Anime Academy

3×3 Eyes


a.k.a. Sazan Eyes

Genre: Action/Comedy/Drama/Romance
Company: Kodansha
Format: 4 OVA
Dates: 7/25/1991 to 2/23/1992

Yakumo is a normal Japanese high school student. His father is an eccentric professor who abandoned his family four years ago to study demons in Tibet. One day, a mysterious girl named Pai wanders into town in search of Yakumo and squeals with delight upon finding him. She brings news of the professor’s death and how she was instructed to find Yakumo in order for her to become human. He thinks she’s a few chapters short of a book but is nonetheless attracted to her cute cheeriness… until one day he is attacked, and his life is saved when Pai consumes his soul. It is at that time that Yakumo learns that Pai is the last of an ancient race of sacred demons known as Sanjiyan, and by virtue of having his soul consumed he is now her Wu, or immortal protector.

summary by Kain


Reviewed: 05/20/2002 by
Grade: 65% av-Kain

Highs: Nice mix of humor, action, drama and, surprisingly, violence

Lows: Minor characters come and go too quickly; ending leaves many hanging

3×3 Eyes was one of the more popular manga series during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Much of its popularity was due to the fact that it drew its content from every conceivable element that could pertain to a story: comedy, violence, drama, and action. There’s something there that appealed to anyone.

3×3 Eyes, the anime, tries to recreate that same melting-pot formula… but given the relatively short format that an OVA entails, much of what could have been ultimately wasn’t. That’s a shame, because if one would look deep enough, one would see a great story just crying to be let out; the whole “search for the Ningen no Zou” scenario is just the road for which the plot travels on.

Secondary characters also fell victim to time limitations and ended up mostly on the cutting room floor. Just when it appears one of them would do or say something dramatic, he or she is either 1) left out entirely, or 2) never acts on impulse. That parts-of-a-manga feel is similar to that made famous in short OVA like Ah! My Goddess and Love Hina Again.

3×3 Eyes is a love story first; the whole Sanjiyan/Wu relationship is a very intimate metaphor for what true love stands for: souls intertwined, one life dependent on the other. The part about wanting to be human and what being human means is given, unfortunately, too little attention. 3×3 Eyes II: Legend of the Divine Demon, the sequel OVA, covers this part more in detail.


3×3 Eyes and 3×3 Eyes II: Legend of the Divine Demon can be downloaded as a single set legally in the United States HERE.


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