There is Earth, our familiar world, and then there is the Black World, a parallel dimension that very few people are aware of. For centuries, a pact between the two worlds has been observed to maintain peace, and terms must be negotiated and renewed soon to continue relative harmony.
This time around, there is a militant faction that will stop at nothing to prevent the signing of a new treaty for inter-dimensional peace. Two agents of the elite organization known as the Black guards—defenders of the balance between the two worlds—are charged with insuring the success of the treaty.
Director Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll) blends stylish eroticism, graphic horror and pulse-pounding action as these two race to consummate the peace treaty in time.
One can hardly watch Wicked City without going "wow" at one point or another. Some might find this anime absolutely ludicrous, alot will find it incredibly stupid. I found it insanely entertaining.
Story: To begin to talk about the story, or to even try to explain it is extremely difficult. Just try your best to understand, depending on how you look at it it's either extremely complicated, or incredibly stupid. They don't do alot of history....so don't feel bad if you're confused for parts...or most of it. I know that I was confused for alot of it.
Art: Terrible art. It's
made in 1987 and the first thing that will hit you is the art. The art is horrible, but it definitely gives the anime it's feel. It's style isn't incredibly amazing, but it definitely suits the feel of the piece. It suffers from the same technique used in the Ninja Scroll movie where sometimes action is shown and the background flashes white and red which almost always makes me feel like I'm about to get a seizure.
Sound: Campy! I hate saying this but the music is absolutely perfect for the feel of this film. It's not great music, I don't even think they would have even released an OST for this, and if they did I wouldn't recommend buying it to anyone.
Character: What characters? The characters are all ridiculously 2 dimensional, they have no depth to them at all, There's really no character that's outstanding at all. They did however remind me alot of Ninja-Scroll, the short character was just as aggravating and mysterious.
Enjoyment. I totally give this 10. Because it really does deserve it. I was never bored for a single minute in this entire movie. It isn't a classic, it's not outstanding in any real way. But to watch for enjoyment it's absolutely perfect. You don't have to worry about annoying sub-plots or character allegiances or love-triangles. I watched this and I had a good time.
Overall: I wouldn't recommend this to alot of people. There's alot of nudity....a couple rape scenes. It's alot more adult than I was expecting but it was also great. It's based off of a Hideyuki Kikuchi novel, so if you're into Vampire Hunter D you'll probably get a kick out of Wicked City. I would definitly recommend this to people who are in the middle of watching a really long heavy series who just need to veg out a little.
Fistly the story; after just watching this anime, I don't beleive the story was that bad - but it wasn't that good either. The story line was quite basic and there was I think two parts of the movie which made me think "oookay..." or "wow" from unexpected events. It was nothing too original, demons and humans. Some demons don't want peace, other do...then theres the romance element... three words...romeo and juliet...on the other hand this wasn't the worst storyline ever...it just wasn't original.
The animation on this was much better than the story line :D
The artwork that went into this anime shows scene from scene
akthough it's not the best, which may be because of the age of the anime (1987 creation?) bsides that it was good.
I can't say a great deal good about the sound; theres nothing that's stuck in my head..."wow that was good", but for the same reason it wasn't that bad either since i don't recall thinking "that was awful"
In my opinion the design of the characters and personalities and how they act, it probabaly one of the best features towards this anime. Although the characters don't get explained in depth their actions through out the movie are enough for you to get an idea on their personalities. Each character has a great deal of unque traits from all other characters, and their personalities represent this effectively.
Well I made it to the end, but it was nothing that I will remember as a masterpiece by far. The fact i reccomend Akira if people like this anime should be enough it it's own as a compliment towards this anime.
Wicked City combines horror with a film noir style, and is directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Those whom are familiar with this name are also likely to be aware of his later project Ninja Scroll. Ironically, Wicked City and Ninja Scroll are very similar.
Those whom have seen Ninja Scroll first may feel as if they're watching it twice to a certain degree. For the reasons that the female lead Makie does serve a purpose, but she appears to be nothing more than a plot device to drive one rape scene after another despite her toughness. This is very similar to Kagero of Ninja Scroll. This also
goes for the male lead Taki. Like Jubei from Ninja Scroll, as strong as he is, his enemies are far tougher and he mainly requires assistance to win. As a matter of fact, most of these characters features were reused for the aforementioned film.
Despite the similarities concerning characters. The two films are quite different. I will also mention early that Wicked City is one of the few anime films that I can think of, which actually meshes sex and extreme violence with a coherent plot. The anime is bathed in style, it is very atmospheric, and it takes place in a dark city environment; where shades of dark blue are used as the dominant color scheme to create that dark, moody, and sinister ambiance. Almost the entire film takes place at night. Also adding to the creepy tone, there are creatures posing as humans attempting to take men to bed, then reveal their true forms at this time. This is actually some of what works its horror edge.
Wicked City is very imaginative and creative. The demons are definitely unique and boast some wild abilities; it's something that should be seen, and spoilers should be kept low to non existent. The action scenes are brutal and at times over the top. The sex and rape scenes are graphic, but not on the level of Legend of the Overfiend which is a very, very, graphic hentai anime. Now, I don't find the scenes bad due to the graphic nature. Instead, I find them bad because they're nothing more than an excuse for random sex, and the scenes aren't really needed to push the plot.
I have about the same mixed feelings for the comedy. I found the comedy to be funny at times. However, I find it to be slightly out of place. The comedy clashes with the dark and horrific tone which was set so well in the beginning, thus removing the sense of uneasiness and terror. The comedy clearly knocks the film down a few notches for me. The plot twist that takes place towards the end is out of nowhere, yet it's effective and I doubt anyone saw that coming.
Wicked City has a very good soundtrack that does fit well with the mood of the film and several scenes. The animation is pretty fluid, and most of the battles were cool to watch. The artwork also fits the personality of the film delivering some freakish character designs. At least one character has always stuck in my mind after seeing a Kawajiri film, with this being no exception.
The backgrounds are also very good. Every thing visually seemed to blend very well and had the right feel. I don't really have any issues with the voice acting for either language; but I enjoyed the English dub a lot more. Then again, I almost always enjoy it more.
Wicked City is an anime film that took a very long time to grow on me. I'm not a fan of hentai at all, in fact I hate it. Still, I feel this film is a decent watch. If you loved Ninja Scroll then I feel this may be good for you, but once again in closing, this anime contains graphic sexual content and violence that will not appeal to many. I recommend skipping it if that's not your thing. This is for those whom love violence, fan service, and porn in their anime.
Highs: Very good action, stylish, imaginative & creative characters
Lows: Easy to misjudge as mindless porn, some scenes just an excuse for porn
"Wicked City" is nonsensical in its premise and story as a whole, but it's still a well-made film. In many ways the story plays out like "Ninja Scroll", not to mention the director being the same. The story though is of a hero and heroine fighting beasts who have different abilities to try and slay the heroes. The finale is the only difference in how things play out, but sadly that is also the part that makes it clear "Ninja Scroll" is the better of the two. Reason for me saying that is that the ending makes the goal of the characters and a lot
of the character's actions they take completely nonsensical. There isn't a buildup to the ending which makes it feel like a baseless twist that, while it does fit the change in tone of the film in some ways, seems to completely forget what went on in the first half. It's also a shame because the second half drops the noir charms of the first with it's change in tone, leaving the crumbling plot at the focus.
The first half is definitely the best part of the movie, the opening scene being quite striking. The film has a lot of great cinematography and some impressive animation, but there certainly is a number of scenes that feel uninspired that even drag on at times.
I watched the film with the “Manga UK” dubbing job, and I got to say they didn't disappoint. They put on a great performance with only some hiccups, and the translation-work went beyond accuracy to more creativity which I always appreciate. I also couldn't help getting giddy near the start to a clear reference to one of my all-time favorite films “The Thing (1982)”, which is the identical design of one of the creatures.
Overall I enjoyed the movie, while I started getting bored around the end. I'll likely never watch the entire film again, but it was a fun watch that might serve memorable.
Are you getting tired of the same old anime? Perhaps it's time for a change, and you'd prefer to watch something more mature, edgy and bizarre. Here are a few rock solid film noir anime from the 90's through to the present day.