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KARAS: THE PROPHECY
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Reviewed by: JimmyO

Directed by: Keiichi Sato

Starring:
Jay Hernandez
Matthew Lillard
Piper Perabo

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
In a world inhabited by humans and demons who exist in both dimensions, a group of ghoulies is looking to be the new sheriff in town. And if Yurine and her balance keeping Karas can’t stop them, there’ll be hell to pay.
Is it good movie?
Karas: The Prophecy is from the famed Tatsunoko Productions, the people that brought us Speed Racer. And the animation looks a whole lot better today. This is a slick, beautifully animated little flick which works very well on a visual level. The fight sequences looked amazing and at times you question whether you are actually looking at animation and not live action. The art behind this Tokyo set cartoon is most impressive. Aside from the fighting, we have some amazing looking moments. I dug the “spider demon” and the blood red webs which she shot out. All the fighting that takes place at the top of the city and up into the night sky with the full moon shining above was pretty f*cking cool. This thing looked so impressive that almost each moment would have made for some really brilliant art.

The voice work from either the American actors or the Japanese actors (you can watch both) all work very well. They even recruited a few familiar voices for the dubbed version which you can see on the cover. Jay Hernandez from Hostel and Matthew Lillard from Scream both do nice work. This was a terrific sounding and brilliantly animated work. Add to that a sweet score by Yoshihiro Ike and performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra. It complimented the film very nicely. Damn this flick looked and sounded good!

The story regarding the guardian crow “Karas” that makes sure the balance of the spirit world and the human world was interesting. But it felt a bit over the top and it seemed like it was creating too many rules and not giving any thought to them. You have so much going on involving the Karas but very little explanation of why they are the guardians over the “balance” of the city (I’m sure some of you know this but I don’t). At times I was wondering who to root for because each of the characters seemed pretty bland. I felt very disconnected from what was going on but still enjoyed the view.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen Enhanced for 16x9 and looked great.

Audio: 6.1 Dolby EX Surround and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Like I said, it looked at sounded amazing.
The Extras
The extras are not all that exciting. We get a couple of “goodies” but nothing to kill any demons for.

First we get Japanese Voice Actor Interviews (2:14) including; Toshihiro Wada as “Karas/Otaha” then Asuka Shibuya as “Hinaru” and finally Kasumi Suzuki as my personal favorite “Yurine”. Very basic stuff and not terribly compelling but these folks seemed nice. Next…

The best featurette was the Sound Effects (20:06) by far the most interesting cuz I dig the Foley peeps (gotta be a fun job). It’s always cool to see what is used to create sounds like hangers, guitars, boots and big stuff like cars. Okay, what else ya got?

Behind the Scenes Montage (3:42) is a… you guessed it! It’s a behind the scenes with music. Hmmm… anything else?

Concept/Animation Comparison (2:39) is slightly better than the montage. We get to see the early computer animation turn into what we see in the film. C’mon… they could have made this a bit longer and more interesting. Too damn short.

And of course we get Original Japanese Trailers and TV Spots which are pretty good. Trailers man!

And finally we get more Trailers for “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”, “Street Fighter Alpha: Generations”, “Dead Leaves” and “R.O.D.: Read or Die”. And just for fun they add a “Karas” mini comic book, c’mon… that’s kinda cool. That’s all folks!
Last Call
Karas: The Prophecy is a beautifully animated ride. It is worth watching for the stunning visuals and the kick arse score. But if you are looking for something with substance, this really isn’t it. The story and script seemed to be of the “everything but the kitchen sink” variety and it left me wanting to know a little more about why I should care. This is like an amazingly hot first date; she looks great and has that sexy voice thang but once you bang her you forget about her and move on.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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