Plot: Yamato has been banished from his village, as he killed his own brother in a strange fit of rage. He was consumed by an amulet’s power and turned into more beast than man, only to return to normal after. Yamato was protected, despite the warnings of the royal sorceror when he was born, but this latest turn of events is too much. After he, he has been trained in martial arts and wears the powerful amulet, so if he can’t control himself, he poses a huge danger to those around him. So he is banished until he can better manage his power and he soon crosses paths with Oto, a priestess who is also trying to learn to make the most of her abilities. The group does battle with a hideous fire demon and discovers a plan for evil forces to overtake Yamato’s old village. As an ancient evil threatens the village, can even Yamato and Oto manage to fend off the invading force or will the world fall to darkness?
Entertainment Value: Imagine a fantasy style anime come to life and you have an idea of what Orochi: The Eight-Headed Dragon is about. This movie has wild battles, magic spells, giant creatures, and all manner of cool stuff happening. Where Orochi loses steam is that it is so serious, never showing even a slight sense of humor or wink to the audience. Even as an armored phoenix swoops in, the actors are dead pan and its played off as high drama. But that doesn’t hinder the experience that much, as the overly serious tone lends to some unintentional entertainment and of course, that’s always welcome. The story is fun and has some cool Japanese lore involved, though of course I doubt all of these elements are true to the old tales. Orochi is a fun movie that offers set piece after set piece of anime style fantasy, with minimal filler or down time. Yes, it could use a sense of humor, but it is still a fun watch.
There is zero nudity in Orochi, not even a single love scene aside from innocent kisses. I was glad to see some pretty cool gore effects though, even if they weren’t soaked in blood. A couple of times we see someone get run through with a sword and it looks pretty good, bloodless or not. Other violence is non graphic as well, with sword fights, magic duels, and creature combat all on showcase. As far as wacky dialogue, there isn’t much to speak of but the overly dramatic tone does provide some memorable moments. This isn’t really a “so bad its good” movie, it is a solid movie that just takes itself too seriously. As far as insanity, plenty of off the wall moments, but the serious tone does probably reel back what could have been epic madness. Even so, Orochi: The Eight-Headed Dragon is good fun and has some scenes you’ll surely not forget.
Overall Insanity: 4/10