Urotsukidoji I: Legend of the Overfiend

Title: Urotsukidoji I: Legend of the Overfiend
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Animation, Horror, Action, Fantasy
Director: Hideki Takayama
Language: Japanese

Yes, with a title like this it could only be another Japanese anime, this time taking things to more expected situations. Except this isn’t the cliché, this is the creator of the cliché; possibly the first to truly popularise the notion of tentacle rape, and the only animated film I have ever heard of getting multiple outright bans including in the US, Australia and the UK, requiring the removal of nearly half an hour of footage to be legally sold. Can you imagine just how sick and twisted it would need to be to get that rating? And so naturally, I was intrigued as to how they managed this feat, and sought the original.

The first tentacle rape scene emerges within ten minutes (yes, there are more than one, and it doesn’t always involve tentacles), and before I should continue with the review, I should explain that this 1989 classic has been given its cult status for a valid reason, and there is no way of explaining it without being crude. Not five minutes go by without some form of rape, cumshot, or exploding head, chest or other appendage. Sometimes they even combine the two aspects, firing super-sperm at their enemies with long tentacle-like penises causing small explosions for example. With demons cropping up everywhere at any time with no other reason than to roar, fight for a bit, fuck something then explode, what’s perhaps most impressive about the sequence of almost random animated gore-porn is that a story does actually find the time to emerge.

The world is split into three realms; the one of humans, the one of beasts and a third of demons. It is prophesised that after 3000 years the overfiend is to return to the human world in order to unite the three realms into one kingdom. Amano Jyuku and his younger sister Megumi arrive from the beast realm to look for the Overfiend and welcome him to this world, whilst the demon Suikakujyu arrives desperate to stop him. Unfortunately, the chosen human is found in Nagumo, recently devoted to his love Akemi Ito, he desperately wants to protect her from his jealous rival – who sold his soul in order to have the power to win her heart – but can he protect her from himself?

As confusing as that sounds, it never is. A lot happens, but the film is ultimately two and a half hours long, leaving plenty of time to develop the plot. As you might expect it doesn’t pander to mainstream audiences, there is no outright ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ the ending isn’t all neat and wrapped up in a bow, and the characters actually have realistic thoughts (or at least the humans do. The demons, not so much). This isn’t just gratuitous sex and violence, there is actually an intelligent story underneath all that, driven by a plot that crashes into excess with often amusing consequences.

Sadly, the joke does eventually wear thin. The violence between creatures is often excessive but varied enough to provide a constant source of amusement and interest, a morbid fascination with the demonic creations, but there’s only so many times you can see a demons super-sperm explode people before it becomes boring; only so long you can spend on random demon orgies before you wish they’d get on with the story. Despite this, it takes things to such extremes unlike anything else I know of. Back when ‘Carcass’ were playing ‘Grindcore,’ singing about death in the most horrific manner, and pornogrind began to emerge, these guys were animating it, and for that reason alone it should be remembered.


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