- Contains Shadow Skill: The Movie and Shadow Skill: Epilogue
- Character Bios
- Photo Gallery
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"I am invincible! No one can survive my shadow skills! With a single stroke I am unbeatable!" In a world where martial arts gladiators with unheard-of skills battle for glory and justice, young orphan Gau trains relentlessly under his cocky adoptive sister Ella (a great champion) to master the elusive Shadow Skill, a mystical style with a dark past. His education of course allows for plenty of flashy fights, and that's the main appeal of this lively collection of two short 1996 OVA features. The animation is limited but the art direction is detailed and vivid, and director Hiroshi Negishi saves his budget for the battles, which offer impressive displays of animation pyrotechnics. Though hardly deep ("We can get closer to God by fighting!" opines the mysterious champion Scarface), the episodic adventures zip right along, and the climax packs an unexpected charge of drama between the blows. For ages 13 and up for violence and some strong language. --Sean Axmaker
From the Back Cover
The ultimate combat in a kingdom of warriors. Two men stand atop a towering pinnacle of stone. One is Scarface, disfigured champion of the Shadow Skill. The other is Gau Ban of the Black Howling. It has been ten years since they first met-ten years in which the untrained boy has become a fearsome warrior... A decade earlier, in the kingdom of Koruda, elite fighters battle for honor beneath the blood-red flag of King Falkai. While Ella Ragu limbers up for an apocalyptic confrontation with the demon beast Barsalf, her adopted brother Gau is surprised by the arrival of a mysterious masked figure. After the fight, it is this man who give Gau the strength to triumph when he and Ella are attacked by the mighty Gao X. Ella and Gau later join spellcaster Fowari, and young fighter Quo in a desperate attempt to defeat a carnivorous demon known as the "King of the Moon." But even as they work together, conflict grows deep within the group. Watched by the enigmatic Scarface, friendship erupts into lethal combat-Shadow Skill versus Death Magic in a fight to the finish.
Epilogue - In a war torn world of deadly conflict, one small group of heroes stands against the forces of darkness, armed only with two weapons-their unswerving dedication to good and the superhuman martial art known as the Shadow Skill. For fourteen-year-old Gau, it is time once again for him to return to the graves of his parents, murdered by bandits when he was just ten. In the company of his adoptive elder sister, Ella, Gau quickly comes to realize that his journey is more than just a pilgrimage, and that his combat abilities as a student of the Karuda school of martial arts are about to be pushed to their breaking point! Attacked by the demonic Wolfman, left for dead and then forced by Ella and Karuda to fight master Scarface, Gau's dreams of becoming a new generation of warrior are put to the ultimate test. Can he face his sister in single combat? Will he be able to match the unearthly abilities of Scarface? And can Gau ever uncover the secrets of the Shadow Skill?
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Top customer reviews
when I first saw this it was only the second part where the to main character fight each other. I didn't know that it was a two part movie. there are some very nice fight scenes. part two has the better drawling, I think. but the sort of Irish accsences the two main characters have is kind of silly.
The only downside to this DVD is the actuall movie itself. At first, you can tell it's Anime style is different from the Epilogue. It's alright, but as it progresses on, it's like their funds began to dry up on this project. The Anime progressively looks worse and worse until at one point I swear one of the characters was looking like E.T. with her eyes! I couldn't stand watching any more of it as horrendous as it was looking. THAT and the fact that the movie basically covers the same storyline you can catch in the t.v. series DVDs (which look a lot better and are a lot funnier too!).
But overall this DVD is well worth it for the Epilogue! Don't bother with watching the other half of the DVD being the movie and go for the t.v. series on DVD instead!
The anime is a fantasy meets martial arts type storyline. Elle is the master of the "SHADOW SKILL" (also, her nickname) which is a fighting style that female slaves learned with their feet because their arms were chained. Along the way she is joined by several friends, one is a young man named Gau who learns from Elle.
The action is fast paced and has its share of humor but it also has its fare share of violence and a lot of blood.
As for the series, "SHADOW SKILL" is an interesting one because it consists of an OAV series and TV episodes. The DVD features three OAV's combined to make one movie and the epilogue features two episodes from what I believe is from the TV series. You'll see a noticeable difference between the OAV and the TV episodes (and like most anime, most of the time the anime TV series and the OAV series are different).
The OAV features the adventures of Elle and friends and the epilogue spotlights on Elle and Gau and the relationship between teacher and the stubborn student.
The DVD quality is very nice and the audio sounds good via Digital 5.1 but I preferred to watch the Japanese audio track (2 CH) with English subtitles. From what I have heard from the English track, the voice acting was far off from the Japanese version and it wasn't in the same quality compared to other Manga Entertainment dubs.
As for special features, there is a character info. and photo gallery from the series. Also, a trailer and Palm/Manga Entertainment trailers are included.
All in all, "SHADOW SKILL" is a very entertaining anime. Despite it's hentai looking DVD cover, this anime is anything but. Think about it like Slayers, Bastard and a twist of Street Fighter. One can only hope that Manga Entertainment releases the TV series on DVD.
If you are into fighting and fantasy type anime, you may want to check out "SHADOW SKILL", you won't be disappointed.
I think I read somewhere that the movie was just supposed to be a pilot for the series but I'm not sure. The movie and series have similar situations and characters at first, but the stories aren't exactly the same. Too bad the series isn't out here, it was very good.
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