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AKA: N/A
Genre: Horror with occult elements
Length: OAV, 2 episodes, 50 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Central Park Media out of print.
Content Rating: 15+ (violence, occultism)
Related Series: X: An Omen, X: The Movie, X TV
Also Recommended: Mystery of the Necronomicon, X TV
Notes: Based on a manga by CLAMP. Both episodes were originally released as TV specials, so essentially these are pilots for series that never got made.
Rating:
 

Tokyo Babylon

Synopsis

Sumeragi Subaru is a medium (a spirit channeler) has been called to perform an exorcism on a building site where a lot of mysterious accidents has happened. Suspicion falls on the last remaining survivor, director Nagumo Shinji, who has been suspiciously close to every death. Subaru must find out what happened before the company president's sister extracts her revenge on Mr. Nagumo.

Review

Editor's Note: While there are two OAVs in this series, they were released two years apart and are considered by some to be standalone titles. They were released as such on VHS.

Just a little bit of information before I start this review. The middle of this OAV has a break where a song is performed. The song played in this break is so tremendously bad and stupid, I had a very hard time taking the rest of the OAV seriously. This is mainly because, as far as I can remember, the lyrics consisted of one ordinary verse and then the words "please" and "kiss" repeated ad nauseum for two or three minutes.

Nevertheless, as a fan of horror movies, this one didn't really strike all the right chords with me anyway -- lame song or not. It's not bad, really. It just ... well, perhaps "letdown" is too strong an expression for this.

The artwork and animation is actually pretty good, if you take into account that this title is rather old. My complaints with this title was never about the visual aspect anyway, so ...

The dub -- your typical European Manga dub (if I'm not mistaken) -- is neither good OR bad. It's just an average dub that works for the characters in the OAV. The music, if there were much of it, was pretty forgettable fare. Outside of that really, really bad song, that is.

I guess you could say that the biggest issue I had with the OAV itself were the rather short story it presents. And even then, close to half of it is used to present the characters and watching Subaru do his job, which, incidentally, has nothing to do with the main plot of this OAV.

If nothing else, the characters are very likable, though Subaru himself seems to be fairly innocent and timid for a medium, never mind a well known one with 80s throwback fashion sense. I should assume that the case that makes up the main plot of the OAV isn't the first one he's accepted. I guess I'm just being nitpicky.

As it stands, though, being cut off with that song and then having the rest of the plot simplified to unsatisfactory levels, I was left somewhat unsatisfied. Slam, bam, thank you, ma'am. It's almost like the Poirot episode I watched yesterday. I love Poirot, but that episode was over before I knew it. And so was this OAV.

Add one star if you like animated features that don't beat around the bush at all ... or if you fast-forward through that infernal song.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Well, there's some fairly gruesome deaths, plus people possessed and such. Also, the occult elements probably give some cause for concern for some people. It's been a little while since I saw it, but I can't say I remember any debauchery, rape, sex, or whatnot like the cover proclaims. Nevertheless, I guess this one shouldn't be watched by younger audiences. The cover of the VHS release I have says 15 or above, which sounds right.



Version(s) Viewed: UK VHS release (Manga Entertainment), English dubbed
Review Status: Partial (1/2)
Tokyo Babylon © 1992 CLAMP / Shinshokan / MOVIC / Sony Music Entertainment Inc