Monday, March 7, 2016

Bio Hunter (1995)

          Yoshiaki Kawajiri has created quite inspirational films/OVA such as Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, Birdy the Mighty, and the 'Deadshot' segment in Batman: Gotham Knight. His animation style is truly admiring and beautiful to watch especially in the realm of horror. Bio Hunter, based off the manga by Fujihiko Hosono, is a horror OVA about two molecular scientists (Koshigaya and Komada) who fight against a 'demon virus' that turns normal human beings into grotesque monsters. Koshigaya takes more of a scientific approach while Komada uses his claws (yes, he's infected) to solve the mystery behind the virus. Together they're known as the Bio Hunters, and no matter whose infected; they'll do everything in their power to save them from turning into ferocious beasts. The film picks up soon after Komada meets a young woman, Sayaka, whose being chased by the Japanese government for her psychic grandfather, Bokuda. While the duo decides to help her, Komada soon discovers that he's losing the fight with the demon from within.

       Bio Hunter is an excellent example of an anime film that needs to be followed-up by a series, or sequel. Not enough time for further character development, and since having a cliffhanger-type ending; makes the viewer wanting more. Approximately fifty-eight minutes long, this single episode film needs something to be added to it. The storyline itself was great since it had a lot of good elements: horror, science fiction, action, romance, and adult elements. With animated blood and gore it was an excellent example of a great animated horror. The science fiction atmosphere of the film gave the horror a boost alongside the scientific aspect for the story. Fighting sequences were brutal and entertaining alongside the action it brought with it. Romance gave the film a sense of humanity in a world ruled by power and beasts. The adult elements in the film gave it a mature setting for the potential violence soon to follow especially after the shortly lived opening. The monsters in the film were quite grotesque and horrifying ranging from the "pimple ghouls" to the tentacled, Deadly Spawn-like Chief of Defense (below). Aside from the obvious monsters in the film, it also added occultism into the story thanks to the help of Bokuda. My two favorite characters are Komada and the main henchman. Komada has the coolest demon form (crossed between a gargoyle, chameleon, and a wolf); while the henchman reminded me of Akuma from Street Fighter but, with a more business attire (not to mention he literally ate a crystal ball). My favorite scene throughout the film was probably the final showdown between Komada and the Chief of Defense whom were both in their monstrous forms.


     My rating for Bio Hunter is a hard one but, I have to say a 4 out of 5. Like I said earlier, the film needs either a series or a sequel. The cliffhanger-type ending opens up a perfect opportunity for a continuation in the story arc. The film had a good storyline, great characters and their designs; and outstanding animation. Whenever you get the chance, please watch this film. It brings back the nineties-style animation with grotesque horror similar to that of Wicked City.

"Uh-oh. We're in trouble. I'm starting to lose control." 

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