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Twilight of the Dark Master
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

Long ago when humans were created, Mother Earth thought that they were too weak, frail, and full of fear. In order to teach them to fight and make them more courageous, she created the demon masters who knew no fear and had no conscience. But the demons soon went out of control and threatened to destroy the world and mankind. Thus guardians were created to combat the demons, and for centuries they fought. Today in modern-day Japan, a powerful demon once again threatens man... and Shijo Tsunami seems to be the only guardian left to face it.

A man named Eiji proposes to his girlfriend Shizuka. She agrees to marry him. They kiss... and you find yourself wondering if you have the right disc in the player. Such a romantic introduction hardly prepares you for the limb-yanking and bone-crunching scenes that soon follow. Yes, Twilight of the Dark Master is all about monsters and monstrous deeds after all... and you soon hear the strangely soothing voice of the narrator recounting events long past -- about how humans, demons, and guardians came to be.

If I tell you any more of the story, I'll just end up giving it all away because Twilight of the Dark Master is not only short (around 40 mins.), but it's pretty straightforward as well. A really bad-ass demon wants to take over the world (sigh, what else is new?) and an enigmatic hero has to banish it to kingdom come so that humans can continue to exist (*yawn*). It's the same tired old formula that countless other anime have used (and are still using) time and time again.

On a more positive note, Twilight of the Dark Master actually does have some good things going for it. For starters, the character designs are excellent. From the mysterious guardian Tsunami to Eiji's poor fiancee Shizuka, every character possesses a distinct look and personality that gives one the impression that someone really took great pains in fleshing them out. High quality art and animation breathes life into the whole film -- so even if it's not exactly movie-length, at least it all looks great. The English dubbing is also nicely done. I had no trouble understanding the dialogues because everyone spoke very clearly and audibly. A seiyuu of note in the original Japanese version is Emi Shinohara (also Sailorjupiter in "Sailormoon" and Presea in "Magic Knight Rayearth"), who plays Shizuka.

Twilight of the Dark Master isn't anything special. In fact, it's predictable right down to the ending. It does have its moments though, but I'd only recommend it if: a. you've got lots of money to spare; and b. you actually don't mind shelling out $20+ for an anime that's less than an hour long.

Twilight of the Dark Master isn't bad... just predictable.

Twilight of the Dark Master
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Review Title:
Twilight of the Dark Master
Alternative Titles:
Shihaisha no Tasogare
50 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
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