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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Demon Lord Dante - Dante Rages (Vol. 2)
Demon Lord Dante - Dante Rages (Vol. 2)
Geneon // Unrated // July 27, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chris Tribbey | posted October 22, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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THE SHOW:

Demons, the slaughtering of innocent, nubile women, an ultimate battle between good and evil...how does a show with all of this turn out to be boring?

The second volume of Demon Lord Dante: Dante Rages starts off awful, borders on tedious, and just when you think it can't get any worse, it gets better. Barely.

Demon Lord Dante follows the trials of poor Ryo Utsugi, who has transformed into the demon Dante. The forces of good and evil both have their own nefarious purposes, and Dante will have to choose which side he's on.

If you want to watch this series, start from the beginning. Jumping in at volume two is only going to confuse you. The fifth episode opens with Dante begging the Japanese army to kill him. When they fail, a second demon, one ugly soldier of God, takes on Dante.

The demons' banter between battling is confusing, and the only thing one can draw from it is that neither of these sad-looking creators gives a hoot about the city they're destroying. The battle between these two is slow and awkward, not at all exciting. Give us the fat guy in the rubber Godzilla suit, fending off Hedorah. That was more enjoyable than watching these two blabbermouths go at it.

And about all that talk....was it a budget issue that prevented Dante and the other demon from moving their mouths when talking, or were they communicating telepathically?

And about those backgrounds. Reds, blacks, grays, unmoving, unflattering, ugly. Are we on Earth or in hell? Hell, at least in one respect.

And about that dialogue ("You've conquered God's power, and you're not pleased? Comeonyourfriendsarewaitinglet'sgohome" all in one breath, mindlessly spoken from a strange man in a helicopter). Wouldn't the army have something to say about this guy screaming senseless things through a bullhorn above a battle with demons? Forget it, what do we know.

If you muddled through the first of three episodes on this DVD (bravo, brave boy), you get a treat, albeit a sugarless one. The religious undertones of the series become louder, but not much more clear.

The Four Demon Kings (Demon Lord Dante's version of the Four Horsemen) are awakened, and their first act of slaughter (after they take care of a Russian army) is to terrorize commuters on a passenger rail in Tokyo. The Demon Kings are very cool, especially the many-armed Shiva-based monster, killing six at a time. But why are they on a train? Why are they here at all? We should know after watching this thing twice, but it's still murky. Much like those backgrounds we were talking about earlier.

Finally, in an effort to draw Dante out, the forces of good unleash a hideous demon, which promptly goes out and eats beautiful young women. One member of the "good guys" feels torn over whether this is right or not, and, by God, we get our first real feeling that these characters have depth and feeling. We get an inkling that this won't be a poorly conceived horror show, where you could care less who gets killed next.

Is it enough to keep your interest for volume three? Not for $24.98, it isn't.

Destined for the bargain bin, Demon Lord Dante has all the religious undertones of Neon Genesis: Evangelion but none of the fun, and all the evil of Devil Man but none of the intense images.

But for a proper summary of this series, just go to the cover text:

"It's a nightmare (yep)....it is real (sadly)...it is eternal (oh, God, we hope not)."

THE DVD:

Video:

Hey, Geneon does a great job with their DVDs: No noticeable problems with the transfer, the colors and blacks are fine and detailed, and once in a while you get a mind-blowing image. But the best DVD transfer in the world isn't enough to dress up a poor anime. Especially when scenes have been edited almost off-hand (scenes in the previews are chopped in the actual episodes).

Audio:

There's just not much to say: Japanese and English 2.0 tracks, very little music, a few piercing screams. It doesn't sound bad, but it doesn't sound like much time was spent on the sound stage either.

Extras:

Showing highlights of episodes is cool. The Go Nagai interview is insightful, but other than that you get DVD credits and only three Geneon previews. The best extra for the second volume of Demon Lord Dante? Temporary tattoos, of course.

Final Thoughts:

If you're jonesing for a dose of blood, guts and Satanism, or if you're throwing a Halloween party and the video store was out of everything else, Rent it.

Skip it if you haven't seen Gungrave, Requiem From the Darkness, or Texhnolyze, three better, creepier titles from Geneon.

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