Ogre Slayer

Alt title: Onikirimaru

OVA (4 eps)
1994 - 1995
3.252 out of 5 from 148 votes
Rank #11,793

There was once an ogre mother who gave birth to a human looking child. Instead of an ogre's horn, this child was born with a sword in hand called the "Onigirimaru" or Ogre Slayer. He has no name and is only refered to by the name of his sword. Believing that he will become human once all of his kind vanished from the world of humans, he sets out on his destiny to slay all ogres. 

Source: ANN

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As is the case with most obscure Anime I watch, I find it irresistible to review once I see the lack of information on it available online. As there are no other reviews for this OVA I'll sum it up for you, as well as expose my personal feelings towards it. As you can see I'm under the false impression that any form of human being will eventually stumble upon this. Story: 5/10: In a world where humans, ghosts and ogres co-exist not-so-peacefully a solemn warrior armored with his infamous sword travels across the world in search of monsters to slay. Under the vague impression that he'll achieve a humanity he longs for once he's slayed every ogre currently inhabiting the world, the lonely swordsman stumbles upon many obstacles and characters on his way towards his goal, and these little adventures are what comprise the main storyline in Ogre Slayer. The concept is simple and tedious: ogre kills, ogre dies. Episode 1 plays out exactly to audience's expectations with gratuitous nudity and plenty of gore to behold. After that, the story gradually improves and reaches its prime right around episode 3 where it actually turns into something good. Then it disappoints once again. Overall, the story in Ogre Slayer escalates into a love/hate affair; it has no business being good (and for the most part it isn't) but when it actually tries to reach beyond the frames of sex and violence it's actually able to achieve some genuinely good storytelling. Animation: 4.5/10 By contemporary standards, the animation found in Ogre Slayer would radiate mediocrity, but in modern times it's heavily flawed. Moments of passivity are relatively decent to look upon, but as soon as movement initiates you start to realize the numerous short-cuts they take, and a budget that can't have been very high. If I am to compliment anything though, it would be the actual ogres. They are definitely designed to be as gruesome and disgusting as possible, and in that sense the character designers really succeeded. Characters: 4.5/10 A category that's very hard to rate; on one hand, the concept of a solemn and lonely warrior slaughtering his own kind is very unoriginal, but on the other hand it probably wasn't at the time of production. Still, as far as compelling characterization goes, Ogre Slayer has little to offer. The protagonist is far too contracted, the minor characters are only there to compliment the background with gore, and overall the development is pretty much non-existent. Sound: 6/10 The voice acting is surprisingly solid, and while the soundtrack may be extremely generic it fits the tone of the story pretty well. Overall: 4.8: I expected pure garbage and got a pretty bad, but still tolerable OVA. If you enjoy gore, monsters and Anime from the 90's, then I can recommend this. But chances are you still won't enjoy it very much.


Note: this is from a video review, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEScOpoxOTIOnikirimaru creates a world where the personal of what is (likely) to be humans watching is contrasted by that which, externally at least, is perceived to be not human, except if only actions are considered both the familiar and ogres run parallel. A Shinto kind of aura pervades the anime, where a spiritual type of barrier is able to prevent the 'hideous' sort of nature that ogres emanate, shields that only function on such creatures... but what if reality isn't as binary? These oni tempt humans to a point where their desires and even will can be overcome, where instinct is rendered useless by curses. The four episodes contain tales that can be seen as exploring extremes, whether love or hate (less of the former), friendship or friendlessness, even the very idea of non-existence when conflicted with the overwhelming force of the oni. They are interesting, mostly stand-alone narratives; notice how the oni exploit emotions, this seems to be a feature of interaction with Japanese mythological creatures, like a kitsune who uses deceit. Arguably the most pathos-filled of Kei Kusunoki's adaptations, it would have helped if characters didn't last just a single episode, but they are nonetheless stories with a start and end, which also could function as a commentary on a more in-depth thought than most anime with swords normally sustain. Most of the manga wasn't seemingly animated, though, what remains still complements Youma's atmosphere.

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