Twilight of the Dark Master

Alt title: Shihaisha no Tasogare

OVA (1 ep x 50 min)
1997
2.393 out of 5 from 844 votes
Rank #8,062

In ancient times, the great Mother gave birth to human beings to populate the Earth, but she also created a race of demons to be mankind's arch enemy, to teach them how to fight fear. In present day Tokyo, Shinjuku has been destroyed by a mysterious light, and someone -- or something -- is commiting terrible murders. The only hope for Tokyo's citizens is Tsunami Shijyo, a demon fighting stranger who will soon be up against the greatest evil the world has ever known...

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sothis
6

StoryTwilight of the Dark Master is a dark and gritty tale that takes place in Tokyo, in the near future. The world doesn't seem too terribly different, except for one fact: Shinjuku was destroyed a few decades ago by a mysterious white light, and since then, strange things sometimes happen. In the present, a young woman is distraught when terrible things happen to herself and her fiance which, needless to say, involves a fierce demon. Our heroine Shizuka Tachibana then decides to seek out vengeance against this demon, putting her in the path of Tsunami, a demon hunter of sorts. The mood and feel is definitely dark and gritty, and reminded me heavily of watching Darkside Blues. Unfortunately, as far as sheer plot, Twilight of the Dark Master is quite slow and uninteresting. Let's face it, there are quite a few anime series and movies out there that deal with fighting demons, and this OVA wasn't anything unique or groundbreaking. In addition, the flow wasn't fantastic. What started out seeming like a straightforward story ended up becoming vague and confusing once the ultimate evil of sorts was introduced and we briefly learn what happened in the past. Though, at that point, the story essentially ends, making this OVA seem like an intro to a much larger series (not like we'd care to watch it anyways). In addition, there was quite a bit of fanservice that seemed to exist only to make the show a little more pleasing to the male viewers, though this didn't help the story at all in the long run. At one point, we see an s&m club of sorts which is fairly over the top as far as fanservice, showing us breasts being clamped by demonic looking claws and weird strobe light inhibited scenes of things I don't care to think about. I've seen a lot of older things by now, and thus, I know that this kind of fanservice tends to be thrown into the dark ones. I guess I just felt like this was trying to boost the plot, and it really didn't at all. In general, had the story been a little more unique or had something in it besides the same old "let's go hunt a demon" factor, it would have gotten a higher score. Admittedly, though, the reason why the demons... were... ended up being fairly interesting in itself. AnimationVisually, Twilight of the Dark Master is dark and gritty, just like the story. Characters looks especially rough around the edges with very sharp, heavy lines for facial features and a generally pointy and jagged look. The colors used were dark and often black and greys, and the overall lighting and tones were very dark. The cityscape was occasionally shown and reminded me of something I'd see in Blade Runner or something else cyberpunk. There were plenty of violent scenes, blood and all, but I found these to be a bit cheesy, especially when the strobe light effect was placed in the scene, helping you to not see what was going on. Plenty of nudity abounded, and was thrown in many times it wasn't needed (aka HELLO EXCESSIVENESS). I suppose in general, the gritty feel of the animation fit with the story, so that was a good thing, but at the same time I felt the fanservice was over the top and distracting, and that the animation really could have been better in some ways (more realistic characters, or more detail, for example).SoundThe music was either non existant (quite a lot), or a combination of 80s synthy tunes and minor orchestral pieces. For the most part, I felt like the music fit quite well with the tone and feel, but I would have liked for there to have been not as many completely silent parts. Even a light synthy beat in the background during the silent parts would have been great and helped fit the mood. The voice acting was great, but specifically, I really enjoyed Tsunami's tone. He sounded quite a bit like Count D from Pet Shop of Horrors, and was similarly a badass as well, so this was great to hear. This aspect of his character (his voice) really helped shape his persona. CharactersOne problem this OVA had was that you couldn't really tell who the main character was. For series like Infinite Ryvius, this is fitting since the point is to watch a large group of people grow and change. For short OVAs, I don't think this is very appropriate. If we are suppose to bond with any character, they need to be onscreen the entire time, and none of the characters were in this case. At times, it seemed like the grieving fiance was the main character, and at times it seemed like Tsunami was the man of the hour. I would have been much happier with Tsunami being the focus, quite frankly, since at the end it leaves you feeling like there should be an entire series about him in the future. Having the woman be involved was appropriate, given the situation with her fiance, but I felt it took away much needed attention from Tsunami and his cause. Shizuka Tachibana, as a character, was fairly convincing. She grieved over the loss of her fiance, and was dead set on revenge for her pain and suffering. She was convincing in every sense of the word, and I was satisfied with her character. Tsunami was more of an enigma, with a mysterious air and a background that we'd like to understand, but is never explained. I wished the OVA would have gone into more detail of who or WHAT he was, and why he was around in the first place. We are only given a small taste, and then the credits roll. There are other minor characters that don't impact the story at all, as well as various demons and bad guys that seem scary, but not terrifying. OverallOverall, I wasn't very impressed with Twilight of the Dark Master. The story, except for one small twist, was very, very average and uninteresting, and seemed too much like the mood and feel of too many other anime stories from the 80s. The music was decent, but the animation was too full of fanservice. Relatively interesting characters, though. All in all, the plot just didn't do it for me, so I wouldn't watch it again. If you like dark and gritty stories with demons, this is something you might enjoy -- just keep in mind there are others in the same genre with the same mood and feel, which are much better and more interesting.

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