Ogy Anime Reviews: Frankenstein (Marvel/Toei)
Name: Frankenstein (Marvel/Toei)
– Other aliases:
- Kyoufu Densetsu Kaiki! Frankenstein
- Mystery! Frankenstein: Legend of Terror
- The Frankenstein Monster
- The Monster of Frankenstein
- Vestron Frankenstein
- Frankenstein (1981)
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Serious Drama, Tragedy
Age Range: 13+ Seinen
Total Episodes: 1 special, 93 minutes 35 seconds
Original creator: Mary Shelly
Directed by Yugo Serikawa
– Other works:
- Three-Eyed One – Prince in the Devil Island (Movie)
- Wanpaku Ōji no Orochi Taiji (Movie)
- World Masterpiece Fairy Tale Series (T.V. Series)
Production: Toei Animation
Animation Production: Studio Live
Sound Production: Kentaroh Haneda
- Book: Frankenstein. Written by: Mary Shelly. Written in 1818.
- Comic: The Monster of Frankenstein. Written by: Stan Lee. Published by: Marvel Comics. First appearance in Menace No. 7 September 1953 part of Atlus, and in Marvel continuity Silver Surfer No.7 August 1969.
Licensed by Vestron VideoBeginning Story:
It’s the book Frankenstein fused with the Marvel/Atlus comic.
– Movie beginning overview:
We begin our story with a narration from Inspector Belbeau as he reads through his last testimony of the monster in Geneva.
We can see a light over at the Frankenstein place and pan though the corridor before the lab can be seen. After the screen passes a chopped up cow corps, the Doctor and Zuckel are making the monster. Zuckel warns Doctor Frankenstein about the moral implications, but Victor shrugs him off as he is determined to see his creation become living once again. Lightning strikes the Frankenstein place with all of the Nicola Tesla electrical equipment which explodes.
After all the smoke and debris has settled, Victor is mesmerized by the life of his creature he fabricated. He wakes Zuckle to show that their work was a success. Another bolt of lightning strikes the newly risen which causes him to be set on blue fire. Now enraged or grunting loudly from this pain, the monster approaches the two frightened scientists with aggression. Zuckle hold the doctor in a way that might poke his eye out.
The two run out of the room and slam the door shut as the monster punches the door open and rips through the coble stone doorway. They managed to lose the monster in the castle as they are now outside. They look back and see the monster punching through the castle wall to escape the castle (The positioning of where who is at how far is confusing at this part). The monster corners the two at the cliff in front of the castle. Zuckle says that he warned Victor of this. Victor shrugs Zuckle’s words and hands him a revolver. Zuckle looks puzzled. “We must not permit this hideous monster to wreck my research and my entire life’s career! I’ll make it worth your while! Now do it,” Victor says as he runs off.
Zuckle sees the Doctor trip and shoots at the monster. The monster looks at Zuckle and proceeds to crush his skull until it bleeds. In shocking pain Zuckle turns to the monster and shoots him off of the cliff. The monster falls into an unknown fate. Zuckle lies in the rain as he shivers in pain.
We time skip to a later date. During Victor’s ride, a crime scene happens which hints that the monster may still be alive. Victor returns home to see his maid which greets him and soon his wife enters to greet him as well. Emily, their daughter, is out playing at his father’s house. When they go inside the Monster later named as Franken stands above the town to find his maker.
With the Franken on the prowl, Zuckle wanting to give him a cold dish, and the Inspector Belbeau searching for answers that always point to Victor himself how will he manage his ungodly misdeeds?
What will be the fate of Victor’s daughter, wife, father, and the town itself?
When will the monster strike and how will this end?
But even more importantly, who will survive?
Well obviously by this picture, the monster becomes the class representative as he is being taught by a loli teacher in the time period. See, the 1981 Frankenstein is thirty years ahead of his time.
“Err-Ahh, I So Möe Möe Desu, Err-Ahh,” said the monster.Characters:
Note: The movie has no credits besides it’s from Vestron Video and the back of the box says that it’s dubbed from Harmony Gold. Therefore, The VA (Voice Actor) portion will not be available.
Name: Victor Frankenstein
Personality: Self centered, not that wise, and has a “hell with it” attitude.
Role: The true monster and reason for all of the mishaps
Personality: Haunting and not understanding. Like a bear and maybe stronger, he means well but things just die around him.
Role: Monster, Wedding Crasher, and Jesus Christ
Name: Chief Inspector Belbeau
Personality: Insensitive (there is a child in the room fuck damn it) and cunning
Role: The sleuth who wants to know the truth above these mysterious murders that happen across this little town that lead to Victor.
Personality: Self centered, vengeful, and cowardly.
Role: He wants Victor to pay for losing his eye and leaving him for dead.
Name: Emily Frankenstein
Personality: Childish, innocent, and not too smart.
Role: Victim and not thrown in a lake
The scaling in some scenes of Franken is confusing because sometimes he is 15 feet tall, others 6 foot, or 10 feet. I get that he is tall and the perspective would be different from an adult’s view as would a child, but this is not presented as such.
Most of the errors I can notice are at the beginning. When the monster breaks out of his chain bindings the brace just disappears instead of shattering with the chain. They’re a few more but it’s more fun to find them. Also the backgrounds are done quite well.
After we see Belbeau, the animation for the time is solid. For some reason Franken turns from grey-to-blue. He also gets a clipped lip at the second to last scene and ends the movie with it. Why does his lip get this way? Ahh, who knows.
Animation Rating: 2.5/5 (C)
The dubbing is not bad. Where a lyrical song should be is obvious over the instrumentals. The instrumentals are grooving with the tone of the story. I think the music would be stock classical.
Sound Rating: 3.5/5(B)
Overall Production Rating = 3/5 (C)Pros, Cons, and Other Thoughts:
- The tension & gore
- Has a solid story
- Decent character relationships
- The hell with communication
- Don’t know if Toei are the people to contact or the Disney Vault
- The silly moments like:
*Victor’s over carelessness
*Belbeau over rubbing his bald head
This is the second co-production between Toei and Marvel in the 1980’s; however, after this project the two came to terms with this project and decided that it was a failure.
A side from its campiness and limited release of these stories, these stories were placed/sold to for children (because it’s a cartoon and all cartoon’s are child friendly think’s the 1980’s parent) and were made for adults which angered some parents obviously.
A strange case with this one is that it has “no official title” even though the VHS box clearly states Frankenstein as its title.
The two titles most go by are Frankenstein Legend of Terror and Monster of Frankenstein. One is more true to the title of the comic and bootleggers like to use as well. This does make scene giving the source material, but I’m calling it by the studio productions for this one.
It reeks of the time period, but is not really too bad.
The majority of the characters are humane, except for victor, but the relationship I enjoyed, which is later on, is with Franken, Grandpa, and Emily. At first, the monster was misunderstood by Emily, but when her grandpa encounters the monster, he shows her that giving something that’s different a chance they might not be scary when you get to know them.
It has some sloppy animation at the beginning and has some clumsy script writing.
This movie does have some great gore moments.
Through this slock I found this special very enjoyable.
One part that others will argue is the ending. Given the situation each character was in this ending makes scene and shows the struggles of their humanity. Was it unnecessary to do that? Yes, their is no reason to resort to it and will be a harsh burden to bare, but as everything escalated and comes to an end the person knew what the future would be like. It’s not fair but in that day and age as shown earlier there was no advancing after this. That was extremely vague, but I’m doing my best not to spoil this show.
Because it’s slocky nature this special is amazingly riffable like The Final Sacrifice, ROWSDOWER!!!
*Pro’s, Con’s, and Other Thoughts Rating: 3.5/5 (B)
- Plot: 4/5 (B) Solid.
- Performance: 3.5/5 (B) I believe these people were the characters.
- Pace: 3/5 (C) Has sight campy drag.
- Characters: 4/5 (B) These are people undergoing a dilemma and their responses are natural.
- Production Quality: 3/5 (C) Animation: What does this monster look like? Sound: Classic.
- Pro’s, Con’s, and other thoughts: 3.5/5 (B) ROWSDOWER!!!
- Overall total: 3.5/5 (B) It ain’t easy being cheesy, but when it is its quite pleasing.
Note: Due to my own belief and further defining anime as a pop art, no rating will ever receive a 0, 1, or 5 (a Z, F, or A in my book). For this reason is that times will change as opinions. Anything can be far greater or worse than before. That’s just human triumph and error.
- More time to tighten up the beginning animation and some script work.
- A re-release on DVD or Blu-ray
- A one size and color Monster
If campiness is up your ally and you want to be treated like adult then this is for you.
Golly-gee-will-lickers Wally, I wonder what the next review will be? Oh brother where art thou?
Please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Link to Dracula review: https://overencumbrance.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/ogy-anime-reviews-dracula-marveltoei/