Reviews of yesteryear: Devil Hunter Yohko

Devil Hunter Yohko is listed as a magical girl horror comedy anime from Madhouse. No, I have no idea how that combination works. But it’s from the same studio that brought us Ninja Scroll, Perfect Blue and Claymore. So how bad could it be?

The story is about a fifteen year old girl named Yohko who comes from a long line of devil hunters and must take on the role to save the world. Each episode covers a different adventure of Yohko’s in her efforts. It’s a simple enough story and it could work, but in this case issues start popping up right away. Whether it’s the over-reliance of cliches, the plot holes, the erratic pace that moves really slowly at some points in an apparent effort to create tension, the bits that just make no sense, the plot points that are downright moronic it’s just one poorly executed idea after another. The humour is mostly unfunny jokes about Yohko’s virginity and even the jokes that had some effort put into them just fall short. The only thing funny about this OVA is the monster design, and I don’t think that was intentional, but I’ll get back to that later. The best episode is the one that’s nothing but music videos, yes that is a real episode apparently they hadn’t discovered soundtracks yet in 1990, and that’s only because it doesn’t have the numerous issues that plague the rest of the OVA.

Let’s talk about the characters, there are only five repeating characters, Yohko, Azusa, Chi, Yohko’s mum and grandma. The rest are one-dimensional one-shot characters who show up, do something and then are never mentioned or seen again. Fair enough, at least the five important characters are developed… right? Well, no. Yohko is a brainless twit. Azusa is a useless character who follows Yohko around and barely does anything. Chi has virtually no personality whatsoever. Yohko’s mum is defined entirely by her libido and Yohko’s grandmother is there to be the cliche mentor figure.

Now for the art. It’s not bad but it is really lazy. I know, this was made in 1990 I shouldn’t expect too much, but even so. There are several moments where they repeat the same animation, backgrounds are barely present and the movements during fight scenes are cumbersome. There’s also far too much fan-service in this. Madhouse, seriously she’s fifteen, I don’t need or want to see her breasts in every episode. They also take advantage of various opportunities to tear her clothes. Good job of keeping it classy there. I said I’d get back to the monster design, like some other anime I’ve reviewed, the monsters in this look utterly ridiculous. The only time I actually laughed when watching the series was when I saw the fifth episode’s monster.

Now we move on to the best attribute of the OVA. The voice acting. It’s… competent. Most of the voice actresses do a decent job. The only real issue I had was with Koorogi Satomi who delivered most of her lines like she had gravel stuck in her throat. Is that just how the director thought that old people sound? The music is certainly not bad, some of it is even kind of good. Yet another reason why the random music video episode is the best in the OVA.

The yuri factor is a 2/10. There are a few slightly homo-erotic moments but they never go anywhere and there really aren’t many.

My final rating for Devil Hunter Yohko is a 2.6/10. It’s just awful. The story is terribly done and the characters are annoying. The best part is the music and, frankly, you could probably find it without watching the anime. I should’ve left this one in obscurity.

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