STUDIO: Manga Video
MSRP: $24.98
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 150 Minutes
• Interviews with the Japanese cast
• Promotional materials
• Trailers

The Pitch

A paranormal investigator hunts out demons while simultaneously carrying on creepy, inappropriate relationships with them.

The Humans

Kouki Miyata, Takahiro Sakurai, Tomoko Kawakami and Nana Mizuki

I just blue myself.

The Nutshell

Kantaro Ichinomiya is a lover of the supernatural and a semi-successful writer. He’s a bit of a social misfit and didn’t have many friends growing up. He did have plenty of lovable demons to hang out with though, which lead him to seek out the mysterious demon-eating goblin in order to be best friends forever with him.

Yes, the entire premise of the show is just one ill-adjusted young man with low self esteem capturing demons and forcing them to be his friends. You can see why the show might be popular with the crowd that likes to hang out in the basement and wear silk-screened dragon shirts.

In each exciting episode, Kantaro and his merry band of demons that he has forced into indentured servitude investigate demon sightings and do some good old fashioned banishing. Kantaro then writes about his exploits and gets paid a few dollars so he can do it again in the next episode.

I always considered myself a breast man.

The Lowdown

Tactics doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from other similar anime programs involving demons, namely Inuyasha. Instead of using crystal shards as an excuse for the same demon hunting taking place in each serialized episode, Tactics just uses journalistic pursuit. Whatever the justification for Kantaro to go seek out a new demon to banish, it doesn’t change the fact that each episode is pretty similar to the ones that come before it.

The only real appeal to the series comes in a perverse manner, as the demon-human dynamics presented in this series are quite odd. Once a human names a demon he discovers in the wild, the demon is bound to him for life. Kantaro has control of a fox demon who he forces to do all his chores and basically wait on him hand and foot despite the fact that this demon has feelings of its own. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that he has the demon take on the human form of a beautiful young woman. Heaven knows what would go on in this anime if it were the type that involves tentacles.

The joys of sexual exploration.

The manner in which many conflicts are resolved in the series is similarly creepy. Rather than using his demon slaying abilities to the fullest, Kantaro pursues peaceful means of making things right, which often results in some weirdness.

An icicle’s spirit comes to life and forms a lesbian infatuation with the girl who sucked on it, only being banished back to her spirit realm after the girl sucks on her fingers. The spirit of a woman’s dead lover manifests itself as a giant face on her breast which she feeds on occasion. Things are pretty freaky in the Tactics universe.

Ultimately, the bouts of inspired crazy stuff are too few and far between to justify sitting through the painfully generic episodes of this series. If only the show’s creators had been motivated enough to permeate that oddness all throughout the show, Tactics would be a real break from the serial mold and an anime worth viewing.

I think the guy on the right was "Botched Surgery Victim #2" on Nip/Tuck.

The Package

The most important feature for anime fans is whether or not the DVD includes the original Japanese voice acting and English subtitles in addition to the English dub. Rest assured, the mediocrity is available in both languages.

What’s the point of including promotional materials on a DVD if they’re nothing more but text advertisements? If the commercials or promotional videos are interesting or entertaining, then by all means include them. If the promotional materials are nothing more than a single picture and a plea to “Buy it now,” then you’re just trying to pad out your extras and trick prospective buyers into thinking they’re getting a worthwhile bonus.

The only supplemental of real worth on this disc is an interview with the Japanese voice actors that is both awkward and creepy. Watch in awe as two men who feel uncomfortable and ill at ease with each other reminisce about their favorite memories involving chocolate. Gaze in wonderment and confusion as you try to figure out what the hell happened to Kouki Miyata’s face. The fun never stops!

Overall: 4.0 out of 10