Based on a manga series by Go Nagai that ran from the mid-70ies until 1990 and amassed a total of 9000 pages, HELL'S WIND was the third and to date last anime adaptation. I have the complete manga series in Japanese box set that includes the entire run in 18 volumes. The HELL'S WIND anime is based on a story that appears in the second volume.
Even though there are a number of differences between the manga and the anime the basic story remain the same.
A woman travels with her male companion and is ambushed by a gang of bikers - who call themselves "Hell's Wind" - who brutally kill the man and rape the woman. Years later the woman, who miraculously survived the abuse, has turned herself into a hardened fighter. When the same biker gang attacks a village she tries to get her revenge. Violence Jack, the mythic hero from Nagai's manga, also joins the battle. His name comes from the huge jack knife he uses to fight and as the finale reveals he's somewhat of a supernatural force as well. Like so many of our favourite 80ies action heroes (Schwarzenegger, Stallone etc.) in their best films, Jack is judge, jury and executioner all in one.
VIOLENCE JACK, no matter in what incarnation, does its name more than justice and HELL'S WIND is no exception. In fact it features some of the most unpleasant and excessive gore and torture ever animated and even veterans of such other "anime nasties" as FIST OF THE NORTH STAR and UROTSUKIDOJI should consider themselves warned.
The quality of the animation may not be up to today's standards but for an anime that is almost 20 years old and was produced for the straight to video market it is still quite impressive and hold up well. I have heard a few people complain about the "bad dialogue" but I attribute that to the English dubbing by Manga Entertainment. I own the Japanese DVDs and I couldn't find anything especially bad or wrong with the dialogue at all. It fits the story and the voice actors do a good job.
Of course this is hardly an anime for everyone. It's aimed at gorehounds and fans of 80ies action movies like RAMBO, ROAD WARRIOR, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and TERMINATOR as well as their cheesier (often Italian) knock-offs. If you're a fan of all that is cute and wholesome stay far, far away...
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