Judge (manga)

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Judge Anime DVD.jpeg
North America DVD Cover
Genre Supernatural horror
Written by Fujihiko Hosono
Published by Futabasha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Action Brother
Comic Action Character
Original run 19871991
Volumes 2
Original video animation
Magistrate of Darkness: Judge
Directed by Hiroshi Negishi
Studio Animate Film
Licensed by
Released June 15, 1991
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Judge (Japanese: ジャッジ?, Hepburn: Jajji) is a manga series written and illustrated by Fujihiko Hosono, published in Futabasha's Action Brother and Comic Action Character. The story focuses on the Japanese hell, where judgment is passed on the living.[1]

An original video animation, Magistrate of Darkness: Judge (闇の司法官 ジャッジ?, Yami no Shihosha Jajji), based on the manga was released in 1991.


The OVA starts with a man being shot in a jungle-like scenery. It is later revealed that the person is Yamanobe, the vice-president of a company who sent him to South America, where he was killed by local guerrillas. The company he works for is the main center of the story and it is where all other major characters work. The main character, Hoichiro Oma (逢魔 法一郎), is apparently an everyman, known as a silent guy by his workmates. However, in secret, he is the Judge of Darkness, punishing living criminals that were not found guilty by human laws.

Two of Oma's workmates, Ryuichi Murakami and Koji Kawamata, are embezzling money from the company. To do it, Murakami seduced Yamamoto, a woman who works in the company accounting department. When an investigation about the case starts and a rumor that Yamamoto is the culprit starts to be spread, Yamamato is found hung in a rope. The police consider it as a suicide, but Oma, as the Judge of the Darkness, appears before Murakami and charges him for Yamamoto's murder.

After killing Murakami, Oma starts to chase Kawamata, and he first makes a call simulating Yamanobe's voice. Soon after, a mysterious man, who proclaims himself to be a lawyer, appears before Kawamata. The man says Kawamata will need his help and puts a seal on Kawamata's hand right before Kawamata dispenses his aid. However, when Kawamata is caught in an Oma's trap and the seal saves him, he goes to contact the "Metaphysical Lawyer". The lawyer explains the dead can have a grudge against the living people. To resolve this problem, he goes with Kawamata to the mountains, where the lawyer fights with Oma and defeats the Judge of Darkness.

However, through his girlfriend, Nanase, Oma evokes the "Hag of the Styx" to summon the Court of Ten Kings—the ultimate court of the hell. Although Oma cannot prove Kawamata to be the culprit even by calling Yamanobe's soul, the guilty Kawamata ends up stumbling on Enma's mirror. The artifact reveals Kawamata had a secret discretionary fund in South America that controlled the guerillas who killed Yamanobe. Kawamata is ultimately strangled by his own reflection in the hell and is found dead in his office by Nanase.


Michael Toole of Anime News Network said he "just love[d] Judge", although he considered it "a particularly low-budget OVA catering to bored salarymen". Toole called it a "crude albeit satisfying revenge fantasy" that "fits in nicely with a viewing of Harvey Birdman episodes".[2]


  1. ^ Bush, Laurence (2001). Asian Horror Encyclopedia. Writers Club Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-595-20181-4. 
  2. ^ "Tales from the Bottom Shelf". Anime News Network. November 17, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 

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