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[Demon City Shinjuku box art]
AKA: 魔界都市<新宿> (Makai Toshi Shinjuku), Monster City
Genre: Supernatural horror adventure
Length: Movie, 90 minutes
Distributor: Currently licensed by Discotek Media
Content Rating: PG-13 (violence, brief nudity)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Ninja Scroll
Notes: Based on the novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi.

Demon City Shinjuku


Levih Rah had made a pact with the demon world, giving him nearly unlimited destructive power. Using this power, Levih Rah destroyed and took over the Tokyo district Shinjuku, transforming it into a pit of demons, evil, and crime. Ten years later, he kidnaps an important international dignitary (don't ask me why), and his daughter Sayaka enlists the help of a young man named Kyoya, whose father was killed by Levih Rah while trying to stop him from taking Shinjuku.

Like his father, Kyoya is a student of ninpo, the deadly art of making wooden swords glow blue, and the only power that can destroy Levih Rah. Together, Sayaka and Kyoya venture into the Demon City, hoping to destroy Levih Rah before he completes his ten-year plan to destroy the world.


Demon City Shinjuku is a shining testament to the fact that great animation and art alone do not a good anime make.

While the animation and art are surprisingly good (the beginning sword-fight between Levih Rah and Kyoya's pop rivals scenes from Ninja Scroll), everything else decidedly isn't, which makes me wonder if the entire production was created by the animators alone. But boy is that animation pretty. The action is fluid, the art crisp, and the demons horrifically rendered.

The plot is paper-thin at its most coherent moments, and not all the holes in the movie are created by Kyoya's glowing blue sword, if you catch my drift. The near-transparent premise fails to gain any substance throughout the story, and if anything, it becomes even thinner as you go along (that ending...HA!). But boy is that animation pretty.

The characters are all stereotyped, with ultra-naive Sayaka being the most dismaying. ("Please... ouch! ...we don't need to fight... ouch! ...Can't we just get along? ... ouch!") Dubbing is cliched and highly melodramatic (the fake accents really get to you after a while), and the soundtrack perfectly fails to convey the correct mood.

But boy is that animation pretty. If you watch anime for the animation only, then this might be something you can get into. Otherwise, just leave it on the shelf and get Ninja Scroll instead.

If animation quality is all you care about, add one star.Raphael See

Recommended Audience: This is a horror movie with rather graphic special effects. Not appropriate for young audiences, even though they'd probably dig it.

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Demon City Shinjuku © 1993 Hideyuki Kikuchi / Asahi Sonorama / Video Art / Japan Home Video
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