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DVD Review

DVD cover

Strait Jacket


Starring (voice): Ai Maeda, Kei Shindou and Shinichiro Miki
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Available 27 October 2008

In the faux Victorian world of Strait Jacket science and sorcery coexist. But this coexistence is not a happy one as the use of magic creates a form of pollution in the form of demons, from those who are ill equipped to use it. The Magic Administration Office (MAO), along with their Tactical Sorcerer,s are charged with the task of monitoring the use of magic and mopping up any resultant demon activity. Not all tow the party line and Leiot Steinberg is a rogue sorcerer who, with his partner Kapelteta Fernandez, recklessly hunts demons. Although dangerous, he is also very effective and so the administration often turns a blind eye to his activities...

Strait Jacket (2008, 1 hr, 15 min, 55 sec) is an adaptation of a light novel by Ichiro Sakaki. The three episode OVA, presented on this disc as one continuous film, was directed by Shinji Ushiro, from a screenplay by You Fujishiro, for the Feel studios.

The Strait Jacket, which the title refers to, is the technological suit, which must be worn whilst using magic. The suit reduces the chance of the user turning into a demon. The show throws in another twist as the only way to get rid of the demons is by using magic. Leiot is an interesting character with demons of his own - not physical, but things he has done in the past and risks his live as a form of reparation. Kapel, his partner, is half demon and half human and whilst their activities would normally get him arrested by the government, his use is such that he is the only unlicensed demon hunter allowed to practice.

The situation is further complicated by terrorists who are using the creation of demons to strike at the government. When they attack a hospital, Nerin Simmons takes a chance and asks Leiot to help. Although this fits in with his plans for redemption, he little knows that the MAO are not the guardians of humanity that they pretend to be.

This combination of science and magic is not new, having previously been explored in shows such as Full Metal Alchemist, which at least had the advantage of having a long run. Strait Jacket wastes a lot of the film with a slow start, but if you stay with it the ending is very satisfying. The film is presented in a clean anamorphic print with Japanese and English DD2.0 Stereo, English 5.1 Surround and optional English subtitles. The extras are a major disappointment being only a collection of seven trailers for other Manga titles.


Charles Packer

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