Continuing from last week, we look at another, mostly forgotten title which is now only really available second-hand, but is still available to buy on DVD. It was once again purchased in my local comic book shop.
Released in 1995, Tokyo Revelation is a two-part Original Video Anime (OVA), a bit like last week’s title Landlock (No. 133). However, the episodes are shorter in Tokyo Revelation, with the whole thing being only an hour long in total. It is also rather different in tone: this title deals with the occult, and thus is a lot darker. There is gory violence, lesbian sex and human sacrifice. Also, while it does not look it on the surface, this anime is part of a series that would become something much bigger.
The story starts on an aeroplane, where student Akito Kobayashi is writing a computer programme on his laptop. The programme however has a satanic function, which Akito uses to bring the plane crash down, with him the only survivor. The reason for his survival is that he has entered into a deal with Satan, planning to release demons across the world using his programme. In order to do this he need to collect a strange element called magnetite, which is in the soul of every human, some more than others.
A week following the crash, Akito joins a new school where one of the pupils is an old friend: Kojiro Soma befriended Akito when they were younger because Akito got bullied, and together they began their fascination with the occult, wanting to bring for demons to defeat their bullies and such. It takes some time however for Kojiro to discover just how far Akito’s plans for the world go. Kojiro finds himself having to battle against Cerberus himself, while Akito demonically possesses Kojiro’s friends in order to get what he wants. The series ultimately finishes with Kojiro, enforced with a special demonic power, being left to destroy the forthcoming satanic horde.
On the surface it would seem that Tokyo Revelation is a bit rubbish, and it does have its problems: the dialogue and the plot are amongst them. For example, one of Kojiro’s friends is saved by a pair of modern-day ninja. Where ninjas fit into the world of the occult I don’t know. There is also the graphic violence and sex scenes, which include two couples having lesbian sex to summon demons, and one of the central female characters being killed as a human sacrifice. Some people will be put off by these scenes, while others who wish to see this sort of thing might find it a bit tame in comparison to other anime at the time, especially the infamous Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend (No. 49) with its depictions of tentacle rape. The ending is also rushed too: the last moments are told when the credits roll and they try and pack too much into it.
However, if you start reading into the background of Tokyo Revelation, you begin to see that this is just one small part of a larger story, a story that has since got better. This series is actually a remake of an earlier anime from 1987 called Digital Love Story, which is actually based on a novel. Tokyo Revelation is actually a tad more faithful to the original work. Digital Love Story however is more famous as the basis of a video game, which became known as Megami Tensei. This series of game has become rather successful, mainly because of the spin-offs that it has produced, most famous of which is the Persona series, of which there have been successful anime adaptations of as well, particularly of Persona 4.
Therefore, while Tokyo Revelation may not be the greatest anime ever made, it is important to note that it can be seen as an early footstep toward something that became more successful. Plus, it is not as bad as other anime at the time: it is certainly better than Landlock. At least Tokyo Revelation is set where it says it is in the title.
Tokyo Revelation is released on DVD by Manga Entertainment.