4-part anime series
made in 1991/92. It is not based on a manga
, but on a novel
, The Tale of the Capital
by Hiroshi Aramata
(published by Kadokawa
publishing). The episode
titles are as follows:
Chapter one: The Demon City (UK)/The Haunting of Tokyo (US)/Evil City (JAP)
Chapter two: Disaster (UK)/The Fall of Tokyo (US)/Dragon's Way (JAP)
Chapter three: Rise of the Dragon (UK)/The Gods of Tokyo (US)/Murderer King (JAP)
Chapter four: The Final Challenge (UK)/The Battle for Tokyo (US)/Battle Story (JAP)
The story is epic and fairly complex, and spans from about 1925 to 1939. It concerns an evil sorceror called Yusanori Kato who is obsessed with destroying Tokyo. At first he plans to awaken the spirit of Masakado, the guardian of Tokyo, who is said to wreak havoc if disturbed from his rest. This proves unsuccessful, so he tries other methods, including fathering a demon child via a quiet and innocent girl called Yukari. The plot leaves many unanswered questions, such as whether Yuchiko is in fact Kato's child, and why Kato wants to destroy Tokyo in the first place. This is not a bad thing however, the story is still well put together and features some great characterisation. The ending is still a bit of a cop-out though, but at least it doesn't leave everything tied up in a nice neat happy package.
This is quite a lesser-known anime, which is surprising as it is actually very good. The dub is even well made, and features Peter Marinker as Kato, the same person who does the narration for the Moomins, and various TV adverts. Having seen this before hearing him elsewhere, I always find it strange hearing him on adverts for wildlife programs. The series has a very dark, more adult style than most popular anime, perhaps the reason for it not being so popular is because it is genuinly dark and chilling horror, rather than being full of tentacle rape (there is rape and hints of tentacles doing naughty things but it's very discretely done and justified by the story), big mecha, and cute schoolgirls. A DVD release would be nice, but since it's owned by Manga Video, that's probably a bit much to hope for. It is one of a few anime that were shown on UK terrestrial television, but it was shown so late at night that very few people probably saw it or knew what they were watching.