Movies with the Monk- Karas: The Prophecy & The Revelation

Hiddy Ho, guys! Your pal, Miroku, here. Finished mowing the lawn and decided to take a breather from the chores of the day, so I decided to hit Netflix up for some cool toonage to watch. As usual, I scrolled through the anime movie sections and discovered a little gem I’ve been meaning to see entitled: “Karas: The Prophecy”. I was debating it (due to mixed reviews I’ve heard) and decided to scroll on past to see what else was there, but then I saw that they also had the second film, “Karas: The Revelation”.  I knew it was a sign… a “revelation”, if you will, from the spirit world. I just HAD to see this “prophecy” for myself. After all, these two movies were produced by Tatsunoko Productions, which has been one of the long time companies that I recall from my childhood BEFORE I realized that those funny Gatchaman folks came from Japan (which Tatsunoko was responsible for producing). And, knowing that the movies had been produced in correlation of the celebration of their 40th year anniversary, I knew that I HAD to give them a watch. Besides, the title character is one of my favs to fight with in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom arcade fighter. So, why not see what the story was all about?

Naturally, I watched the first movie, “The Prophecy”. Let me just say that the opening sequence of a dog fight between two supernatural jet fighter planes was cool enough. The fact that those same jets could shapeshift into armored warriors was EVEN MORE rockin! They really wanted to get you into this film from the get-go and I have to say I wasn’t displeased… Save for all the Japanese text that was going by untranslated (Note to self: use closed caption next time that happens). Anyways, from the opening sequence I knew that the movie was going to be great. And then, I waited… and waited… and waited some more. But the more I watched, the more I began to get confused on what, exactly, the story was all about. I mean, SURE the fight sequences that rained throughout the movie was cool, but they kinda jumped around a lot of places at first and then didn’t bother to explain to you who the main character was or what the deal was that he had superhuman powers. To that end, it really only introduced a lot of side characters that really didn’t have a lot to do with the story. An investigation here, random demon attacks, sequences of the main character doctoring demons and otherworldly specters, but then going out and killing others. By the time I got to the end, I really had more questions than answers for and I didn’t even really realize I was at the end until the cliffhanger hits you and … BAM! End credits…

If that had have been the end of it, I might be writing a REALLY SOUR review on this production. Thankfully, though, I knew I still had “The Revelation” to follow… And, I was REALLY praying that this “Revelation” would produce a plot and a point. Thankfully, Tatsunoko didn’t disappoint. They managed to sum EVERYTHING together with the second movie and produce a fairly conventional end to the tale of a young man who is chosen to receive super powers to defend the city against evil and injustice against both human and demon. Mind you, these movies weren’t bad nor were they badly written. However, I really can’t understand the justification of making these two movies. I did a little research and discovered that both films ACTUALLY started off as a six episode OVA (which explains a lot in my mind) that was then, combined, manufactured, and released as two movies. Honestly, it watched like I was in the midst of one LONG episode of a series which is the way these films should be watched.

So, in short, “Karas: The Prophecy” and “Karas: The Revelation” was a “GOOD SERIES” but, as a movies… I couldn’t see much re-watch value to them. But I would recommend watching them. Just, make sure you watch “The Prophecy” and then IMMEDIATELY watch “The Revelation”. Or, if you can only watch one, watch the second film as it will give you the actual details of the story AND it recaps a little from the other episodes so you won’t miss too much by not watching the first. Until next time, guys, this is Miroku saying, “Later!”

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