Wednesday, June 6

There Shall Be Only One

I got my hands on a copy of Highlander: Search for Vengeance, the anime version of the long-running franchise of sword-swinging immortals out to decapitate all other challengers in the bid to win 'the Prize'. This latest movie and first animated incarnation of the adventures of the MacLeods is megged by the acclaimed Yoshiaki Kawajiri, whose previous works include the seminal Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, while writing credits go to writer David Abramowitz, who wrote the scripts for a ton of Highlander shows. The feature film is being produced by Studio Madhouse, which pretty much gives Vengeance the same look and visual style of Kawajiri's past works.

The story isn't the most original- the protagonist, Colin MacLeod, is searching for Marcus Octavius, the immortal who slew his beloved centuries ago. Colin's hunt takes him throughout many periods of history, from World War II up to the near-future setting of Vengeance's present, where the world has been ravaged by both environmental and man-made disasters. The final battle will be fought in Marcus Octavius' fortress, once the city of New York. Will Colin lend his aid to the beleaguered freedom fighters battling the immortal dictator's oppressive reign, or will he simply seek to satisfy the hatred burning in his soul? Well... probably both actually. This movie really shouldn't hold too many surprises.

Reviews have already given some ideas of how Vengeance fares- the time-spanning chase has been the Highlander story from day one, so it doesn't really tread into any new territory. Also, it isn't as gory or violent or sexually-explicit as Ninja Scroll was, nor are the character designs as engaging or interesting. At the very least though, the animation looks good and there should be a fair bit of action and sexy sparrings onscreen. I'll try to give this an earnest watch as soon as I can so I can give my own two cents into the mix.

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