IMDb > Shadow Skill (1995)

Shadow Skill (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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Shadow Skill -- US Home Video Trailer from ADV Films
Shadow Skill -- Open-ended Trailer from ADV Films


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5.5/10   248 votes »
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Okada Megumu (comic)
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Walls of blood do not an animé make... See more (7 total) »


Yuri Amano ... Rirubelt (voice: Japanese version)
Megumi Hayashibara ... Ella Lagu (voice: Japanese version)
Chieko Honda ... Fais (voice: Japanese version)
Rei Igarashi ... Falstese (voice: Japanese version)
Tomoko Ishimura ... Gian Deez (voice: Japanese version) (as Mifuyu Hîragi)
Jonathan Keeble ... Scarface (voice: English version)
Takehito Koyasu ... Kai Sink (voice: Japanese version)
Takeshi Kusao ... (voice: Japanese version)
Stephen Lyons ... Wolfman (voice: English version)
Daniel Marinker ... Screb Lohengrin (voice: English version)
Yasunori Matsumoto ... Scarface (voice: Japanese version)
Roger May ... Blackwing (voice: English version)
Mitsuru Miyamoto ... Dias Lagu (voice: Japanese version)
Yûko Mizutani ... Follymayer Razmatizer (voice: Japanese version)
Chinami Nishimura ... Kara La Luka (voice: Japanese version)
Mathonwy Reeves ... (voice)
Holly Rivers ... Kyuo Ryu (voice: English version)
Tomokazu Seki ... Len Fuuma (voice: Japanese version)
Fumihiko Tachiki ... Glad (voice: Japanese version)
Reiko Takagi ... Lunaris Anbra (voice: Japanese version)
Sarah Wateridge ... Faury Maya (voice: English version)
Kappei Yamaguchi ... Low (voice: Japanese version)
Ikue Ôtani ... Kyo Ryu (voice: Japanese version)

Directed by
Hiroshi Negishi 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Okada Megumu  comic

Animation Department
Masahito Yamashita .... animator

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

45 min
Sound Mix:
Norway:18 (video rating) | UK:12 | USA:Not Rated (DVD rating)

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Walls of blood do not an animé make..., 4 July 2002
Author: Katherine Thompson ( from Christchurch, New Zealand

Shadowskill is a series of two parts; an OAV and the epilogue. It tells the story of a Gau, an orphaned boy who is adopted as younger brother of a beautiful young martial arts master. Yet again, this isn't a cartoon for the kiddies, as it is a martial-arts drama containing graphic violence.

The opening of the story comes across as a hotchpotch of parts as it explains the formation of the group of main characters. This probably comes across as disjointed because of the story's origins as a Bumper Comic, originally published in short installments. Confusingly, the main characters fight a series of monsters with loosely explained premises. This is all well and good if you just want to see some action, but not easy to take seriously.

The second half of the OAV is the only part of the OAV plot that I find really interesting. It deals with a fight between two dear friends who have been turned against each other. I feel that this addresses the issue of obligation and honour more clearly than the earlier part of the story, but yet again I feel like the background is somewhat glossed over. Perhaps it was felt that a superficial storyline would less interfere with the pace of the action. I don't know if it pays off, but a bunch off blustering people throwing around glowy fireballs isn't my idea of action any way.

Some of the art is appealing but for the most part the plot lets it down. I think that Shadowskill suffers from tenuous character development and melodramatic nonsense, though I am not really a big fan of martial-arts drama stories. The animation of the fight scenes is not too bad, though it seems to be needlessly bloody. I don't feel that waves of blood add much to the plot line, or the realism of the fighting.

Westerners may find some of the devices of the story confusing. In a way that is becoming increasingly familiar to animé fans (primarily due to the advent of Shoujo animé like Card Captor Sakura) magic is cast from cards, or more technically "Ofuda". This is a Shinto concept. Unfortunately this will probably seem weird to most people especially as the cards have to be subtitled because their names are in Japanese kanji. In the Madman release of this production this subtitling is done with glowing green subtitles, which looks kind of cheesy.

It is amusing to note that though the OAV and the epilogue share the same name, they are produced completely differently. From one to the other new characters have been introduced, and the personality of already established characters has changed. One of the main supporting characters is recognisable only by her attire and the mole that she has on her cheek; in the first production having short blue hair and in the second having long brown hair.

The epilogue has more comedy and more attractive art. The production quality comes across as higher, from the story telling to the pacing and the soundtrack. The animation is well done, though, as is fairly common with this sort of animé, the action comes across as far-fetched and fantastic. It is not uncommon to see parts of the scenery exploding with the ferocious blows of our protagonists, and a training battle in the middle of a rockslide has to be seen to be believed.

I can see this being popular primarily with guys aged 15 to 20, or younger, if they can get it past their parents. The plot isn't very deep and there is some "fan service" (though not much). Personally I'd give it about a 5/10; I could watch it again, but I will probably have better things to do.

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