FACTOID # 12: It's not the government they hate: Washington DC has the highest number of hate crimes per capita in the US.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Doomed Megalopolis
Doomed Megalopolis
Doomed Megalopolis
Genre Historical, Horror, Supernatural
OVA
Directed by Rintaro
Studio Toei Animation
Flag of United StatesStreamline Pictures
No. of episodes 4
Released 1991
The cover of ADV's DVD release of Doomed Megalopolis
The cover of ADV's DVD release of Doomed Megalopolis

Doomed Megalopolis is an anime rendition of the Japanese literary epic Teito Monogatari (Hiroshi Aramata). It was released by Toei Animation Studios in 1991 as a 4-part OVA. It was also crafted by an assortment of popular executives in the anime studio, such as the famous director Rintaro. In 1999, ADV Films gained the rights to the anime and released it on a four-volume cassette series in the US, under the title Doomed Megalopolis. In 2001, ADV re-released the entire series on a 2-Disc DVD edition. Unfortunately, that part of the series was lacking many features the general audience would expect out of a DVD release (such as the option to change the dialogue to Japanese). As such, ADV gathered the rights to the original Japanese voices, and in 2003, re-released an enhanced version entitled Doomed Megalopolis: Special Edition, wherein the Japanese language option was available and many other features were added. Image File history File links Doomed_Megaloloplis. ... History is often used as a generic term for information about the past, such as in geologic history of the Earth. When used as the name of a field of study, history refers to the study and interpretation of the record of human societies. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Original Video Animation (OVA) is an acronym used in Japan for anime titles that are released directly to retail sale, without prior showings on TV or in theaters. ... Rintaro is the pseudonym of Hayashi Shigeyuki (January 22, 1941 - ), a director of anime. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Japan_(bordered). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Toei Company. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_States. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links 702727037221_300x200. ... Image File history File links 702727037221_300x200. ... The main cast of the anime Cowboy Bebop (1998) (L to R: Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Ed Tivrusky, Faye Valentine, and Ein the dog) For the oleo-resin, see Animé (oleo-resin). ... Teito Monogatari is a massive Japanese epic written by Hiroshi Aramata in 1971. ... Hiroshi Aramata is a popular author and screenplay writer in Japan. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A human ovum An ovum (loosely, egg or egg cell) is a female sex cell or gamete. ... Rintaro is the pseudonym of Hayashi Shigeyuki (January 22, 1941 - ), a director of anime. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... ADV Films logo ADV Films is the home video publication arm of A.D. Vision based in Houston, Texas. ... 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The plot concerns a spiritual battle being waged within the capital of Tokyo during the turn of the 20th century. In 1908, Japan is undergoing an enormous process of industrial renovation due the influence of radical western ideals. Technology and politics shift the country's emphasis more and more away from the traditions of the past, with Tokyo being the main center of this radical movement. At the same time, Yamumasa Hirai, an Onmyoji of the Tsuchimikado Family, has been called from Kyoto to Tokyo in order to participate in a secret meeting concerning plans to turn Tokyo into the most commercial and blessed city in all of Japan. Unfortunately, the spirits of the ancient Onmyoji from years past are stirred by all the modernization. There is also a dark curse that hangs over Tokyo left by the spirit of the warlord Taira no Masakado. The two forces culminate together to give life to a spiritual warrior who will take revenge upon those who have forgotten the old traditions of Japan. The result is Yasunori Kato, an evil Onmyoji whose only desire is the complete destruction of Tokyo. Yamumasa Hirai and Kato Yasunori meet, and an enormous spiritual battle is waged between the powers of Light and Dark in the middle of Japan's new capital.   , literally Eastern capital) is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, and the de facto[1] capital of Japan. ... A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ... The Onmyōji (陰陽師, lit. ... Taira no Masakados tomb(Burial only his head). ... Yasunori Kato as represented in the four-part anime series Doomed Megalopolis Yasunori Kato is the villain of the Japanese literary epic Teito Monogatari (Hiroshi Aramata). ...

Contents

Episode Plot Summaries

Episode 1: The Haunting of Tokyo

Master Hirai (left) and Yasunori Kato (right) face off against each other.
Master Hirai (left) and Yasunori Kato (right) face off against each other.

The story begins with a long narrative concerning Tokyo's situation in 1908 and how it seeks to become a thriving megalopolis free of desecration and evil. However, the narrative goes down to the grave of Taira no Masakado, emphasizing that the curse of this barbarian from several years ago still persists in this growing city. Eventually two strange figures appear in Tokyo at the exact same time. One is Yamumasa Hirai, an Onmyoji of the Tsuchimikado Family who has come to give advice to the prime minister as to how to make Tokyo a spiritually blessed city as well as a technologically successful one. The other figure is Yasunori Kato, an evil Onmyoji whose only determination is to destroy Tokyo completely so that the spirits of his mystical ancestors will be appeased. He decides to employ the angry spirit of Masakado as a weapon to bring chaos and destruction upon the city. To do this, he attempts to kidnap a young girl (Yukari Tatsumiya), who is a distant descendant of Masakado and carries his blood. Hirai discovers what he's doing and attempts to stop the evil fiend and save Yukari through his own magic. Unfortunately, the two Onmyoji are too equally matched, rendering the complete destruction of each other an impossible occurrence. Thus their battle becomes more of a tug-of-war for the fate of Yukari, as well as a test of skills to see which mystic is more proficient in Onmyodo magic. In the end, Hirai takes the fight his temple, where he believes combined power of his own magic and followers should be enough to stop Kato. However, despite the collaboration of all these individuals against the dark Onmyoji's power, Kato still manages to gain the upper hand by tricking Hirai. Hirai is seemingly felled, and Kato escapes with Yukari. Image File history File links Hirai_and_Kato. ... Image File history File links Hirai_and_Kato. ... Taira no Masakados tomb(Burial only his head). ... The Onmyōji (陰陽師, lit. ... Yasunori Kato as represented in the four-part anime series Doomed Megalopolis Yasunori Kato is the villain of the Japanese literary epic Teito Monogatari (Hiroshi Aramata). ... The Onmyōji (陰陽師, lit. ... Onmyōdō (陰陽道, also Onyōdō) is a Chinese-influenced traditional Japanese cosmology, a mixture of natural science and occultism. ...


Episode 2: The Fall of Tokyo

The fall of the White Onmyoji.
The fall of the White Onmyoji.

The episode starts off with, what appears to be Kato injecting some demonic seed into Yukari's body via black magic. Kato attempts to employ Yukari's body as a median to awaken Masakado's spirit. However, Masakado rejects the offer, and Kato is once again put at a loss. However, as he views into Yukari's body, he realizes that his magic has been successful, and he has impregnated her with what he believes to be his child. Seeing as he may have another chance with a median, he wanders off into a 10 year seclusion, waiting for the child to become suitable for his next attempt. Hirai's followers find Yukari's body near the foot of Masakado's mound, and take her back to her brother's house and nurse her back to health. Yukari's brother, Youichi Tatsumiya, is left with such mixed emotions for Yukari, that he unfortunately expresses his love for her through a blatant act of incest. Image File history File links Hirai-image. ... Image File history File links Hirai-image. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Meanwhile, back at the temple, Hirai is recovering from his previous battle with Kato, and he is attempting to prepare himself for another fight...until tragedy strikes. The Emperor of Japan has died, and Hirai feels obligated to end his time on earth with him. However, through his death, a final act of divination is performed. Hirai's final prophecy foretells the destruction of Tokyo during the year of the boar. Hirai's apprentice, Kamo, takes this information into account, using the year of the Boar as a sign to watch for Kato's return. This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Fast forward ten years later, wherein Yukari's daughter, Yukiko Tatsumiya, is now a young girl. Kato decides to strike and kidnaps the girl in her own home. However, his job isn't as easy as last time, as now the defenders of Tokyo are ready for his coming. The guardians of Nihombashi Bridge rise up to fight Kato. Kato breaks through their powers, but upon crossing the bridge to Masakado's grave, he is stopped again by a Kimon Tonko spell. Overcoming that, Kato still has to contend with Kamo, whose proficiency with magic has grown considerably since their last encounter. In a final action of self-sacrifice that Kato would never have antipated, Kamo brings out the knife Hirai used to commit seppuku and charges toward Kato, calling upon Hirai's spirit to aid. The dark Onmyoji is taken aback by the combined power of Kamo and his master. He manages to survive the attack, yet is mortally wounded as a result. Seeing no opposition ahead of him, Kato marches up to Masakado's grave and invokes the tyrant's spirit through the body of Yukiko Tatsumiya. Masakado though, doesn't take Kato's invitation too kindly. The spirit, furious at being awakened, strikes down on Kato with all his power! Unfortunately, since Masakado has been awakened, the spiritual energy released has also awakened the Underground Dragon, which stirs up an earthquake in Tokyo. The outcome is the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, wherein most of Tokyo is decimated and many innocent lives are lost. The Great Kanto Earthquake (関東大震災 Kantō daishinsai) struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island of Honshu at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. ...


Episode 3: The Gods of Tokyo

Tokyo has been destroyed. Out of the fires of destruction, the citizens of the great city transfer their energy from despair into hope and reconstruction. Eichi Shibusawa's next undertaking is focused on the construction of a massive subway sytem underneath the city. He employs the talents of Torahiko Terada, a physicist and scientist in the field of Earthquake Studies, to help oversee construction and plot out the project. With the advent of all these undertakings, it appears as though Tokyo will once again breath in fresh life. Terada Torahiko (寺田 寅彦 Terada Torahiko, November 28, 1878 - December 31, 1935) is a Japanese physicist and author. ...


But Kato is not finished yet...


With the reconstruction of Tokyo comes his revival, as the souls of the dead mystics cry out in agony upon seeing their lands being (once again) desecrated by technology and renovation. Infiltrating the construction sites for the subway tunnel, Kato employs Shikigami and demonic magic to hold the workers at bay while he focuses on a more important task: the awakening of the Underground Dragon. For when Masakado struck down Kato with his power, the black Onmyoji realized that the violent god would never be his ally. Ashamed at his loss, Kato turns to the areas of Feng Shui, where he can work through natural forces that won't consciously oppose him. Fēng Shuǐ (風水 – literally, wind and water pronounced fung shuway), which may be more than 3000 years old, is the ancient practice of placement to achieve harmony with the environment. ...


When the construction workers encounter monsters and strange occurrences, they are unable to proceed any further and work is halted. Shibusawa calls in a Feng Shui to investigate the source of these dilemmas.


Episode 4: The Battle for Tokyo

Criticism

An image of Kwannon: the true identity of Keiko Mieko.
An image of Kwannon: the true identity of Keiko Mieko.

"Doomed Megalopolis" has been heavily criticized by conventional and professional anime critics alike for its "misogynistic bent". Although one could easily argue that this criticism is disproved by the presence of a divine heroine at the end, some elements remain which unnerve viewers. For instance, the incessant sexual attacks against Yukari at the beginning of the saga are examples of female abuse under the power of male authority. Furthermore, the character whom the plot revolves around, Yoichiro Tatsumiya, is an overworked salaryman who has a great deal of friction with the women around him. Likewise, he generally views them as an antagonistic force in his life. Finally, even though there is a female heroine at the end of the story, her role is rather limited in the context of things. For during the climax, it is revealed that she is in fact Kwannon, the goddess of mercy. The implication here is that she achieves a divine status above all the other characters (even above Kato), rendering her inhuman from the start. While it may imply that she possesses power above the rest, one may also read into this that this is a limitation in her ability to slay Kato. She is restricted to a static role in civilization, devoid of her own free will. Many viewers who watched the ending were expecting the depiction of a ruthless heroine akin to Laurie Strode from the infamous Halloween series. But the end implicates that Keiko's role in civilization is to forgive; not to punish or exact vengeance upon. This chivalrous perspective of the female spirit was a slap in the face to many Western fans who expected motifs of female empowerment to be present. Kato, who is guilty of committing ruthless crimes against women, is forgiven instead of punished for his crimes. However, Kato does receive divine punishment at the end of Episode 2. But this is a comdemnation by Masakado, a patriarchal figure in the story. Kwannon is a matriarchal figure. Since she cannot raise a finger against Kato, she is limited in ability to exact punishment. Thus, the theme implies that noble women will not resort to violence under any circumstances. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 44 KB) Summary All images are taken from my copy of Doomed Megalopolis: Special Edition. Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 44 KB) Summary All images are taken from my copy of Doomed Megalopolis: Special Edition. Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Kuan Yin (Pinyin: Guanyin; also written Kwan Yin or in other variants which hyphenate or remove the space between the two words) is the bodhisattva of compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists. ... Kuan Yin (Pinyin: Guanyin; also written Kwan Yin or in other variants which hyphenate or remove the space between the two words) is the bodhisattva of compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... This article is about the holiday. ... Woman under the Safeguard of Knighthood, allegorical Scene. ... A patriarch (from Greek: patria means father; arché means rule, beginning, origin) is a male head of an extended family exercising autocratic authority, or, by extension, a member of the ruling class or government of a society controlled by senior men. ... A matriarchy is a tradition (and by extension a form of government) in which community power lies with the eldest mother of a community. ...


Despite the animated context, the basis of this story was still a very complicated and long novel that required far more than 3 1/2 hours to properly explain to those not versed in Japanese history and religion. At its core, "Teito Monogatari" is a plodding, slow narrative that occurs many, many years. Aramata's original novel was over ten volumes long. The anime tried to simplify the narrative, containing it within 3 1/2 hours. Unfortunately, they also added a great deal of flashy action sequences that, while helping to illustrate the drama, compressed the original story into far less than what it was originally intended to be. Many of the characters from the original story (such as Ogai Mori) have little to no relevance or importance in the anime (many of them aren't even named). In addition, too many historical and technical references to Shinto religion and Buddhist magic sent many viewers, especially Western ones, into total confusion. In interviews with Kyusaku Shimada (the actor who played Kato) and Rintaro (the director) on the "Doomed Megalopolis: Special Edition" DVD, the interviewed made successive references to the original novel in order to explain areas of the story that were never even brought up in the film. Likewise, they also implied in their interview that the story only made sense "if you've read the original novel". No translation of "Teito Monogatari" has ever been planned for release in the states. Mori Ogais statue at his birthhouse in Tsuwano-cho Mori Ogai (森 鴎外 Mori Ōgai, February 17, 1862 - July 9, 1922) was a Japanese physician, novelist and poet. ...


The mass of the story also came to affect the pacing of the anime. Likewise, with a general anime audience in mind, the creators of "Doomed Megalopolis" opted for a more violent and colorful approach. But still, in an effort to squeeze as much of the story as possible into the anime, they thought it would be beneficial if there were some scenes devoted to the characters delivering long, drawn out monologues. This resulted in a very confused pacing--some scenes were obscenely violent and dynamic, while others were very static and dull. Since the majority of the plot was contained within these various monologues and conversations initiated by the characters, these scenes noticeably took up more screen time than those focused on the action. While such an approach may be conventional for a Japanese live-action film, anime fans have expect more dynamism in their art.

The tragic climax of the first episode.
The tragic climax of the first episode.

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m