Behold, part two of a three part article series entitled "Holy Trinity of Suck". Yesterday we covered Mad Bull 34 and tomorrow we trounce Angel Cop. But right now, now we destroy Violence Jack!
Note: These three works make up what is known as the Manga Video Holy Trinity Of Suck – so named by Daryl Surat of the Anime World Order podcast. Follow Daryl Surat on twitter: @DarylSurat
Violence Jack is a product of Go Nagai, a creator well known for his rather odd fare, from Devil Man (and Devil Man Lady), to Mazinger Z, and Cutey Honey. The manga was created in 1973, while his earlier series Devil Man and Mazinger Z were still running. The OVA series itself was started in the mid 80s, during the OVA boom. The first episode was directed by Osamu Kamijou, who was getting his first shot in the big chair. The remainder of the series was done by Ichiro Itano, who we will encounter later on Angel Cop .
It's a post-apocalyptic future. Warring demonic forces have left the earth a battered wasteland where the weak are victims of the strong. Into this land comes Violence Jack, an anti-hero who is willing to stand against the strong, though he is indifferent to the weak they oppress.
The OVA series has only one recurring character.
Violence Jack – Jack is, in short, Akira Fudo, the main character of Devil Man, after the apocalypse, and almost done in the slightly psychotic style of some of the worst offenders of 90s Anti-Hero-itis. (The “almost” is there because Go Nagai hopefully could not have foreseen the effects of western comics “Iron Age”).
Why It's Bad
First off, the series contains a great deal of violence against women. As in Mad Bull, female characters in this series exist to be brutalized, humiliated, and raped.
The series also was very poorly fifteened for the English dub. For those unfamiliar with the term, “fifteening” refers to adding profanity to the English dub to ensure a higher age rating in the United Kingdom. This is made particularly odd considering that much of the sexual content in the series (rapes and female nudity) along with the extremely graphic violence. had to be cut from the British version. Anyway, they basically added the profanity with a shotgun, with bizarre clusters of “f***s” and “s***s” in places throughout the series. Some of them are due to poor re-writes, but some also are related to bad animation in the original work leading to some lip flap. If you listen to episode #85b of the Anime World Order podcast, the several sound clips from the dub are played which show off how horribly the profanity is added to the series.
Whatever Happened to...
Go Nagai – Go Nagai is still active in manga, writing spin-off works from Mazinger Z and Devil-Man, along with original works like Geki-Man.
Osamu Kamijou – Kamijou has not been put in charge of another anime series (or even an episode of an anime) since this. He has done character design work and worked as an animation director (notably on several episodes of Zoids).
Ichiro Itano – He'll be covered under Angel Cop.
The License – While RightStuf, under their Critical Mass label, did release a uncensored, Japanese dubbed version of the series, it didn't sell well, and neither did the censored version. The series never received a DVD release and the license has since lapsed.Alexander Case (Count_Zero) writes about science fiction for Bureau42.com when he isn't writing stuff here, and he can also be found on Twitter (@Count_ZeroOR)