When those that sealed the Demon King are at their weakest, he makes his move to change the course of the world.
What They Say:
The Demon King is about to rain destruction upon Tokyo and only ten warriors have the power to stop him. The only problem is… the tenth warrior…
The audio presentation for this release is standard fare in that we get the original Japanese language track and the English language adaptation, both of which are done in stereo and encoded at 192kbps. The series has some minor directionality moments during various combat sequences with the effects crossing the forward soundstage, but there wasn’t anything that really stood out as being all that strong. But it’s not a show that has a strong design to it as it’s most center channel based but does come across in a clean way. Dialogue was clean and clear throughout it and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2004, the transfer for this six episode OVA series is presnted in its original full frame aspect ratio. Though it’s just six episodes, it’s spread out across two single layer discs with three episodes to each, which works out well as each disc contains the three episodes that make up that particular mini-arc, but both of them suffer from some of the same visual problems. The main area that’s noticeable is the cross coloration that shows up mostly in their hair designs. This is stronger during the first three-episode arc as opposed to the second one, but it does show through there as well. It’s more visible during mid-range character shots, but even close-ups showcase it. There’s some noticeable aliasing issues in a few areas with the digital panning, but otherwise the transfer looks decent.
THe packaging for this release comes in a standard sized keepcase where both discs are set against the interior walls of it. The front cover is a pretty nice piece that features a prominent shot of Jutto looking series while other characters are mixed around him against a nighttime cityscape. The cover art is good looking and shows off some of the pluses of the character designs. The back cover has only a few very small pieces of artwork, all with a red filter, set alongside the summary. There’s some artwork in the background as well but it’s so heavily shaded with red that it’s barely noticeable. The discs features and production credits are all clearly listed and easy to find. The insert is a simple one sheet that has the chapter listings on one side with a cast shot while the reverse side is boxart advertisements.
The main menu is a static image that has a shot of Jutto looking serious with the logo right over him, while to the right you get a mystic symbol with the selections ringed around it as one of the end songs plays along for a fair bit. With nothing on the disc but trailers and the show itself, the menus are quick to navigate and easy to access.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Originally called Tokyo Juushouden, is a six part OVA series that deals with an ancient evil that once ravaged the Japanese landscape four hundred years ago before the Ten Warriors who were gifted with powers to fight it sealed it. In the intervening years, the demons from the other realm have tried to come across the boundary but had little success in that measure. But now, the boundary has weakened and more low level demon types have started making their way over.
This bothers Jutto, one of the people in the present who has been destined to take up the fight with the powers he has. He’s a loner, rough and tumble type who keeps looking for that really powerful person that he can take down. This of course causes problems with Kyoshiro, the one who worked on the original seal and has been alive apparently all this time and hunting down the minor spawn that have come across. While in the past there were ten warriors to fight against the Demon King, right now there are only five that are up to the task. This gives the Demon King his best chance in all this time to finally break free and attempt to take over the world again since the warriors are at their weakest.
So we have our current crop of warriors, the rough and tumble loner, the pretty boy good guy, the brainy girl, the tough girl and the classically trained martial artist girl, all under the guidance of Kyoshiro, working towards keeping the Demon King sealed. Well, except that Kyoshiro doesn’t really do much after the first couple of episodes. Jutto doesn’t play well with others and avoids them for the most part, the brainy girl has her own arc about not wanting to be a part of this and the others sort of just take up space and occasionally mention something important. The series is filled with quite a few clichés, which isn’t surprising since the story that gets told here is the basic opening arc to so many other shows that tell the same thing. I have no idea how long the manga series is, but what you get here is something that feels like two volumes worth of a twenty plus volume series. And you get to add in that you feel like you were just dropped right into it at that.
The other area that doesn’t help is that it seems like the people behind the project changed halfway through, at least in terms of funding it. There’s a different feel to the show when you get into the second half, and a different way the video is handled as well. During the first three episodes, the end sequences have half animation and half black, which plays the fully translated English credits. In the second set of episodes, it plays just the Japanese credits, so there likely wasn’t a clean version, and the full translation of credits plays after the final episode. The first disc also seems to have different end songs for each episode where the second disc has just the one.
There’s also something of a low budget feel to the animation at times, where the digital nature of it comes across feeling like they were cutting corners in how the characters move or the way they didn’t feel like they were actually part of the show, but placed on top of it. You know you’ve got trouble when the opening sequence has a lot of slow staggered character shots, since the openings tend to be the most fluidly animated piece of any show.
Ten Tokyo Warriors was a show that didn’t grab me all that much back when it came out originally, but it was also something that came out in a seas of other titles and I wasn’t sure at times whether that colored my opinion of it. Revisiting it now some ten years later, it’s still pretty much coming across in the same way as it doesn’t have a lot to separate from numerous other shows that have the same premise, mostly because it doesn’t really get past the opening gate to a point where it can show why it’s different. With a low budget, some cheap animation here and there and a fairly clichéd storyline, this one alternates between mind numbing and simply sleep inducing.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: C-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Media Blasters
Release Date: February 24, 2004
Running Time: 162 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation 3 via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.