3×3 eyes is a hit written by Takada Yuzo. During its time it had a huge impact, getting several video games and a couple OVAs This one from Toei animation. The second from Studio Junio. It would have even had a full tv series but that was prevented by censorship laws, because censorship is all about keeping interesting ideas away from people, but it’s been largely forgotten with the passage of time. The question is, why was it so big and does it hold up today?
3×3 Eyes is the story of a three eyed demon named Pai who comes to Japan to find Fuji Yakumo, the son of a professor who promised her that his son would help make her human in his place. To save his life she turns him into an immortal demon, which is lucky for him since he takes damage that should kill him a lot, and the two head to Hong Kong to find the Statue of Humanity. The story is nicely put together with a lot of epic action sequences and good suspense. It’s heavily influenced by Hindu mythos which leads to some interesting moments. However, it does have issues. The biggest one is the romance. It feels really rushed, unnatural and sappy. The other issues are that, like Battle Angel, the story is incomplete, and there’s a tonal shift in the third episode that’s just jarring.
The characters are mostly pretty well done, although the only thing that keeps Pai from being annoying is the fact that she has two personalities and her demon personality is very interesting. The way Yakumo’s friends react to him when he tells them he’s an immortal demon vs. when they see proof is very nicely done and has a lot of realism. Even the minor characters are pretty interesting and there’s no named character who doesn’t have an impact on the plot.
The art is dated, but is pretty good regardless. The monster, set and costume designs are all very detailed. The Hindu influence on the monster design is very strong and creates a very stylised feel.
The voice work is excellent. Hayashibara Megumi uses a completely different tone for both of Pai’s personalities which really helps illustrate their differences while simultaneously acknowledging their similarities. Tsujitani Kouji, Ootsuka Akio, Tanaka Mayumi and Orikasa Ai all do fantastic jobs as well. The music is spectacular. It suits the atmosphere perfectly and sounds very polished and epic. The only issue is that the sound quality suffers in a few scenes.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. This is another series where the female characters don’t interact with each other much.
My final rating for 3×3 eyes is a 7/10. While it has some problems, it’s easy to see why it was such a big hit. If you’re trying to figure out whether or not to read the manga watching this is a pretty good way of telling whether or not you’d like it. Even if you’ve already read the manga it’s nice to see the opening events animated and the art, voice acting and music are all good enough to merit checking out.