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|The Dark Myth
|THE DARK MYTH #1(Manga Video, cert 18, 50 mins, £9.99)
|In legend, the god Susanoh oh terrorised heaven till he was banished to the Underworld for his crimes, where he encountered and slew the monstrous eight tailed serpent Yamata and became known as the Lord of Darkness. This has some significance for Takahashi, a youth whose father was murdered ten years before while on a quest for mysterious artefacts. Takeuchi is brought to the attention of the powerful Kikuchi clan; direct descendants of the five original families of Japan, and becomes the focus of bizarre and frightening supernatural events. Takahashi bears the mark of the serpent, and each time something weird happens another mark appears on his body. Seems that the Evil God is about to be resurrected. (Oh no! Not again! experienced anime watchers will whimper.) It's not obvious who the are the good guys and who the bad guys. Well, this video has some interesting artwork, and excellent music by Kenji Kawai. Though the script is quite complex for a Manga Video, that doesn't mean it's a critical success. I wonder at its impact on Western youths who know nothing about Isanagi etc or the Jomon period, or Buddhist mythology, and could care less. There is also a problem in that the characters do not react in a believable way to the strange events that befall them. For instance, at one point they enter a cave expecting to find a great treasure. Doors open automatically into a chamber where they are surprised and frightened by a chained-up monster. Once outside they are only interested in a clay model of some forgotten god. The treasure does not get another mention. ( "Guess what, Mom, found a really weird huge monster chained up in a cave today. " NOT.) When the characters react in such a deadpan way why should viewers get any more excited? If you find this summary intriguing, then get DARK MYTH, but don't blame me if you are disappointed.
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|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.