Anime Reviews:

Psychic Wars

(Tetsuo Imazawa, 1991)

In director Tetsuo Imazawa's 1991 OAV, surgeon Ukyo Retsu performs an operation to remove a strange growth from an old woman. The growth turns out to be a 5,000 year old demon, a messenger from Japan's ancient past announcing another attempt by the demons to bring evil over the earth once again. The gods decree that one man will be chosen to defeat the demons and Dr. Retsu is that man. Nurse Fuyuko, who falls in love with the surgeon, joins Retsu when he travels to the remains of an ancient city where he finds a gateway into the past. Travelling back 5,000 years, Retsu has the familiar task of saving mankind from certain doom.

With a premise from the Japanese school of complete unoriginality, Psychic Wars has the odds stacked against it from the start. "I have a duty to protect the Earth from the forces of evil. I mustn't fail, no matter what." says our macho hero. Would I be spoiling your day if I told you he doesn't fail? I don't expect so. The simple animation is colourfully done with some effective stylistic touches but it is a constant uphill battle against risible dialogue. This little exchange between Nurse Fuyuko and Dr. Retsu is a nice example: "What is it?", "Danger - and it's near.", "What sort of danger?", "Evil, pure evil." - ouch! Having said that, the dub itself is mostly passable. With an 18 rating, adult audiences won't swallow the ludicrous plot twists or romantic sub-plot that develops between the good doctor and his nurse. A forgettable catalogue filler for Manga. 3/10

Rob Dyer

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