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DVD Review

DVD cover

Samurai Deeper Kyo
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Katsuyuki Konishi, Yui Horie, Akio Suyama and Akira Ishida
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 09 November 2009

Japan in the year 1600 was a war torn island full of warlords. At the climax of the Battle of Sekigahara, Kyoshiro Mibu and Demon Eyes Kyo are ready for their final confrontation when they are rudely interrupted by the arrival of a meteorite. In the ensuing explosion both warriors disappear and are presumed dead. However four years have passed and Kyoshiro is very much alive, and plying a living as a medicine seller, when he is confronted by Yuya, a bounty hunter on the trail of Kyo. In the ensuing fight with a demon it becomes evident that Kyo’s spirit is inside Kyoshiro and is claiming squatter’s rights...

Samurai Deeper Kyo: Vol 3 (2002) continues the Japanese medieval action adventure directed by Junji Nishimura and based on a loose adaptation of the original manga by Akimine Kamijyo, which originally ran from 15 October 1999 to 10 May 10 2006 in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine. Volume three covers episodes fourteen to twenty: 14 - Satan Again, 15 - Our Friend, Red Tiger, 16 - Perfect Victory, 17 - The Secret Talk of Girls, 18 - Nurturing the Devil, 19 - Thunderbolt Attack and 20 - Far away to Absolute Zero.

I can’t pretend that I was impressed with volume two and this latest release suffers from the same problems. The use of static or semi-static images in an animated show makes the quality more akin to flash animation than traditional animation. I can only presume that this was a choice dictated by either artistic merits or cost. The problem is it just seems like they are trying to make the show on the cheap. This is further supported by the animation itself which displays a lack of detail in the character designs.

The narrative, like the animation, is below par. This disc consists of essentially one long fight, interspersed with some flashbacks. Kyo continues to try and reclaim his old home in Kyoshiro, whilst most of the cadet spend their time running around getting into fights which for the most part display neither rhyme nor reason. It’s a lot like watching paint dry.

The disc comes with options for either English or Japanese 2.0 with optional subtitles. Extras on the disc consist of an interview with the show's Japanese producer (6 min, 25 sec) although not long it is a welcome change to the endless textless opening and closing sequences.

So, no great improvement over the previous disc in either presentation or content. I’m sure that the show will find an audience, I’m just not sure who that will be.


Charles Packer

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