Weeaboo Wednesdays – Psychic Wars, Pt 2

February 24, 2010

When we last left off in Psychic Wars, the anime that feels as though it doesn’t have to explain itself to you or anyone else, our hero Dr Ukyo (which I think means “with cucumber”) was lumbering around in the past killing everything his eyes slap onto that doesn’t immediately strike him as being human.  He was sent there via a poorly explained time portal that opened up for no reason, because he has to save humanity from the league of demons who came back after he surgically removed a monster tumor from an old lady and then punched it — the tumor, not the old lady — to death.

Any questions?  Oop!  No time!  The movie has to keep going if it’s going to fulfill its yelling and having light explode out of the main character quota!  Hurry up!

Keep it up! We have, like, 900 more of these stupid things to kill!

After Dr Ukyu defeats this stupid-looking sea creature, he is attacked by the very same tumor monster that he punched to death in the beginning of the film, only this time they came out of the sea thing and now there’s a whole bunch of them.  “Oh, great,” I said aloud as I watched this, “now we’re going to have to watch him fight those tumor things every time he kills anything, until he finally kills the last guy and has to fight off like a billion of them.”  Well, no.  This is the last of these things we ever see in the movie.  I guess this kind of sentient cancer only affects old women and shape-shifting lizard kings with sensitive genitals.  Maybe they were both drinking from the same water supply.  They should probably both get on stevia, I’ll tell you that much.

With no time to respond to this new bit of information, we immediately move on to Dr Ukyo charging up to a castle in the middle of the all-of-the-sudden night, while some flashbacks tell him that he is trying to kill the king of the demons, who is also the King of Darkness.  Ukyo briefly wonders if this castle is the empire of Jomon, and before the audience can say “what are you talking about, aren’t the Jomon those cavepeople we were introduced to earlier?  Why would this giant underground castle be theirs,” they are cut off by Ukyo riding as fast as he can toward it and getting his horse blown up by explosive arrows that the demons have apparently.

Our villain. Or is he? Yes. This is basically our villain.

Turns out the castle is a stronghold of some kind and it’s full of these demon people and their huge king, pictured above.  They’re all super pissed-off because their god has told them that they’re going to go extinct unless they kill off the humans, which seems to be exactly what the humans and their respective gods said as well but in reverse, which is probably not as clever a statement about theology as it seems to be.  Ukyo witnesses their nefarious plans, and with newly steeled resolve, interrupts their retarded ritual by blowing everything up with their own anachronistic gun powder.  A battle ensues between the good doctor and the demon king as the entire castle explodes around them in the most anime way possible.  The battle ends inconclusively as they are both sucked into a lame-assed purple portal that sends them into the present, along with a couple other demon soldiers that are able to make it before the whole place is a crater.

The few demon grunts that do get through immediately start wreaking havoc and blowing up cars with their bomb arrows every which way, which our flowy-haired heroine is very quick to notice.  Then there’s this really stupid fight between the demon king and Dr Ukyu that’s basically a continuation of their previous fight, except Ukyu drives a truck into the king in a sequence that is so poorly written, animated, and edited that at no point is it entirely clear that there’s only one truck in question.  Somehow by driving his truck off a highway, he explodes the villain’s skin off, turning him into the Danzig logo.  Now his hero’s journey is done, and he is free to have a poorly rendered sex scene with his nurse.

This is what my face looked like throughout the entirety of Psychic Wars

So that’s it.  The movie’s over.  He’s done.  He defeated that stupid thing.  Well, no.  We still, somehow, have 15 minutes left.  After our little sex interlude, Ukyo wakes up, giving us a clear shot of his curiously long ass, to have a little flashback before deciding he’s going to marry his nurse, whose name escapes me.  The movie then budgets a sizable five minutes of time to giving us a little backstory on their marriage, such as the entirely worthless tidbit that the archaeologist from before was going to be Ukyo’s best man, but he got all upset because Ukyo completely destroyed the ruins of the Jomon empire with superexplosions.  The drive through what looks like the middle of the Caspian sea to get to the temple area from the beginning of the movie, where the lady reveals what is supposed to be an amazing twist:  The demon king was not the King of Darkness!  She is!

This all results in a useless fight where she reveals that she has all these fighting powers, including the ability to summon the demon god who looks like a stupid Scooby Doo ghost.  According to her little spiel, she was upset that all the demons — her children — were being killed by humans, so she did something involving time travel, but then she fell in love with Ukyo sort of even though he’s been killing all these demons and it’s all just bonkers and not well explained and full of holes.  Of course, he eventually beats her with the help of the human gods, but at this point no one cares at all.  Finally, the movie ends, just as it began, with a rapid tone shift and very little concern for what the audience is supposed to be feeling or understanding.

...it's finally over.

However, it is this Kaufmanesque disdain for its audience that actually lifts Psychic Wars above all other animes in my eyes.  It moves along like a derailed cultural bullet train, never slowing down until the sheer force of its pace causes it to disintegrate utterly.  I have to respect its insane, incoherent story and the unrelentingness it exhibits to cram that story into your face, because otherwise it would be too much to bear.  It’s complete incompetence has to be by design, at least in some part, or else we as a species are doomed, not unlike the monstrous demon people the movie so poorly describes.  It’s performance art, or it is a cultural toxin.  Some people have to believe that there’s a God watching over us to stay sane, I have to believe that the makers of Psychic Wars knew what they were doing.

And that’s why it’s the only good anime.



  1. You might be surprised by how much of this is rooted in the unresolved tension caused by by the synthesis of Shinto and Buddhism.

  2. […] by Paramount Pictures "Shrek Forever After" (formerly known as "Shrek 4") is an upcoming newThe King and I (1956) – Directed by Mike Mitchell, produced by Gina Shay, Teresa Cheng, Aron Warner, Andrew Adamson and […]

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