This mind-bogglingly confusing and epic fantasy two-parter from Manga demands brain surgeon-like attention if you want to make any sense of it at all. The story has something to do with pure truth and knowledge, the human soul and the forces of darkness but please don't quiz me on it. The narration that accompanies both 50-minute episodes is confusing as hell and totally impenetrable! If you can't penetrate the storyline the graphics at least offer something worth holding on for - watercolour painted backgrounds nicely depict the Kyoto countryside where much of this is set.
There are some well-realised surrealistic moments, particularly a train journey sequence in part 1 where everything turns black and white and is accompanied by weird electronic sounds and music. Unfortunately, the dubbing leaves a lot to be desired with most of the cast effectively telephoning in their vapid performances. Composer Kenji Kawai delivers an impressive score and closing theme but sitting through both tapes is like receiving a degree-level course in ancient Japanese mythology compressed into 2 hours!
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