Genma Taisen (幻魔大戦 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 (of 8 Man fame) and mangaka Shotaro Ishinomori.
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.
- 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.
- 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 animes, but was not really a prevalent archetype before Harmagedon. He can move objects with his psychic powers.
- Voiced by: Ryūji Saikachi (Japanese), B. Jaye Driscoll (English)
A psionic warrior from India who's wise and shows no fear of destruction.
- Voiced by: Tomoyo Harada (Japanese), Sky Watkins (English)
A psionic warrior with courage and strength who's kinda cute and she's friends with Jo.
- Sonny Lynx
- Voiced by: Yasufumi Hayashi (Japanese), Nefta Perry (English)
A psionic warrior and a former gang boss from NYC who has the power to teleport and phase through walls.
- Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka (Japanese), Unknown (English)
A psionic warrior from Saudi, Arabia.
- Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (Japanese), Unknown (English)
The final psionic warrior from Nevada.
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.
Data East used footage from the film version of Harmagedon to create a laserdisc game titled Bega's Battle in 1983. The premise was slightly reworked, prompting the player to take on the role of a hero named Bega whose goal was to stop the invasion forces of the alien Varga, 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.
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.
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.
- 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, reasonable and gentle. In the beginning, he acts very cold towards humans but his attitude softens after falling in love with Meena.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Voice acting trivia
- English dubbed voice actors Richard Epcar and Ellyn Stern are married to each other, and they voice respectively, the Maoh King and Queen Parome.
- Seiyū Kenji Nomura and Daisuke Namikawa voiced the main protagonists, the twin brothers Loof and Jin, respectively. Currently, Nomura and Namikawa voiced acted togheter in the hit anime Bleach, as the Arrancar partners Yammy and Ulquiorra Cifer.
Notes and references
- Anime News Network - Harmagedon
- Anime News Network - Genma Wars
- Harmagedon: Genma taisen at the Internet Movie Database
- Media Blaster's Homepage
- Central Park Media's Homepage
- Madhouse Studio: Harmagedon Genma Taisen (Japanese)
- Ken Media: Genma Wars (Japanese)