LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND
UROTSUKIDOJI: LEGEND OF THE OVERFIENED; THE WANDERING KID
(Chôjin densetsu Urotsukidôji)
Legend of the Overfiend is both great and irritating. The animation is sketchy and the plot episodic. The first half disappears under a truly amazing deluge of violence and sexual horror the heroine frequently suffers gratuitous rapes variously at the hands of a lesbian teacher turned into tentacular demon, the school undertoad turned demon and then the hero turned into a demon. That is in-between her own perfectly normal sexual dalliances with the hero. In fact, our first introduction to the hero is him masturbating as he peeps into the girls locker room he proves rather virile as a few minutes later he spontaneously ejaculates upon seeing the heroines panties during a rhythmic gymnastics exhibition.
While the first half of the film seems happy to settle down to a gratuitous blast of Japanese pathological misogyny, the second half transforms into something different altogether. It offers a vision of a world-shaking apocalypse that is truly extraordinary. Images grow in scale until they almost reach the point of sensory overload. The film is filled with visions of figures hurtling through the skies engaged in vehicle and building-destroying battle, beams of pure power stretching up into the heavens, combatants battling each other on top of tornadoes of rock and water, vast lightning clouds crashing down over the city, a shot that pulls back from the city into orbit around the Earth. Set against this fantasy of mass destruction is the purity of the innocents trying to stop these forces the stretch the film makes from awkward high-school sexuality to world-shaking demonic forces is colossal in size. It is these incredible changes of size and scale, something that Akira does equally well, that achieve a grandiose beauty.
There were two video-released sequels to this film with Urotsukidôji: Birth of the Overfiend (1990) and Urotsukidôji: Curse of the Overfiend (1990).