It is the world where magic and science coexist. Rayotte Steinberg, a lone wolf "tactical sorcerist", fights against monsters. They used to be human beings, but they had overused forbidden power, "magic", to turn into monsters. What he wears is "mold", the straight jacket that keeps him being a human. What he holds on his hand is "staff", a magical wand that explodes everything. If he casts magic, he moves one step to be a monster. If he doesn't, he will be killed. Among the harsh battles, he will face a sin he had committed in the past.
Story: 6 (what do you expect from 3 episodes)
Art: 10 (Edge of your seat action sequencesl)
Sound: 8 (A lot of bodies ripping apart)
Character: 7 (Typical bad ass action buffs)
Enjoyment: 10 (I've seen it twice already)
Overall: 41/50 = 8.2 = ~8 (So much action in 60 minutes)
Strait Jacket manages to put more action, violence, and drama in 3 episodes than some action drama series can put in 50+ episodes. If you are a complete action aficionado, this is one that you CANT MISS. Theres not much you can explain in terms of story but they manage to make a good beginning middle and end
to this OVA. Basically magic technology is advancing civilization so much that everything requires magic. But overuse and misuse can have its drawbacks and thats where we start this show. An elite armed force unit hired to dispatch these anomalies.
The story is obviously second to the action because these fight scenes take up over half of each episode and thats perfectly fine with me. Just everything about the fight scenes screams completely over the top. From ripping people to shreds to using super powerful guns that rips holes through buildings. It all just screams edge of your seat action. Now I'm sure you're saying, "a lot of anime do the same thing what makes this one so special?" Details my friend, details.
First off, the monsters they cook up for this show is something only to be seen to be believed. Although for the most part they're pretty ridiculous, but they will still make you go "woah" when you see them. But the artwork, camera angles, and detail to everything is just amazing. You actually feel the sense of destruction and power when watching a show like this. For seasoned action freaks like me, thats very hard to do considering we are usually numbed by things like that.
Overall this show, was completely awesome for a 3-episode stint. The story had a pretty reasonable beginning, middle, and end with even a plot twist that even surprised me (but I think that was mostly because I was still amazed with the action). For being such a short series, I highly recommend this to anyone who likes action, violence, and amazing artwork. Although, those who doesn't like gratuitous violence you might want to watch this.
Strait Jacket is a 3 episodes OVA. Which is, no matter how you look at it, finished within a flash.
But truth be said, after seeing some of the artwork and reading a synopsis about Strait Jacket, I just had to watch it.
Good thing It wasn't disappointing. The scenes were quite well done; though you always see details that could have been better. Such as battle scenes being done too fast and the magic not being well explained. But what do you expect from 3 episodes; there wasn't any time to do so.
However, Strait Jacket did a perfectly fine job on making 3 episodes
worthwhile and actually make sense. A lot of short Anime series (OVA in particular) explain nothing and/or let nothing happen due to their short time. Some even rush things through a few episodes and gives us an open ending.
Strait Jacket isn't one of them. Though you might consider it to have an open end; it is not a cliffhanger and doesn't really disappoint you. It's just what you'd expect it to be. Nothing too flasy, nothing too fancy, nothing weird, awkward or lame. It is quite enjoyable and can be watched with a coke and some popcorn. See it as watching a movie; since it in total is almost as long.
I give this series a 7 overall, though the sounds get an 8 from me. It really adds up to the series, creates suspense and isn't repeated too much. Other words, it's perfectly fine, just like the OVA is.
So really, if you have little time to kill and want to enjoy a good serie within a short amount of time; this is a pretty good choice.
OVA’s can be amazing or so, SO boring. It’s frustrating to see something with potential curl up into something derivative and that’s unfortunately the end result from my experience with Strait Jacket. In fact the Molds are a wonderful metaphor for what Strait Jacket is: an interesting revenge story about society’s reliance on a lone wolf when power becomes unsustainable. What’s inside the Mold is a predictable action horror soup sprinkled with some FMA and Trinity Blood. The show’s premise laid enough pieces to create a story about social progress. But they exploded like flashy firecrackers dressed in Hellsing trench coats and Iron Man knockoff
For a show that establishes that it’s set in another world, it certainly doesn’t do too much to stand out or separate itself from similar narratives. The structure of the quasi-steampunk narrative affects the design of every city block, school hall, and military base that its characters battle through. The world in this series is a battleground, and I understand that the show is about war. However I felt that the idea of militarizing pagan magic for the modern world was really interesting and underused in the plot of the show, and it was more background for the fight scenes and characters yelling exposition at each other. If the world of the show was built up better and the volatile use of magic was highlighted as a societal catalyst, I would have felt more invested in the plot and the story of the characters that inhabit this world.
The protagonist and his loose cannon way of doing things seem hollow despite how chaotic they are. The other characters build him up be this savior who doesn’t play by the rules and is closer to becoming the enemy than anyone else. But like many of the other scenes in the movie, I didn’t feel the weight or the consequences of anyone becoming a horrible beast. Sure it was explained to me and I got to watch it happen to other people in this universe, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere. The creatures are gross and maniacal but they often times just killed bystanders for shock value. There were very few characters that were injured by them before Steinberg blew them away. All of the weight and investment in the characters’ struggles felt like hollow threats to the viewers, and I certainly never felt threatened. On top of that I thought the spider girl, who was half monster already, could offer the best insight on being these creatures for a little bit of back story. She also could have hinted at Steinberg’s shortcomings and best features, as she fucking lives with him, but they’re dynamic was limited to ‘oh they’re together but also she could kill him teehee.’ Again, more interesting ideas that could have moved the story but were glossed over.
There were too many half baked ideas that didn’t come out right for me to like this more. It’s a shame because I thought that Strait Jacket was cool and had a lot of potential but overall I couldn’t get into it. Maybe yes, it’s because there’s a limited amount of time to pull off a possibly overzealous world concept. But I’ve seen other shows do it in a shorter amount of time while expounding on other important elements of story too. But its another reason I approach OVA’s with caution. They tend to be brilliant or repetitive and dull. Unfortunately Strait Jacket nose dove into the latter rather than the former. Shame, but now I can watch Fooly Cooly again to restore future faith in the OVA medium.
Sorcery was brought out of superstition and myth to be used in everyday life activities such as medicine, agriculture, and even the military. Society has grown quite fond of its use to the point were they have been completely dependant upon it. However, there's a penalty for constant use, which happens to be that the user would soon lose control of it, and transform into a blood thirsty monster murdering everyone in its path. Modern weapons are useless against the creatures, therefore to combat these creatures an organization named The Sorcery Management Bureau, deploys men clad in armor called Tactical Sorcerist. The armor is referred
to as Mold, and it's equipped with heavy artillery supported by sorcery. Leiot Steinberg is a rogue sorcerist that takes up a job and finds himself working for the bureau; but his very presence aggravates another Mold user by the name of Isaac Hammond. -summary
Strait Jacket is supposedly the first part of a three episode OVA that was being released in 2007. Honestly, I don't know how true that is since things seemed pretty cleared up to me, and I haven't heard anything about a sequel or additional OVA's; but it's not like I actually care if this story continues anyway. In any case, this is pretty much another run o' the mill action anime title that is over-saturated with cliché characters, ie; main character searching for that "thing" to live for, chibi character who hardly ever strings together more than one complete sentence to maintain the mystery, all the way down to the predictable climax and the usual government conspiracies. I don't have a problem with the complete lack of originality as long as the story and plot is interesting. Unfortunately, outside of the visuals and brief action scenes, there is little to find interesting here.
We get to know quite a bit about the bland characters, and they do serve their purposes as plot devices but I really wasn't attached to any of them, and I couldn't care less where they were going either. Instead, I just couldn't wait for them to get there. I mean everyone was putting me to sleep. The plot really is very straight forward and easy to digest, but it's also predictable and badly written. It mainly follows Leiot either attempting to stop another rampage, tid bits on his past, or Isaac's development. There was a small attempt at mystery but it was completely wasted, because the writers decided to expose some of the facial hairs of the suspicious man hiding half way in the shadows, and there was only one person who looked like that. Great move.
One thing is for sure, and that is Strait Jacket is indeed pretty. There's some good attention to detail in the backgrounds concerning landscapes, and the camera work was pretty good. The animation is not as good as some fans are selling it though, but the 2D effects are very crisp with some really nice character designs of the mecha-like Mold units. There was also a few cool monster designs as well.
The demons do their fair share of slice and dice in nice detail, and they just so happen to provide the best action scenes. Sadly, the battles between them and the Mold were very boring to me. Yes, they did look nice with the pretty energy blasts that were made up of vibrant colors, but the lack of movement in a majority of the scenes, and overall poor choreography did nothing for me. I thought the soundtrack was good with a nice song at a few points, and I really didn't have a problem with the dub or sub; but I will point out Steven Blum's talents as a competent voice actor were wasted as Leiot. He completely lacked any type of range, which was obviously due to the stereotypical and bland character he was forced to handle.
Overall, this anime didn't impress me at all. I feel Strait Jacket will more than likely appeal to the very easy to please who love everything anime. After binging on so many action anime with far better fight scenes than this, I just can't recommend this to anyone serious about their anime. There are far better action titles out there to choose from.
In the early-mid 2000s, US licensing companies were involved in numerous anime Production Committees. It didn't go so well for them. This year, several US licensors are trying their luck on Production Committees again. Will it go better this time?