Yuzuru was an average teenager who had almost forgotten that he was betrothed to Azusa(a girl)when he was only 6! Now arriving to claim what she feels is rightfully hers, only Satomi(...
See full summary »
Legend states that eating the flesh of a mermaid will bestow immortality. Yuta and Mana do not remain dead for this reason. A chance meeting with a child named Masato leads the two of them ... See full summary »
A trilogy of separate stories. In "Labyrinth labyrinthos", a girl and her cat enter a strange world. In "Running Man", a racer takes on the ultimate opponent. In "Construction Cancellation Order", a man must shut down worker robots.
The year is 1580. Using an army of soldiers equipped with sophisticated weaponry, Nobunaga Oda is on the verge of ruling Japan with an iron fist. One of his enforcers is Ginnai Doma - a ... See full summary »
A terrible war has ravaged the land, and now, fueled by the blood of numerous fallen warriors, the Yoma, demons from hell, emerge once more. A skilled ninja seeks to end the bloodshed these... See full summary »
Kyuuketsuki Miyu is a disturbing four episode long anime series about a young immortal vampire princess named Miyu and her protector/servant/best friend and more Larva. In four episodes, a ... See full summary »
Yuzuru was an average teenager who had almost forgotten that he was betrothed to Azusa(a girl)when he was only 6! Now arriving to claim what she feels is rightfully hers, only Satomi(Yuzuru's current girl friend)stands in her way... and with the mysterious and frightening powers that Azusa brings, Satomi won't stand in her way for long!Written by
Eerily effective anime horror from the pen of Rumiko Takahashi
Rumiko Takahashi regularly infuses her contemporary manga stories with abundant elements from traditional Japanese culture. Often this was done for comic effect, as in "Ranma ½" and "Urusei Yatsura," but in the one-shot made-for-video animated film, "The Laughing Target" (1987), it's done as a genuinely chilling horror tale, as Yuzuru, a Tokyo high school boy, suddenly finds himself living under the same roof with Azusa, the mysterious cousin to whom he was betrothed as a child, as seen in flashback, and who has just moved in from the country, where she was raised in a traditional household. Her arrival at Yuzuru's home follows the death of her mother, her only other immediate family member, under strange circumstances. He hasn't seen Azusa in many years and is startled to find that she's grown into a tall, breathtaking, pale-skinned beauty with long dark hair. He hasn't given a thought to the childhood arrangement and has a loyal girlfriend named Satomi, his short-haired partner in the school's archery club. Azusa, however, has never forgotten the betrothal and is intent on going through with the arranged marriage. She warns Satomi to stay away from Yuzuru and follows up the warning with some very insistent behavior, stalking and terrorizing Satomi in various ways. Things get even scarier when Azusa's threats start to get backed up by a demonic force residing in her which can get quite destructive.
I like the way the whole thing is carefully laid out for us. In fact, we initially feel some sympathy for Azusa and might be forgiven if we actually think Yuzuru should live up to his familial obligation and agree to marry her. However, because of the 50-minute length, the gears shift a little too suddenly and we have no choice but to root for Yuzuru and Satomi as they are increasingly endangered. I found the characters compelling enough for a 90-minute movie and wish more time had been spent developing them, to the point of crafting a plausible romantic triangle to test audience loyalties, before Azusa's darker side erupts. Takahashi's imagination is well up to the task of filling out such a story.
I saw this film on a VHS tape from U.S. Manga Corps in a Japanese-language edition with English subtitles. Ever since that company went out of business, this production has been out of print in the U.S.
One more thing: I don't understand why it's titled "The Laughing Target." Satomi is indeed a target, but I don't recall her ever laughing. At least not enough to justify such a title.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this