Even from childhood Kantaro Ichinomiya has dreamt of meeting
the Demon Eating Goblin, who is stronger than any living demon.
Years later, as an impoverished folklore writer and part time
exorcist, he lives together with his pet demon Yoko, still
dreaming of meeting the Goblin. For all his research, it is
an accident which finally brings Kantaro to the shrine of
the Goblin. He names the demon Haruka and the two of them
start a journey of demon slaying...
Tactics is set in the Meiji era (1868 - 1912), although
to be honest the show is not historically accurate, nor does
it pretend to be, so the odd stylistic glitch, especially
in the clothes can be forgiven. The show was based on the
original manga by Sakura Kinoshita and Kazuko Higashiyama.
Produced by Studio Deen (Anime studio established 1975), whose
founders had originally worked for Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop,
Mobile Suit Gundam) and directed by Hiroshi Watanabe
(Oh my Goddess, Guyver: Out of Control).
Originally produced in 2004, the show is a combination of
comedy, romance and monster busting. The show is well animated,
as it should be given the talent involved and the voice acting,
both English and Japanese is suitably hectic. What the show
really misses out on is a convincing story arc to carry the
For the most part, after the establishing episodes, the show
pretty much becomes formulaic monster of the week fare. Not
really problematic if you are restricted to watching an episode
a week, but as most people who buy DVDs will be watching two
to three episodes at a time it can seem a bit samey. There
is a bit of interplay between Yoko and Kantaro and the premise
that the Demon Eating Goblin does not appear to be as kick-arse
as his legend would have you believe, due to unresolved issues
from his past, are present but they are mostly dealt with
in the most cursory way.
box set holds a mightily impressive thirteen episodes of this
twenty-six episode show. At this price each show works out
about fifty pence a show, which for anime is a phenomenally
Disc one holds the first five episodes, but nothing in the
way of extras. Disc
two has a further four episodes and some good extras. You
get a photo gallery, player cards, mechanise ads, TV commercial
and textless opening and closing sequences. If that were not
enough it also contains a ten minute mini feature with one
of the voice artists.
Disc three contains four episodes and has some extras in the
form of trailers, though the one for the new Hellboy
show is over six minutes long. If you're not wowed by the
number of shows or the reasonable extras then the widescreen
picture quality and audio options, English and Japanese stereo
and 5.1, with subtitles should seal the deal.
In the end the show has many points to recommend it, the animation,
sound, voice acting and the relatively good selection of extras.
What it looses on narrative development it gains in price,
not the greatest show, but what did you expect for fifty pence