Terasawa. A-Girl Co. Ltd/NHK. 1992, 45 mins. In this Japanese animated video, Kabuto, a samurai warrior, returns to a region which he has previously visited, only to find it ruled by an evil queen, Tomamushi, who has the use of some rather advanced technology developed by an inventor of robots and other mechanical devices. Soon after arriving on the scene, Kabuto is confronted by a carriage drawn by a steam-powered horse! His former girlfriend Himai has been kidnapped by the queen and her cohorts, and Kabuto, conjuring up a flight of ravens, causes all the captives to be set free during the confusion. Himai is rescued by another warrior from Kabuto's past, Kasumo, but they are soon attacked by a steam-powered robot and then cornered by some hag-like female warriors. Kabuto arrives and aids their escape by river. While Kasumo and Himai flee downriver, Kabuto uses his powers to engage the Queen's minions. He engages the robot in single combat and defeats it; it self destructs. Meanwhile Himai and Kasumo are captured again... The realistic opening scenes evoke the atmosphere of medieval Japan quite well. The chase sequences are quite exciting, and are intercut with scenes from Kabuto's past. The artwork is good, with realistic character and striking mecha designs; the character faces in particular being pleasingly drawn. Kabuto, with his swordfighting skills and magical powers, soon proves to be such a super superhero that one doesn't worry about his safety or ultimate success for a moment. Rather, enjoyment lies in watching Kabuto do his stuff. The robots and other inventions - there is even a helicopter - are styled to fit in with the medaeval setting, and the technology is effectively used in the final twist of the story. An unusually inventive piece of anime, entertaining but rather lacking in character interest. (G. Cowie.) (Spoiler notes - Kabuto does some magic to blast down rocks and block the river to prevent the robots and the hag warriors - their faces are separate multi-legged creatures which scuttle away when the body is killed - from following. He then takes wing (literally) and flies to counter-attack. However a house-like helicopter appears and sucks Himai and Kasumo up into it. Kabuto battles the robot which has a timer inside causing it to self-destruct explosively when disabled. The queen is preparing to crucify Kasumo when Kabuto appears with warriors. Kabuto fights his way in, but the queen escapes by helicopter. Kabuto reappears on the outside of the 'copter and cuts his way in. He finds Himai, but the queen traps them both in her magic cloak. He escapes by magic and kills her with a swordthrust. The scientist calls to his queen but she doesn't answer. Kabuto discovers to his shock that the queen has a timer in her body that has already counted down to six seconds. He makes a hasty winged escape with Himai.) (***)
Credits Original story, screenplay, direction: Buichi Terasawa
Release UK:VHS, US:VHS
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1992
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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