Sometimes I forget that just because something is a movie doesn’t mean it has to be an hour and a half or two hours plus. It’s nice that Japan reminds me of this every so often with one of their anime films that can anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, like the latest one to come my way titled Laidbackers. If you like your anime movies short and to the point, and filled with plenty of fun, you’ll want to go demon hunting with these ladies.
The plot has us following a young lady named Kumi, who has to move to Kyoto to take over her grandmother’s snack shop. Things seem to be okay at first until Kumi realizes someone is living in the place next door that’s supposed to be empty. Even more strange is that she learns the people living there, three ladies named Harami, Mai, K, and a dog, claim to be legendary heroes who are reincarnated into modern times to chase after a demon king.
As if things couldn’t get any crazier, it turns out the demon king they were hunting after has been reincarnated as well, but not into what you would expect. Thanks to a botched resurrection, the demon king is now a young girl named Ran, but the good news is that she wants to make up for her past misdeeds as the demon lord. This places Kumi and the ladies on a quest to help Ran do this, but they’ll have to hunt down other demons for demon king fragments they possess, which is going to take all of their powers and then some to accomplish.
Running at just under an hour, this film reminded me of a fun, extended OVA as I love how it’s able to condense all of the action, comedy, and drama you’d get from an anime series into a nicely paced short film. Since there’s little time to waste, things kick off fast and tend to stay that way until the end, which is always a plus in my book. There’s never a dull moment with these ladies as you’ll always have something to laugh at or cheer them on about.
Also since it’s both a film and short, the artwork and animation are really well done and look great on Blu-ray, as does the accompanying Dolby HD audio which sounds awesome. Speaking of looks, is it just me or does the main character Kumi look a lot like Papika from Flip Flappers? Anyways, as far as special features go, there’s a few original Japanese promotional videos, but that’s about it.
While Laidbackers is short, it has just about everything you could want from a fun anime. There’s enough action, drama, and comedy packed into what little time it has to make for a quick and easy anime fix whenever you need one. Maybe one day we’ll get a short series from this that’ll expand on this film and be just as awesome.