MIKURA IS ON THE RISE AGAIN... Tokyo - a city populated by both humans and by ghostly beings. They exist in both dimensions, seen and unseen: spirits, apparitions, demons. The balance between these two dimensions has long been upheld by the city's guardian raven Karas and his masters. But that balance has been thrown into disarray as Eko, a former Karas, has attempted to seize power and bring order to the streets through force. The entity Yurine, who represents the will of the people, stands in his way with her newly risen Karas. Now an ageless battle stretching across both dimensions and killing humans and spirits alike is in progress between the two sides and their armies. Karas is humanitys last hope.
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)