Synopsis: A young princess named Kintoki flees her kingdom after the throne is seized by her uncle. Kintoki is saved by a distinguished lord named Raiko, and is raised as a skilled warrior. Meanwhile, Kintoki's cousin and childhood sweetheart Princess Ohni has been searching for Kintoki through the years... not knowing that Kintoki is actually a girl. Princess Ohni is determined to make Kintoki hers, even if it means killing everyone who's going to get in the way.
Review: Kai Doh Maru is one of the most recent offerings from Production IG, the studio that brought us the widely acclaimed anime films "Blood: The Last Vampire" and "Jin-Roh".
I was very disappointed with Kai Doh Maru. While the plot was straightforward enough, story foundation is flimsy and characterization is sparse. It's a historical drama which ironically does not contain any history for everything and everyone in it. So much violence and bloodshed ensues with so little meaning. Kai Doh Maru was so bland, shallow, and soulless that I found it impossible to feel any sense of involvement.
Visually speaking, Kai Doh Maru is somewhat inferior compared to Production IG's other works. I don't know what possessed them to aim for this exceptionally washed out and monotonous effect. It was like having the brightness setting of your television all the way up the whole time. I got eyestrain just trying to watch the scenes unfold. It was so bad that I initially thought that I had bought a defective disc. Character designs were very Japanese in style. Although the action sequences were exceptionally smooth, some of the CGs was reminiscent of outdated 3D video game backdrops. The clearest part of the Kai Doh Maru was the prologue rendered in grayscale, showing Kintoki's escape from her uncle's clutches (see first screenshot below).
Overall, Kai Doh Maru is a grossly overrated production which fails to elicit any sentiment, save for apathy. It was so un-impactful that I can't really expound any further than I already have. Sorry to say that it was a waste of time, effort, and money on my part.
Miscellanies: Kai Doh Maru is less than an hour long.