Peacock King

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"Peacock King: Spirit Warrior", or "Kujaku-Oh", is a five volume OVA.
The first three volumes: "Festival of the Ogres' Revival" (1988) (Director, Kazuhito Akiyama, "Ai no Kusabi", "Sol Bianca", "Bubblegum Crisis"), "Castle of Illusion" (1989) (directed by Mr. "Angel Cop" himself, Ichiro Itano), and "A Harvest of Cherry Blossoms" (1991) (again Katsuhito Akiyama, Director) were all produced by the same companies, but animated by different teams. The last two volumes: "Revival of Evil" and "Rumbling Kunlun Mountains" were both released in 1994, Pioneer was added to the list of contributing companies, and they were both directed by Rintaro. The American DVD release changed the order, putting these last two first.

To insure the peace in Japan, our traditional heroes; Kujaku, apprentice exorcist and reincarnation of the god Kujaku-Oh; and Onimaru, Master of Forbidden Curses; must fight against all manner of evil. In "Festival of the Ogres’ Revival", born spiritualist Takehara has no place in modern society. To prove his own self worth to the world, he resurrects sinister sorcerer turned demon Abe-no-Seimei in his own body.

In "Castle of Illusion", Oda Nobunaga (yeah, him again!) has resurrected himself using the ancient dark arts of the upside-down crucifix brought to Japan in the 16th Century by Christian Missionaries. The powers of Buddha must save Japan before it’s turned into a living hell by “Cherubim Holy Beasts.”

In "A Harvest of Cherry Blossoms", in the 1940s, actress Setsuko Ohara used her body as a vessel for the “Mistress of the Underworld” to take revenge on the American Occupation Forces in Japan and the weak willed Japanese who allowed the Americans to take over. She was unable to control the powers of the Mistress of the Underworld so she banished herself to a small island. Now, since time has passed, she has almost become the Mistress of the Underworld, who seeks to destroy all of Japan. With Christian Exorcism completely defeated by her powers, it’s up to Buddha to save Japan!

In the last two volumes, the origin of apprentice exorcist and reincarnation of the god Kujaku-Oh, Kujaku, is told. His character is reinvented as a more average Japanese teen, who must look to his cursed traditional past in order to stop Neo-Nazis from using the Dragon Orb to resurrect the Regent of Darkness in order to conquer the World.

In the first three OVAs, "Peacock King" champions the older more traditional role of Buddhism in Japanese society, while demonizing the influence of the West on Japan, and the effect of wealth on the Japanese psyche in the 1980s. In the final two OVAs, the series mellows. Buddhism, which was brought to Japan, is a saving force for the entire World, but also could be a threat, depending upon who is interpreting it. The OVA plots are an acquired taste. Character and monster designs are great in every OVA, but animation quality varies. The best looking OVAs (and most palatable to Western audiences) are the last two, and except for the most xenophobic in Japan, probably everyone will want to fast-forward a lot when watching the first three.


 Kujaku-Oh 01

 Kujaku-Oh 02

 Kujaku-Oh 03

 Kujaku-Oh 04
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Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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