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Karas: Prophecy

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Karas: Prophecy + Karas Revelation
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kasumi Suzuki, Sôkô Wada, Takahiro Sakurai, Hitomi Nabatame, Keiji Fujiwara
  • Directors: Akira Takada, Hiroshi Yamazaki, Kei'ichi Sato
  • Writers: Masaya Honda, Shin Yoshida
  • Producers: Margo Coughlin Zimmerman, Shoichi Yoshida, Takaya Ibira
  • Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Manga Video
  • Release Date: April 11 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,546 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Karas - The Prophecy

Karas: the Prophecy (2005) is the first installment in an OVA marking the 40th anniversary of Tatsunko Productions, the studio that made Speed Racer, Gatchaman, and Generator Gawl. Karas was obviously a big-budget production, and the English dub features Jay Hernandez, Matthew Lillard, and Piper Perabo. Karas ("The Crow") is the guardian spirit of Tokyo, but the city is thrown into disarray when Eko, a former Karas, returns and attempts to seize power. Yurine, an entity who embodies the will of the people, summons Nue, a sort of Karas-in-training, to defeat Eko. The two-part fantasy saga borrows from numerous animated and live-action sources, including Ghost in the Shell II, Demon City Shinjuku, Spider-Man, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Action fans may enjoy the aerial combats, sword fights between armored foes, 2-D/3-D transformations, explosions, monster attacks, and car chases, but director Keiichi Sato's nervous camerawork and choppy cutting rob what should be show-stopping scenes of their punch. Although highly anticipated, Karas is an overproduced mess. (Unrated, suitable for ages 17 and older: graphic violence, grotesque imagery, profanity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

Stills from Karas: The Prophecy (click for larger image)

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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 11 2009
Format: DVD
Imagine if every city chose a special champion to defeat monstrous mechanical demons -- becoming the armored superhuman known as Karas.

That's the concept behind "Karas - The Prophecy," the first half of a sprawling, lushly animated series about a mystery hero who spans the worlds of demons and humans. The rather underdeveloped characters hamper the story somewhat, but the scintillating animation and explosive action sequences make this a brilliant experience -- and the twisty-turny plot doesn't hurt either.

Two black-armored men engage in an explosive aerial battle, until ex-Karas Eko triumphs over his successor. Three years later, a young doctor named Otoha awakens in an enchanted house, under the command of the city's avatar Yurine.

At around this time, Tokyo is being attacked by the gruesome cyborg demons called Mikura, and harmless small demons are falling seriously ill. Otoha -- the new Karas -- is charged to destroy the Mikura, who are also being hunted by the mysterious superhuman Nue, and investigated by demon-obsessed cop Sagisaki and his skeptical partner Kure.

But Eko has a plan in mind for defeating this new Karas and getting ahold of Yurine. When a battle between Otoha and the Mikura takes a nasty turn, Nue's true nature is finally revealed -- and when the Karas is called on to defeat a gruesome spider-Mikura, Eko takes the opportunity to target the source of Otoha's power... and his life as well.

"Karas - The Prophecy" is a bit of a brain-teaser -- several parts of it (including the first several scenes) don't make any sense until you see all of it. And there are three subplots which seem only mildly connected to each other.
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By Keysmako on Oct. 5 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This got me interested in Anime when I first saw this years ago. I also bought the conclusion, Karas: The Revalation. Great story line and interesting characters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 66 reviews
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Breakout of 2006 May 1 2006
By Antonio D. Paolucci - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Even though this is only the first volume of a two part series, I'm sure that Karas is going to be one of the best, if not the best, anime of 2006. It has everything that all good anime have, including excellent animation, both 2D and 3D, which is blended in Karas so perfectly it's difficult to tell difference between the two; the music is good as well, with emotional tracks that highlight the intense, non-stop action; and of course their is the excellent voice-acting on both the English and Japanese tracks. The only thing I was unsure of was the story, that's because it wasn't yet finished.

From what I gained, though, it follows a Karas, a warrior capable of entering both the spiritual and physical world to do battle, who is thrust into a battle with a former Karas known as Eko, a man who is meddling in the two worlds of existence in Tokyo. Spirits are growing sick and humans are dying left and right. To make matters worse, monstrous, robotic demons known as Mikura are prowling the streets and Karas must put a stop to them in order to save the humans who are the Mikuras' food source.

Karas is somewhat of a cross between Blood (for it's dark settings), Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (for the crisp animation), and Kakurenbo (for the elements of horror). So for fans of the mentioned anime, this will definitely be an anime for you. What am I saying... Karas is an anime that really shouldn't be missed if you consider yourself a fan of anime. It has the power to stand right alongside Akira, Ninja Scroll, and Ghost in the Shell as anime's classics.

A quick note on the DVD: It's very cheap, as in inexpensive, yet it's loaded with special features, including a mini-comic book (not manga) with a special Karas adventure. You don't expect a DVD to have this much for so little, which only adds to the appeal of Karas.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3 times through July 29 2006
By Spencer K. Hudson - Published on
Format: DVD
After watching this one time through you will either think it was an awesome production of action and effects (geared towards those with a small attention span and thirst for raw action rather than a good story line) or that it is a complete mess. I admit that I enjoyed what I thought was mindless entertainment, but at the same time was left slightly disappointed with what I thought was a Hollywoodish Anime (not a good thing). However I was fortunate to see one OVA at a time, therefore I watched the first OVA about three times, the second two times and at last all three together (these three are what make up the contents of this DVD). So by the time I finished this first half of the story I pretty much understood it.

This DVD entails a complicated kaleidoscope of events that eventually jumble into a collage of a story. Honestly this is a very good anime with a very good story once you are able to breath it all in. It appears as a mess because the director throws everything at you almost at once; however I believe that is what he intends. As the story goes on the knots that make up the story untwine (OVA to OVA). So expect the first OVA to be the most complicated and confusing. but if you Read the summary first the story will make more sense the first time you watch it.

Finally, the animation and CG is second to none. It is an extremely beautiful anime.

Sooo, I highly recommend reading the summery on the back of the box first.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Forget Advent Children June 1 2006
By Keonyn - Published on
Format: DVD
What we have here is a highly underrated title with some truly impressive animation, music, voicing and an engaging story. I'll start with the story however as that is where this title gets most of its complaints. It is a complicated story that certainly isn't told in the clearest of fashions. Of course, it is still told and though it probably takes two viewings to really grasp the story it is all there clearly enough aside from the obvious factors that will show in the 2nd volume. It is a story that makes you to pick up on it rather than simply forcing itself on you and to really fully understand it I seriously recommend viewing it at least twice.

Now on to the animation, which is an amazing display of hybrid traditional/CGI animation which is put together very effectively. Neither type seems lower quality than the other, both the CGI and the standard 2D are very well done and have very fluid movements. The detail is quite impressive and the budget for this title really shows in the animation.

The music has a very cinematic and dramatic feel and is one of this titles strongest points. The voice acting is well done as well, both in English and in Japanese.

The latest big hit in the anime world has been Advent Children, but I must say honestly that I enjoy Karas so much more than Advent Children. The animation isn't quite as detailed in Karas but the movements seem a lot more real and organic and the action actually gives the illusion of action more effectively than anything in Advent Children did. The story, while a little difficult to pick up on at first, is a much more in depth and quality story than what Advent Children provides and while I will freely admit that not everyone may be able to "get it" from the start all the elements are there, you just need to pick up on them and it will take a few viewings to do so.

I highly recommend this one though, it's a very well done anime in every department and while the story isn't laid out for the viewer perfectly it is still all there regardless and just requires some perception to really get it. It's a relatively inexpensive title and it's worth every penny.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable and, more importantly, engaging Sept. 2 2006
By Nathaniel T. Miller - Published on
Format: DVD
I agree with all of the points made in the other reviews. I enjoyed this anime for the fight scenes and the depth. The fight scenes, as everyone says, are incredible. Fast paced, complicated and well animated, they keep you watching. The credits during the opening became a bit tedious during the last few since they interrupt the aerial combat which CAN be tricky to keep track of. However the remainder of the fight scenes are great.

It is important to note, however, that any comments you find about lack of narrative are absolutely true. There is no explanation of ANYTHING that is happening, not from any of the characters who have such knowledge nor any dramatic narrator. This is something I actually enjoyed about the story. During the first ten minutes I was blown away and completely oblivious as to the REASON why what was happening, was happening. However, this is a story where one can piece together the various elements through watching the story. This isn't to say, treat it like a detective story, but rather to say, while watching, you will see characters do or say certain things that make you think "I think he is this kind of character and this is his backstory etc..." Your experience with other movies, anime, and science fiction will guide your intuition. Put simply, the narration is non-existent, so you create it. I enjoyed watching this story and talking with my friends about who was who and what their goal was. The depth is present because the lack of narration allows you to wonder at the reality of the situation. Bit by bit the questions of who, where, when, why, and how are all answered, but while you watch there is an alluring freedom to the lack of explanation. By leaving the story up in the air, it draws you in with the tantalizing possibilities it suggests. In the first few minutes you are presented with the presence of transforming warriors with incredible powers, a seemingly normal girl with abnormal importance, and a police detective who seems to know more than most. The amazing story that this world COULD become drew me in like a terrible crime with no apparent motive. Why are they fighting, why is she important, what is the detectives connection to anything? I watched and continue to watch this story to attempt to answer these questions, and thus far the answers have not dissapointed me, nor the creation of more questions. I highly recommend this Anime to anyone interested in fantasy or science fiction despite the requirement of patience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If there is one contemporary anime film that is the equivalent of a summer blockbuster, it would have to be Karas June 7 2008
By LazerBlader - Published on
Format: DVD
Karas: The Prophecy is the first of two installments of this Tatsunoko Productions movie series (Gatchaman, Speed Racer), honoring their 40th anniversary. The Karas movies were created and directed by Keiichi Sato, who also contributed to several other anime works including Big O and Wolf's Rain. Overseas licensing was given to Manga Entertainment for distributing and voice-over dubbing. The English audio track features the vocal talents of Jay Hernandez (Hostel, World Trade Center), Matthew Lillard (Scream) and Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly).
Karas: The Prophecy went on to be one of the top-selling anime DVDs in the US last year.

Spectacular is the word for Karas's animation. The quality is up there with Hollywood grade animations, with its smooth movement and beautifully crafted character designs. But most notable was the 2-D/3-D fusion. Karas is one of the first anime productions in which I have seen two-dimensional animation really blend nicely with 3-D CGI graphics. Initially, the original announcement trailer (available on DVD) featured some sample blends that were typical compared to other anime and simply looked terrible in comparison to the final product. The magnificent detailing really add a lot to Karas final animation. The visuals alone make this film worth watching.
The rendering of the 2-D artwork also appears to be top-notch quality as well. The rendering and tone of the 2-D animation seemed very un-anime like and is almost reminiscent of the last theatrical American 2-D animated films we saw (such as Dreamworks Sinbad & Road to El Dorado or Disney's Treasure Planet). It is still anime but with a Western touch to it.

Here is yet another area where Karas really shines. Again, very theatrical. All the sound effect were crisp, clear, and realistic. Volume of voices was all balanced well to create depth and a lifelike dialogue experience.
One of Karas's biggest benefactors is its musical score performed by the international-renowned Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The music is professionally played and executed with emotion and dynamic qualities. Simply a thrill to listen to. However, there is one downside: there is a pretty limited track list most likely to the budget being spent on the Prague Orchestra performing what song tracks they have and/or animation. But once you've gotten used to the epic orchestral tunes, it's not a problem. Bottom line: Limited music selection but at least it's performed extremely well.

The DVD includes two versions of audio: regular 2.0 stereo and a special Dolby Surround EX 6.1 mix which just adds to the intensity of this series. (hopefully next)

Here in the story department is where Karas takes a hit. So far through the first movie its story line just isn't anything really good: just average. Aside from that, the storyline is almost completely implied, if not too implied. There are so many major subtle aspects of the story the viewer probably won't pick up on all of them. After viewing the film for a second time, there were many moments where I thought, 'Oh I see...' as I noticed small details that added to the story.

Characters are a unique bunch but individually nothing incredibly special as of yet. We have the stoic, 'man of few words' hero, his equally emotionless and mysterious partner/master Yurine, a ditzy reporter girl, a slick pistol-wielding anti-hero, a young confused investigator and his troubled strong-headed elderly partner. By far it is this elderly character, Mr. Sagisaka who has any story depth to him and an actual background. Oh and of course we have our villains who are all your typical villains. And we still hack yet to see the master villain, Ekou, in any action besides the movie intro...
Although is minimal character development and low story progression, I anticipate, from the ending of Prophecy, that the next installment Revelation will indeed be one and hopefully provide at least a satisfactory finish.

The Karas series is has very strong production values and a great studio working behind it. The visuals and orchestral music score is enough to make this one of the must-see anime of this decade.

Karas: The Prophecy slips in with a FOUR out of FIVE.

+ = Scintillating, fluid animation, practically seamless 2D/3D hybrid technique, high-quality musical score performed by Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, on English dub - solid cast featuring professional American actors.
- = Extremely subtle story, static characters, limited song track, annoying cliffhanger.