What do you do when its been 10 years since an inexplicable horror has descended upon a sizable part of Tokyo city and made its own? What recourse do you have when that same monster has spent the last 10 years building up the power and resources to visit the same calamity upon the entire world? What options are left when the greatest diplomat in the world, on the verge of solving the world’s greatest conflicts, is attacked and is only able to survive via the continual intervention of a venerable old master?
The only logical option is, of course, send in a pair of teenagers to defeat the evil scourging the land.
Admittedly, it is true that there is more to these two than a pair of randoms stumbling into the Demon City: Shinjuku but the essence of the story is that our central hero, Kyoya, has a heriditary inclination towards being able to fight off Revih Rah and is therefore the best one for the job despite his father being defeated by him and Kyoya not having a fraction of the training or skill of his father. Sayaka, as the love interest, exists to drive the story on. As the daughter of mentioned dying diplomat, she has an interest in going into Shinjuku and petitions Kyoya’s help after he turns down the masters request to confront Revih Rah. Kyoya, being a teenage boy, reluctantly agrees to help.
And thus begins the pairs journey through the desolate wasteland that Shinjuku has become. Like a good video game, Kyoya fights off many a sublevel boss with inferior attack patterns before being able to face Revih Rah himself and his superior attack patterns. Sayaka validate’s her presence through becalming some angry spirits but is otherwise an ancillary part of the quest.
Apart from the villains, the supporting characters come in the form of Chibi, the mercenary rollerskating kid and the mysterious doctor Mephisto. Chibi plays perhaps the larger role in assisting our intrepid adventurers, maintaining his gruff shell while hinting at his soft centre. Mephisto, on the other hand remains the perpetual mysterious stranger and it is a shame he does so little or what his exact role in the unfolding drama actually is.
Demon City Shinjuku is not a particularly compelling film and the animation and design does look a little dated when compared to more recent releases. It lacks the ultra violence and explicit sexual references and its monster designs are really quite tame in comparison to similar films in the genre. In all it is perhaps best suited to completionists rather than those looking to be entertained.