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|Notes||2001, 46 mins.
SME Visual Works and Production IG. Widescreen
|Review||I don't understand why no one is talking about "Kaidohmaru", the successor OAV to "Blood, the Last Vampire" from the teams at SME Visual Works and
Production IG. This is a wide screen, high quality and very ambitious
historical fantasy with great action, gore, mystery and top of the line CG.
The R2 DVD was released on December 19, 2001, is 46 minutes long ( not counting all of the omake which include 3D tours of many of the buildings and sites in the story ) and is 5,600 Yen. One thing "Kaidohmaru" doesn't
have in common with "Blood" is that there are no subtitles.
The story is set in Heian Japan, wherein four famous knights protect the peace of the kingdom. But one of those knights is a girl, whose past catches up with her in a violent and tragic way. Unrequited love and evil magic come together with disastrous results. In many ways the story is reminiscent of "Beowulf", but with a Japanese spin to it.
The story and characterizations are very strong in "Kaidohmaru", but the real "hero" is the computer graphics. The most of the scenes are done in meticulously detailed 3DCG. But unlike many other 3DCG efforts, the look is almost always kept very misty and unreal, paralleling the look of Heian-era paintings.
The music is also very good, particularly the BGM and ending theme. There is also a 24 page booklet containing what appears to be a background story. I'll definitely have to pull out my kanji dictionary and make the effort to read it.
There is a brief English page with summary on the Sony Music web site at :
If you go to the Japanese web page :
you will be able to download a trailer which will give you a better idea of the look of the anime.
All-in-all, I recommend "Kaidohmaru" highly, for its story, characters and quality of animation.
This samurai drama is another with demonic and supernatural elements. However it's a striking example of "anime as art" to the point where the opening credit backgrounds comprise a series of scenes in the style of 19th century Japanese art and prints.
The plot apparently involves a warrior-princess in a supernatural tale of revenge and death, in a feudal period of increasing unrest. The dialogue and action are treated in a mature fashion. The artwork, presented in widescreen, has a palette of colours including misty grays.
All considered, an anime well worth seeing.
|Credits||SME Visual Works and Production IG.|
|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.|
|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.