Demonbane - Reviews

Alt title: Kishin Houkou Demonbane

ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
May 10, 2012

Do you know what the word “pretentious” means in storytelling? When a story is pretending to be something than it actually isn’t. Let’s take Demonsbane for example. It is based on a nice porn visual novel (or so they told me), which in turn is based on the famous Cthulu mythology of H.P.Lovecraft, one of the most famous horror writers of all time. So making an anime based on his works is kinda self-explanatory that it’s supposed to be about horror. And it ain’t.

Demonsbane is a typical mecha show with loli jokes which just tries to pass as special by throwing in a thousand words of Cthulu terminology. Which ends up being a lose situation no matter what.
1) Anyone not familiar with Lovecraftian works, will be completely confused, since the show does very little explaining.
2) Anyone familiar with Lovecraftian works, who also happens to love them, will be completely infuriated at how his books were completely trashed in this anime, since the show uses them very loosely and definitely not for horror.
3) Anyone familiar with Lovecraftian works, who doesn’t particularly like them and keeps an open mind at how someone else tries to give a different take on Cthulu, will be completely disappointed at how this new setting is far less special, exiting or even memorable than the original.
4) Anyone not familiar with Lovecraftian works, who for any reason likes the weird setting and its terminology, will be left with a completely erroneous image of Cthulu and miss completely what it really was all about.

To make an analogy, it’s like taking the story of Jesus and making a slapstick comedy out of it. And yes, movies like The Story of Brian are very good but anyone who is a hardcore believer will most likely be offended. By the way, I liked that movie since religion has done many blunders over the centuries and still plays it to be innocent. The thing is, I have nothing against Lovecraft and I doubt there are many who do. Making a farce of a work with no haters can only work against it own makers; in this case the anime producers.

Which is why I call this show pretentious. It added all this terminology to try to pass as something more than a run of the mill mecha show with loli jokes. And since it didn’t do anything other than throwing in names that have no relation to their original meaning, it just failed hard to be what it intended.

The problems of this show don’t stop there. The playwright of this anime is like having 3 year old babies performing Hamlet; it just looks ridiculous. We have a group of a thousand year old supernatural entities from the far corners of the universe and they are all looking and acting like a bunch of immature retards. Would you believe even for a second that the main heroine is this millennia old witch with a comprehension of the secret arts than abide the universe if she looks and acts like a naggy 12 year old loli? Would you believe the priest of hell is a clown who laughs like he is stoned? Would you believe a sister in a temple is the epitome of purity when naughty thought cross her mind all the time?

The show is completely superficial and naive, full of character stereotypes you would expect to find in a b-grade shounen and not a Cthulu story full of terminology around Dark Gods and dimensions of madness. It’s like having the Gintama characters playing in Monster … in a serious tone. It just doesn’t going to work no matter what. They will be simply out of character; just like the cast of Demonsbane.

As far as animation and soundtrack goes, I have no problems. Many hate the way the mecha were made as well as the crude 3D battles, which is true that they lack choreography or excitement most of the times. Other than that, the depiction of a dark and gloomy world where phychedelic stuff keep appearing is very good while the music tunes are actually very atmospheric. Too bad they all go wasted on a show full of stupid sounding characters, who dress as if it’s Halloween and talk about the end of the world like it’s an anecdote about a horse walking into a bar.
“What’s with the long face?”
And it’s also supposed to pass as serious to us. How stupid.

Bottom line, if you like Picachu playing Kenshiro of Hokuto no Ken WITHOUT being a comedy, then this is the show for you. Otherwise, keep away from it or the Old Ones will throw you in a dimension of screaming flesh eating maggots that have five faces of babies on each and shit puss full of red eyeballs.

And now for some excused scorings.

General Artwork 1/2 (interesting backgrounds but stupid looking characters)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (gloomy)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (phychedelic)

Voice Acting 0/3 (retarded and not fitting with the mythos of the source material)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)

Presence 0/2 (out of sync with the feeling of the show)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)

Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 2/4 (interesting themes but nothing more)

Art 0/1 (the character art kills it)
Sound 1/2 (sounds ok)
Story 1/3 (interesting themes but badly handled)
Characters 0/4 (lame and out of sync with the story)


5/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
4/10 characters
4/10 overall
Otaku108's avatar
Nov 18, 2009

This review was pulled off the forums from a club I used to run, that is the reason for the different format.

Overall 3.5

Mecha, loli, annoying characters, bad music, overly used plot... I got the bare minimum of entertainment out of it, I can say I've seen (meaning I finished the series) worse animes no doubt about it. So this was enjoyable to the point that it wasn't something as bad as say my arch nemesis of Reality TV shows.

Story/Plot 3

As I said before, this was pretty much your typical duo fighting absolute evil just with a slight twist... or not as far as I know I haven't found one with a 1000 year old loli but there it is none the less.

Character/Char Development 4

There were a couple characters I didn't like, some I didn't understand, some I thought were just plain stupid with way too much power than they should really be allowed to have... yea, a little too close to reality :P Development was next to nil... one or two characters changed a little but for the most part they were exactly as they were from the beginning.

Sounds/Music 3

I got annoyed more than one time listening to the sounds and music... that's really all I have to say about it.

Artwork/Design 4

Probably about the only thing I kind of enjoyed for some part... then again I wasn't given anything new or special... and the character designs were just cartoonish and silly.

3/10 story
4/10 animation
3/10 sound
4/10 characters
3.5/10 overall
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Merryberry's avatar
Oct 13, 2009


Some books decide to take human form and with evil mages about wreck havoc on the world...(at least I think that's about it!)

Story: 2

D is for Dreadful

D is for Dire

D also happens to be for Demonbane…

…notice the trend.

I rarely ever say this about an anime, but this is perhaps one of those ones out there that never deserved to have the time and effort wasted on making it. The plot tries to mix mecha and magic together, ultimately failing in a quagmire of typical power-ranger style fighting, whereby they fight each other with magic before retreating into their vast mecha to continue on from where they left off…this time just surrounded by a flimsy bit of metal.

It wouldn’t have been so bad had the story been anything other than this, but alas, the makers must have thought they were onto something, or maybe not, since it’s only 12 episodes long (that’s 12 episodes too long). Poor excuses with the typical style hero doing typical style fighting against your typical style bad guys who are just there to do their typical taking over the world.

Script-wise, the show is exceptionally poorly written. It seems that the writer thought that every character should be shouting either the enemy who they are fighting name (must be because they’ve all suffer from exceptionally poor memory and thus have to keep reminding themselves) and also explaining exactly what they’re doing (because telling the enemy the moves your performing is a really sensible thing to do). As a result, the show lacks any form of surprise, interest or a true direction.

The magic book that take a human form is perhaps the only interesting aspect of the series. This series lacks everything, with entire episodes built solely around getting to the mecha stage. Seriously, it’s dire, dreadful, disastrous and whatever other words of general badness that could be strung together.

Plot was like a worn piece of string, so thin that you could predict what was going to happen and so fine that it often didn’t account for anything.

Animations: 3

The animations are average, with some parts lacking desperately while others are just plain ordinary. Even the mecha fights don’t really show the true appreciation of “3D modelling” instead, the attempts just look bad and flawed, failing to blend CGI with the normal animation. You can tell parts where they clearly didn’t put any effort into it. In addition to this some of the lip syncing is off with the Japenese speaking, which is again just poor effort in the production of Demonbane. I wouldn’t have minded had it been an old anime, but released in 2006, it must certainly be one of the poorer end of the spectrum.

You just wished that the fighting wasn’t so repetitive, but it seems that the visual effects seem to mimic scripted style of the fighting, with the same moves accompanying the action.

Sound: 6

Perhaps with the rest of the slating that Demonbane has received from me, it comes as a surprise that the only redeeming feature of this show is the soundtrack. It’s not absolutely brilliant, but it does what is needed to support the action on screen. The ending song is actually rather nice and seems to be like a hidden gem embedded within something that truly doesn’t deserve it.

The voicing within the series is not what I could truly say is the usual standard offered by animes. Certainly, they are dreadful, but they aren’t that good either and sometimes you wish that they’d actually written the show in a way that made the voice actors/actresses actually work for their money instead of just repeating the same phrase time and time again.

The opening was rather standard and plain and although it might have helped get you in the mood for the anime, it wasn’t that much of interest to sit through and listen to.

Characters: 1

Welcome to the world of your general typical characters. Introduce the main hero - a man who never really finished becoming the mage he could have done and likes to act like a hero. The heroine a book who is just your plain female who falls deeply in love with the hero despite their differences. Your young female general, who likes to feel important in a command room and whine a lot about numbers and things that shouldn’t be done. A mad scientist who, like all mad scientists, builds upgraded versions of robots to continue coming back to annoy the hero. And lastly, but not least, your good old evil bad guy who likes to do his evil things and merely extend the lifespan of the hero for some unknown-not-ever-told reason.

Because of this, it doesn’t really matter what you’ve seen before, you’ve seen all these characters before and they’ve got the depth of an ironing board, and probably the consistency of one as well.

Overall: 2

One of the very few shows that I wouldn’t recommend, unless you enjoy something to heckle at. The script was exceptionally poor and you wished that it would get away from the game style element that it was based upon to actually producing something original than being tided down by the original game it was taken from. In addition to this, the animation quality is below average for a show made in the year that brought us Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

I was tempted half way through to start a drinking game, downing one every time someone said anothers name, since the entire show loved shouting it at the top of their voices. If there wasn’t any other show of this type made, it wouldn’t be a bad thing, but a blessing, since few could achieve this level of badness even if they tried. So fine something better to do instead with your time, perhaps re-watch a series you have only recently seen or if that seems boring, stare at the wall for 4 hours…it’d be a more constructive use of your time.

2/10 story
3/10 animation
6/10 sound
1/10 characters
2/10 overall
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