Hard drinkin' is all that got Judge Joel Pearce through this mess of an anime.
Unsealed to unleash its satanic powers.
If you think your teenage years were tough, you can bet it was nothing compared to Ryo Utsugi. He starts having demonic nightmares with girls getting sacrificed, only to discover that the murders are actually happening. He even starts having similar dreams involving his sister, Saori (who is just a tad too friendly with him at times). While all of this is happening, a group of satanists is attempting to resurrect the great Demon Lord Dante. When they snatch Saori in order to use her as a human sacrifice, Ryo stops them, but his involvement does not end there. Ryo is swept away to the Himalayas and is transformed into the great Demon Lord, when the real identity crisis can begin.
Instead of railing on this absolute mess of an anime series in the traditional format, I have decided to give you the top five compelling reasons to stay far away from Demon Lord Dante, in no particular order:
1. The Plot:
2. The Characters:
4. The Music:
5. The Animation:
Perhaps I am being a bit hard on the series. After all, it may get better once the massive battle between good and evil continues. There were several cool sequences, especially the icy hall of mirror sequences when Ryo is convinced to release Dante from the Ice Hell. Still, a few good moments can't drag the whole volume out of mediocrity. The show does demonstrate a certain level of potential, but it will need to improve drastically after this point in order to make it worth slogging through this volume. As a side note, taking a shot each time a character says "Demon Lord Dante" would make a great drinking game. It would increase the overall enjoyment of the series, and save you the pain of watching the last episode. I don't think anyone could make it that long.
The disc itself is nicer than the series deserves. The full frame video transfer has no trouble handling the animation, with no digital flaws to speak of and good color and black levels. The stereo track is perfectly acceptable, although it doesn't do anything dazzling. The Japanese and English tracks are quite similar, and come down to a question of preference. Geneon has also included some special features. First up are some brief "episode highlights" from episodes three through six. These consist of brief clips from these episodes in Japanese with no subtitles. If you haven't managed to identify the five main characters by the end of the fourth episode, Geneon has been kind enough to include character profiles that describe these characters and says which side they are on. Also included are clean opening and closing animations and the U.S. trailer.
Moving on, there is a segment of the original press release from Japan. These include interviews with both original comic writer Go Nagai and director Kenichi Maejima. They both seem like incredibly nice people, and I wish the finished product had turned out better for them.
While I hope that the rest of this series turns out to be more exciting than this volume, I am not holding out much hope. Anime fans that are interested in the series are strongly advised to give this title a rent before dropping the cash to buy it.
For the reasons outlined above, I find the defendant guilty of all counts and sentence it to 2000 years in Ice Hell.
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