Monday, October 20, 2008


This is Karas (Japanese: Raven), the guardian of a city who punishes demons or spirits that disrupt or threaten the lives of city dwellers. Each city has its own Karas. And each Karas is managed by a Yurine. Yurine is the personification of the will of the people of a city. Whenever a city is under demonic attack, and as long as the city's will is strong enough, a Yurine will be born. And through Yurine, a Karas is summoned.

This complicated story starts with Eko, a Karas, rebelling against the will of the Shinjuku city. He recruited demons and had them cybernized, fixing these evil-spirits with mechanical parts, making them stronger and technological advanced. And in response to this threat, a new Karas, governed by a new Yurine, was summoned to stop Eko.

What's interesting is the personalities of these two Karas. The reasons for Eko's rebellion is because he is frustrated and annoyed over the very city he protected for centuries.

Over the years, the people of the city has become arrogant and thought that all that exists is only themselves. The people of the city takes their lives and the environment as a given and hence for granted. They exploit everything for their own unquenchable thirst for vanity.

Hence Eko was disgusted and overwhelmed by disappointment caused by the city. And so he decided to establish his own dominion over the city, to control it. And he did it through the massacres of those who once were under his protection.

On the other hand the new Karas, by the name of Otoha, is one that does not give up hope for the city and its people. He knows the wickedness of the city through his own father, a yakuza who always manipulates and tried to kill him. Yet he possesses very strong will to life and hope. Hence he was summoned to take on the task of the new Karas, to fight against Eko.

The story is about 3 hours long. It is being separated into 6 episodes. The fighting scenes in the first 3 episodes are stunning. This is no typical cartoon or Star-War lightsaber fighting scene. But it probably because of the great opening that the end was deem hard to match. up Hence there is a sense of disconnection in its aesthetics. Overall the story is complex and hard to follow. It's a story for jigsaw puzzles fanatics because unless you do some mental arrangement, you won't understand its story. Not for someone who cannot enjoy Memento or 23.

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