Oct 8, 2014
Today we are looking at a fairly obscure 1980s anime that is only remembered thanks to an awesomely terrible Chinese movie adaptation. This adaptation from the 1990s is one of the only Chinese adaptations of a Japanese manga/anime to ever exist and it was BAD, coming across as more of a spoof than an honest adaptation. However, the spoof was actually far superior because unlike this piece of shit, it didn't take itself seriously!
Story and characters: 2/10
Riki is a superhuman kung fu master that was sentenced to jail after killing some Yakuza thugs with his fists to avenge his girlfriend's murder. Riki takes place in a future were prisons have become privatized and corrupt, handing out extra long sentences in order to use the inmates for unpaid labor. I would laugh at this plot if this wasn't actually a real problem in the US thanks to the powerful prison corporations such as the Corrections Corporation of America and their filthy lobby propagating the war on drugs and bribing judges to hand out extra long sentences as seen in the famous "cash for kids" scandal. However, the point of Riki Oh isn't to attack private prisons or bring up a problem that Japanese people in the 1980s were not aware would exist in the US in the 1990s and 2000s. Instead the point is to be a gritty, generic 80s shonen that desperately wants to be Hokuto no Ken and fails miserably. Riki Oh is all about action, but comes across as very cheesy and stupid. The problem is that unlike the Chinese adaptation, the anime is not self aware and is not laughing along with the audience. Riki has no real personality and is as bland and vanilla a protagonist as you can get for someone that punches people's heads off! The Warden is the stereotypical corrupt prison warden, who unfortunately does NOT randomly transform into The Hulk as seen in the Chinese movie version. This isn't an anime you would watch for the plot anyways, so how is the action? It kind of...sucks. Unlike the hilarious Chinese film, you will be quickly bored rather than rolling on the floor with laughter.
I'm going a little easy on the art taking age into consideration, but it wasn't good looking even for the 80s and looks like absolute shit to a modern audience.
The music is very bland and forgettable. I don't really have much to say about it.
If you love the Chinese film and wish to see what the anime was like, don't bother with this one! It is a waste of time that will bore you to tears. If you haven't seen the Chinese adaptation/spoof, go see it on youtube immediately! It is fucking hilarious! Bonus points for the genuinely awful English dub, which adds extra comedic value to the mix.
1 minute clip from Riki Oh the movie. If this doesn't make you smile, you don't have a soul!
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