The fate of the world rests in the ability of three untested warriors to defeat an unearthly army of darkness. Sorcery, martial arts and an unrequited love, spanning the centuries, explode in an epic battle at the gates of the forbidden city. Crimson Wolf is an unusual departure for the Anime genre - rooted in real world reference, it makes the fantasy all the more believeable.
One of the more bizarre OVAs to come out of the 1990s Crimson Wolf may at first glance be more of your standard throwaway nonsense to come out of this era however there is a little bit more to it than that.
The plot as one would expect is a contrived blend of mysticism, martial arts and gangsters though looking beyond the superficial silliness there is a deeper underlying political and philosophical message to the whole tale which is actually a fairly delightful layer of depth to the hour or so of your life you may feel you’ve just wasted. Throw in the obligatory cringe worthy sex scenes and you know you’ve got vintage OVA on your hands.
The artwork has definitely not aged well and it is hard to escape the feeling that this is pulp produced anime, the soundtrack similarly is your standard mix of synths and orientalism which doesn’t really either add to or detract from the whole experience. Even for someone like me who is a bit of an aficionado for this type of less well known 90s OVA I can’t really describe either as a selling point. The English Dub is laughably bad as one would expect, for some this is simply part of the charm of this era of anime but if you’re actually wanting to watch this in any way aside from as a curiosity then I’d definitely recommend the subbed version if you can find one.
In summary this is definitely an OVA for someone who’s interested in watching the more obscure end of the spectrum perhaps even just for that reason. There is definitely something in this however unless you’re really willing to just go with the flow the lacklustre artwork, plot and soundtrack make this something not worth the time to find. read more