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Karas: Revelations
Writen by Tectonic
Posted on November 05, 2007 at 08:59:46 pm

I was a huge fan of Karas when it first released a little more than a year ago. When I first saw how they blended 3d and 2d art, I said to myself "How are they doing that?" Wasn't 3d and 2d art like ‘the streams’ from Ghostbusters? If you cross them, it would be bad, wouldn’t it? Well, apparently no so long as you have several mountains of cash. Karas becomes cracked out eye-candy the minute a fight starts up, and it does it in a way that demands you see for yourself. That being said, I'm supposed to be reviewing specifically 'Revelation', the second installment of Karas, and I was surprised to find that apparently after 3 episodes, Tatsunoko Productions figured we'd "got the picture" on what Karas does and so wanted to focus on who Karas is. Cue wall of text.



Yes it's true - episodes 4 5 and 6 are far more dialog heavy than 1 2 and 3, and if you've seen the first DVD, you'll know the 'story' of Karas isn't its main driving factor. No, in fact its one of the most convoluted stories ever, while somehow remaining unoriginal and trite. I, personally, prided myself on understanding the show after watching it several times as well as reading an interview with the director, but nce the 'laws of the universe' started to work on a double standard, I stopped caring. Case in point: The little cat-girls called "Yurine"s give each Karas his power. If she's killed, you lose your powers which Otoha discovers in episode 4. What we also discover is that if you're the antagonist of the story, this rule doesn't apply to you. In fact, killing your Yurine instead makes you ridiculously powerful, as well as gives you a sick mechanical arm alla Folken Fanel. Also, not unlike humans, demons need a power grid to do cool stuff like running blood-filled tentacles throughout Shinjuku, only instead of breaking down uranium, they imprison lightning demons inside the Hall of Doom after turning them into what looks like the undercarriage of an SUV.




That's not to say the plot kills the show - far from it. As long as the characters are interesting, a plot is sufferable no matter how weird it is. There's Nue who sleeps on top of moving trains, no-bullshit veteran cop Sagisaka, and we find out that Otoha is a yakuza hitman with CIPA. That sounds like a lively bunch doesn't it? Another neat bonus is that whether you put the audio track to Japanese or English, you get a pleasurable experience. I still prefer the original Japanese, but excuse me for being one of those stuck up weaboos who actually like subtitles. Strangely you’ll see Matthew Lillard’s name on the cover of the DVD. You might flip it over and see the picture of Nue with his red dreadlocks and pimped out glocks and say ‘oh that must be his character’ but actually he plays the villain Ekou, and surprisingly well – though they start making him talk in Elizabethan English by the end of the show which doesn’t really seem to make sense but if you’re a fan of his from the good old days like Hackers or even, dare I say, Scream, you’ll enjoy seeing him find work.



As a whole I can’t help but nod my head in what seems to be a breakthrough in integrating 3D art and effects into anime-style productions, and yet I feel like it could have been so much more if they only took their time with the story, maybe made it a little simpler. It feels like when X:2001 the movie was made. They took a great series and tried to make a feature-length film out of it without simplifying the storyline – Karas even had 3 hours to work with and it was still impossible to understand. Of course, if you a) have a penis b) like cat girls c) are an artist or d) all of the above, it doesn’t really matter how crappy the story is because you’ll be too distracted by badass fight scenes, pink hair made entirely out of real-time lighting, or amazing filters and textures to care why a robot space-elf has machine guns mounted on his forearms.

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