11/20/13

PSYCHIC WARS - REVIEW


Don't you just love early 90's anime features that are completely and utterly, unapologetically insane?

I do!

1991's Psychic Wars is the story of a surgeon, Ikuyo, who removes a tumour from an old woman's body only to find that the "cancer" itself is not only alive but is, in fact, an ancient demon entity that dates back 5000 years. Ikuyo finds the remains of an ancient city (good thing it was nearby) when he somehow gets these Green Lantern-style superpowers which allow him to defeat the evil blob and travel back to Earth's past in order to fight and defeat all those demons which are threatening to travel to the future and take over the world. Ikuyo's powers include glowing, jumping really high, breathing underwater, not dying when stabbed several times, making weapons appear out of thin air and punching demons in the balls like a badass. Luckily, for an army of mighty demons, there really aren't that many of them so Ikuyo's job isn't all that challenging, frankly. He didn't even need to create a machine gun or anything like that to get rid of them! Also, why the demons aren't taking over the world in that past of theirs is beyond me. You'd think it would be easier long before humans even came up with nuclear weapons! Although, if they didn't take over the world then... then what happened? And how come there's a demon left in present day? Thinking too much about this movie's demented plot is a recipe for disaster. It's pretty clear early on that it makes no sense so you just kind of have to accept it for what it is. At under an hour, it's a short movie so it doesn't get enough time to really explain anything making it mostly confusing but very entertaining at least. There's not a dull moment, even if you'll be scratching your head trying to figure out the "whys" and "hows" of this whole story throughout.

I like how the characters in this movie aren't all that shocked by the craziness going on all around them. They accept the silliest things so quickly! Tumours coming to life, superpowers, demons, floating nun ghosts, magical statues, nothing phases this doctor guy. The animation does well during the typically overblown fight scenes, which are somewhat reminiscent of Fist Of The North Star but nowhere near as epic or bloody, but otherwise it's pretty inconsistent, melodramatic romantic scenes are decorated with flowery, elaborate backgrounds while, in other scenes, people's mouths don't even move when they talk and their clothes aren't even coloured in. Whether it's the script or the dubbing's fault, I don't know, but you've got some pretty absurd lines in this movie: characters just sound nuts, like they're drunk or something. One guy speaks really loudly for no reason, some demons talk, others don't and lines like "Now I see: you wanted ME to mate with you!" are much too funny to be effective in serious moments. There's an end twist which, of course, makes very little sense, but it leads to a final boss battle (yes, Psychic Wars feels like a video game, at times) so there's always that. It's not exactly great art and, in terms of anime, it's definitely a weak effort but, if you just want to sit back and watch something really enjoyably stupid, then you could do a lot worse than this.

Psychic Wars is one of those random anime features that's very watchable, mostly because it's so silly that you're intrigued to see what it builds up to. It looks ok and its fight scenes are entertaining but it's not exactly Akira. Don't expect too much from this one and, chances are, you'll have fun at least.

Trashily amusing.

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