Digital Devil Monogatari: Megami Tensei

by eternal on August 15, 2010

If you’re a hardcore JRPG gamer and you were lured into this post in the hopes of reading some insight on the MegaTen series, I apologize. I deeply apologize. However, what I’m about to discuss may well be of interest to you, if you think you can handle it.

As the story goes, a Japanese author named Aya Nishitani wrote a trilogy of pulp horror novels (partially translated) back in the 80s. Namco apparently bought the rights to the series shortly after, creating the first in the long running Megami Tensei series. At present, Shin Megami Tensei is the main title of a variety of smaller series, one of which is Persona, famous among anime fans for its incorporation of dating sim elements into its gameplay.

What you might not know is that, somewhere along the line, an OVA was made.

Let me tell you, this thing is interesting. It’s very interesting. It’s so interesting that I’m at a loss for words. Here’s how it goes:

He types with two fingers, and his laptop makes bleep sounds like a 70s sci-fi film.

We begin with a serious male protagonist, Akemi, who is apparently not interested in ordinary humans. He’s a genius hacker who spends all of his time in the computer lab. Of course, the female transfer student, Yumiko, makes the mistake of talking to him. One day, she wanders into the computer lab after school and she finds out that he’s the leader of a cult!

Well, not really, but he’s an odd guy nonetheless. He’s trying to awaken this person, a demon named Loki, and he’s using his classmates and teachers as sacrifices. Somehow, he has the ability to brainwash them and turn them into his servants. Unsurprisingly, the ever-careless Yumiko is still curious about him, and she ends up getting tossed into the computer lab again by Akemi’s minions.

Somewhere along the line, we find out that Akemi is being a complete jerk because he wants the blue demon’s power to exact revenge on his bullies. That’s actually not a bad idea; I wish more of those stupid Japanese bullying stories would end with a knife through the eye. Onani Master Kurosawa was close! (But it’s not a “stupid” Japanese bullying story so it wouldn’t have counted anyway)

Now, you’re probably wondering what that pink blob up there is. Well, that’s… a pink blob. Like in those bad horror movies? Yeah. Akemi secures Yumiko to the sacrificial chair, but before he can do anything, this blob appears out of the computer and starts devouring everyone. Literally.

I was going to say something about how, surprisingly, there was no implied tentacle rape, but I forgot about this.

Apparently the demon lord Loki isn’t content with being used to exact revenge on mere mortals, or something of the sort. Akemi loses control of him, and he appears in all his glory swinging his red sludge around and devouring the soulless students. Akemi himself almost falls victim to his miscalculation, but he’s saved when Yumiko starts shooting laser beams through her eyes.

I wish I were joking, but I’m not. Loki is temporarily stunned, and the two survivors jump into the darkness and magically teleport to… a forest.


Some stuff happened that I can’t quite remember, but Yumiko sheds some light on the backstory – something that might have actually made sense in the original novel – and they start walking. Akemi summons his cyborg dog, apparently called Cerberus, and they journey toward the final battle against Loki. Meanwhile, we see that Loki is wreaking havoc in the real world. I wonder how that lady managed to not notice her friend being eaten by a pile of pink slime, but hey, at least she’s a diligent worker.

A few minutes later, Akemi and Cerberus run through the path of darkness used as the first picture in this post, and after the fulfillment of a confusing prophecy in which Yumiko turns into a banshee and then back into a human, he boards Cerberus and duels with Loki’s final form. The last boss eventually falls to a stab through his third eye with the magical sword. There’s a little shot at the end that reveals how things turn out and hint at the plot for the next book, but that might actually be a spoiler.

– – –

I don’t want to say that Aya Nishitani is bad. I’m sure this is just a bad, low budget adaptation that failed in the same way that modern day bad, low budget adaptations fail, except it’s infinitely funnier because of its age. I actually plan on reading whatever is translated of Nishitani’s books, though mostly out of curiosity. However, it’s hard to not call this OVA outright awful, for a lot of reasons. I said at the beginning of 2010 that one of my goals was to watch a truly terrible anime: I tried Mars of Destruction, but I wanted something obscure and bad, not just bad. Mars of Destruction is infamously bad; this is just bad.

Of course, that’s precisely why you should watch it.

Would I watch it even if I weren’t forced?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

kadian1364 August 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

“I wanted something obscure and bad, not just bad.”

A man after my own heart. Thanks for the humorous review; will surely look for this.

Along that vein, I recommend Rebirth of Buddha, a movie with much in common with those trashy scifi/demonic cult OVAs from the 80s, but curiously was made in 2009. The crazy doesn’t start until somewhere in the middle, but it’s a doozy from there.


ETERNAL August 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Sponsored by a group called Happy Science? I’m not sure what to think but it already sounds bad XD


ZAMN September 27, 2010 at 11:50 pm

I’ve actually been trying to find this for a good few years and after this length of time I’m willing to watch the damn thing no matter how godawful it is. I must complement your review though, and recommend the novels to you. they might not be all that, but the premise is extraordinary. Summoning demons via computer program. Makes me wonder how good the drugs were back then, and why ain’t my parents sharin… or maybe its those Japanese only drugs that I can only get if I live there…


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