Wicked City (1987)
妖獣都市 (Yōjū Toshi)


For centuries, a secret peace treaty has existed between Earth and The Black World, a parallel dimension populated by shape-changers possessing awesome supernatural powers. But now, that pact is up for renewal and a militant faction from the Black World plans to do everything in their power to stop the treaty from being signed. The fate of the world now rests in the ability of a pair of special agents, one a human, the other a shape-changer from the distaff dimension, to make sure things go according to plan.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

TV Rating





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Character design
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Wicked City (妖獣都市 Yōjū Toshi, lit. “Supernatural Beast City”) is a 1987 Japanese neo-noir horror film produced by Video Art and Madhouse for Japan Home Video. Based on Black Guard, the first in a series of six novels of the same name by Hideyuki Kikuchi, the film is the solo directorial debut of Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who also served as the screenwriter (attributed to a pseudonym), character designer, storyboard artist, animation director, and a key animator.

Alternative Title

– Wicked City
– Demon Beast City
– La cite interdite
– La città delle bestie incantatrici
– Monster City
– Supernatural Beast City
– Yōjū Toshi
– 妖獣都市
– 요수도시
– Poderes Eróticos
– Cidade Maligna
– Порочен Град
– Cidade Perversa
– Nuodėmingas Miestas
– Град на Греха

TL;DR Review

Wicked City is one of the first adult-oriented anime that I’ve seen that defined my love for the medium. Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the director, and screenwriter of Wicked City went and create another anime you may have heard of, the Ninja Scroll Movie. Though Wicked City was created about 6 years prior, the film does not seem to be as well known as the Ninja Scroll Movie. I love both anime equally. Both anime shared the same haunting beauty and a horrific dark tone, the main difference is their setting, Feudal Japan for the Ninja Scroll Movie and modern city for Wicked City.

I re-watched Wicked City recently and I can’t believe this anime was made 3 decades ago. This still holds up very well in my opinion. The animation style may be a little dated, and very reminiscent of the 80’s New Wave design. The color tone tends to be on the black and blue spectrum, with some red thrown in.

As this is an 80’s anime, the music is also very 80’s. If you like that era of music, then this anime has great music. The ending song “HOLD ME IN THE SHADOW” by Hitomi Tōyama is your typical J-Pop of that era. Pretty much like every City Hunter’s songs.

I highly recommend Wicked City to everyone that is age appropriate. This film is intended for mature audiences only, due to graphic violence, sexual situation, and partial nudities.

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Closing Theme

– “HOLD ME IN THE SHADOW” by Hitomi Tōyama

Insert/Image Theme

– “IT’S NOT EASY” by Hitomi Tōyama
"The people of the Black World aren't supposed to be able to [cry]. I'm afraid - why am I able to cry when no one else of my race can?"
Taki Renzaburo
"Human beings have stumbled through history, occasionally making contact with what we call "The Black World". Most of the people on both sides of the continuum have wanted to exchange insights, information - to live peacefully with each other. But, in spite of a lot of folk's good intentions, bloody fights have broken out from time to time between the two sides. Things got so bad that finally, representatives from both worlds ironed out a contract that allowed everyone to live together without stepping on each other's toes - sort of a non-aggression pact; a treaty. And every so often, that treaty is renewed, and the ceasefire continues without a break. So, here we are, at the end of the 20th Century, and they're about to conclude a new peace treaty... right here in Tokyo."
"Why do you betray us? Say it! Human beings are lower-class creatures compared to us, and we both know it! They're only fit for slave work, that's their heritage! Why don't you get rid of that silly idea of ours being equals?"
"If it is a dream... I pray that we never wake up."
Taki Renzaburo
"We live in an era when our cities are armed with steel and concrete. Computers and electronics barricade our minds. It doesn't change the fact that there exist a lot of strange phenomena, bizarre beyond reason, or logic. Most folks just don't see them. That's because we cling to order - to any tiny happiness that comes our way, and we bust our humps to blind ourselves with our desires and our pleasures. There's a world of darkness out there, beyond time or space... a world filled with evil that is undeniably real. And in that world... there are things that run wild."
"Makie, it's me. Hmm. Very attractive look you've put together with the flesh of this world, I almost didn't recognize that pretty face. You still have that stupid habit of hanging around with the human trash."



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Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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