Karas: The Prophecy

Manga Video
Approx: 80 min.
Volume 1 (The Prophecy)

Karas: The Prophecy takes place in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The city is populated with humans and youkai (demon, apparition, ghost, goblin, etc). The youkai exist in two dimensions, one being their own and the other being the human dimension. The Karas exists solely to keep the balance between these two dimensions. The Karas have abilities that set them above all others which include the ability to transform into various vehicles, change the size and shape of their sword, use a special grappling hook and many others. The Karas get their power from an entity known as Yurine. Yurine keeps the Karas in check by releasing his abilities when he is needed. She also represents the will of the people. When something goes awry, Yurine is the one to let the Karas know of the situation.

Eko, who is a Karas, has decided to take fate in his own hands and converts some youkai into mikura. The mikura are a being who can transform into a mechanized version with more power than a youkai, yet they need human blood to survive. A Karas was dispatched to defeat Eko, but the battle turned out for the worst. Three years later, a guy named Otoha becomes a Karas, in order to bring the balance back to the city.

There are some really nice extra features which include: Japanese voice actor interviews, Sound effects, Behind the scenes montage, Concept/Animation comparison, Original Japanese trailers and TV spots, and a hidden extra! Sound Effects stood out to me the most, as it showed footage of how they gathered and added the sounds.

Video: 9

Karas: The Prophecy uses a composite blend of 2D and 3D/CGI animation in widescreen format, which allows for a really nice quality picture. Takayuki Chiba, the CG Director, states: “We simply aimed to make a film where viewers would find Karas cool.”

The fight sequences include a lot of action, explosions and special effects. The action is closely followed by the camera views, which helps give the feel of how fast the characters are fighting. Karas uses a dark color scheme which is balanced pretty well with a lot of really vibrant colors.

Sound: 10

Dolby 6.1 Ex Surround and Dolby 2.0 Surround were provided for viewing pleasure. All sounds were of high quality, from the background music, to the sound effects. The music performed by Prague Symphony Orchestra definitely gave the feel of a feature movie, adding suspense and other appropriate feels to the scenes. I enjoyed the voice actors from both versions, English and Japanese. They signed on three Hollywood actors for some of the lead character voices. The actors, which I feel are a great choice, are: Jay Hernandez, Matthew Lillard and Piper Perabo. I have to say when I heard that Matthew Lillard was going to be a voice in Karas, I was pretty eager to see how he sounded. I was quite pleased with his performance!

Subtitles: 10

The subtitles are released in English only, and appear as a very light yellow. The color almost looks like an off-white color and also includes a thin black outline. The placement is in the normal area, bottom of the screen, keeping out of the way of most of the animation. It shows the dialog varies slightly between the Japanese and English tracks, but keeps the meaning as it should be. There are some Japanese subtitles, when the mikura talk in their mechanized form and various locations.

Overall: 9.6

Karas is definitely an interesting action / sci-fi type anime. I really enjoyed watching the story unfold, and I want to find out how it ends. Karas also happens to be Tatsunoko Productions 40th anniversary animation! Included with the DVD packaging is a small Dark Horse Comic Volume 1 Special, in color.


Written by: Blue Ghost