6.4/10
160
3 user 5 critic

Doomed Megalopolis 

Teito Monogatari (original title)
The plot concerns a spiritual battle being waged within the capital of Tokyo during the turn of the 20th century... See full synopsis »
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1991  

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A demonic reincarnation of a Japanese general from the 10th century appears in the early 20th century Tokyo with a mission to destroy the blooming city.

Director: Akio Jissôji
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kyûsaku Shimada, Mieko Harada
Animation | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When Overfiend is found and born in a human, he will remake the world to something more of his liking! Ripping the boundaries of the three universes (worlds) apart, it's clear that little ... See full summary »

Director: Hideki Takayama
Stars: Tomohiro Nishimura, Yôko Asagami, Hirotaka Suzuoki
Teito taisen (1989)
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The year is 1945. After the horrific fire-bombings of the Pacific War levels Japan to the ground, the government decides to consult spiritual psychics to aid them in winning the war. ... See full summary »

Director: Takashige Ichise
Stars: Masaya Katô, Takeshi Kusaka, Kaho Minami
Dominion Tank Police (Video 1988)
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a dystopic pollution ridden future, the tank police fight for law and order and cause massive collatorol destruction along the way.

Directors: Takaaki Ishiyama, Kôichi Mashimo
Stars: Hiromi Tsuru, Toni Barry, Yûsaku Yara
Genocyber (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Animation | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A nightmarish combination of cybernetics and psychic potential. At its core: the tortured souls of 2 human beings. Many desire to control this monstrosity, but can its hatred be contained? ... See full summary »

Stars: Vincent Bagnall, Louis Atlas, David Berberian
Vampire Hunter D (Video 1985)
Animation | Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a far-future time ruled by the supernatural, a young girl requests the help of a vampire hunter to kill the vampire who has bitten her and thus prevent her from becoming a vampire ... See full summary »

Director: Toyoo Ashida
Stars: Kaneto Shiozawa, Michie Tomizawa, Seizô Katô
Venus Wars (1989)
Animation | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The new frontier of Venus has degenerated into a dystopia ravaged by the civil war between Ishtar and Aphrodia. Bubbly reporter Susan Sommers arrives in the capitol of Aphrodia just before ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Stars: Katsuhide Uekusa, Ben Fairman, Yûko Mizutani
Angel Cop (TV Mini-Series 1989)
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An elite anti-terrorist agent battles terrorists threatening Japan, but a mysterious third player is involved in their own way.

Stars: Mika Doi, Sharon Holm, Masashi Ebara
Cyber City Oedo 808 (TV Mini-Series 1990)
Animation | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the city of Oedo 2808 A.D., three Cyber criminals are given two choices, to either rot in jail or to join a special force of the Cyber Police to get possibly one more chance at freedom ... See full summary »

Stars: Hiroya Ishimaru, Stuart Milligan, Tesshô Genda
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

"Subconscious Cruelty" is divided in four segments: Ovarian Eyeball - a naked woman is sliced by a sharp blade and an eyeball is removed from her belly. Human Larvae - a deranged man that ... See full summary »

Director: Karim Hussain
Stars: Sophie Lauzière, Anne-Marie Belley, Brea Asher
Hard Boiled (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Teresa Mo
Escaflowne (TV Series 1996)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hitomi is a girl with psychic abilities who gets transported to the magical world of Gaea. She and her friends find themselves under attack from the evil Zaibach empire, and the Guymelf ... See full summary »

Stars: Maaya Sakamoto, Tomokazu Seki, Shin'ichirô Miki
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Yôko Asagami ...
 Keiko (4 episodes, 1991)
Milton James ...
 Narrator (US 1993) (4 episodes, 1991)
Peter Marinker ...
 Kato (UK 1993) (4 episodes, 1991)
Clifton Wells ...
 Makoto Nishimura (US 1993) (4 episodes, 1991)
Edit

Storyline

The plot concerns a spiritual battle being waged within the capital of Tokyo during the turn of the 20th century... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | anime | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Evil is awakening. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1991 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Doomed Megalopolis  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The robot used in Episode 3 is Gakutensoku, a real creation. It was Japan's first modern robot created in 1929 and lost in Germany a few years after. However the design of Gakutensoku used in the anime is based on the design of its counterpart from the live action Teito Monogatari (known in the West as Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis). See more »

Connections

Version of Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Difficult to recommend...but that won't stop people from watching it.
20 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The animated adaptation of TEITO MONOGATARI (Tale of the Imperial Capital, aka DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS here in the US) is an interesting specimen. Many anime enthusiasts consider this some kind of fan favorite and assume that's all there is to the franchise. Well...maybe it has become some kind of cult favorite here in the West due to some violent imagery and all, but the franchise it's based on had been going strong eight years prior to the anime's release.

The original novel DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS is based on began being published in 1985. The novel became a huge success winning it's author (Hiroshi Aramata) the National Science Fiction Award of 1987 (the same award Hideaki Anno's EVA series won), and sold over 3.5 million sales in its first few years on the market. It's success immediately inspired a blockbuster motion picture in 1988 (TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS) which was arguably the most expensive Japanese fantasy film that had been made at that time. After the success of the live action film, many other commercial adaptations and spin-offs of the franchise began to pop up, including manga, spin-off books, and of course, this anime adaptation.

Because Japanese SPFX films tend to be less popular in the US and interest in Japanese fantasy literature is practically non-existent, the live action film and its source material were overlooked by distributors in favor of the anime adaptation (called DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS in the West). Very sadly, the anime has become extremely notable in the West for its dark content more than its story. In the anime fandom, it does have some merits having been directed by animation director Rintaro and crafted by Madhouse studios, responsible for classics such as NINJA SCROLL.

But what many anime enthusiasts fail to grasp is that it was the book and the live action film which started the franchise rolling--NOT the anime. The anime was a commercial byproduct of the novel's success. Sadly the fanatic anime following here in the US has prevented the truth from emerging. For example when the live action adaptation of TEITO MONOGATARI was exported to the West under the title TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS, many English reviewers mistakenly thought THAT was an adaptation of the anime instead of the reverse!

This is a problem. The anime is an incomplete and loose adaptation of the novel delivered in a violent manner. However it's prominence in the West may fool people into thinking that it's some kind of definitive adaptation of the book. But to judge the original novel based purely off this adaptation would be like judging the entire LORD OF THE RINGS saga based purely on Rankin-Bass's cheap TV adaptation of RETURN OF THE KING. Except whereas that adaptation "kiddified" the source material too much, this adaptation goes the opposite route and pushes the subject matter past the bounds of good taste into the realm of "adults only".

That's not to say DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS is a cinematic disaster. There are some rather taut, suspense filled scenes in here. The compression of the story allows for events to push along at such a rapid pace as to constantly keep the viewer entertained. The soundtrack is surprisingly moody, despite the fact that it's filled with inappropriate modern enhancements (heavy metal riffs for a Meiji era setting??).

The problem lies with the story. The anime was designed as a supplement for the original novel, NOT as a replacement for it. In an interview, the director of the anime even implies that he EXPECTED the viewer to have read the novel before he even approached his production! The anime doesn't even tell the story of the whole novel; it just covers the first 1/3rd of the book. Also, due to time constraints, the story the anime tells is very compressed, cutting out a lot of exposition in favor of action scenes. Such an approach will easily confuse those not familiar with the source material. This is evident in the fact that there are references to plot points in the original novel all throughout, but hardly any of them are expanded upon. For example, the origin of the villain Kato's superhuman prowess and immortality is never explained in the anime, only hinted at. But the novel delivers many answers.

Compounding this problem is the fact the anime also aims for more shock value than any of the previous adaptations, upping the grotesque imagery and sexual content. There's a lot of unnecessary and disturbing violence in the early episodes (obviously an attempt to cash in on the craze of adult anime like LEGEND OF THE OVERFIEND which were being produced around the same time). This is extremely distracting and may easily frustrate viewers trying to just understand the story. It also completely contradicts the tone of the source material, which gave much more focus to the drama between the characters and the historical background.

It is impossible to recommend to any English viewer to just "read the books instead" as they have NEVER been translated. Unfortunately because the story doesn't make much sense, English viewers to this day will continue to watch the anime just for its violent/sexual content...completely ignoring the source material's award winning roots with its intricate mingling of real history and folklore.

I can at least recommend that the viewer watch the English subtitled version over Streamline's dub as the dub removes historical and cultural references required to properly interpret the story. But this is only a minor salve. There's simply too much of a cultural gap between the intended audience in Japan and the audience in the West, and the anime is simply too stylized to be a good introduction to the franchise. Until the TEITO MONOGATARI novel gets translated or everyone learns Japanese (unlikely), any viewer who watches the animated adaptation cannot gain complete fulfillment from it as it is simply a fragment of something much greater.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Doomed Megalopolis (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?