After watching Karas – The Prophecy one time through you will either think it was an awesome production of action and effects or that it is a complete mess. I admit that I enjoyed what I thought was mindless entertainment, but at the same time was left slightly disappointed. The slick CG fight scenes aren’t enough to pull off this anime. The story is a mess. It is incoherent and jumps all over the place. It’s all mood with no substance. This anime film follows Karas, a warrior capable of entering both the spiritual and physical world to do battle, who is thrust into a battle with a former Karas known as Eko, a man who is meddling in the two worlds of existence in Tokyo. It is a complicated story that certainly isn’t told in the clearest of fashions. Of course, it is still told and it probably takes two viewings to really grasp the story.
By leaving the story up in the air, it draws you in with the tantalizing possibilities it suggests. In the first few minutes you are presented with the presence of transforming warriors with incredible powers, a seemingly normal girl with abnormal importance, and a police detective who seems to know more than most. The animation and action sequences are amazing but would be more enjoyable with a better developed storyline. The musical score is excellent and powerful for the over the top action sequences. Their isn’t anything too gory in this but theirs defenitly some gruesome things that are inferred.
There are three subplots which seem only mildly connected to each other. Then you go back and watch again, and suddenly all the little hints and disjointed puzzle pieces snap neatly into place. Oh, and not only does it end on a massive cliffhanger, but some of the characters feel unfinished, as though their development is yet to come. But, don’t fret, the film’s sequel shall be covered in the near future. The voice acting is what you’d come to expect of your typical protagonist, antagonist, supporting characters, etc. Nothing disappoints at all.
Characters are a unique bunch but individually nothing incredibly special as of yet. Hand drawings and computer graphics are seamlessly blended, and the attention to the detail is outstanding. There is enough chaos during action sequences to get you into it, but unlike many recent American action film releases you can still tell what’s going on. I feel sorry for the people who had to spend so much time animating something that is much more fluff than substance. Once the series is complete i’m sure it will take it’s place among the higher ranked anime’s though. There’s no doubt that the ending of this movie will have you craving more.