There are many different types of anime that are not easy to write about. Very good ones you can’t really criticize, plot-empty ones, there is nothing to discuss, and so on. Wicked City is one of those hard ones too. At least for me, because I try to keep this blog kid-friendly. And to write something about Wicked City without making it +18 content – not so easy.
You would say – so Sindar, you watched some porn and now you are making a scene, saying how hard it is to write about it in a kid-friendly way? Just don’t write about it then! Yeah, I agree, but here is a problem. Wicked City is not exactly a porn. It is, in fact, one of the most prominent movies in anime history.
Let’s try and get into the review. Wicked City (Youjuu Toshi in romaji) is a movie directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri about modern Tokyo, which is decided to be a meeting place between two delegations. One of humans, the other one of monsters. Monsters live among us, and so far there was some sort of peace between them and humans. But the time of peace is almost over, and now it depends on this meeting, whether or not the piece will last.
Phew, managed to write a couple of lines without mentioning anything weird. In the actual show, before you hear all that you see a spider woman doing… I’ll leave it at that. If you are sensitive or young, that scene alone can give you nightmares, I bet.
Now, for this meeting to be held well, there need to be some protection. And this protection is provided by two people. One human, the male protagonist (name Taki Renzaburo), and one monster, the female lead character (name Makie). And their struggle to keep the situation under the control (with no success) is what the movie is about.
Basically, they get constantly attacked, save each other, and develop some feelings for each other that transcends their differences. Sounds nice, right? Would have been nicer if while they develop the relations the female lead would not have been raped a few times.
I guess the amount of violence, abuse and sexual content played a big role in this show becoming so famous. And it is not so much that the show is too violent, or too pornographic. It is the unique mixture of depressing colors, dark subject, excessive amount of mature content and repulsive scenes of all sorts, all that gives Wicked City its impact. You can enjoy this show, but that is the sort of enjoyment that you get exploring catacombs, where the awfulness of the scenery is expected. And remember when this anime was made. In those days it was quite normal to include violence, gore and sexual material in anime. Look at some other pieces from that time (Wicked City was made in 1987), like MD Geist, Akira, Demon City Shinjuku. So don’t think that Wicked City is something weird, that came from no where.
The music and the animation are nothing outstanding. Yet the art style is quite different from what you normally see. I am not a big fan of that art style, but that is a personal taste. The character designs are interesting in a sense that they look kinda Western. I think they were trying to make this anime more serious and more appealing to the adult audience this way.
Do I recommend you to watch it? I don’t know. If you are younger than 20, I guess not. If you are older than that, I expect that you can make your own decision by now. I gave you some idea about what you are signing for. Hope you won’t get mad at me if you do watch it. See you next time (^_^)/
My other post on Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s movies: Biohunter.