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A six episode OVA released for Tatsunoko Productions 40th anniversary.
In a near future Tokyo, humans go about their business unaware that they coexist with a spirit world. Japan's traditional ghosts and goblins are all around, but invisible to most. In order to keep things that way, every city has a priestess, a creature from the spirit world who takes on the form of a human girl, and chooses a supernatural aide or karas to help preserve the balance between the two worlds. However, Tokyo's guardian karas, the handsome blond warrior Echo, who has watched over it since it was called Edo, has gone rogue. Realizing that humans still have an atavistic fear of the spirit world, he aims to use an army of cybernetically engineered supernatural creatures to seize control of Tokyo, then Japan, then the world.
Mixing elements of the supernatural Cold War of Wicked City with the disappearing folklore of Spirited Away, Karas was designed as an anniversary event for the Tatsunoko Studio's 40th birthday. Its storyline has heavy echoes of both Doomed Megalopolis, with its concentration on a secret battle rooted in Tokyo's history and local lore-a karasu is a crow, one of the many black birds that can be seen and heard flocking around real-life Tokyo.
As in Urotsukidoji, which K's plot also vaguely resembles, Echo's nemesis is a spirit creature in human disguise, in this case his former boss Yurine, who looks like a trendy Shinjuku teen, but is really a long-lived sorceress. Yurine dispatches a number of opponents to deal with Echo, but when all fails she turns in desperation to Otoha, a young doctor running a spirit world hospital in Tokyo. He becomes the city's newest karas. He can fight like a ninja, and has spiky black armor that's a cross between bird and crustacean. He can fly; he can transform into various guises. He'll need all of this and more if he is to stop the course of destiny and limit the collateral damage to innocent parties on both sides.
Meanwhile, trendy young detective Narumi Kure has been assigned to a special unit dealing with spirit crime in Tokyo. Pretty, feisty Hinaru is investigating a series of strange killings in the city. And Nue the ski-bum wields a pair of infeasibly large and very arcane handguns, sounds like a country bumpkin, but is really a supernatural hunter, older and much more dangerous than he seems.
Director Sato brings an otherworldy look to the streets of Shinjuku, unsettling with tiny details such as incongruous European gargoyles and Singapore's famous Merlion statue in the background, and street signs in Korean and Chinese, so that at a glance street signs and writing look Japanese, but aren't. Sato describes the overall look as "Asian Gothic"-compare to a similar attempt to wrong-foot the audience in both Ghost in the Shell and Spirited Away. The first episode was shown on pay-per-view TV before being released on DVD. LNV
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