Two siblings were happy on Mt. Olympus, until they fell in love. Deimo's sister Venus got imprisoned in the Swamp of Death. To save Venus's life, he must find a human reincarnation so that they can continue their love.
The OVA Deimos no Hanayome is, in one short sentence, a glorified demonstration of the manga. Does it make it bad? Not quite, but it definitely represents wasted potential.
First of all, do you see that pretty interesting premise for the plot in the synopsis? Yeah, forget about it. The main plot is told in the first few minutes and the rest of the OVA dedicates itself to a side story which is pretty much filler, so no revengeful gods, unconventional love or something like that. This is by far one of the greatest flaws here: you've got yourself some good enough source material for an
entire series, yet choose to pick a random story and go with it.
Despite all of that, the story for the OVA is actually pretty interesting, so it's partially forgiven. The main character, Minako, is looking for her friend, who disappeared after he went to a certain orchid specialist's mansion. Minako finds herself in a very dangerous situation when she faces the siblings Touko and Kaname, both hiding some bizarre secrets... It's not a complex plot, but it certainly works and fits within the overall tone of the manga: dark, tragic and containing some twisted love stories.
The visuals are very good and able to successfully express the melancholy and morbidity through an overall Gothic atmosphere. Despite following the shoujo traditional art style, the characters have more mature looks to match the story nature. The main problem is the animation itself. Sure, many series and OVAs at the time had some awkward animation consisting of still frames in dramatic and action sequences, but it still looks very dated. To the OVA's merit, though, some of the scenes are quite stylish.
A good soundtrack helps tremendously in building a great atmosphere, and Deimos no Hanayome realizes that... sort of. Well, the musics themselves are good and most sound effects are okay (except a certain annoying and completely unnatural scream), but the transition between background sounds is done very poorly: the music just stops in the middle of the scene, then pops up again later, with very little fluidity.
The characters are the weakest part of this, since the main characters are only fully fleshed out in the manga and there is not much time to develop the bad guys. That's why they should have settled for either really adapting the original plot or making a complete standalone OVA with nothing to do with the manga. However, there is a huge problem which unfortunately manifests in the manga as well: all of the characters have their dumb moments sooner or later, and when they do, it's really dumb. They go from the basic "I'll reveal my whole backstory before I kill you, like a classic villain!" to "I've got evidence, experience and good reasons to assume that I'll be killed, therefore I'll walk straight into the danger without any plan! ". The backstory is interesting, though, and that is the only redeeming feature.
This OVA had the recipe for disaster with underdeveloped characters, technical inefficiency and failure to grasp the original plot, but the engaging suspense and nice visuals saved it. In the end, it's still a disturbing story with an interesting development, so horror fans should definitely give it a chance. If you enjoy more mature shoujo stories, Deimos no Hanayome might be for you as well, but be warned that it's basically advertising for the manga and doesn't try to hide that fact.
(Reviewed for the club "Reviews for the unreviewed")