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Literature / Demon City Shinjuku

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Demon City Shinjuku (Makaitoshi Shinjuku, also translated as Hell City Shinjuku and Monster City) is a novel series by Hideyuki Kikuchi whose first volume was adapted into an OVA in 1988, directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and produced by Madhouse.

The movie begins with a battle between fates, Levih Rah versus the hero Genichirou. Levih Rah has allowed himself to be possessed in order to gain the incredible powers of evil and plans to summon demons to conquer the world. He defeats Genichirou and offers up the Shinjuku area of Tokyo as a sacrifice, setting off an earthquake that devastates the area while leaving the surrounding districts untouched, and promises his demonic allies that in ten years he will hand the world over to them. Shinjuku becomes a demon-infested wasteland commonly known as "Demon City."

Ten years later, Levih Rah is almost ready to unleash the demons on the rest of the world. To keep his old master Agni Lai from interfering, he attacks the World President Koizumi Rama, the man who is leading the rest of the world toward peace, in order to keep Master Lai busy protecting him. What Levih Rah does not realize is that Genichirou has a son, Kyouya Izayoi, who has inherited all of his father's talent and more. Following an emotional plea from the president's daughter, Sayaka Rama, the reluctant Kyouya follows her into Demon City with only three days to hone his skills enough to stop Levih Rah from creating hell on earth.

The film was released in North America by Central Park Media in 1994. Portions of the opening fight scene were featured in the 1995 cyberpunk film Johnny Mnemonic.

Demon City Shinjuku contains examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The film opens in the midst of the battle between Genichirou and Levih Rah.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Kyouya, while interrogating an old woman who tried to scam him and his friends, questions her about the horrors of Shinjuku. She begins recounting the awful things that happened when the demons took the city over, a list that includes things like men being murdered, women being raped, children disappearing, and concludes with the loss of her electronics business.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Alcohol and sulphuric acid together give out a flammable mix, not a violently explosive one like represented in the series, and it would still need an ignition.
  • Attempted Rape: Sayaka is assaulted when she ventures into Shinjuku on her own, and is rescued by Kyouya.
  • Alien Blood: The water demon apparently bleeds black.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mephisto wears a long red coat which billows out dramatically in convenient winds. And he very calmly and single-handedly destroys demons.
  • Battle Aura: The best indication that somebody is going to use Nempo is their sword begins glowing with light.
  • Badass Pacifist: Think kind people are weak? Then you haven't met Sayaka, who is able to stop a fire-demon formed from the condensed hatred and grief from 10 years of murdered and orphaned children from killing The Hero with sheer kindness and love alone, and redeeming the demon so she can to go to heaven to reunite with her mother. Don't underestimate kindness.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kyouya does it twice, once early in the movie and once near the end, both times saving Sayaka.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Mephisto and the female demon flirt nonchalantly with each other as they fight.
  • Clothing Damage: Sayaka mostly manages to keep her modesty intact, but her dress gets ripped enough over the course of the film that it displays a good bit of leg when she's held captive by Levih Rah.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Genichirou and Kyouya's Nempo techniques create blue light, while Levih Rah's demonic powers manifest with a bloody red glow.
  • Cue the Sun: In the OVA, once Levih Rah has been vanquished and the demons all no more with Sayaka's father freed, the sun starts to rise with both Master Lai and Sayaka's father watching the sunrise that prepares to come forth.
  • Diagonal Cut: Levih Rah performs several in his climactic fight with Kyouya.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: In the 1988 OVA, while fighting the demon underwater Kyouya Izayoi realizes that only one of the demons he can see is real: the rest are illusions. He uses his Nempo ability to strike the correct one.
  • Expy: The kid in Shinjuku bears a light resemblance to Bat.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Sayaka Ram in the 1988 OVA.
    • She tames the vicious two headed mutant Doberman called Kuro just by talking to him.
    • Her kindness brings peace to the Fire Demons who haunt the ruined park and allows them to pass on to the hereafter.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: A cat being pulled apart by a demon is shown in shadow.
  • Human Sacrifice: In the 1988 OVA, Levih Rah plans to use the World President's daughter Sayaka Rama as a sacrifice that will allow the demons of Hell to run free on Earth.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Happens at the end between Sayaka and Kyouya after the defeat of Levih Rah.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Kyouya gets trapped in one upon reaching the center of the city, until Sayaka manages to pacify the souls of the angry dead who were killed in the catastrophe.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Agni Lai and the old information broker woman are noticeably smaller than the rest of the adult cast.
  • Named Weapons: Genichirou's wooden sword Ashura.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the novels, the Major of Shinjuku is named Yoshitake Kajiwara. It's easy to see Kikuchi thinking in his long time friend when writing the character.
  • No FEMA Response: According to the information broker, the demons loose in Shinjuku thoroughly foiled any efforts at disaster relief, even when the military was brought in.
  • No Name Given: The roller-skating boy who ends up tagging along with Kyouya and Sayaka is credited only as "Chibi ("Shorty" or "Runt") or "Young Man." In some dubs, Chibi is even taken as his real name.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Rama, Sayaka's father, is a President Target whose sole purpose in the film is to provide a reason why Agni Lai can't go to Shinjuku to fight Levih Rah himself but must send Kyouya instead.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: In the 1988 OVA Chibi (AKA the Young Man) pulls a pin from a grenade with his teeth before throwing the grenade at a demon.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: In the 1988 OVA, this happens to the Big Bad Levih Rah after Kyouya Izayoi cuts him in half with a Nempo energy strike and before he explodes.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Levih Rah was once the student and ally of his master Agni Lai but sold his soul to the demons of Hell in return for vast power.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the 1988 OVA based on the novel:
    • The Young Man has a two-headed mutant Doberman named Kuro with shining red eyes. Kuro is incredibly vicious and threatens Kyouya Izayoi and Sayaka Ram.
    • When Kyouya Izayoi first meets the Big Bad Levih Rah, he slices him in half with his sword and Levih Rah changes into a flock of bats with glowing red eyes.
  • Refusal of the Call: Kyouya is irked enough by Master Lai's prediction that he's not capable of beating Levih Rah that he refuses the call twice, first when Lai asks him to go to Shinjuku to fight Levih Rah, and shortly thereafter when Sayaka seeks him out to ask him the same thing. He relents and goes after Sayaka when she heads into Demon City herself.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Genichirou and Levih Rah were both students of Nempo under Master Lai. Lai explains that Rah sold his soul for demonic power out of jealousy over Genichirou's greater mastery of the art.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Sayaka, a lovely ojo who travels into the most dangerous place in the story, by herself, and redeems a fire demon with her sheer love and kindness. Point in fact, she did not go into Shinjuku to defeat Levi Rah, but instead to try and redeem him.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Kyouya declares Levih Rah unforgivable after the confrontation with the fire monster and the realization of how many people died in Shinjuku and how much their souls suffered over the past ten years.
  • Third Eye: The water demon has this, plus it can detach from her forehead and become a separate creature, complete with five Combat Tentacles that can produce electric shocks.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: The movie opens with a major precinct of Tokyo collapsing and being cut off from the rest of the city because of an earthquake caused by demons. At least it wasn't nukes or giant lizards this time.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: An evil genius summons demons to destroy the world. Guess where they start.
  • Vampiric Draining: In the 1988 OVA Chibi tells Sayaka Rama that the Fire Demons take the form of young children and roam the city sucking the life force out of any human or animal that crosses their path.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Kyouya inherits one of these from his father. It cuts through demons.