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.
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!
Long ago, I used to believe that a good story just needed to have some good doses of blood, gore and of course naked women. Those were the days and I was a hungry teenager influenced by a dying and corrupt world. Of course that as the years passed me by, I was influenced by many other things and came to widen my taste range.
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.
Story: 1/10 - Pathetic
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.
After 20 years I am still trying to learn what is so great about this short anime OVA. Based on Go Nagai's manga, Violence Jack is a three part OVA that takes place in a post apocalyptic setting where the strong are abusing the weak. Representing justice is the muscular giant Violence Jack. Violence because he's violent, and Jack because, well, he carries a big jackknife in his coat pocket.... clever huh? He runs around the city horribly knifing everyone he thinks deserves it.
Now for starters, this is actually volume one called the Harem Bomber, for some reason in the states it was aired
out of order and released as volume three The Slum King. I don't know why but it sucks all the same. This volume needs to be seen first though so you can understand why the planet is in the shape it's in.
I've never read the original source material because up to this day I haven't been able to acquire it in English. However, based upon what I researched it sounds like an intricate story, and this anime OVA directed by Osamu Kamijo sounds like a very bad adaptation of it. Violence Jack embodies that 80's anime feel that gave it such a notorious reputation for being all blood and sex. If you know someone who was put off by the anime genre for those reasons during that time period; Violence Jack could have been one of the titles they had seen.
The story is poorly handled as it follows a group of Slum King's henchmen as they search for Jack, or kidnap helpless virgins with intentions on satisfying their sexual desires. Women are chained, whipped, and raped, for reasons I still do not see relevant to the story, fortunately it's not in completely graphic detail. Jack himself has the personality of flat pop. I couldn't find a single reason to cheer for him. The rest of the cast are walking plot devices and nothing more, with one of them dying a dramatic death despite receiving barely two minutes worth of screen time.
I guess the anime was trying to evaluate the evil side of man during a time of crisis. This is fine and all, but I would've found it easier to buy in to if the setting was better used and examined. The entire story feels like an excuse for gratuitous sex and violence, and the only thing it has going for it is the consistent tone. There's nothing cheery about this at all, not even the ending.
Visually, this OVA really doesn't look all that good either. The excuse this was made back in 1986 is just that, an excuse. I've seen OVA's from the 80's time period that still hold up, with Neo Tokyo and Vampire Princess Miyu OVA coming to mind. The action scenes are terrible, with Jack running by his enemies and either bodies or their pieces hitting the floor. In regards to choreography, there's just none to speak of and the gore doesn't make up for this. Plus there are stills and reused cels in good supply. The backgrounds are actually done well giving off this end of the world feel. Unfortunately they're all wasted on this poorly executed story. The subtitles are pretty uneven because some times they can be read, and on other occasions they shoot by rapidly. There's no English dub so you're stuck with this.
This first volume of Violence Jack is indeed skip material. I know of several people to like this, but I think it's the nostalgia deodorant being rolled on thick here, like so many other older titles. I recommend not even bothering with this, especially since it doesn't get much better later on.
Highs: Some decent backgrounds, maintains a serious tone
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