- Strait Jacket (2007-2008: feel.) 3/3 eps.
Staff and Background
This series is based on a light novel series of the same name by Ichirou Sakaki. He is the dude who created Scrapped Princess, Outbreak Company, and Coffin Princess. The OAV series was directed by Shinji Ushiro, who’s claim to fame is as the director of Youkai Watch. From what I’ve gathered this OAV series covers one subplot in the LN series.
Story and Characters
In this world people have learnt to use magic in order to help with many tasks. However, overuse of magic can transform people into demons who go about killing and raping. In order to take down these demons there are ‘tactical sorcerists’ who wear special armour which prevents them from turning into demons despite heavy use of magic. Our main character, Reiott, is an unlicensed sorcerist but is roped in to help the authorities by Mary Simmons when they run low on manpower. However this pisses off another sorcerist called Isaac who isn’t too impressed by Reiott’s lack of disregard for collateral damage. The following story plays out with a touch of backstory, a little bit of intrigue, and a lot of monster of the week. The story isn’t particularly good and neither are the characters, but they get the job done. They carry you from fight scene to fight scene with just enough investment for you not to get too bored. This is a shame as the world they created is pretty cool and I would like to have gotten a decent story line out of it. However, as a show in the style of those late 80s and early 90s OAVs it sort of works, as it never does anything particularly bad and the point of it is the action.
Audio and Visuals
So how is the action? Well it is a mixed bag. The monster designs are pretty cool and some of the animation is pretty good, plus there is actual gore for once! However, the scorcerists all wear full suits of armour which means fights consist of them slowly walking around, standing still, and then shooting a beam at things. It isn’t exactly what I’d called engaging action. Outside of the monsters and a handful of other things the general art style is rather uninspired with a fairly generic mid-2000s look. Both the dub and the sub are ok with no real weak points or strong points, while the music is kind of what you’d expect.
Overall Strait Jacket is a bit of a let-down. If they’d been able to adapt the whole thing then it could have been pretty good as there would have been time to develop a story and set of characters. However, what we got was more akin to the Kawajiri style of OVAs where everything is there to enable dope action, except here the action was bland.
Final score: 4E