Two Japanese survivors of the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia vow to find a sanctuary, even if they have to build it themselves. Returning to Japan, they take seemingly opposite paths: one becomes a politician, the other a gangster.
As Asami and Houjou work through the linked worlds of politics and crime in modern Japan, they don't hesitate to do anything necessary to secure their own positions and stay true to their vow. Loyal to no one else, they find their friendship increasingly tested as they rise in their chosen fields.
Sanctuary is brilliant. We see both a corrupt political system and a dangerous underground, neither of which want some young punks rising to the top. However, the two protagonists are doing just that.
This OVA doesn't really give many details on the background of the story, and it certainly doesn't end it, so I assume this covers something in the middle of the story... I'll definitely be wanting to read the manga to find out more.
If you enjoy when one character pulls a fast one over on the other like in Death Note or Code Geass, you'll probably like this. The main character, Hojo, appears
to be a genius. He's got a good position in the yakuza, but he has a great ambition that he works towards - apparently the whole "creating a sanctuary" thing, though this OVA doesn't really touch on that much. I often found myself impressed and just laughing a bit at how awesome it was when Hojo's plans took effect. He's an extremely charming and likeable character.
The animation was smooth enough to be better than today's standards. The characters actually moved around and there weren't any "freeze frame" attacks or whatever. Unlike most anime, the characters look pretty realistic, which, oddly, drew me in quite a lot.
The soundtrack contained some nice piano pieces and some funky stuff reminiscent of the '80s and '90s. It was quite fitting.
I really enjoy realistic situations in anime; the characters in this OVA don't do anything a person wouldn't do in real life. This really adds to the thrill when they do things that ARE out of the ordinary since we can really relate to it and see how impressive it is.
I have two complaints with Sanctuary.
1. There's a bunch of nudity and foreplay for no apparent reason. I could understand a little to show what these people are like, but it was pretty excessive to get that message across. I just thought it was pretty unnecessary and also felt a bit bad seeing it since I'm in a relationship.
2. There's only one OVA.
Other than that, I found this amazing and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm kinda baffled why it's rated so low (6.61 at the time of writing this), but whatever.