A rookie reporter named Lily arrives at Archime City (*cough* Arkham?) where a crime syndicate known as the Black Lodge is wreaking havoc upon the citizenry. The disaffected, nearly helpless police force simply hangs back, leaving the defense of the city to a mysterious giant robot named Demonbane, rumored to be funded by the shadowy, but benevolent Hadou Combine. Lily tries to dig deeper and finds more than she bargained for.
Like other promotional anime, the Demonbane OAV suffers from a serious case of "style over substance". While you really aren't supposed to treat this separately from the game, those of us in North America really don't have much of a choice.
It's a shame, because instead of telling an effective story, Demonbane is effectively a trailer that shows off lots of CG fighting action, but doesn't really explain who these people are or why we should care.
An effective giant robot show usually has us following the people who, um, pilot the robot. Demonbane instead looks at things from the point of view of a wannabe photographer named Lily, and while she's cute, her investigations and misadventures get a bit annoying after a while. She complains about Archime, saying, "I don't know why, but this city's full of strange people." I can't say that I'd disagree.
The strangest of them all would have to be the bad guy, Dr. West, an electric-guitar playing mad scientist with a huge drill-handed mecha straight out of, well, any other giant robot series. Rather than being colorful and funny, however, the vast majority of these characters just come off as stupid, and the humor of the series is so broad and, well, bad, that I'd really just like to slap the creators upside the head with a paper fan. The irritating part is that we only see the "good guys" for all of two minutes -- we don't even really get their names!
And in the end, Lily doesn't even get her photographs of Demonbane. There's not even an ending, the battle's over, and then the credits roll. Payoff? Please?
Granted, there are worse promotional anime out there, and the animation ranges from decent to fairly skilled, but that's pretty much all this OVA has to offer for the vast majority of audiences outside Japan.
Thanks to the TV series, we can quietly forget this OVA ever happened.
If you liked the game, I guess you'd enjoy this, but frankly, everyone else is going to wonder what the point was. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Some violence, but nothing overly objectionable.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Demonbane © 2004 Kadokawa Shoten / Digiturbo / Nitroplus
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