They’re the best Anime that 1991 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (1991), Dragon Ball Z Movie 04: Super Saiyajin da Son Gokuu, Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken, and more!
5: Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (1991)
MAL Score: 6.23
A short film based on a story by Japanese writer Kenji Miyazawa.
Two young British hunters get lost in the woods and discover a strange restaurant. Are the hunters about to discover how it feels to be the hunted?
Kenji Miyazawa is one of the best known Japanese authors internationally. One of the reasons for his “relatively” recent prestige has to do with the adaptation of part of his works to anime. The first of them was Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985) thanks to the Group TAC study. But the period of greatest abundance was the 90s. This interest in the author materialized in animation with the medium-length film Spring and Chaos (1996), but also with the work reviewed: The Restaurant of Many Orders (1991). There is a later version in the same decade, but it lacks the benefits of the Tadanari Okamoto version. He is sorry that the independent animator died before completing it because of liver cancer. His place would be taken by Kihachiro Kawamoto, another relevant animator, who managed to finish his work.
The short film presents the story of two British hunters who were walking through a forest in order to shoot some animal and take the trophy home. However, the hunt ends abruptly after the death of their hunting dogs in unknown circumstances. Faced with such a setback they try to get out of the forest, but on their way they find a peculiar restaurant called “Wild Cat”. Exhaustion and hunger push them to enter the establishment, but they soon realize that various strange events are happening around them …
Unlike Disney films, the early versions of many children’s stories tend to be dark. The Restaurant of Many Orders would fall into this category, so it is not appropriate for a child audience. Despite this, the adaptation of this story still has a lesson to offer. What is it about? Well, the issue is related to recreational hunting and the behavior of those hunters who kill for mere entertainment, with no need other than to have fun and show off their expertise with firearms. Such frivolity would deserve punishment. Through an exchange of roles, in which men become the object of the hunt and the animals become the hunters, the former will be made to savor the fear their prey experienced.
Now, how do you punish this pair of heartless? Well, inviting them to satisfy their hunger in a restaurant. Although I clarify that more than an establishment we are facing a haunted house. And not because there are ghosts but because it contains traps and horrors unfit for this world. With all this it is not the first thing or what attracts the most attention. In fact, it’s the most harmless and least supernatural aspect of all: your guide signs. These signs inform visitors that they must comply with a series of “requests” before sitting at the table. They guide them through the restaurant, preparing a few chilling surprises. Among them, the stained glass room and the peculiar feline dance stand out.
The first event is triggered by a spider that scares armed hunters. However, instead of keeping calm, the man decides to use his shotgun. Big mistake because dozens of insects were contained in the windows: butterflies, flies, spiders, etc. Consequently, the situation becomes chaotic with the males unloading their ammunition and the critters emerging uncontrollably from the destroyed crystals. The second event, instead, was planned. The hunters finally arrive at the indicated place, but before savoring the food some dancers entertain them with a unique show. As they gaze in amazement at the strange dance, these beautiful women turn into monsters with sparkling eyes and sharp claws. Although they don’t make them their dinner, the scare is so tremendous that they will never be the same again. It should be said that their penance is well connected with their actions because it is the animals who make them go crazy and flee in terror. I just miss a greater initial exemplification of these acts.
As is customary in short films originating in non-commercial environments, the short dispenses with dialogue to tell its story. The fundamental pillar is the image. Of it, by the way, it should be noted her pictorial appearance. The level of detail is palpable when we pay attention to elements like the grass and trees in the forest. There are many strokes in the drawing that denote enormous care and dedication. The choice of colors, mostly brown tones, and the use of shadows and lights are in accordance with the mood you intend to convey.
But let’s not limit ourselves to the realm of the visual, since the story excels in the sound with the intention of obtaining a greater immersion. To explain myself, I felt like I was able to transport myself to his world in the blink of an eye. Without realizing it, go. The reason? The sound effects were extremely realistic, corresponding to the locations both hunters were exploring. If I had to divide them, they would be on one side, those sounds caused by the hunters themselves with their footsteps in the grass, the firing of their shotguns, etc; and on the other hand, those that emanate from the forest like the trees shaking by the wind and the squawking of the birds or the restaurant like the creaking of wood. No wonder I remembered those days of my childhood when I was walking in the mountains near dusk.
You can read my review here: https://elarmarioanimados.blogspot.com/2020/09/resena-restaurant-of-many-orders-1991.html
With nothing in the way of real dialog to assist us, this anime used incredible sound effects, music, and it’s animation to convey the story and moods to the audience. I found this method to be more successful than if there had been dialog and was excited and spooked the whole time and couldn’t wait to see what might happen next! The sound and music in this anime really shine through and make this something very special indeed.
Also, I saw this film raw (which means I could not read the signs properly) and I felt that the lack of dialog actually worked in this particular anime’s favor because it required the animators to give more clues through setting, music and gesture rather than through speaking. And while I am curious about what the signs say, I didn’t feel as though I missed out on anything because the animators so accurately portrayed what I interpreted the signs to mean by the events in the scene.
Everything from the music, pace and clever use of shadows and setting to the style of animation used or the expressions and gestures of the hunters suggests a suspenceful tone which left me feeling chilled. One of the more interesting choices made by the animators was the sepia toned colour palette that gave this animation an old fashion atmosphere while also aiding its creepiness.
I would highly recommend this anime to almost anyone who loves the medium as an art, and espcially to those familiar with some of the more traditional animation styles or who enjoy a good spooky tale.
4: Dragon Ball Z Movie 04: Super Saiyajin da Son Gokuu
English: Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug
Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ 超サイヤ人だ孫悟空
MAL Score: 6.57
Gohan Son and Piccolo are peacefully playing when they sense a powerful entity approaching Earth. It soon reaches everyone’s ears that this entity is in fact a small planet on a deadly collision course with Earth. Gokuu Son and Kuririn attempt to change the small planet’s path with a Kamehameha, but the attack fails and the two warriors are blown away. However, after coming very close to Earth’s surface, the object changes direction on its own and explodes soon after.
The small planet reveals itself to be a vehicle for what seems to be a castle. A large army emerges out of the structure and declares that the planet is now in possession of Slug, king of the universe. While defending the city against the invaders’ attack, Gohan loses his Dragon Ball, allowing Slug to take it. After reading Bulma’s mind and stealing her Dragon Radar, Slug commands his army to collect the wish-granting relics. With the Dragon Balls in his possession, he uses them to wish his youth back. Now young, wise, and very powerful, Slug commences world domination.
Certain questions have always plagued mankind. Can absolute morals exist in the absence of a God or some form of karmic retribution, or does morality become relative and all is permitted because nothing is innately wrong? If highly religious countries always have lower suicide rates than atheist countries due to the fear of eternal damnation, should religion be promoted to stabilize society even if we know many of the stories aren’t true? Finally, what IS the worst fucking DBZ movie?!
The story of Lord Slug is that there is a super powerful Namekian that comes to Earth in order to gather the dragon balls and wish for eternal youth. Keep in mind that he has an interstellar ship and MUST be aware of the Namekian dragon balls, that grant 3 wishes instead of 1 and are less well defended, because the toughest Namek is Nail with a power level of only around 40K. Lord Slug decides to defy ALL logic and come to Earth, so that this movie can totally rip off the King Piccolo story arc from Dragon Ball. Goku and friends must sense this powerful being coming, but decide to do nothing and just allow his minions to gather the dragonballs and grant a wish. If he had wished for immortality, the gang would be screwed because Lord Slug isn’t going to open the “Dead Zone” and off himself. Fortunately, Lord Slug is so stupid that he merely wishes for youth without adding that extra bit about not being able to die. How is he defeated? The first step in his downfall involves Gohan whistling. In this movie, Namekians are really weakened by whistling for…some reason. Keep in mind that this has ZERO precedence in the series, and apart from this movie is never used again! Goku then changes into a form that isn’t a Super Saiyan, because Toriyama hadn’t created the Super Saiyan design yet. Instead he becomes a glowing red form that fans now simply call “Champion of Christmas” after the TFS joke. Goku then finally defeats him with….wait for it….the spirit bomb! Seriously, Fuck this movie!
Art and Sound: 6/10
The fight scenes aren’t nearly as good as some of the other DBZ movies, but they aren’t absolutely terrible. The animation is generally decent for 1991 DBZ standards and the soundtrack (I’m talking about the Japanese one) is mostly just the same soundtrack from the series without any notable great track additions, unlike say the 7th or 8th movies. Basically the art and sound is fine, but it didn’t feel like they were really going all out either. It felt like a quickly made, lazy cash grab because that is exactly what it was.
Does it have some of that trademark DBZ yelling and action? Yes it does. Does it have a few moments that were amusing? I would argue that it does. Is it a good movie? HELL NO! This movie is always a strong contender for the worst DBZ movie along with #6 (Mecha-Cooler) and #11 (Bio-Broly). All 3 are honestly horrible fucking movies that only rabid DBZ fans (like me) could even remotely enjoy, and even that is a stretch. My opinion on which of the 3 is the worst fluctuates, but most of the time I would respond that Lord Slug is in fact the worst of the whole bunch. This is obviously not counting the time traveling Bardock special, because that was a TV special and NOT a movie. Bottom line: don’t watch this movie unless you are a HUGE DBZ fan and simply have to complete all the movies, just to say that you did!
This is the first Dragon Ball Z movie that I watched in Japanese… and it turns out this is one of the few anime where the sub does not seem like much of an improvement upon the dub, if at all (assuming the dub in this one is of similar quality to those in other Dragon Ball Z movies). I mean, did they find a bunch of kids to voice this thing?! Because that’s what it sounds like, especially Goku’s voice.
I think they actually attempted to produce something that’s slightly more clever than most Dragon Ball Z movies. Unfortunately, the result isn’t pretty. A couple of things happened during the battles that didn’t entirely make sense. In addition I’m starting to get a bit tired of the ease at which the Eternal Dragon is summoned, the characters can do it so easily that I’m half expecting them to start collect the dragon balls and summon the Eternal Dragon just to fix a hole in their sock next time round. In case you don’t know, once you collect all the dragon balls, you can summon the Eteneral Dragon which grants you a wish, after which the dragon balls all disappears ready to be collected again. Not only does it seem like something that belong more in a game than in a proper storyline, it’s also a really bad plot devise that’s basically like the cheesey short cut to everything – instead of going through the painstaking process of developing the story, you can just use the Eternal Dragon to get it to where you want it to be and voila, dilemma solved!
But Despite all the flaws, it’s still one of the better Dragon Ball Z movies I’ve seen.
Let’s just address this up front. Is Lord Slug a Piccolo rip off? YES! He is a Namekian. He commands an army (like Piccolo did when he originally took on Earth). He hunts the Dragon Balls to get eternal youth. Slug’s moveset is even the exact same. He even uses the “turn into a giant” move Piccolo used. Everything about him is a complete, utter, and unhidden rip off. But you know what, I’m not mad about it. It works. The story was good for Piccolo and it’s good here. It’s not original, but it’s not boring to watch by any means. For a rip off, it does a serviceable job of making it entertaining.
To address another thing. Lord Slug did not go back to Namek to get the Dragon Balls because they used the Dragon Balls to exile him. I know this is minor, but reading other reviews bugged me. This is why. Moving on.
The animation and sound is on par with the anime at the time. The fight scenes are animated well. I love when fights actually have a bit of back and worth and are not entirely one sided. Not to mention Piccolo and Gohan get a bit of time to show off their moves. They are not the best fight scenes, but they stand above a lot of the one sided borefests that monopolize Dragon Ball Z. Sound features your regular Dragon Ball Z tunes. Nothing out of place. Voice acting is solid too for the dub.
Forget the haters. Yes the movie is unoriginal. It’s not canon though. Just take it for what it is and I am sure you will enjoy it as well.
3: Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken
English: Dragon Quest: Great Adventure of Dai
Japanese: ドラゴンクエスト ダイの大冒険
MAL Score: 6.59
It starts with a kid named Dai remembering a story told to him by his grandfather, the monster magician Brass, about the defeat of the Demon Lord Hadlar by the hands of a hero who, as the story progresses, is known to be Avan.
the story was very simple it with the princess getting kidnaped and the hero rescuing her.
the art was good and it was easy to tell what everything was and the designs of the monsters reminded me of the video games,
The sound was clear and the music was nice to the ear
The characters were pretty average nothing really special.
Adventure – there was a adventure as they quested across the island
Demons – were like you would expect out of dragon quest
Magic – there was a little magic used but not a lot
Fantasy – the setting was very fantasy like not set in a real world
Shounen – is what you would expect for something that age group would enjoy
2: Dragon Ball Z Movie 05: Tobikkiri no Saikyou tai Saikyou
English: Dragon Ball Z: Cooler’s Revenge
Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ とびっきりの最強対最強
MAL Score: 7.04
Gokuu Son and his friends are out camping when three mysterious enemies ambush them. After a quick fight, a fourth enemy named Cooler joins the fray. Seeking retribution for his younger brother Frieza after he was defeated, Cooler attacks Gokuu; however, the latter manages to escape with Gohan Son and goes into hiding. Unsatisfied and infuriated with the outcome, Cooler and his men begin the hunt to uncover Gokuu’s location and kill him to carry out their plans of exacting revenge.
This Movie like a lot of the other dbz films is a very simple yet a fun typical
45 minute film to watch. As the name suggest Cooler’s Revenge is about Goku facing off against 1 of the major antagonist Frieza – To be precise his older brother Cooler who wants to take his vengeance out on goku for what happen to frieza.
The prologue starts of during the demise of goku’s former Saiyan home world planet Vegeta’s being destroyed by frieza, Overlooking the destruction in his spaceship along with his crew finding out that 1 of the spaceship getting away from the planet is heading to earth cooler delays the order and decides to let it go.
A few decades later Cooler Hears of frieza being defeated by goku that transform into a super saiyan. Cooler while annoyed by frieza’s defeat,
He and his crew head to earth to kill goku and to avenge his younger brother’s death and to restore his own family name to be feared in the universe once again. As you can see with most Dbz films the premise of its story is basic and of course easy to watch.
Cooler is Honestly without a doubt my favourite movie villain in the Db franchise I mean his name says it all, he is arrogant, remorseless and condescending not to mention he pretty much hates his brother frieza and the saiyans. He also exercises a greater control of power compare to that of frieza which makes him a dangerous foe for goku to fight against on this occasion. Cooler’s Armoured squad are a blatant rip off of the Ginyu force and other nothing special.
The other characters are pretty much the same in the movie like the other movies as well as Piccolo who makes his role in the film in such a Badass way! The fight between goku and cooler was just unforgettable from cooler’s Epic! Transformation which we find out is a transformation beyond that of frieza final transformation and of course it proves how deadly he can be in that form when he fights against goku which overwhelms goku like with frieza upper hand against him on namek in the series.
The music is fine but I like the songs more for the dub’s US music score as it included some great heavy metal bands for the more intense action scenes. both sub and dub is good especially cooler’s english voice actor
Andrew Chandler suited his role nicely as the villain.
Of course animation was the standard pretty much for its time and actually is okay.
overall quite an enjoyable simplistic film to say the least which I could only wish that cooler wasn’t just a movie character but a character that was actually relevant within the series as well.
7 out of 10.
Story- (7/10) As I said before, the story is simplistic. To tell the truth, there are not even 10 characters in this movie. And the main character, which we all know is Goku, is hurt half the movie. So, yeah, that was kind of disappointing.
Art- (7/10) Dragonball Z art is nothing really special (but today the art is really good). This movie was made back in the early 90s, so the art doesn’t hold up as well. But, if you are a true Dragonball Z fan, you’ll enjoy this movie.
Sound- (8/10) The sound for this movie was very good. I’m still wondering why they use heavy rock for the U.S. version of this movie. To me, it sounds better than the Japanese 2.0 mono. But if you don’t like the 2.0 mono, there is also a Japanese 5.1 stereo and also English 5.1 stereo. (I know these are the tracks on the DVD’s, not sure about the Blu-Ray’s though)
Character- (8/10) It’s Dragonball Z. C’mon. They’re all the same characters we know and love. But there is one character that did an amazing job. And that is Cooler. Andrew Chandler (who is Cooler), does an amazing job playing this role. I’m surprised he isn’t in more anime, or voice over casts for that matter. Dude did an amazing job.
Enjoyment- (8/10) Truth be told, being a Dragonball Z fan, I love anything from the franchise. But, if I have to look at this from a serious perspective, it’s not all that great.
Overall- (7/10) Bottomline, this movie is good. Not great, but just good. If you like Dragonball Z, go watch this movie. Even buy it on DVD. It’s like 4 bucks for the original release. Even if you don’t like DBZ, this is a good movie to watch.
I wanted to avoid writing reviews of anything I considered a personal favorite, anything I would of rated a 10, or anything I especially hated to avoid being biased. I’m going to go against that rule for this movie though, because it’s an absolute must see for any DBZ fan.
Cooler’s Revenge is an example of a series-based movie adaptation that does everything right. It flows into the series timeline without any notable contradictions to the canon timeline, while still retaining relevance and ties to the main story. Being under an hour in run time it is a fast paced movie never lacking a dull moment. Backed by one of my all time favorite soundtracks to a movie or anime, Cooler’s Revenge is sure to hold your attention from start to finish. (Soundtrack may be less appealing to those with less of an affinity to rock/metal)
While I think anyone who likes action/martial arts anime could walk into this movie and enjoy it, it requires familiarity with the Dragon Ball Z series to fully understand and appreciate. Cooler’s Revenge takes place inbetween the Frieza and Android sagas.
1: Doraemon Movie 12: Nobita no Dorabian Nights
English: Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Dorabian Nights
Japanese: 映画 ドラえもん のび太のドラビアンナイト
MAL Score: 7.20
Doraemon and Nobita were using special shoes that allows them to jump into the worlds of the books that they want. Nobita let Shizuka use those shoes to enter the world of the book that she wants. Shizuka got lost in one Nobita’s Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas book. After Nobita’s mother burned all of his books, Doraemon and the others must find another way to save Shizuka.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Doraemon Movie 12: Nobita no Dorabian Nights
2. Dragon Ball Z Movie 05: Tobikkiri no Saikyou tai Saikyou
3. Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken
4. Dragon Ball Z Movie 04: Super Saiyajin da Son Gokuu
5. Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (1991)