- Ogre Slayer (1994-1995: OB Planning & Pastel) 4/4 eps.
You would have thought this show would be right up my street. It features a dude with a magic sword cutting up oni with a ton of gory violence. Unfortunately that action is blandly directed, the gore is weirdly dull, and the rest of the show is intensely boring and depressing. This is a shame because the manga by Kei Kusunoki ran for 10 years, so it must have something going for it! Though given that head director Takao Kato’s previous works include To LOVE-Ru, Zoids, Rio: Rainbow Gate, and the terrible Compiler maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. The two episode directors don’t inspire much confidence either with one being Kazuya Murata and the other being Yousei Morino, the latter’s works being a mixture of porn and Queen’s Blade…
But what is Ogre Slayer? Well it is an episodic show following a young man with a sword, except he isn’t man he is an oni. See he is an oni born with human form, a sense of morals, and a sword. As such his mission is to kill every oni in the hopes that it will lead to him gaining his humanity. So we get four episodes of him turning up in a place and through shenanigans killing the oni of the week. When I say shenanigans I mean large amounts of violence and unhappiness. See, nothing really ever turns out alright. The only other anime I can think of that is as mean spirited and without hope as Ogre Slayer would be Violence Jack, not exactly the most positive of comparisons.
That Violence Jack comparison actually works in several different ways. The second is that it both these shows look like arse and are incredibly gory. The character designs in Ogre Slayer are fairly wonky looking for starters, I always found the eyes super weird for some reason. The rest of the visuals follow that very bland early 90s generic aesthetic that fails to make any impression on the viewer outside of boredom. This wouldn’t be so bad if the show moved well but it doesn’t. The action scenes are painfully boring to watch despite the vast amount of gore, the gore is fairly decent but gore can only make up for so much.
The Violence Jack comparison also comes back into play when we look at how Ogre Slayer treats women. For an adaptation of a manga written by a woman this show is wildly sexist in nature. Women are pretty much always the cause of the conflict in the show with them being shown to be incredibly susceptible to corruption by the oni, as well as generally being cattish and mentally unstable. This isn’t helped by the show using any excuse to pop out their baps. There is an awful pattern of the oni showing up and there being some exposed boobs for little no reason. Now I like me some boobs but these boobs served no purpose and I’m not exactly all that keen to see boobs on a woman being raped. So yeah, this show does basically nothing to redeem its female cast outside of one episode where a character sacrifices herself…. after murdering a whole bunch of people…
This show is just terrible. It is a boring, sexist, and ugly mess of a production that does nothing to endear you to the main character (note how little I have to say about him) and doesn’t have some cool action to make up for it. Sure, the gore is decent but that would be better digested through a supercut or AMV rather than having to actually watch this show. But you know what the weirdest thing is? It wasn’t Manga Video who licensed this, it was Viz Media!
Final score: 2G