The ’80s Horror Fantasy Anime Epic Every Fan Needs To Stream Right Now

By Nina Phillips | Published

demon city shinjuku

Demon City Shinjuku is an animated film focused on demons invading Shinjuku, Tokyo. After a demon gets the upper hand and an earthquake ravages the city, the monsters take over, leaving humans at their mercy. It’s now up to the deceased hero’s son, Kyoya, to try and save the world from demons, despite not being the kind of person normally chosen as a hero.

Kyoya’s Mission

Kyoya goes on a mission to stop the demon lord who killed his father and kidnapped the president alongside the president’s daughter, Sayaka. It’s a standard hero’s journey, but one that fits perfectly well with the classic style at the time it was released in 1988.

Demon City Shinjuku Has A Lot Of Haters

Despite its age, Demon City Shinjuku still has a lot going for it, especially for those who like a more classic anime style and storyline.

The movie isn’t perfect, which potential viewers can easily see from the reviews. On MAL, Demon City Shinjuku only has a rating of 6.17. IMDb is similar, with a score of 6.3. A few of the more negative reviews have to do with the now-outdated style, but there are a couple of problems with the movie that people can’t get over.

Negative Reviews

demon city shinjuku

Most of the bad reviews focus on the plot. Though it’s a good action story with creepy monsters and dramatic fight scenes, the actual storyline is lacking. There is little to no character development, and quite a few plot holes.

Despite these faults, Demon City Shinjuku is entertaining, which is what matters the most. The movie is only 80 minutes long, and it fills every minute with action and fresh horrors.

Kawajiri Yoshiaki

demon city shinjuku

The movie was directed by Kawajiri Yoshiaki, who is known for his roles as a director, writer, and storyboard artist. Some of his other classic works include Wicked City, Vampire Hunter D, and Ninja Scroll. These movies, along with Demon City Shinjuku do a great job of highlighting Kawajiri’s flaws, and his skillsets.

Namely, while his movies do sometimes have a plot, they’re not always fully flushed out. However, when it comes to character development and action scenes, Kawajiri excels. He was one of the co-founders of Studio Madhouse, and it was one of the main reasons Madhouse was known for its darker anime for a while.

Kawajiri has played a major role in much more recent and popular anime including Trigun Stampede, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End, Bestars, and Jujutsu Kaisen as a storyboard artist, and he brings his best skills to the table. When you go to watch Demon City Shinjuku, it’s easy to see his influences in these new anime.

Stream It Now

If you want to give Demon City Shinjuku a try, you’re in luck. Major streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Hoopla, and HiDive make the movie available to watch for their subscribers.