Demon Hunter Makaryūdo, directed by Yukio Okamoto. 30 minutes. November 8, 1989.
Was this ever released in America? All of its videos watched by fans at the time (1990-1991) were the untranslated Japanese, produced by Studio Fantasia and released on VHS by C.Moon. All of the copies on the Internet today appear to be fan-subtitled bootlegs of the Japanese release. Yet it does exist, for those who want to watch it.
Demon Hunter Makaryūdo is horribly made, with too little animation and too much slow panning over held cels. Most other reviews make plot synopsis statements that seem to me from watching the OAV to be wrong guesses.
Yama Rikudō is a powerful supernatural spirit in the underworld (“demondom”) who looks like a teenage girl with hornlike tufted hair. She has been sentenced to imprisonment for the crime of looking at the past lives of her lover and others in a supernatural mirror. (This is revealed through Yama’s conversation with Chaos and Nara about halfway through the OAV. There is no sign of it at the beginning of the OAV, making Yama’s origins seem motiveless.)
Two supernatural beings later revealed as Chaos and Nara talk, establishing that their duty is to go to Earth to hunt the demons who have escaped there.
After 350 years, Yama escapes to Earth. “Where shall I step down? I shall step down in Japan.” In a Japanese high school, to be specific. (Despite most reviews saying that Yama is a supernatural policewoman assigned to fight demons in Japan, the OAV implies that she is just looking for the reincarnation of her lover. She fights demons to protect him, not because she’s a policewoman.)
A glamorous young woman is shown drinking in a high school principal’s office, with two harpies. She is later established as supposedly the principal’s visiting granddaughter who he appointed as his surrogate while he’s gone. (She is NOT the school’s official headmistress. At most, she is a temporary substitute. And how many school systems would allow their principal to appoint his granddaughter, a complete stranger, as his substitute in his absence?) She prepares to welcome her master, the Great Satan.
Two students run through the rain. Shō Kurogane, the boy, doesn’t have an umbrella. Kaoru Aono, the girl, invites him to share hers. They are attacked by the harpies. Yama appears with a giant crimson scythe and orders the harpies to go back to devildom. They attack her. Yama fights them off with the aid of Nara, her size-changing dragon who shrinks after the battle to ride on Yama’s shoulder. Kaoru faints. Yama tells Shō, “I don’t mind that you don’t remember me. At long last I’ve found you. Shō, I love you.” This establishes that Shō is the reincarnation of her lover 350 years earlier.
The sexy demoness, who still has two harpies, prepares to greet the Great Satan. Together they will conquer Earth. (Or the high school. Or something.)
Yama becomes a new student in the class that includes Shō, Kaoru, and Shō’s pal Sawaguchi. The school has an old storage shed. Three juvenile-delinquent students follow the sexy demoness there, presumably to molest her. (This is an argument against her being the school’s Headmistress and only the principal’s visiting granddaughter.) She, her harpies, and a demonic nautilus kill them all. (Note that everyone is wearing Walkmans.)
Shō wonders why Yama is telling him everything about being supernatural while posing as an ordinary student to everyone else. Yama tries to have a confrontation with the “Headmistress”, but she disappears and Yama is transported back to “devildom” to confront Chaos, who imprisoned her in the first place, and his “business associate”, Yama’s dragon Nara now transformed into a young woman. Chaos is impressed that Yama has escaped. He is willing to allow her to live in Japan so he and Nara can follow her to battle the evil spirits that are causing wars of greater destruction, and other crimes that are destroying humanity. But it is almost too late. Humanity will be destroyed when they return to devildom. (Or they won’t return to devildom until humanity is destroyed, which they expect very soon.) Yama agrees to help them, but she apparently means that she will destroy the evil demons around Shō.
The image of a tiny nautilus keeps reappearing around the “Headmistress”. She taunts Yama. Yama is befriended by Kaoru, who gives her an umbrella in the rain.
Shō takes Yama on a date to the Silver Wood coffee house, where she meets Rei the waitress, her sister Ran who seems to be the manager, and Makuto, Kaoru’s little brother who insists on helping out.
At school, the “Headmistress” asks Sawaguchi and Kaoru to help take old textbooks to the storage shed. She apparently takes mind control of them there, and has Sawa phone Shō at Silver Wood to come immediately. Yama goes with him. On the way they are attacked by the giant baby-headed nautilus demon. Yama tells Shō to go on with Nara in her dragon form. While Yama fights with her scythe, Shō goes on to the storage shed. He finds Sawa and Kaoru apparently all right, but controlled by miniature nautiluses on their necks. A nautilus tries to take over Shō. Nara battles it, but is held back by a nautilus.
Yama arrives to find all three under nautilus control. The “Headmistress” orders Yama to either hold still while Shō kills her, or to watch while she orders Shō to kill himself if she resists. With her attention entirely on Yama and Shō, Kaoru is able to regain enough willpower to crush the little nautilus controlling her. She rushes in front of Shō’s sword. During the ensuing struggle, the controlling nautiluses get knocked off Shō’s and Sawa’s necks and crushed, and Nara bursts free. Yama is able to face the Great Satan one-on-one and defeat him. With him gone, the “Headmistress” turns into a shriveled crone. Yama is revealed to all as a supernatural spirit, but Shō, Kaoru, Sawa, Rei, Ran, and Makuto still welcome her as their friend.
The End. Watching the untranslated Demon Hunter Makaryūdo must not have been worth the trouble of guessing what was going on. The Japanese credits list one of the voice actors as playing “Naraka”. Is that the “Headmistress”?
Next week: “Forgotten” OAVs #40: Bride of Deimos