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Twilight of the Dark Master

a.k.a. Shisaisha no Tasogare

totdm-2
Genre: Action
Company: Toei Douga/Shinshokan
Format: 1 OVA
Dates: 1/21/1998

When humans appeared, Demons were created to teach humanity how to fight fear. To protect the humans, Guardians were also created. Since then, these two factions have been fighting. In the present, however, few remain to continue the battle. One of these remaining warriors is a Demon hidden in the city of Neo-Shinjuku, waiting to subjugate mankind and become its ultimate ruler. The only one that stands in the way is Tsunami Shijyo, the last Guardian.

summary by Griveton

 

Reviewed: 12/13/2002 by
Grade: 71% av-Griveton

Highs: Setting; design and animation

Lows: Rushed, condensed story; ridiculous ending; boring fights

Based on the manga of the same name by Okuse Saki, Twilight of the Dark Master is, sadly, yet another feature that tries to do too much in too little time. What we get is a passable, albeit lacking, action/horror anime in the same vein as Blood: The Last Vampire (although definitely superior).

The strong point of this anime is definitely the visual experience it presents. Although not Abe Hisashi’s best work as an animation director and designer, the design and animation is a good, appropriately dark representation of a world in a constant, secret struggle. Sadly, the music doesn’t keep up; the soundtrack is forgettable.

Nice as the visuals are, they can’t make up for the lacking story. While not much is left unexplained, the story feels rushed and condensed. The characters are introduced appropriately, but most aren’t very interesting. The battles, although decently animated, are somewhat boring and consist of the characters flying around and throwing attacks at each other; the battles suddenly end as Tsunami shows his true power, which makes them feel quite pointless. My biggest gripe is the ending. Although I liked the interaction between Demon and Guardian, the resolution of the conflict was just ludicrous.

Twilight of the Dark Master had huge potential. The setting could make for a gripping, epic story. The short fifty minutes of allotted time prevent this potential from being fulfilled, however. Had it been a longer OVA or television series, this could have been an anime for the ages. As it stands, this OVA is an average, entertaining feature. Just don’t expect anything else. A word on warning on violence and nudity, though: this anime has a lot of both, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

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