May 27, 2012

Kai Doh Maru

Kai Doh Maru is a 45 minute set in the Heien Period, Japan. A young girl is saved from death by Raiko Minamoto who later trains her as a soldier in order to protect the capital of Kyoto from her childhood friend turned evil.

While this OVA was only 45 minutes, it certainly felt a lot longer while watching. After finishing, I had to check around online to see just what was happening with the story in this one. The entire film is made up of short scenes which start and end with no lead in, trail out, or climax. A few times I thought my computer had lagged because of the poor scene endings. Keeping track of the characters and their relationships to one another and the story was a whole other issue. There were a number of characters that appeared throughout the film with what felt like no rhyme or reason for their involvement in progressing the plot.

Because of the way that scenes were started and ended, the animation style was at many times choppy and very rigid while watching. To touch on a positive element with the visuals, the artwork was quick good. I thoroughly enjoyed the character designs and concepts for creating the background scenes. The colours were very matte and had a high brightness and low contrast to them. This is something that I suspect will be a love or hate thing with viewers. Personally it was refreshing to see something different, but I would tire of the dull colour if it were to carry on through a full series or even a 2 hour film.

Thinking back to the music, I don't recall if there was any. The entire film from my recollection was entire dialogue. Sine this was what stood out in the audio department, the dubbing was not stellar to say the least. The dialogue and animation were out of sync which again led me to the through that my computer was lagging while watching this.

Overall, I wouldn't provide too much of a recommendation for this film. While the art is great to look at, following the sequence of events is so difficult that it becomes frustrating to watch for the most part. For those who want to try something a little different in terms of how the message of their anime is delivered, then this is worth checking out for the experience.

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