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"Raven Tengu Kabuto: the Golden Eyed Beast" was released in 1992. There is also a longer running TV series but I’ve only seen the one shot OAV.

Kabuto is a wandering samurai. After a long period of time he returns to one of the towns he used to train in, Sado. Sado is not how he left it. The head lord is dead, and the lord’s mistress, Tamamushi, is now in control of the city. Thought to be an evil sorceress, Tamamushi raids neighboring towns for men to work in her gold mines, and women to serve in her castle. But Tamamushi is not what she seems. She is really the mechanical puppet of her creator, Jinai. It is up to Kabuto to free Sado from Jinai’s evil grasp.

The cartoon started with an animated rip-off of Akira Kurosawa’s opening to "Yojimbo". The scene where Toshiro Mifune (Yojimbo) walks into town. The cartoon looks good, and has a lot of very interesting looking mecha; like a highly detailed robotic horse, and a robot that looks like a cross between a man and an elephant. At the same time, it has some very strange designs; like a flying temple, and a googly-eyed monster. It has a few plot points that make no sense, but I can’t say it was bad, because it only lasted about 45 minutes. I think I heard that the creator wrote the lyrics to the theme song, but I can’t remember for sure. For a cartoon lasting only 45 minutes, "Kabuto" has some very nicely done fight scenes and mecha.

 Kabuto 01

 Kabuto 02

 Kabuto 03

 Kabuto 04
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Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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