Synopsis: Advanced technology gives birth to the mythical power of sorcery. The intermingling of the two causes society to flourish as well as suffer at the hands of terrorists that abuse it. A brigade known as the Sorcery Management Bureau serves as the protectors for the innocent that cannot wield sorcery. The team houses men that wear empowered magical suits of armor, called ‘Strait Jackets,’ that fight people that turn into demons. The overuse of sorcery results in the transformation of a monster, and acts only on the instinct to kill. A rogue unlicensed Tactical Sorcerer, Leiot Steinberg, is called upon by the bureau to help deal with the recent spike in demon activity. With the aid of his young female partner, the two rush into the horrific carnage while trying to find a sense of purpose. The detestable demons that emerge from darkness intertwine with both Leiot’s past and present, forcing him to determine the path he must choose.
Story (5.5) The dark fantasy science fiction movie presents the concept of fantasy becoming reality through the art of sorcery. Strait Jacket centers on the terrible effects of what power and money hungry individuals desire by killing innocent people in order to gain a profit. The movie’s emphasis on Leiot focuses on character development through the use of dramatic irony and foreshadowing. The two narrative techniques are apparent through the flashbacks that Leiot has. The protagonist’s killing of his partner’s parents shows the grim and harsh truth of bringing sorcery to life. His partner’s unusual appearance serves as a marker in showing that sorcery creates violence, bloodshed, and misfortune for those that become victims of its destructive power. Leiot is a Sorcerer that unleashes destructive incantations and energy at every demon he faces, implicating the movie’s dark and brutal themes that surround the plot. The demons slaughter the innocent in grueling ways that reiterates the motifs of sorrow, pain, and conflict.
Animation (7.0) The art and animation highlight the sorcery’s destructive power that Leiot uses and the interesting demon design put into the production. The oversized demons that spout nonsense illustrate the somber mood that the story fleshes out. Usage of the rain and the colors placed into the water droplets and clouds compliment’s the movie as a whole.
Sound (6.5) Various orchestral instruments help add to the themes that movie portrays. However, Strait Jacket’s emphasis on the grotesque overshadows the experience. The English dub is a plus. Top-notch voice actors and actresses fulfill their roles in making the characters have more edge, flare, and dignity. Bang Zoom Entertainment continues to produce dubs that are pleasing and entertaining.
Character (6.5) Strait Jacket’s inclusion of conflict manifests through the power struggles of Leiot and Isaac. The two characters that drive the story, as main focal points, battle with themselves and each other in order to find resolution to their lives. The tragedy that falls on Isaac’s sister, and the conspiracy of instigated demon attacks from those that he works for, trigger his vengeance and desire to end his suffering. The bout between Isaac and Leiot implies the theme of redemption for the sins that plague Leiot and the struggle to overcome guilt. The seventy-six minute feature sports a depressing and gloomy setting that does not focus on the positive of what sorcery does have to offer. Well, for at least five minutes, anyway.
Overall (6.0) Strait Jacket’s centralization on darkness, demons, and gore stimulates the senses in how evil some people can be. The story’s emphasis on Leiot’s inner conflict and trying to find closure gives the narration some interesting elements, but the DVD’s action packed scenes become the forefront of what the movie does offer. The serious overtones of the movie floods the screen with violent imagery, causing anime fans to not see any comical quirks from personality traits of others. But there is some entertainment available for fans of horror. I think movie should have more comical scenes, which would help tone down the depressing atmosphere. For a person in a ‘Strait Jacket’ life can appear insane, but reality can be crazy sometimes too.