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Maryuu Senki

It’s time for some more late 80s anime OVA schlock. Maryuu Senki is a checklist of most things people looked for in the more disposable end of these sorts of videos. It has gore, violent deaths, ancient prophecies, and a splash of nudity. It’s also largely forgettable. The story is very paint by numbers, going in the usual directions folks would expect from a show about an ancient evil being resurrected. As such, it’s not a series that will make people’s must-watch list. However, it isn’t terrible either. Someone looking for an anime to watch while whittling away a rainy Sunday afternoon with limbs getting chopped off and blood spattering to and fro may actually want to give this series a try.

The story is simple enough. Centuries ago, a prominent Japanese noble got into the good books of the royal family thanks to his magical abilities. However, the rest of the nobility didn’t take too kindly to this and eventually conspired to kill him. Now, in modern day Japan, his descendants are trying to resurrect him. However, they need a girl named Shiho to do this. She’s the reincarnation of one of the four cardinal spirits with hidden powers that would facilitate the ceremony. Lucky for her, two other reincarnations of these spirits are able to protect her. One is a monk well aware of what’s going on, the other a potter whose powers are only just awakening. Unfortunately for them, the final spirit is the big bad who is orchestrating everything, a young captain of industry named Miki. What ensues is a series of battles against ninja and demons as the show's heroes try to protect Shiho, eventually failing, then going for a final showdown against Miki, and saving the world. The plot is paper thin. It’s only really worth watching for the fights and the gore, and the old monk is vaguely likeable. Other than that, the story is completely forgettable.

While the tale being told is a bit of a snore, at least the show looks decent. Character design follows typical 80s anime convention, and the scenery is surprisingly varied. What makes the Maryuu Senki fun to look at is the gore. There are a number of battles throughout the series and they tend to involve people exploding and getting limbs hacked off on a fairly regular basis. Meanwhile, the villains quite enjoy performing ceremonies that mutate people into terrible monstrosities that perform their bidding. This makes for some scenes with strange creatures emerging from people in impressively grotesque ways, something that was quite popular in anime OVAs of the time.

For such a ho-hum anime, it still managed to get some well known voice actors. Kyouichi, the potter, was played by Tessyo Genda, who also played Umibouzu in City Hunter. Meanwhile, the big bad, Miki Chiyoe, was played by Shuuichi Ikeda, who is more well know for being the voice of Char in several iterations of Gundam.

Maryuu Senki isn’t an anime that will turn a lot of heads. It ticks the boxes for much of what people were looking for in violent OVAs of the 80s. However, it didn’t do anything to stand out from the crowd. It still makes way more sense to grab something like Ninja Scrolls or Mad Bull 34 when looking for that sort of content. Nevertheless, for people who’ve seen the popular shows of that ilk and still aren't satiated, this is still a reasonably okay series to watch when killing some time. Just don’t expect to be wowed by anything in it.

- IroIro
October 25, 2019
Directed by: Hiroaki Okami
Studio: AIC
Released: 1987-89
Episodes: 3

Maryuu Senki Image 1
VHS Cover

Maryuu Senki Image 2
Miki attempting to kidnap Shiho

Maryuu Senki Image 3
Gorey transformations