Genma Taisen

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Genma Taisen
Genma Taisen.jpg
Cover of the first volume, as released by Akita Shoten
幻魔大戦
Genre Science fiction, Apocalyptic
Manga
Written by Kazumasa Hirai
Illustrated by Shotaro Ishinomori
Published by Kodansha, Hayakawa, Tokuma Shoten
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
SF Magazine
Monthly Comic Ryū
Original run 19671981
Anime film
Harmagedon
Directed by Rintaro
Produced by Haruki Kadokawa
Music by Nozomi Aoki
Keith Emerson
Studio Madhouse Studio
Released March 12, 1983
Runtime 131 minutes
Game
Bega's Battle
Developer Data East
Publisher Data East
Genre Interactive movie
Laserdisc video game
Shooter game
Platform Arcade
Released 1983
Anime television series
Genma Wars
Directed by Tsuneo Tominaga
Studio E.G. Films
Network AT-X, Animax
Original run February 2, 2002May 11, 2002
Episodes 13
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Genma Taisen (Japanese: 幻魔大戦 Hepburn: lit. Genma Wars?) is a science fiction manga that began in 1967. It was a collaboration in Weekly Shōnen Magazine by science fiction writer Kazumasa Hirai and Shotaro Ishinomori.

Harmagedon[edit]

Harmagedon: The Great Battle with Genma (ハルマゲドン 幻魔大戦 Harumagedon Genma Taisen?) is a science fiction anime movie released in 1983. The movie was based largely on Kazumasa Hirai's first three Genma Taisen novels. The movie was directed by Rintaro with character designs by Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame.) Keith Emerson was hired to do the rock soundtrack. Madhouse Studio did the animation.

Characters[edit]

The main characters are:

  • Vega
Voiced by: Tōru Emori (Japanese), John Hollywood (English)

One of the main protagonists, a 2000 year old warrior robot was summoned by Princess Luna to help defend Earth from evil.

  • Luna
Voiced by: Mami Koyama (Japanese), Roberta Gallina Laurenti (English)

One of the main protagonists, a Transylvanian princess with telepathic powers to see through the future.

  • Jo Azuma
Voiced by: Tōru Furuya (Japanese), Eric Lamp (English)

One of the main protagonists, Azuma Jo has been repeated in countless anime, but was not really a prevalent archetype before Harmagedon. He can move objects with his psychic powers.

  • Yogin
Voiced by: Ryūji Saikachi (Japanese), B. Jaye Driscoll (English)

An elderly psionic warrior from India who's wise and shows no fear of destruction.

  • Tao
Voiced by: Tomoyo Harada (Japanese), Sky Watkins (English)

A psionic warrior from China; a female child disciplined in martial arts who's friends with Jo.

  • Sonny Lynx
Voiced by: Yasufumi Hayashi (Japanese), Nefta Perry (English)

A psionic warrior and a teenaged gang boss from NYC who has the power to teleport and phase through walls.

  • Asanshi
Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka (Japanese), Unknown (English)

An adult psionic warrior from Saudi Arabia.

  • Salamander
Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)

The final psionic warrior, an adult Native American from Nevada.

  • Zamedi
Voiced by: Junpei Takiguchi (Japanese), Russell Arendt (English)

One of the main antagonists, an evil servant of Genma Daioh

  • Zambi
Voiced by: Ichirô Nagai (Japanese), Matt Black (English)

Another evil servant of Genma Daioh.

Availability[edit]

Genma Taisen the Movie has been available in the US as "Harmagedon" on VHS and Laserdisc since 1992 and has been released on DVD twice, all times by Central Park Media, once as a very early, barebones, DVD release and a second time as a more robust release complete with a Rintaro commentary track.[1]

Soundtrack[edit]

Children of the Light[2] is the ending theme for Harmagedon, composed and sung by Rosemary Butler, Keith Emerson and others.[3]

Bega's Battle[edit]

Data East used footage from the film Harmagedon to create a laserdisc video game titled Bega's Battle. It was released in June 1983.[4] In the game, the player to take on the role of the robot Bega (Vega) whose goal was to stop the invasion forces of the alien Varga (Genma), while also rescuing his three friends who had been kidnapped by them. Even among laserdisc games Bega's Battle has become somewhat rare because many of the machines were converted into Cobra Command machines as part of a discount deal offered by Data East in exchange for the internals of the Bega's Battle arcade cabinet.

Similar to Astron Belt, the game used the footage mainly for backgrounds, while the actual gameplay was a shooting game with sprites laid over the video. Bega's Battle also used brief full-motion video cut scenes to develop a story between the game's shooting stages. Years later, this would become the standard approach to video game storytelling.[5] Bega's Battle also featured a branching storyline.[6] The Twin Galaxies world record for Bega's Battle was set by Steve Harris (later the founder of Electronic Gaming Monthly) on July 18, 1983.[7]

Genma Wars[edit]

Genma Wars (幻魔大戦 -神話前夜の章- Genma Taisen: Shinwa Zen'ya no Shō?) the TV series has been released in the US under the name "Genma Wars" by Media Blasters on DVD, later re-released in a box set of the entire TV series. The release experienced controversy, as the licensor Enoki Films edited some footage to remove panning camera shots of female nudity, but strangely left rape and sex scenes intact.[8]

Plot[edit]

Genma Wars is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where mankind has been subjugated by a demonical tribe known as Genma. The humans are reduced to little more than slaves for the Genma, who employ mutant armies of cyclopses, vampires, werewolves, highly intelligent simian soldiers, and other mythological beings, to keep the humans at bay. The authoritarian Genma leader, The Maoh King, desires to have an heir with immense, extraordinary power. He orders his men around the kingdom to abduct Hito women, who possess latent powers. The Maoh King is convinced that if he conceives a child with a Hito woman the child will possess amazing powers.

In one case, in exchange for the safety of her village, a Hito girl called Non submit to the Maoh King, and give birth to male twins, Loof and Jin. Loof is taken to grow up among the Genma, while Jin grows up under his mother' care, however she is labelled as a whore by her fellow kinsmen. Eventually, Loof and Jin encounter each other and plan revenge against their hated father. However, their father reveals he only created them, and the whole hybrid Human-Genma, to bring the war across the Earth, out of boredom. He throws his sons in a time portal, back to the present time, when the war was initiated, in order to stop their dystopic world.

Characters[edit]

  • Loof
Voiced by: Kenji Nomura (Japanese), Bryce Papenbrook (English)
One of the main protagonists, he is one of the twins, child to the Maoh King and Non. He is relatively cool-headed and reasonable. In the beginning, he acts very cold towards humans but his attitude softens after falling in love with Meena.
  • Jin
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese), Brian Moran (English)
One of the main protagonists, he is the Loof's younger twin brother. Unlike Loof, Jin is impulsive, violent and prone to lash out against anyone at anytime. This is due the fact he grew up persecuted by both her mother's own people and the Genma's mutant army. Jin develops the desire to become his father's successor as a punishment of his persecution early in his life.
  • Maoh King
Voiced by: Motomu Kiyokawa (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
Jin and Loof's father, and Earth's ruler. He is also a rapist, prone to order the kidnapping of several females to rape and impregnate them with his child, but he abandons both his child and estranged wife.
  • Meena
Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
Loof's human female companion and later romantic interest. He falls in love with her and saves her from several perils. Meena is also a Hito like Loof's mother, although is shown to have mysterious powers. She becomes pregnant with Loof's child. However, she dies after saving Loof from a mutant enemy.
  • Parome
Voiced by: Tomoko Hirasuji (Japanese), Ellyn Stern (English)
The Maoh Queen, she is some kind of a Wicked Queen, and is very jealous towards her husband for indiscrimanatly raping and impregnating human girls, just to have a powerful baby, claiming if he have a baby with Parome, it would be weak. As the series advances, she grows insane and plans to overthrow her husband. When Jin and Loof attack their stronghold, Parome is presumably destroyed, but returns when the Maoh King appears to have the upper hand in the fight against his children, and she uses the last of her forces to impale the King in the chest using a sword, destroying them both.

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]