English: Ten Tokyo Warriors
Synonyms: Tokyo Jushoden, Ten Warriors of Tokyo, 10 Tokyo Warriors
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 23, 1999 to Jan 21, 2000
26 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 5.801 (scored by 252 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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Synopsis Long ago, in feudal Japan, there was a fierce warrior named the Demon King. He controlled a band of demons, known as the Kyouma. Only the powers of ten warriors sealed the Demon King away and kept the Kyouma under control. But now, Lord Shindigan, a powerful Kyouma is planning to free the Demon King, and the reincarnations of the ten warriors must band together and save the earth.
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Ten Tokyo Warriors, one hot mess
Reviewed: April 2013
Version: English dub
Straight from the start, it was clear that Ten Tokyo Warriors was not going to be the best anime I’d ever watched, or even high on the list of most enjoyable. Not only was the art sub-par, but the plot was incoherent. Based on these immediate first impressions and the reviews of others, I wasn’t expecting much, and so I wasn’t disappointed by the time I’d slogged my way through all six episodes.
After a brief prologue describing in somewhat unclear terms the struggle between the Demon King and the Ten Warriors, the story basically begins in medias res—and while this is a recommended technique, it must be done well, but in this case it isn’t. It is confusing at first just what is going on, and the confusion doesn’t really clear up until halfway through the series—at which point, a whole new line of confusion is brought in and never really resolved. All that is really clear is that there are a group of warriors, some of whom don’t get along well with others, and that they are fighting demonic underlings (the kyouma) of the Demon King. Beyond that, much of this series is pretty much a muddle.
Although the synopsis describes a struggle between the warriors and the demon Shindagan, the first three episodes of the series present an arc focusing on a lesser demon, while the next three show the warriors fighting against a different demon. Shindagan makes brief appearances in both arcs, but in neither does it seem that she’s actually waging a battle against the warriors herself, nor does her determination to do so ever become realized. As for the warriors themselves, the reincarnations of the Demon King’s eternal foes, each gets some face time, but some are more developed than others, though none ever really get fleshed out into the three-dimensionality required to care about them as people. Thus, the dramatic moments that could make the story slightly more interesting instead fall flat and do nothing to help.
Overall, this is an unimaginative and poorly executed supernatural drama. Storyline, characters, world-building, animation—everything about this OVA is left undeveloped. There is no clear beginning or end, just a set of six episodes in what appears to be a larger story—and the first three episodes are separated from the second set of three in style, tone, and even some characters, without any but the briefest and confusing of explanations in between. Both the heroes and their enemies are lacking in any compelling characteristics; they seem mostly to be stock characters, with only just enough layering added to a few characters to allow for the flat emotional drama that just doesn’t work. Almost nothing of the story’s world—the demons, the magical system, the inception of the Ten Warriors or their current organization—is explained with enough detail or depth to make the series interesting. Even the style of the series is flat, with a rushed artistic and an abundance of still shots; the only exception are the few random scenes done pointlessly with CGI. There really is no good way to describe the series except to say that it’s just a mess.
From beginning to end, Ten Tokyo Warriors is a poor anime. I came across one site that said it was based on a novel. I can only hope the novel is better than the adaptation, and I hope the author wasn’t too traumatized after seeing what the production team did with his work. Unless you’ve already seen everything else out there and are just looking to fill the time, I don’t recommend this anime. There are much better ones out there, especially in the supernatural and horror genre.
The idea itself—a group of warriors continually reincarnated to fight the eternal forces of darkness, and the associated conflict both physical and emotional—is not in itself highly original, but if done well, it can be entertaining. Unfortunately, the team that brought Ten Tokyo Warriors to the screen did not do their job well, and the storyline is undeveloped, somewhat random, and at times confusing. A well executed version of this tale might be worth a 5, but the shoddy job of this edition is cause for a lower score.
Few of the characters in this series, either protagonist or antagonist, are developed at all, and the personal detail given to a few lucky individuals is still only basic. I found myself little interested in the characters as people and uncaring as to their ultimate fates. The heroic characters who embraced their tasks as warriors were shallow caricatures and even the flawed heroes who questioned or fought against their eternal destinies seemed to do so only to add a level of drama that just wasn’t fleshed out enough to make the story interesting. Most of the characters end up being pretty forgettable, and the flat delivery of dialogue by many of the voice actors did not help to bring any of them to life or make them stand out in any way.
I’ve seen worse, but I’ve also seen much better, and considering the relatively recent date of production, viewers are deserving of much more. As with the acting, the animation was flat. It seems to me that nobody in the production team really cared much about this project and gave the bare minimum amount of effort necessary to get a product on the shelves.
Sound effects are fine and the dubbing is decent, except when still shots are used and dialogue is delivered without any facial movement. The two opening themes are nothing special, while the ever-changing ending themes seemed slapped on at random. The incidental music found throughout the series can only be termed bad, and is mostly jarring, distracting industrial sound that only rarely fits the definition of music; the best description I can think of is that it seemed to be composed by an untalented Kraftwerk wannabe.
It was a bit of a chore to sit through only six episodes. I didn’t care what happened to the characters, and it was only by forcing myself to focus that I managed to finish the series. A compelling tale of the supernatural this most definitely is not. Barely watchable once, it certainly isn’t one I can foresee watching again nor recommending to anyone except as an example of what not to do.
Final Score: 3/10 or 1/5
Ten Tokyo Warriors is a supernatural series about demon hunters, but it is fairly tame in objectionable content and probably would not frighten any but young viewers, so I feel it is suitable for those aged 13 and over.
Language/Thematic Elements: There is very little vulgar language, and that which does occur is quite mild. As for thematic elements, this series is quite tame for a supernatural horror. It’s not very dark, and there is little that viewers would find disturbing or frightening, although the second half of the series is slightly darker than the first half. Overall, though, Ten Tokyo Warriors is pretty tame.
Violence/Gore: The series deals with demon hunters, so there is some action violence. A few of the episodes include gun violence and blood, but, again, it’s fairly tame compared to many similar series. There is very little in the way of extreme blood and gore.
Sexuality/Nudity: There are no sexual situations to be found in Ten Tokyo Warriors, although there is a bit of female nudity. In the second episode, a woman is seen in the shower, but no private parts are shown. In the next episode, a female demon appears nude, but there is no detail. More detail is shown in the next episode, when a realistic automaton’s breasts are shown, though her nipples are lacking in full detail. The fifth episode shows yet another automaton’s breasts, this time with full detail. Throughout the series, though, there is nothing that one wouldn’t encounter in a film rated PG or PG-13.
+: supernatural action for those who just can’t get enough—but, really, only for those hardcore few; otherwise, not much
-: undeveloped characters brought to a semblance of life by poor voice acting, and an undeveloped story in a similarly undeveloped world
Recommended to: no one, really, but perhaps it’s of interest to completists who are looking to see everything out there, or to fans of supernatural horror with nothing better to watch read more
Opening Theme#01:"Mo Chotto Tsuyoku" by Pool (eps 1-3)
#02: "Kimi ga Oshie te Kureta Koto, What You Taught Me" by Manabi Mizuno (eps 4-6)
Ending ThemeNo ending themes found, add themes.
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