Saturday, June 4, 2011

In short: Bride of Deimos - The Orchid Suite (1988)

Japanese teen Minako is the chosen bride of the demon Deimos, who either needs her, as the earthly incarnation of his sister/lover Venus, to host Venus' soul to help her escape from the underworld, or to just become Venus' replacement by his side. But it looks like Deimos can't just take Minako, and the girl's not that stupid to just go to the underworld with him even though he's the hottest demon alive, so he's hanging around her, being sinister and sarcastic.

Ever since Minako has met Deimos, she has developed a tendency to stumble into melodramatic horror stories. This time around, Minako follows the trace of a disappeared class mate to a brother and sister pair of orchid growers. Not surprisingly, the pair use a very special ingredient to let their orchids grow, and isn't too keen on snoops. Fortunately for her health, Minako has quite an effect on dramatic young men like the male half of the duo.

This short OVA by Rintaro is the only anime based on Etsuko Ikeda's popular (and pretty great, as far as the translations go) shoujo horror manga Bride of Deimos. Unfortunately Deimos belongs to that part of the OVA tradition that treats anime exclusively as a supplement to its respective manga original. So the movie does not feel the need to explain what's going on between Deimos and Minako apart from a vague introduction taking place in the underworld. It's just a random chapter from the manga made anime, and if you don't know the manga, you're just a bit out of luck.

At least Bride of Deimos (the manga) is a series with a highly episodic structure, so if you're just ignoring all the Deimos stuff, you end up with a pretty solid piece of melodramatic horror made by a guy who has as little problems going all-out with the shoujo-typical romanticism as he had with the ultra-macho antics of Space Pirate Cobra whose TV show he lead-directed.

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