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Anime Review: Strait Jacket OVA
Director: Shinji Ushiro
Distirbutor: Anchor Bay
Runtime: 76 minutes
Rating: Not Rated, MA
Availability: On DVD, out of print
Strait-Jacket is an anime Original Video Animation or OVA, it is not based on a manga.
In an alternate universe in the year 1899 in the city of Tristan, magic is the science of the day and it is used for everyday tasks. But using magic is addictive, and if you use it too often you’ll contract a disease called the Malediction and become a demon, this can happen at any time and demons will go on rampages and kill people.
To stop them, Tactical Sorcerists are called in, people who use magic to fight demons while running the risk of becoming demons themselves. People call them Strait Jackets.
Nerin Simmons works for the Sorcery Management Bureau and is called to the scene of a demon attack. There she meets the mysterious Leiot Steinberg, an unlicensed Sorcerist who renown for killing demons and leaving a chaotic mess in his wake. Isaac Hammond is another Sorcerist who sees him as a rival and dislikes him while feeling a strange connection to him.
Strait Jacket Anime Trailer:
The Story is very Average by Anime Standards:
This OVA is an all right piece. It’s not outstanding or particularly innovative. It has its share of cliché storytelling, but it’s still entertaining, it has decent characters and a decent storyline, it’s just not new or innovative and we’ve seen plenty of things that are in the OVA in other anime.
It also tries to be an action anime OVA, but there isn’t a whole lot of action. It’s mainly Leiot showing up and using magic to blast away the demon with his big gun using a magic spell but there aren’t even a lot of fight scenes in this anime OVA.
It also has the problem of having some cliches that show up in a lot of anime with the hothead, the veteran and the mysterious girl, and the audience POV character dealing with supernatural creatures.
The Voice Cast Is Decent:
Leiot Steinberg is voiced in English by Steve Blum. His performance was decent, but it wasn't one of his most outstanding roles in anime, but I enjoyed listening to him in the OVA.
Kapelteta Fernandez is voiced by Laura Jill Miller and she does a great job. I really liked her work. She does a great job in whatever she's in, but she hasn't been in a lot of anime.
Nerin Simmons is voiced by Bridget Hoffman and she did a good job too. I like her work but this isn't one of her popular roles.
Isaac Hammond is voiced by the talented Crispin Freeman, and he's a great voice actor, I like his work, and he's great, He did a good job in this OVA. This is not a role that his fans remember him for as he's played more memorable characters besides Isaac Hammond.
The music composed by Takeshi Yanagawa is good, but not very memorable. I can't recall a single thing about the score that stood out to me. The opening song was "The Last Hope" by Takeshi Yanagawa and the ending song is "Le Chemin" by Kyo.
As a note to parents, this is a very violent and gory. There is a lot of blood and gore in this OVA, people tend ot die in gory deaths that involve exploding, and it is not suitable for young viewers. This is definitely for age 17 and up.
It was Decent:
While the story and the music are okay, what makes up for the lack of deep plot and character development is the English dub voice acting. Steve Blum gives a good performance to Leiot Steinberg.
Crispin Freeman is also good as Isaac Hammond, he’s a good actor and his performance is something his fans should expect from him.
Bridget Hoffman is a great actress and she does a really good job in her role as Nerin Simmons. I like her acting even though I haven’t seen her in a lot of anime roles, even though she’s in quite a few animes.
Kari Wahlgren’s work as Rachel Hammond is good too, but her role is very short. She still did a good job though.
Final Rating: C-
Overall, I would recommend renting this if you’re unsure, it’s not bad, but it’s not the best anime OVA I've ever watched. It's interesting but not very memorable. It’s worth watching, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to buy it.If the story wasn't so average I would recommend buying it, but now that it's out of print, it's not going to be worth the inflated price online sellers have listed online.
If it could have been something that just wasn't a one-off project, the story might have been better, It just didn't quite turn out to be an outstanding OVA.
The only reason I watched this OVA is that aired on the Sci-Fi Channel's AniMonday block and I watched it on TV, I managed to borrow it from my local library system to watch it again, unfortunately, it's out of print and the library no longer has it available for me to borrow.
Overall, It is going out of print and will probably end up being very expensive for collectors to get a hold of.
My Grade: C
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