Set in Tokyo, the people of Earth have been living parallel to another dimension called the "Black World". In this dimension exists demons, but all humans aren't aware of their existence. Those who are familiar, are also aware of the cease-fire pact between the two dimensions, which has carried on for centuries. It is now time for the pact to be renewed. Taki Renzaburo who represents the Earth realm is partnered with Makie, a female demon of the Black World. They are to protect Giuseppi Mayart until it is time to renew the truce. A group of radicals from the Black World are determined to stop them, with intentions on beginning a war between the two realms.-summary
Wicked City aka Yoju Toshi is an anime film that combines horror with a film noir style, and is directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Those who are familiar with this name, are also likely to be aware of his later project Ninja Scroll. Ironically, Wicked City and Ninja Scroll are very similar.
Those who have seen Ninja Scroll first, may feel as if they're watching it twice to a certain degree. For the reasons that the female lead Makie does serve a purpose, but she appears to be nothing more than a plot device, to drive one rape scene after another despite her toughness. This is very similar to Kagero of Ninja Scroll. This also goes for the male lead Taki. Like Jubei from Ninja Scroll, as strong as he is, his enemies are far tougher and he mainly requires assistance to win. As a matter of fact, most of these characters features were reused for the aforementioned film.
Despite the similarities concerning characters. The two films are quite different. I will also mention early that Wicked City is one of the few anime films that I can think of, which actually meshes sex and extreme violence with a coherent plot. The anime is bathed in style, it is very atmospheric, and it takes place in a dark city environment; where shades of dark blue are used as the dominant color scheme to create that dark, moody, and sinister ambiance. Almost the entire film takes place at night. Also adding to the creepy tone, there are creatures posing as humans attempting to take men to bed, and they reveal their true forms at this time. This is actually some of what works its horror edge.
Wicked City is very imaginative and creative. The demons are definitely unique, and boast some wild abilities. It's something that should be seen, and spoilers should be kept low to non existent. The action scenes are brutal, and at times over the top. The sex and rape scenes are graphic, but not on the level of Legend of the Overfiend, which is a very, very, graphic hentai anime. Now, I don't find the scenes bad due to the graphic nature. Instead, I find them bad because they're nothing more than an excuse for random sex, and the scenes aren't really needed to push the plot.
I have about the same mixed feelings for the comedy. I found the comedy to be funny at times. However, I find it to be slightly out of place. The comedy clashes with the dark and horrific tone, which was set so well in the beginning, thus, removing the sense of uneasiness and terror. The comedy clearly knocks the film down a few notches for me. The plot twist that takes place towards the end, is out of nowhere, yet it's effective and I doubt anyone saw that coming.
Wicked City has a very good soundtrack that does fit well with the mood of the film and several scenes. The animation is pretty fluid, and most of the battles were cool to watch. The artwork also fits the personality of the film delivering some freakish character designs. At least one character has always stuck in my mind after seeing a Kawajiri film with this being no exception.
The backgrounds are also very good. Every thing visually seemed to blend very well and had the right feel. I don't really have any issues with the voice acting for either language, but I enjoyed the English dub a lot more. Then again, I almost always enjoy it more.
Wicked City is an anime film that took a very long time to grow on me. I'm not a fan of hentai at all, in fact I hate it. I hate Legend of the Overfiend and La Blue Girl. So that should explain my feelings towards hentai. Still, I feel this film is a decent watch. If you loved Ninja Scroll, then I feel this may be good for you, but once again in closing, this anime contains graphic sexual content and violence that will not appeal to many. I recommend skipping it if that's not your thing. This is for those who love violence, fan service, and porn in their anime. Wicked City has an 82 minute run time.
-Very good action
-Stylish, imaginative & creative characters
-Easy to misjudge as mindless porn
-Some scenes just an excuse for porn
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The story takes place towards the end of the 20th century and explores the idea that the human world secretly coexists with the demon world with a secret police force known as the Black Guard protecting the boundary.
The film was released in Japan on April 19, 1987 by Japan Home Video (JHV) and received a western release dubbed by Streamline Pictures under the name Wicked City on August 20, 1993. After Streamline Pictures lost the distribution rights, it was licensed and distributed by Urban Vision. A censored version of the film was distributed by Manga Entertainment in the UK with a different dub. Both Streamline and Manga UK dubs were released in Australia, the Manga UK dub being released on VHS in 1994. In 1995, Manga Video released in Australia a bundle VHS consisting of Wicked City and Monster City, this version containing the Streamline dub. In 1997 when Madman Entertainment was named distributor for Manga in Australia, the Streamline dub was released on a single tape, the Manga UK version was phased out.