17-year-old Sayako Amanokawa aspires to become a journalist, just like Kanemoto, an elite newspaper writer she looks up to. But Kanemoto, shamed from an erroneous report about a corruption scandal, jumps in front of a train and commits suicide. Since that incident, Sayako suddenly becomes able to see spirits and almost loses her life. However, from that near-fatal incident she experiences something extraordinary. The journalist inside her stirred, she embarks to find out about the truth. But the forces that stand in her way turn out to be much more formidable than she ever imagined.
I stumbled upon Buddha Saitan (Rebirth of Buddha in English) on YouTube. If you are interested in watching this as well, I suggest looking it up on YouTube because I did a quick Google search and could not find a reputable streaming site hosting it. Beware though: The version uploaded to YouTube is dubbed, however still has subtitles. So if you can't handle the unfortunate (but not unbearable) dubbed voices you are just going to have to turn off its sound.
The story follows 17 year old school girl Sayako who dreams of becoming a journalist. One day at a train station she sees a ghost
of her idol journalist, Kanemoto, who committed suicide in the same train station the day before. The apparition of Kanemoto, distressed, pulls Sayako into a courtroom hearing where it is decided if he will go to heaven or hell because he committed a sin by killing himself. This triggers Sayako's exploration into Buddhism and finding the true reincarnation of Buddha on earth.
Overall, this movie isn't bad but it isn't very good either. I rated it a four because of the lack of character development, average animation (with a strange scene of IMVU looking angels that looks nothing like the rest of the art in the movie), but has an understandable plot. The movie does have some shinning scenes: when the reincarnated Buddha talks about achieving success along with other enlightened teachings Buddhists adhere to.
I think if you’re looking for a quick movie to watch that is different than the majority of animes out there you should check this out.
The reviews here are mostly just bull.
Finishing the film 3 days ago, it's fresh in my mind, so let me enlighten you with a true review.
The story starts off simple but then goes its own direction with the introduction of plot twists, religious perspectives and its referral or continuation to The Laws Of The Sun (watch that before you watch this film).
Despite not being an official sequel to the animated film mentioned above, this anime draws its ideas from it and references it using its actual scenes - so in a way, it's a sequel to that story.
What's wrong with the story being "too religious"?
Why watch it knowing that it's going to be religious, since the title 'screams' religion?
It's meant to be religious. Sure, it does seem like propaganda, but keep in mind that this film was created in Japan for Japanese audiences and that Japan is a mainly Buddhist-Shinto country.
So no, its purpose is not to brainwash humans living in the US or aliens living in Earth 2.0 into following Buddha's ways.
The art is generally a good 8 - and it gets even greater when the anime turns serious or goes epic, like at the end when there's a great battle and the art is turned up a notch to an 9.
Basically, it goes like this -> though at times it seems like a 7, normally it's an 8 and at certain moments it's a 9.
Now, I would say that the dub sucks, but then there's Sorano, whose voice actor, in my opinion, nailed a 'reborn Buddha' perfectly.
Seriously, in every single grand speech he made, which most of the time lasted for 3 minutes, I would get goosebumps, and I'd say the same for other enthusiastic anime watchers.
The school girls sounded 20 years older than they actually are, apart from Sayako, whose dub was actually a mile better than the others'.
Sayako's boyfriend's dubbing seemed so lifeless, it felt like his voice actor wasn't really bothered about it.
If given a choice, I would rate the dub a 6 - it has its pros and cons, but while the cons outweigh the pros, Sorano's dubbing far outweighs the cons.
But seriously, it's not unbearable and I'd recommend watching the dub for Sorano's godly voice.
The sound. There's one BGM in particular that plays when Buddha/Sorano appears, probably the most memorable of the OST there, for being so majestic and godly-like.
The ending song is the second-most memorable - it sticks on you and what's good about it is that it tells the story of Buddha while sounding great and catchy at the same time.
But in general, the BGMs fit the scenes nicely, and that's what matters really.
Some of the characters do stick on you, especially Sorano.
I once skipped to a scene of this film back in December 2013 and glimpsed Sorano, the reborn Buddha.
It's been almost two years and when I decided to watch this film, I was anticipating his introduction the most.
I'd say the same for any other enthusiastic watchers.
I wouldn't be surprised if they were also anticipating his appearance whenever things went wrong.
I started off hating the false Buddha and ended the anime with respect for him, now that's something.
There's Sayako's dad - the anime went fast with its pace with his reaction to his secret being revealed, which disappointed me and really lowered his value.
Then there's Sayako's little brother, a cliched kid who runs around doing whatever he likes, and the anime does something smart with him at the end and the credits - for that reason it will stick with me whenever I see this anime.
Now, if you're a skeptic of religion, you might have a hard time watching this because it seems like 'propaganda', but if you watch this with an open mind you'll really enjoy it.
Overall, it's really memorable, enjoyable and definitely worth a re-watch, which I plan on doing when the week starts hopefully.
Lastly, in Buddhism there ARE demons and evil spirits, such as an Asura, which is mentioned in the anime.
And about possessions - ever heard of a Yakkha? Ever heard of the Atanatiya Sutta?
Before bashing on an anime, it's better to actually research points that you'll present.
The anime doesn't misinterpret its ideas and mix it with Christianity, it's mainly about Buddhism.
I'm not a Buddhist nor religious, more like an agnostic, but what's wrong with the religious side of anime?
Pretty much just the worst anime I've ever seen. It's not just religious propaganda, it misrepresents Buddhism and skepticism at the same time. There are no such things such as demons or evil spirits in Buddhism. The "possession" idea is purely a medieval Christian invention. It's downright disgusting that they would cast the "Buddha" as an exorcist. Buddhism is about self-control, as in, control of your own mind - to avoid thinking and acting mindlessly and instead practice mindfulness, being aware of your own thoughts, etc.
But actually, the main problem I have with this anime is that it doesn't have any good violence scenes.
To be fair, it is PG-13, so I shouldn't have expected anything good. Oh well. I'll never watch any movie not rated R ever again.
Though this anime was pretty much religion it sorta made me believe in the buddha even though it confused. This anime is surprisingly persuasive. The plot of the story I actually enjoyed it though you may find it a bit cheesy.