Based on the novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi and adapted into the now famous 1988 OVA of the same name. Most of you may remember Demon City Shinjuku as one of the first anime’s to be viewed on the just launched Sci-fi network way back in the 90’s. Others may remember seeing bits of the opening fight scene in the cyberpunk film Johnny Mnemonic (1995). If you are neither of said groups then sit down and pay attention to one of the classics of anime, before cat ears and otaku’s candy coated the genre.
My verdict is this film is an absolute classic, genre defining piece of animation: gore, violence, sex, occult mysticism & symbolism, retro cartoon sneakers, red leather jackets, women with strange body parts, Yoda looking wise men, Rutger Hauer like villains, destruction, chaos and total and complete kicking of the ass. Must see if you haven’t already and re-watchable by the ones who remember the good old days.
The Japanese city of Shinjuku is at the center of an ancient battle between Good & Evil. The opening scene showcases a battle between the evil Rebi Ra vs Genichirou, after Rebi Ra allows himself to be possessed by energies from the underworld for ultimate power. Rebi Ra using black magic summons demons through the ether and into our plane of reality, wreaking havoc upon the citizens of Japan on a catastrophic scale; imagine 9/11 times a million with demons. Unfortunately Genichirou is killed during the battle, dooming humanity as a result.
Fast forward ten years later – The World President, yes the World president is attacked by minions of Rebi Ra to distract the agents of light from thwarting his plans of spreading the demon world all over the planet. However, what Rebi Ra doesn’t know is that Genichirou had a son named Kyoya Izayoi, who was raised in secret and trained by the grandmaster Aguni Lai. After the Presidents daughter’s plea for help, our reluctant hero Kyoya joins her on a journey into the darkest corners of Shinjuku to discover forbidden horrors and terrifying enemies. Meanwhile, observing their battles from a far is the mysterious Mephisto who may or may not be what he seems.
Will Kyoya save the World Presidents daughter? Will Rebi Ra unleash the hordes of hell upon the populace? Will there be a sequel based on Demon City Babylon? Is Mephisto the devil or an angel? Will you know? Who ever really does? Just strap in and grab your wooden practice swords and snap kick the rewind button, retro wavers.