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This review originally appeared in issue 10 of THE CINEMA LASER.

UROTSUKIDOJI: PERFECT COLLECTION

UROTSUKIDOJI: PERFECT COLLECTION ($100) is such a wild ride, that it may actually be the holy grail of Japanese animation. Combining the two previously released theatrical features (LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND and LEGEND OF THE DEMON WOMB) with 40 minutes of added footage, this collection is the sickest, most bizarre, disturbing and wondrous release to pass my viewing station in quite some time.

This three disc boxed set carries the warning: absolutely not for children, and it carries the warning for good reason, many images are extremely graphic. These graphic images are of both a violent and sexual nature and are certainly not for children, nor are they for the squeamish or the easily offended in the adult audience. For those who know what they are getting themselves into, UROTSUKIDOJI: PERFECT COLLECTION can be considered a dark masterpiece of Japanese animation.

The two theatrical features have been broken up into five OVA's (original video animations), with one complete OVA on a single side of a Laserdisc. OVA 1 is BIRTH OF THE OVERFIEND which sets up the premise of the series. Legend has it that every three thousand years the three realms of humans, demons and man-beasts are united by the coming of a being known as the Overfiend. Unfortunately, the Overfiend will join the three realms through an apocalypse that destroys them all. A man-beast has come to the human realm to await and identify the Overfiend, plus find a way to avert the destruction of the three realms.

By OVA 2, CURSE OF THE OVERFIEND, the Overfiend's identity has been discovered and he has become a target for destruction by the demon realm. OVA 3 is FINAL INFERNO and is the climax of the first half of the saga. The demon realm has intensified its attempts to destroy the Overfiend, and an enormous demonic battle ensues. OVA 4 is LEGEND OF THE DEMON WOMB and this installment takes the saga in a new direction as a human scientist and demon join forces to usurp the power of the Overfiend. OVA 5, BATTLE AT THE SHINJUKU SKYSCRAPERS, is the final chapter of the series, which sets in motion an attempt to resurrect the Lord of Chaos a being whose legend is even older, and power even greater, than that of the Overfiend.

UROTSUKIDOJI: PERFECT COLLECTION has been beautifully transferred to Laserdisc in the full frame format. I didn't detect any noticeable cropping of the image, so UROTSUKIDOJI was most likely photographed 1.33:1 and matted for theatrical presentation. The image is colorful and well detailed. UROTSUKIDOJI: PERFECT COLLECTION is presented primarily in Japanese with small passages of English and German dialogue. Yellow subtitles are presented for the Japanese and German dialogue. The digitally encoded stereo soundtrack decodes to surround and the mix is quite pleasing. The Pioneer pressing was free from significant flaws.

If you are a fan of Japanese animation and are prepared for the subject matter (and in spite of the high price tag), this release comes very highly recommended.

 
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Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1996 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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