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The Skull Man: Complete Collection

8 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 02, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Otomo City: where freedom and justice have atrophied to the bone; where conspiracy rules the day and death stalks the night... Death in the form of the Skull Man, a literal Grim Reaper whose skeletal grin presages grisly mayhem and murder, even to the mon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: February 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030BOCKA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,047 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2010
"Skull Man" is a series with an interesting legacy. Created in 1970 by legendary Ishinomori Shotaro, "Skull Man" was Japan's first anti-hero, a dark crusader who didn't mind if a few innocents got killed on his quest for vengeance. The one-shot story appeared in Shonen Magazine, and was an instant hit. Ishinomori was asked to re-develop the character in a lighter and less gruesome style for a kid's television program, and the masked hero Kamen Rider was born. More than thirty years later "Kamen Rider" is still on the air, while character who gave birth to him, "Skull Man," had faded to obscurity.

In the late 90s, a dying Ishinomori contacted manga artist Shinamoto Kazuhiko with his last wish: Ishinomori wanted Shinamoto to finish the story of "Skull Man" started so many years ago. Ishinomori faxed Shinamoto his plot and story notes, then Shinamoto took it from there. Skull Man was revived in 1998 to great success. In 2007, Studio Bones (Rahxephon, Wolf's Rain) updated and adapted "Skull Man" for a thirteen-episode Fuji TV series, which has finally been released in the US.

The setting for "Skull Man" is a divided Japan, split into North and South sections which are guarded by an armed border. On the Northern side, there are urban legends of a mysterious skull-faced killer stalking the streets.
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In 1970, one of the more popular manga series in Japan was Shotaro Ishinomori's "Skull Man" which graced the pages of Shonen Magazine and selling over 1.5 million copies. Ishinomori is well-known in Japan for creating the "Kamen Rider" character, as well as the manga series "Cyborg 009", "Kikaider" and "Miyamoto Musashi" series.

But what made Ishinomori's work for "The Skull Man" so unique at the time, was that manga series was among the first to showcase an anti-hero as the series revolves around a hero who was orphaned when his parents were murdered and now takes up the disguise of Skull Man to exact his revenge.

Before the death of Ishinomori in the late '90s, he asked mangaka Kazuhiko Shimamoto to do a remake of his manga continuing the storyline and was released in Japan and the US. In 2007, director Takeshi Mori ("Gekkou no Piasu", "Kimaure Orange Road" OAV's, "Stratos 4") and anime production company BONES began working on an anime adaptation which aired on Fuji TV. Now, the anime series is available through Sentai Filmworks/Section 23 Films in the US via a complete collection (featuring all 13 episodes).

Joining Mori for the anime series was well known character/mechanical designer Yutaka Izubuchi ("RahXephon") who wrote the screen composition, character designs by Jun Shibata ("Ninja Nonsense", "Dokkoida?!"), mechanical design by Yoshinori Sayama ("Mobile Suit Gundam UC", "Patlabor" movies, "RahXephon") and music by Shiro Sagisu ("Bleach", "Evangelion" re-build films, "Kimagure Orange Road", "Megazone 23", "Nadia - Secret of Blue Water").


"The Skull Man" is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen. The animation by BONES is fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phantom Knight on June 3, 2013
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Skull Man, the origins of my favorite Japanese import Kamen Rider. This anime is a loose adaptation of the Skull Man manga one-shot that Shotaro Ishinomori created in 1970 while working on the development of Kamen Rider. Kamen Rider used Skull Man as a basis while toning down the dark and gruesome story.

The main character of this anime is Hayato Mikogami, a journalist who has returned to his hometown to investigate the rumors of a man with a skull mask who killed an actress. A young photographer, Kiriko Mamiya, is constantly tagging along with Hayato after they meet on the train. Over the course of the story, he follows the connections of the victims, a religious sect, half human beasts that roam the streets at night, and the identity of the Skull Man.

The story is very suspenseful throughout, and the pacing is very good but it can be a little fast at times. I was hooked from beginning to end, loving every moment of it. The twists really helped to keep me intrigued by what was going to happen next.

This series was done by BONES, who've done series such as Wolf's Rain (Which I love!) and Darker than Black, so it should be safe to say the animation to is great. It has simple, yet dark designs that fit the story and atmosphere very well. The monsters are nicely done as well. The soundtrack fits nicely enough with the feel of the series, and does what it needs to, using orchestral, noir-ish and even sometimes very dramatic pieces.

Overall, this is not only a great adaptation of Ishinomori's one-shot, but a great anime series. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a dark story, or those familiar with Ishinomori's other works, as the ending is a prologue of sorts to another of his works.
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