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TACTICS VOL.1
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Hiroshi Watanabe

Starring:
Kouki Miyata
Takahiro Sakurai
Tomoko Kawakami

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
The main character of this tale, Kantaro, would like to unite the world of the living and the dead. He enlists the help of Haruka, a 'demon-eater' to get this crazy stuff going.
Is it good movie?
Please let me re-iterate: I really don't know anything about anime. I've seen Ninja Scroll and enjoyed it, but Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh, InuYasha, hell, even Pokemon, they're all lost on me.

This isn't to say that I'm not interested in this stuff, because I am. I think it's quite fascinating, and a neat way to sample the work of another culture altogether. I like it even better when its based upon an actual Manga, and not americanized and dubbed over awfully by guys who sound like Snake from Metal Gear Solid and sound so dramatic.

That being said, I had absolutely no idea what to expect when heading into Tactics. So, I enlisted the help of my favorite die-hard anime fan, and she ensured me that all of the weirdness I was witnessing within this disc was quite par for the course.

We're talking about very young girls fawning over much older, stranger demon hunters, people randomly turning into cute little animals (turns out her name is Yoko, and she's a 'fox demon', who serves Kantaro because he named her), and allegiances changing faster than the shape of these characters' eyes and mouths.

So to be honest, I really had no idea what the hell was going on. I was both intrigued and baffled at the same time. So, I had to watch the disc a few times. There's only four episodes, a sampler of what I suppose the rest of the show has to offer, and I would imagine that if you're a fan of this stuff, this is pretty good.

The plot is confusing, but it does somewhat endear itself to the viewer after awhile. Our main man Kantaro has finally been able to seek out his Demon Eating Goblin friend so that he can show everyone he's not fooling around when he says he can see monsters and ghosts. In the meantime, Kantaro works under strict publishing deadlines as a writer for various mediums, and hilarity ensues.

The show sort of falls into a 'serial' type plot after this, with the 'monster of the week' showing up, and the crew trying to figure out how to subdue it. It's hard to say that this is all 'routine', because the show is just so strange to me that it's hard to stop watching.

The animation was also quite good, but I haven't seen a lot of manga to compare it to.
Video / Audio
We get a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, which is rather gorgeous, really.

As I mentioned before, I listened to this in 5.1 Dolby, but I listened to the original Japanese Language Track, and there is a dubbed one for those of you who have a preference. It was decent enough, but I thought the mix was front-heavy. The mixes are also available in 2.0.
The Extras
We get a textless opening and ending, which I suppose would please fans of the show? It's nice animation, and has no words. If you dig this sort of thing, you'll appreciate the extra.

We also get a TV Commercial, and Merchandise ads, which I thought were a nice touch too, but don't add a lot of substance.

There's also a short feature, an interview with the Japanese voice actors, which only runs about 10 minutes and comes off much more like a casual conversation than a real interview.

Rounding out the disc are some player cards, and a photo gallery, which are essentially the same thing, and some Manga trailers for Karas: The Prophecy, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha: Generations, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig.
Last Call
I really don't like to plead ignorance, but reviewing this disc is like taking someone who's never eaten before and asking them what they thought of a barbecued steak.

I mean, I liked it, it confused me quite a bit, but I don't have a lot to compare it to, so I can't really say it's good or awful one way or another. It entertained me and I watched it more than once, but I can't really recommend it unless you're a fan who knows more than me or you're interested in some animated demons!
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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