They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Violence Jack: Harlem Bomber-hen, Yumemakura Baku Twilight Gekijou, Angel Cop, and more!
3: Violence Jack: Harlem Bomber-hen
English: Violence Jack: Slumking
Japanese: バイオレンス ジャック ハーレム ボンバー編
MAL Score: 5.22
Kanto Hell Earthquake has demolished the metropolitan completely. After the earthquake, Slum King is kidnapping girls and sell them as sex slaves. Mari is wandering on the devastated field looking for her lover, Ken. But she is also kidnapped by them. While she is tortured and trained as a sex slave, Ken saves her. Ken has become the member of Slum King. The king offers condition to him; in return for releasing her, he has to kill Violence Jack.
So, watching Go Nagai’s gory Violence Jack takes me back to my youth.
You do have to enjoy gory stories to enjoy Violence Jack, prior knowledge on Go Nagai would be also welcome.
Forget about the main plotline and just enjoy the naked women and the blood and the gore, this is what Violence Jack is all about.
It is Violent as the name implies, so no time watching gardens here.
But if you still insist and you want to find a story there, it also does have one.
A comet has hit the earth and almost eradicated human life. Among survivors, some chose the philosophy of “kill, destroy and rape” all the women and people around. Among those bandits there’s a boss, his name is Slumking. And there’s this individual, a giant kind of immortal one, who no one knows where has come.
The animation is pretty good for 1985.
As I watched a crappy US dubbed version, the background sounds and music was hidden far away for most of the movie and yes if a US dub can be bad, it can be very bad. (I’ll edit this part when I have watched a proper version.)
And that’s it, it’s pretty straightforward material you have here. But the gore is what matters really.
If Go Nagai’s name rings you a bell or if you never heard the name but felt curious on what this strange OVA from 1985 might have inside, go ahead. It’ll be a nice experience, well, might not be nice, but you won’t forget it for sure.
Violence Jack: The Harlem Slum King is the first in the Violence Jack trilogy. These 3 movies are INFAMOUS for older otaku like myself for being the bloodiest, most depraved anime ever made! Does it live up to its reputation? Well…sort of. Violence Jack tries VERY hard to be bloody and controversial, but the animation is so awful that it is difficult to take it seriously. I have heard many otaku say how disturbing Violence Jack is, but lets look further at that claim. When you are comparing animation to live action film, animation is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to being disturbing and stomach churning. The only way for the animation to win in that category is to be WAY more violent than the live action film you are comparing it to. Interestingly, the fact that critics and people in general are fairly immune to animated violence allows animation to get away with things that live action couldn’t. An example is the animated portion of Kill Bill, that Tarantino admits would have made the movie NC-17 if it had been live action. Having said all of this, does Violence Jack take advantage of this and have content worse than any live action movies? Nope. Not even close! There are actually many live action films like Human Centipede, Hostile, Salo, and obviously A Serbian Film, that are FAR worse in content than Violence Jack. This means that Violence Jack is not going to shock or disturb a exploitation film veteran. Unfortunately, blood and nudity is ALL Violence Jack has going for it.
Spoilers! Like anyone gives a shit anyways.
The story is basically a Mad Max ripoff about a post apocolyptic wasteland ruled by bike gangs and a sociopathic anti-hero that brutally kills them all. A comet exploded in Earth’s atmosphere, which somehow caused an earthquake that destroyed Japan. That makes ZERO sense from a physics perspective, but I will let it slide because this is a really stupid anime. The titular hero is Violence Jack, a giant gorilla man with Wolverine’s sideburns and hair cut. Jack gets his name from the manner in which he stabs people with his “Jack knife”. I would reference Man With the Iron Fists here, but no one has ever seen that movie it seems. Jack is causing trouble for a gang called the Slum Lords and the boss is obsessed with killing Jack. One the gang’s enforcers helps gather up young women to force into sexual slavery, but he suddenly grows a conscience when one of the girls is his ex-girlfriend. He tries to free the girl, but is caught by the boss of the Slum Lords. The boss will only let him go if he can, of course, kill Violence Jack. What happens next is highly predictable and Jack kills the bad guys and the enforcer while leaving the girl alive. The next part is NOT predictable. Jack randomly holds aloft his knife and is struck by lightning, which allows him to transform into an eagle! WTF?! The only thing I can figure is that Jack is drawn to look vaguely native American and this is some kind of racist stereotype? Afterall, the writer IS the same guy dumb enough to put Harlem in the title simply because it has something to do with a slum.
The only character in this POS worth remembering is Violence Jack, who doesn’t even have a speaking line in the first film. Jack just kills bad guys, and good guys often die as well when he leaves destruction in his wake. As a little boy says in one of the most laughably hammy exposition lines of all time” Oh no!, Jack has brought much violence with him once again!!!”
I give it a few points for at least remembering to try and draw intestines, organs, and bone shards when people explode instead of just red paint. That puts the anatomical realism of Jack’s violence a notch above most anime at least!
At least MD Geist and Fist of the North Star had awesomely cheesy 80s soundtracks that you could rock out to. Violence Jack’s soundtrack is more what you would expect from a 1970s porn than a 1980s action movie. Fortunately, John Holmes never shows up!
If you are a masochist who loves STUPID shit, then you can at least have some fun watching BIORENSU JAKKUU!
Violence Jack is a REALLY shitty anime. The sequels try to turn the gore and nudity up to 11 as if that would make the series better, but obviously to no avail. As merciless as I have been on Violence Jack, at least gorehounds might enjoy it. There are actually worse anime out there and at least Violence Jack knows what it wants to be…unlike fucking Kite! I wouldn’t recommend this anime to anyone. Unless you REALLY love watching old, shitty anime!
I did not understand this story. Apparently, it has to do with a giant named Violence Jack. Yes, his name is Violence Jack. At that point, when they revealed that was the main characters name, I knew this wasn’t going to be very good. The story was absolutely pathetic, and laughable. It jumped around, and really never solved anything.
Art: 7/10 – Good
Actually, the art was pretty nice considering this anime was made in the Mid-80’s. The characters are detailed and so are the surroundings. The colors have a dull hue to them, though, and a lot of the characters really aren’t drawn very well or colored right. It emits a nice 80’s retro-trash-porn vibe, which is nice, but not THAT nice.
Sound: 7/10 – Good
The sound was actually pretty good too. I did not watch this OVA dubbed, as I could not find it dubbed, so I cannot say anything about the dubbing, but the Japanese vocal track was well done, but nothing special. The characters voices barely fit them, but it worked. The sound effects were excellent for their era though, so props to that. Also,Violence Jack has a pretty cool voice.
Character: 2/10 – Dreadful
Most of the characters, besides good ‘ol Violence Jack himself, are stock characters that anybody could come up with, and have no depth. Violence Jack is a strange one though, he barely talks, and when he does, he looks extremely angry, and is short. I never really got attached to Violence Jack, due to his lack of personality. That is not a good thing when you can’t really get attached, or even semi-attached, to the main character of a show.
Enjoyment: 6/10 – Fair
Besides this OVA’s obvious faults, it is kind of enjoyable if you are with the right people. It is one of those shows that takes itself WAY to seriously, and in the process becomes rather funny, sometimes to the point of downright hilarious. If you are in a sound state of mind when watching this, you will probably find no humor in this at all though.
Overall: 5/10 – Mediocre
It isn’t that bad, and it isn’t that good. Purgatory. If you have the right group of friend’s, this is a funny show to watch, once. If you are alone, and looking for a serious dark anime, go elsewhere, Violence Jack is not the thing for you. I would say as long as you can get your hands on a copy of Violence Jack, you should watch it, just for the laughs.
2: Yumemakura Baku Twilight Gekijou
Japanese: 夢枕 獏 とわいらいと劇場
MAL Score: 5.67
Originally released as a feature part of Studio Pierrot’s video magazine show Anime V Comic Rentaman (アニメ?V?コミック レンタマン) along with Abashiri Ikka, Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show and Akai Hayate.
1: Angel Cop
MAL Score: 5.94
Sometime in the future, terrorism in Japan has become commonplace, and the police have become almost as brutal as criminals. A member of the Special Security Force known as Angel, is the best of the best, stopping at nothing in her fight for justice.
Things get interesting for Angel and her partner, Raiden, when they begin investigating a series of murders in which the victims were known criminals, killed in very unpleasant ways. This trio of killers known as Hunters, is a group of psychics that have banded together to hunt down the lowest scum in the city and bring them to justice.
After a couple of encounters between the cops and the psychics, two of the psychics begin to think that maybe they’re not the good guys after all; but the third prefers killing to morality. Augmented by cybernetics from a mysterious source, this third hunter heads out on a killing spree, with the Special Security Force as the first target.
Even with help from the other two psychics and her newly cyborged partner (after an unfortunate accident), Angel is going to have her work cut out trying to find the rogue psychic and the organization behind the Hunters.
Sure the conspiracy thriller is ridiculous and utterly overshadowed by any Oshii political thriller. Like Oshii however, it is all tied to very very relevant and to use a meme; ‘redpilled’ geo/political discourse. No better example of this is seen in the closing monologue about Japan’s true status in the world and relating it to ‘being another Kuwait’. Genuinely intelligent and deep, far moreso than many acclaimed philisophical/art anime out there.
This is indeed the type of message too dangerous for societal elites and the commercial mainstream; the only way it could of slipped past the censors? You guessed it: by also being a hyperviolent retro anime ova. Angel Cop delivers amazingly on this front. In addition to the things already mentioned, we get:
– The infamous Angel Cop headshot
– Cool helicopter and powersuit designs, true staples of a cyberpunk diet
– Enough firepower to fill out a sweet IMFDB page
– Golgo 13 expy with even broader shoulders and somehow even less emotions (see:personality)
– Glam rock psykers
– The handcannon that breaks your arm and calls you banana
– The absolutely beautiful MangaUK dub.
– Last and not least, Angel is one SASSY action heroine!
Yes, Angel Cop is easily up there with ‘terrible’ ovas like MD Geist, Apocalypse Zero and Battle Royale Highschool as an unapologetic, absolutely badass and awesome action anime. Essential MANime viewing. Also a much more intelligent anime than it looks; quite a biting critique of the potential neo imperialist mechanisms of foreign investment capital and strong themes on state sponsored terrorism/destabilisations.
But none of that matters, because we don’t remember OVA format for the less-commercialised or more creative and experimental nature it tended to produce. No, we remember the OVA for the veritable smorgasbord of ridiculous trash it spawned in the late eighties and early nineties, and then charitably brought to Western shores by companies like Manga Entertainment and Central Park Media and now providing entertainment for drunken anime fans the world over. Today we will be taking a closer look at one of the less terrible examples of this bygone era; the delightfully offensive (or just offensive) five episode spectacular that is ‘Angel Cop’.
Angel Cop is the story of a special branch of Japanese police officers, known as ‘Special Security Agents’, remarkable because it is neither a contrived acronym nor a portmanteau. The role of the ‘Special Security Agents’ is somewhere between a police force, a counter-terrorism unit and a band of superheroes. They operate within the context of the Japanese police force, but without unnecessary burdens like the judicial system or human rights laws to weigh them down. Naturally, all their members have almost superhuman abilities. This is in contrast to some of the other characters, which I will discuss later.
Throughout the OVA, the Special Security Agents are involved battling against a conspiracy; the nature of which depends on the version you watch. If you choose to watch the dubbed version (which you would, since that is the whole point of watching bad 80s OVAs) then they are battling against the Red May, a communist terror organisation which is actually a front for a greedy capitalist government… as you can imagine, it makes absolutely no sense at all and clearly wasn’t intended to be a work of political intrigue.
But not making any sense at all is hardly a surprise when you take a complete production and introduce radical changes to the storyline, just because you are worried that some people might be offended about a couple of offhand remarks that some could choose to interpret as ‘anti-Semitic’.
If you choose to watch the fan subbed version of the original Japanese version, you’ll find that the story of a communist terror organisation that is a front for a corrupt government is itself a front for a story about a Jewish Zionist domination conspiracy… This also goes some way to explaining the use of so many Judeo-Christian references and imagery in an anime without any clear connexion to religion whatsoever.
Naturally when the show was brought to the West, the licensing company decided that racist conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic tones would not go over well with audiences. Not wanting to waste this otherwise wholesome story filled with violence, gore and sexual imagery they decided to change the story completely for the dubbed version, and then, for good measure, inserted random swear words into every second line. The result is, to put it simply, so fucking stupid that I don’t understand how the piss they come up with this fucking shit.
The title refers to the main character; a woman named ‘Angel’ but described as a ‘total bitch’ in her own terms. Naturally this aspect of her character changes over the course of the show and by the end her character has made the transition from cyberpunk feminist icon to bawling blob of moe; by which I mean she actually hesitates before blowing her own partner’s brains out in order to kill a genetically enhanced psychic military experiment. Yes, you read that right.
Analysing most of the cast in any real depth would be a waste of time. With only a few exceptions, all of them are entirely one dimensional and completely uninspired. Furthermore, describing their qualities would involve investing more time into the characters than the time the creators invested in their screen time. Developing them is unnecessary because we’ve seen them all so many times before, and since they’re not gonna last why even bother trying to give them any depth?
At the end of the day, Angel Cop is all about the action; and that’s okay, because that is all we really wanted in the first place. It comes thick and fast, it comes in a variety of forms and it’s never too repetitive or sporadic for us to ever really notice the ludicrousness of the actual story. It manages to delve between the reality of the relatively near future and the realms of science fiction and fantasy without seeming discontinuous or out of place. The animation, while not “good” by any means, is functional and only in the last episode does the shoddy workmanship start to become obtrusive.
The same cannot be said for the soundtrack, which is often so inappropriate it is a curiosity. The defining moment of this is the very first time the ending theme plays, which is so inappropriate that one cannot help but laugh. Additionally, on several occasions the action scenes -which are quite violent and bloody- will be supplemented with light hearted, optimistic music. The purpose of background music is to complement the image on screen without becoming a distraction, but in Angel Cop the contrast between the two can become so stark that it actually leaves you feeling puzzled.
However to be fair to Angel Cop this is not always the case; nor is the music exceptionally bad. It mainly uses a combination of harder sounding electronic music for action scenes, with more surreal sounding music to enhance the more paranormal or mysterious aspects of the show. The backing music for the action is fit for purpose but unremarkable, while the paranormal music is repetitive, clichéd and quickly becomes irritating. On all accounts, the soundtrack is the worst thing about Angel Cop, with the exception of the highly offensive original storyline.
Having explored every aspect of Angel Cop, we can conclude that it is not exactly a work of quality. The story is riddled with clichés, and the plot is a total mess. The cast consists entirely of hackneyed stereotypes. The animation is unexceptional, if not outright bad, and the soundtrack is so unsuitable for the task at hand that it’s actually humorous. As a production, Angel Cop is completely uninspired and poorly made.
But to see it for what it really is, would be to miss the point entirely. You are not watching Angel Cop because you expect it to be good, but because you expect it to be bad. A very special kind of bad, to the point where it is almost self-conscious, where there is no other objective than producing trash lower than the level of the lowest common denominator, and doing it unreservedly and unashamedly. And from there, it is simply a matter of providing creative licence to the art of translation and making the cheapest voiceover possible, before you’ve transcended both bad and good; to produce something that is so bad… it is good.
“If this is JUSTICE… then I am a banana!” Just try to imagine lines as stupid as that being read with a speech cadence that makes Christopher Walken’s seem ordinary. Today I am revisiting and re-reviewing one of the worst anime I have ever tackled on MAL. Angel Cop is fairly famous in circles of older otaku for being one of the absolute worst anime of all time. I didn’t adequately explain just how BAD this series is last time, so I hope to recitify that with this new review!
The plot is that in the future, Japan has become a global superpower and the evil Americans wish to destroy Japan by bribing the Japanese government to turn Japan into a nuclear waste dump, which would sterilize and kill off the population. This level of extreme Japanese nationalism, terrible writing, and anti-American xenophobia is nothing new to anime and wasn’t the reason Angel Cop failed. Code Geass was at least that bad and it actually became hugely popular! Angel Cop takes things one step further by stating America is controlled by evil Jews and launches into a massive anti-Semitic diatribe. Of course, extreme anti-Semitism is also not the reason Angel Cop failed. Code Geass turned the beloved Jewish scientist Albert Einstein into the evil, racist, cowardly, and reviled character Nina Einstein, and no one had a problem with that. Angel Cop failed because at every level of storytelling it is a complete mess. The characters are poorly written, the execution of the plot is terrible, the ending is terrible, pretty much everything is terrible! The story begins with a communist terrorist attack by the the Japanese Red Army, who was an actual terrorist group at the time this series was made. The government responds to this terrorist attack by creating Judge Dredd style super cops that act as “judge, jury, and executioner”! The main character Angel is of course one of these super cops. She must uncover the conspiracy while fighting the terrorists and even fight against elite psychic special forces sent by the Americans. The plot gets dumber and dumber as it goes on. You would think that this series was written by 1000 chimpanzees with type writers, yet the writer of this garbage later went on the write…Full Metal Alchemist! How is that even possible!? Of course knowing Japan’s “good ol boy” system where seniority takes precedence over talent, it is quite possible that the FMA script was written by a young nameless intern and the credit was simply stolen by Sho Aikawa. That would actually make more sense than Aikawa writing this, Legend of the Overfiend, Violence Jack, then after 20 years suddenly resurfacing and is all of a sudden an amazing writer.
Edit: Sho Aikawa only wrote the dialogue for episodes 1-3. The scenario and plot was written by Ichiro Itano, who also wrote all the dialogue for episodes 4-6. I learned this from the special features of the Angel Cop Bluray I bought! I know this is 4 years late, but apologies to Aikawa. Oh, and BTW all the rabid Antisemitism was entirely Itano’s doing.
The main character is Angel, who is a generic 80s badass that blows away all the bad guys and doesn’t give a fuck who she has to kill in order to accomplish the mission. Her main opponent is an agent sent by the evil American Jews named Lucifer, who is best described as a poor drawing of a drag queen attempting to impersonate Sharon Stone. Lucifer fights with her deadly fingernails and psychic powers, which Angel is only able to overcome at the very end. There are also some corrupt Japanese government officials and some anti-Semitic stereotype characters, but no one cares about them. No characters in this pile of shit are interesting, well written, or likeable in any way!
The one thing that “saved” Angel Cop and actually made it fun to watch was the HORRIBLE English dub provided by the incompetent buffoons at Central Park Media. In order to market their titles as more “mature”, Central Park often added in a ridiculous level of swearing that often makes no sense and doesn’t reflect the way ANY HUMAN actually swears. Characters will just randomly yell things like SHIITT….AANNNDDD PIIISSS! It is absolutely hilarious how bad this dub is. If you ever watch Angel Cop, the only reason should be the bad English dub. NEVER watch this series in the original Japanese! You will just get bored.
It is fairly amusing simply because it is so bad. At least it isn’t boring with the consistantly hysterical English dub!
Angel Cop avoids a 1/10 only because it is entertainingly bad and not simply bad and boring. That makes it more like Plan 9 from Outer Space and not Manos the Hands of Fate, where 10 minutes are spent driving through the middle of nowhere because the director promised the crew that everyone would have thier name on screen for 5 seconds, and then forgot to add names in post production!
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Angel Cop
2. Yumemakura Baku Twilight Gekijou
3. Violence Jack: Harlem Bomber-hen