Shuten Doji

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"Shuten Doji" is a four volume OVA from 1989 based on an original story from Go Nagai ("Devilman", "Violence Jack", "Jushin Liger").

A childless couple, Kyoko and Ryuchiro Shiba, are praying at a temple for a wedding blessing from their dead parents. Suddenly, two giant ogres appear out of thin air. The blue one, Senki, decapitates the purple one, nameless cannon fodder, and delivers a baby to Kyoko and Ryuchiro, stating that in fifteen years he will come back for the child.

Fifteen years later this child, now named Jiro Shutendo, is the anime cliché “average high school student”, who discovers he is really an ogre protected by a special power which manifests itself as űber buff ogre-man, Goki, and the aforementioned giant blue ogre, Senki. Seeking to stop Jiro from fulfilling his destiny as the legendary “Shuten Doji”, is the cult of the Ogre-Mandala, headed by the evil monk, Yonen, and among whose members is Jiro’s biology teacher, Kitani (makes perfect sense to me the high school biology teacher isn’t human). After Jiro, Goki, and Senki (and a group of five other characters who die almost immediately) defeat the cult of the Ogre-Mandala; Goki and Senki take Jiro and his girlfriend, Miyuki (needed to have an attractive female character to put in peril and regularly show in the nude) on a trip through time and space, to the world of ogres, Ongoku.

Having lost her son to some half-baked ogre legend, Kyoko goes insane and is committed to a mental institution, whereupon she starts on a three-wall, Frazetta-esc, ogre mural, in response to her extreme case of Empty-Nest Syndrome. While traveling through time, Jiro is separated from Goki, Senki, and Miyuki, who are sent back in time to the Heian era, to create the Japanese Ogre-mythos, as Jiro is flung forward into the 22nd Century. Stuck floating in outer space, Jiro loses his sense of scale and becomes a giant (happens to me all the time) until by chance he comes into contact with the spaceship Alfard. Aboard Alfard is the cyborg-warrior, Iron Kaiser, the son of one of the members of the Ogre-Mandala Cult, who has kept himself alive for over 100 years in order to kill Jiro (how he knew Jiro would suddenly appear in outer space in the 22nd Century is a complete mystery to me). In the epic battle that ensues between them, most of the Alfard’s crew is massacred, but the survivors are able to teleport Iron Kaiser and Jiro through time to Heian-era Japan. They materialize before nude, stream bathing, Miyuki (how fortuitous) and Jiro kills Iron Kaiser, fulfilling an ancient Japanese legend about Shuten Doji.

Jiro, Goki, Senki, and Miyuki continue on their journey to Ongoku, and we find out the Ongoku is a planet-sized, three-panel, wall triptych floating in space. Somehow Kyoko’s mural has become a reality. Jiro’s Dad, Ryuchiro, has had just about enough of this, and decides it’s time to take the mental ward’s handy-dandy sledgehammer to Kyoko’s painting. After he demolishes Kyoko’s room, she snaps out of her funk; planet Ongoku is destroyed; Goki decides to go back to the Heian era and get laid; Senki becomes leader of the surviving ogres and leaves to find a new planet; and Jiro returns with Miyuki to normal high school life. All’s right with the world!


 ShutenDoji 01

 ShutenDoji 02

 ShutenDoji 03

 ShutenDoji 04
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Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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