Review – Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms
Hellboy takes a tour of Japan unlike any other when the deities of Thunder and Lightning possess a renowned professor of Japanese fables. With his red right hand and the sword of storms in his left, Hellboy looks to right the wrongs of an ancient mythological tale of romance, betrayal and horror, cutting down all the folklore in his way. Don’t trust the umbrella!
With it’s roots in Japanese mythology, there’s more than enough synergy and variety between the primary animation style and traditional Japanese kaiga artwork throughout the film. Making for a magnificent balancing act between beautiful scenery that’s eerie and terrifying characters which are elegant.
Speaking of variety, there are so many different characters and creatures spread across this story and they’re all likeable, even the ones that are truly horrifying to look at; like if Scooby Doo merged with Little Nightmares.
Playing out more like the labours of Hercules in a Japanese setting, this animated film stands out with it’s deep and creepy Japanese history, fables and folklore such as Raijin and Fujin; the Gods of Thunder and Lightning, disembodied flying heads known as Nukeubi and the Spider Woman, Jorōgumo. All of which are given time to be bad ass and haunting in their own ways. See? Education CAN be fun!
While not the main genre of the film, it deserves to be noted that this film is hilarious. Every little quip, joke, dig and comic relief lands perfectly, very seldom does it disrupt the flow of the overall serious tone and instead adds character and an air of pleasant fantasy amongst the horror and drama.
In conclusion, Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms is a fantastical animated film crawling with ambience and action. The beloved cast and crew do an incredible job to make this an impassioned love letter to Japanese folklore and Mike Mignola. My only complaint is that there aren’t more of these films or at least a TV Show!
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, your favourite animated adaptation of a comic and be sure to check out our review for Hellboy & The BPRD!
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