Two scientists are attempting to distribute the cure for a demon virus that is affecting people all over Japan, however, things have become complicated. One of them has become infected. So begins his battle with himself, as he attempts to not only control his emerging demon side, but also to save the lives of others by wielding its great strength.
I'm surprised no one has written a review for this yet, as I found it quite a pleasant surprise. Japan has given us some very interesting stories about zombies and demons in the past (the most famous probably being Resident Evil) and this movie is no exception.
Biohunter uses the age old plot device of a virus which leaves the infected with some rather nasty side effects. The show begins by illustrating a woman and her lover, both devoured by the disease. In the case of the young woman, she loses her sanity (and her good looks) while her lover is quite literally lunch. It
is a fairly horrific scene, one that really sets the tone for the finale. A lot of movies involving zombies and/or demons choose to depict the former as humans without any sense of self control but don't explore the concept any farther than cannibalism. Biohunter definitely has its fair share of cannibalism, but takes it even further.
The opening scene shows a couple making love only to have the moment disrupted by the 'hunger' of the infected,which sets the tone for the entire movie. The lead character, who has an advanced immune system allowing him to maintain a degree of control over the demonic virus, is a complete gentleman, becoming the opposite when the virus takes over. What appears to be the main theme of the movie - the lead characters seeking out a psychic at his granddaughter's request - is more of a suplot, with the main character's battle against the disease taking centre stage. This man does not trust himself to engage in relationships with the opposite sex, lest his demonic side raise its head and hurt them. The main villain of the movie is a man who has let his demonic side run amok and control him. He is shown as a complete lecher, devouring young women despite his gentlemanly exterior. This theme of predatory human beings who destroy the opposite sex when they reveal their true self is true of the difficulties facing real relationships - how many people in the real world worry that showing their partner who they really are will change their perception? Furthermore, how many people worry that their partner is just using them?
Art-wise, this show is very old, though a lot of detail is given to indivuidual faces and features. Unlike many shows, whose character designs do not vary much beyond 'ugly or attractive', the characters of Biohunter actually have individual ones.
The main weakness of this show is the same as its strength: character development. There are at least four possible main characters of this show and none of them get any particularly decent character development. The movie is open ended and does not give you any kind of conclusion - many of the questions raised within the film remain unanswered without any kind of resolution. You never find out the origin of the Demon virus, whether it is preventable, how it is transmitted etc. I found this really disappointing and felt the movie deserved another hour to explore these concepts.
Bio Hunter is an interesting twist of John Carpenter's "The Thing" and "Ghost Busters", starring Akuma, and it really works out well for itself. This was a surprise turnout when considering the mean score of 6/10. I say, don't be fooled, Bio Hunter is nothing to pass up. It's one of the best examples of Madhouse's creativity working wonders in the past, and a reminder to why they are one of the best studios around.
Starting with the sights and sounds, Bio Hunter doesn't wimp-out. For sub-HD video, the entirety of the screen looks crisp with great color-depth and some nice grain. It fooled me, while
I was watching it, that it was in high definition. In reality it was only 480p, and that really shows something on the technical side of things. The art style itself is vaguely similar to "Samurai Champloo" with a bit of a sensation of realism mixed in. The animation is wonderful and the proportion-work to the characters is near-perfect. For a typical setting, there are plenty of detailed backgrounds and views that are pleasing to see and make the environment even more immersive. The art design is the more impressive aspect to be found, mainly in the detail and the design of the fictitious element at work here. Also, I'm happy to report that the english dubbing in Bio Hunter is one of the best I've listened to. There was no standout bad voice-actor, and the recording material was also very high quality. The sound design, in general, is also striking with a consistent sense of depth and with the great electronic soundtrack it carries. While the electronics are well done, the soundtrack also features some choir vocalized-tracks. The entire soundtrack summarizes with an ominous sensation that really fits the atmosphere and the premise. The budget is masterful in this OVA.
The story and the writing is also noteworthy in its varied uniqueness. Without spoiling too much, the story is about two individuals who secretly work a job that involves them mending possessed humans. The setup is what will end up relating more to "The Thing", while the writing and career aspect is what relates more to "Ghost Busters". In the anime world, however, how Bio Hunter goes about both of those aspects is quite unique. Bio Hunter almost feels like an early-90's Hollywood movie that could've done well in theater's if it was in live-action (of course it would need a longer length as-well). The writing gives the two main characters some interesting personalities that make them very different in a line of anime characters. Koshigaya is similar to Bill Murray in "Ghost Busters" in how he won't take his job too seriously and will have a continually satirical attitude. His friend Komada, on the other hand, is forced to take things more seriously due to his situation, yet has a more respectful, accepting, and shy personality. These characters work well together in creating some dynamic conversation, and the situation they're in aids in keeping interest. Describing that situation might ruin a bit of the experience, which I wouldn't want to do. So, I can say that it may not look too original when placed aside many other possession-combating anime, but the characterizations and the slight infectious facet does bring about a noticeable change to the formula. Even so, I couldn't say that what's being dealt with in that aspect is explained thoroughly in this OVA. However, it's treated thoughtfully by the characters and it ends up making it very forgivable even though I was never bothered by it.
Bio Hunter carries a moderately-western directing-style, and pushes through with an interesting story relating to a career in searching out demons. The visuals and sound are done superbly with good treatment to virtually every aspect. The english dub is a notable part of that as it's certainly one that would be hard to knock on. The characters are all well-done with uncommon personalities done by the considerably clever writing. Character interactions are many times riveting, and the direction is masterful at creating many moments that feel genuinely creepy. Many live-action horrors fail to reach the height of some of the creepier moments in this OVA. I recommend Bio Hunter to everyone as it's not old enough to have a "dated" art style and it's not lacking in any aspect. There's even a pinch of romance to settle those who are die-hards for it. Watch Bio Hunter.
P.S. Bio Hunter has embarked on a new quest of anime mustaches, and I'm in full support.
Not original. Similar to a couple older shows like ghost busters for example. Even though the question one would have are answered it fails to make the viewer captive. perhaps, it is due to the unrealistic approach the art has. Don't get me wrong the art is done nicely just not nerve raking. If you have seen any of the Saw movies you know what i mean. Those movies use very realistic effects and i get can't help but getting scared. Here i felt the need to yawn.
No complaints nor compliments.
background was covered but i would of have like to
known the main characters before they ran this night business of theirs.
Scifi horror is basically what this is. If you were a fan of angel the t.v. show you might like this.
Bio Hunter is a Madhouse film from the mid 90s based off of a manga by Fujihiko Hosono. Madhouse has a bit of a mixed history with horror themed anime in general. They worked on Blade, which was okay. Death Parade, which was fantastic and Highschool of the Dead, which remains among the worst anime I've ever seen. So, this anime could end up anywhere on the spectrum.
We open with a couple having sex. She seems disinterested and just wants something to eat. Guys, if your partner responds like that, I'm sorry but you need to work on your technique. Maybe communicate a little and find
out what they would like you to do. But this nameless dude is an asshole so he doesn't even think of that. Then her body breaks out into little faces and one of them rips his hand off.
We cut to a Professor doing a lecture while one of his students writes flirty messages to him. He and one of his colleagues are called by a bunch of shady looking people and they find the girl from before chained up and covered in little faces. Which renders the opening sex scene entirely pointless. Because everything important about it is reiterated in this scene. It turns out the Professors are involved in fighting against the so-called "Demon's Virus" by using medicines and the infection suffered by one of them.
Here's my first question, if they have medicines that can treat this then why does one of our protagonists have it? They never cover that in the film. They don't even give us a throwaway line about how "his is too advanced" or something. We can have an entirely pointless sex scene but we can't cover an important plot detail like that? Are you fucking kidding me?
But the narrative issues don't end there. We have plenty of other things that just aren't cohesive. For example, we spot a group of thugs trying to capture a young girl so they can find out where her grandfather is and, not five minutes later, they run her car off the road in an attempt at killing her. So, if they need her for information why would they do that? And if they don't, then why bother her in the first place when all it does is draw attention to themselves? Did no one proof read this?
Then we have the effort at connecting science with fortune telling. Now, there's a reason most writers use either magical elements or real science but not both because it's difficult to justify magic using science and most people can't pull it off. Bio Hunter is a primary example. Particularly when they meet the fortune teller and try to justify his craft as him "reading genomes" which is exceptionally stupid. Oh, and our infected scientist has the lamest possible way of detecting other infected. He tears up. You think he gets false positives if his mind wanders and he thinks about something sad? You think the Beast Wars episode Code Of Hero has just popped into his head and left him wondering whether he was tearing up because of that or because of the virus being present in someone else nearby?
The characters in this are a bit shite just in general. Koshigaya is just kind of a twat. Komada is one of those super angsty characters who we never really see in another mode so it has no impact when he actually has some reason to be upset. He's not as bad as Shinji in that regard. He's a bit more subdued about it, but it's still terrible writing. The antagonist is just evil.
Then we have Sayaka. I want to talk about her a bit because she is indefensibly vapid. This is a character who finds herself in a car that's going over a cliff, wakes up and never really questions why she and the other people are completely unharmed. Or why one of the guys doesn't have a shirt any more. Does she just assume that he was exposed to gamma radiation and transformed? Except instead of the Incredible Hulk he's the Incredible Disappointment. His parents were right the whole time. In all seriousness, this isn't something anyone, even a complete moron, would just accept. You were quite literally tossed off of a cliff in a car that's now a fiery wreck. This is something we need a lengthy scene addressing. You can scrap that pointless sex scene for it.
The film doesn't look good, frankly. A lot of the animation is just lazy, especially when it comes to conversational scenes. They can't even be bothered to put any real effort into syncing the lip movements, when they actually have them, to the dialogue. The action sequences aren't anything great either. They're just generally boring. 3x3 Eyes looks much more impressive and it started airing four years before this. And strong artwork is usually something that Madhouse works have, even when they're kind of shit, except for the aforementioned Highschool of the Dead which is overly focused on trying to arouse teenage boys and for this which isn't that bad but is very low effort.
About the best thing I can say for the film is that they got some capable actors. I know that Seki Toshihiko can be good. I know that Inoue Kazuhiko can be good. I know that Minaguchi Yuko can be good. I've heard them all deliver strong performances. They don't in this. In this they just sound like they don't give a shit. Which I can't really blame them for. I don't think the greatest actors in the world could take this script and sound invested. Amano Masamichi's soundtrack isn't bad. It's just kind of mediocre. Which still makes it the strongest element of the film, sadly.
There isn't any. Which is fine because what little romance they try to develop is pretty awful.
Bio Hunter is a really bad film The script is a mess. The characters are annoying. Even the artwork, animation and acting are weak. And it's not even executed in such a way that it's at least entertaining to watch just to poke fun at. Ultimately, I give it a 2/10 and I'm tempted to go lower but I don't think it's that horrible. I still can't recommend it to anyone.