Long ago there were fierce gods of legends who shook the earth to its foundation with their power. There are now prehistoric rivals from the primitive times in Japan, that fought to protect their secrets in the present day. The God of Darkness Susanoah-oh is now sleeping in the shadows of the underworld waiting for his rebirth. However his coming hasn't gone unoticed. There are agents from the Kikuchi Clan (descendants of Japans first inhabitants) who have seen the warning signs of the spreading of darkness's bringing. These investigators are armed with ancient knowledge and artifacts who are willingly prepared to face the God of Darkness. Now they must fight the assembled spirits of hell to find the one young boy who is chosen by fate to grasp the chaotic might of the deadly Gods.
There's a long standing debate about what the worst anime ever made actually is. Some people like to think that shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion, or Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, or even some harem rom-com or blatantly ecchi shows is the worst.
To the people who think of shows like those I say this - be glad you've never watched Dark Myth.
Dark Myth is quite literally the worst anime ever made - period. It is to anime what Plan 9 From Outer Space is to movies - and then some.
The story actually had a half-decent premise, in that the God of Darknes, Susanoah-oh, is
about to be reborn, and there's a bunch of people trying to stop this from happening. The problem lies with the execution though, as Dark Myth, for some reason, decides to stop the story numerous times in order to give you a crash course in mythology - complete with repetitive syllables (and if you watch the show then you'll understand what I mean).
This stopping and starting of the story leaves one feeling more than a little confused about what the hell is going on, and add to that the fact that the story gives very little information about the characters and you have a show that feels more like watching a train wreck (complete with bits flying off everywhere, people screaming and running for cover, etc).
The art and animation in the show is dreadful. Considering when the show was made (1990 to be exact), it's odd that such a show could actually pass muster for release in the western market, especially as the characters are pathetically designed, the animation is oft times very disjointed, and the overuse of gore in scenes that didn't actually need it. The inclusion of so much gore made it seem more like Braindead - without the cheesy humour.
The sound is, once again, shockingly bad in comparison to other shows that were made at the same time. The effects are nothing but annoying, the music doesn't really suit the scenes, and the voices are definitely forgettable.
Characters in the show are pathetic at best. There may be numerous times when watching this when you'll wish that everyone dies, or you do. None of the characters have any actual depth, and all of the event in the show are aimed at simply recounting a story rather than developing a character.
This is not an enjoyable show in the slightest. The poor attempt at pschological and supernatural horror, the over-use of gore, the less than one-dimensional characters, the constant and patronizing explanations, all serve to ruin what could have been at least a half decent show. This show takes itself far too seriously, and for that reason it fails in every area. The creators spent far too much time ensuring that the story they wanted was put into the show, and because of this the show lacks everything.
This show is so bad that I would honestly consider it to be a form of medieval toture, and given the choice between being hung, drawn and quartered, or watching Dark Myth again, I would choose the former option. At least I know the torture will end, and I won't be constantly patronized during it.
I'm not entirely sure why this anime gets such a bad reputation. Everyone I've ever talked to who has seen it says that it is terrible, but I feel like it really wasn't that bad at all.
Okay, so the art design and sound is definitely not up to par with what anime was being broadcast at the time, but it's not the art or sound that makes this suspense anime what it is. Frankly, I found the slow tense pacing of this anime very enjoyable- it's hard to find good horror anime that doesn't immediately throw tricks at you right out of the gate. A
good horror story is one that uses a tense atmosphere to make you afraid even when the monster isn't on screen. And The Dark Myth is really very good at building atmosphere, albeit it does so at a crawling pace so I understand why many people find it tiresome.
As far as the mini mythology lessons throughout the film, I found them to be very interesting and makes the film a lot easier to enjoy. I think I would have been terribly confused without them. Unfortunately, I cannot attest to the accuracy of The Dark Myth's telling of these myths, but from what I understood of it, they seemed clear and believable. There is far more talking than there is action, so I see why many anime fans would be frustrated with that as well. It seems to me that The Dark Myth is definitely geared as an adult mystery and not really something for teens.
I think that this thriller anime definitely needs to be given a chance, and fans of horror anime who are looking for suspense should watch through it at least once.
You will probably find many pronouncing this anime to be one of the worst ever made, and chances are, after such negativity, you too will form a similar opinion. But looking from a completely neutral lens, this show isn't half as bad as it is made out to be. Sure it isn't one of the best, in fact not even by a large margin, but it DEFINITELY isn't the worst, at least if you have even the slightest interest in mythology.
Ankoku Shinwa narrates some pretty unknown mythology (as in very less promoted over the mainstream media), which I personally find more enjoyable than going over
the more known mythologies of Greece and the like. And indeed, most of the anime is pure narration of a section of Hindu mythology, set in a dark atmosphere. Those who know nothing of it yet find discovering new things enjoyable, and are also not averse to the horror theme, may actually find it pretty enjoyable. The music also wasn't unsuited to the environment against which it is employed, and the art was typical of the era, nothing unusual there.
But as regards to any sort of character development or a sound plot, you won't find any, this show simply isn't designed for that. mind you, most horror shows also do not showcase their plot, but their horror element as their main theme. It is the same with this anime.
Lastly, the anime itself could have achieved much more if it had been more properly directed, as the base was pretty solid. Herein lies its greatest weakness, it has everything, but nothing seems to have been put in it's proper place.
Overall, do not watch this anime if you're looking for some excellent plot or fighting sequences, you won't find any. This show is only for those with an appetite for horror and who can stand a lesson in mythology.