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Pile of Shame - 3x3 Eyes

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Joined: 01 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:38 pm Reply with quote
The first time I saw this was about 4 or so years ago, when my older brother brought home the DVD dub version one day. It was a lot of fun, but I also remember the story being very low-brow type stuff. I seem to recall the Pai character being somewhat of a walking stereotype, and the male lead was the typical dumb-as-rocks, hapless nice guy that we now see as the lead in most harem shows. However, as I said, I did have fun watching the show. It's just not worthy of any awards
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:23 pm Reply with quote
You gotta admit, this show made some pretty damn well AMV's back in its day.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:30 pm Reply with quote
Maybe the character designs -- which were never really attractive -- didn't appeal to me.

Did they appeal to you any more when the Mysterious Girlfriend X guy ripped 'em off? Wink
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Wow, I'm actually glad that you decided to do a column on this title. Yeah, I've heard that the OVA wasn't the greatest pieces. As it suffers from the same problems that all OVAs produced during the last half of the 80's to the early 90's. Plus, now that we've seen where the original source started and finished, whoa...I would love to see this series revisited and redone the "right way". I guess if I had read the manga I probably would've ignored this OVA. But again this title falls into the "pile of shame" while having that little bit of fan history that still makes it important to collectors.

The OVA 3x3 Eyes holds a special spot in my book because at the time fans of the Robotech era and later, couldn't get access to newer anime titles. If did manage to acquire a unknown feature it was through a friend of a friend of a friend, and vice versa. OVAs like Iczer-1, Black Magic M-66, Wicked City, Fist of the North Star movie, Appleseed, Dirty Pair OVAs, Prefectural Earth Defense Force, etc... were acquired through someone who had either a pen pal, bought during a trip, traded or ran off for friends. It may not have been the best quality but all you cared about was having whatever "gem" they had or had heard about. There was no internet, no fansubs (you had to watch it raw), no retailers, no legal distribution. You wanted it, try and find a community that caters to hooking you up. Cons were one major source. Of course this is where the whole "pirating" thing came in for profit. I remember coming across a retailer of sorts. I've long forgotten their name. But they ran a mail order services. You pick a title, they run it off, you pay how many VHS titles you want. The more you buy you get a deal. Like how the bootleggers on the street work. But the quality was excellent since they were copying from the "master" tape. This is also the also part of the crazy subculture among traders as the 1st gen - whatever gen craze. I don't know how I ended up with choosing 3 x 3 out the list of titles. I don't know if I had seen it in Anime V (Anime V was a magazine that covered only OVA, both regular and adult, like Cream Lemon) but wherever the case, it influenced my choice. And I remember how excited I was about the film. The whole 3rd eye concept was "new" to me. And yes, the whole mark of "Wu". I had wondered if Yakumo would ever get his life back. I mean he's like a indestructible zombie. This was my first exposure to that concept. Then the series was over. I picked up the 2nd half. Then that was over. I bought the OST and anything related. I even picked up a manga and the issue was like in the middle of the journey. So I had like vol. 1 and let say, vol. 7? When the next half came out I watched through some friends who collect and trade anime titles. But for some reason I barely remember much about it other than Ling-Ling was in it. Sadly no one had the final episodes leading up to Lord Shiva at that time and I had long moved on to something else.

When Geneon picked it up and released it I immediately picked it up. I have yet to sit down and watch it. It's still sealed. But now because of this column, I'm gonna have to dig this out and add this along with Blue Seed to the pile of "to be watched" anime that's sitting atop my TV that I've now started "mass-watching" over weekends when I'm home. Now that I'm a little more versed in anime and the knowledge that surrounds us who knows what I make get out of this title despite it's shortcomings. I was always fascinated by the 3rd eye and Buddhist "hand-jive" concept since the Peacock King (sadly I've never seen it I've only heard the stories from a late friend not to mention seen images from magazines). So far we have been seeing a resurgence of old anime titles getting revived, not much but some. Now that this series is done, it would be nice to see this series reintroduced to a newer generation.

Last edited by Chrno2 on Tue May 13, 2014 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nadare Xizos
Pirate KingPirate King

Joined: 06 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:48 pm Reply with quote
I love "3x3 Eyes." I have the original DVD box set from back when Pioneer was still around. Great stuff.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:03 pm Reply with quote
For anyone wanting a listen to the Streamline version, it can be found out there.

That was the version I once saw, those many years ago on VHS, the four episodes of the first OVA being among the very first anime shows I ever watched. Still prefer it to the new dub included in the Pioneer set, though that's probably just the nostalgia factor.

For anyone wondering about the BD version, don't bother because it retains even less detail than the DVDs, R1 included.

The OVA doesn't exactly give closure story-wise, and the two parts are pretty different in looks and feels.
Anyone curious about the whole thing I recommend checking out the manga which spans a whopping 40 volumes. Unfortunately its release in West was cut short by Dark Horse after volume 8, but the entire saga can be found in scanlated form out there.
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Lord Geo

Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:04 pm Reply with quote
Wow, I watched 3X3 Eyes close to 10 years ago (2005, maybe 2006, I'd say). I don't remember much about it now, but I remember enjoying it. Maybe one day I'll give it a re-watch & see how it holds up myself.

Honestly, though, I did not know about the older dub from Streamline/Orion. Now I would love to see 3x3 Eyes get a license rescue that includes both dubs, if only for posterity & to make it easy to compare both dubs with the original Japanese audio.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:23 pm Reply with quote
I've loved 3x3 Eyes ever since I first saw it on VHS nearly 20 years ago (!). I re-watched it last year for the first time in awhile and yes, parts of it seem sillier now than when I first discovered the show, but the core elements of the romance between Yakumo and Pai, the struggle for Pai become human, and the grotesque menagerie of enemies they must fight are all still very appealing.

I'm also still annoyed years after the fact that Dark Horse cancelled the manga release only 1/4 of the way through. Mad
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Great article Justin. 3x3 Eyes is great. OVA classic that was everywhere in the 90s. Its pronounced " Sanzen Eyes" if you dont like tripping over 3x3. Id turn to Yakumo when FOTNS and Mermaid Scar didn't fill the bloodlust.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:31 pm Reply with quote
Once a mainstay of anime club video rooms,

This is an EXAMPLE of the feudal barony Streamline Pictures had on anime in the late 80's/early 90's, when import companies had to scour the bottom of licensors' trash cans for unwanted one-offs and limited OVA's....Yeesh.
And we fans, desperate for anything already translated, believed it willingly and completely.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:39 pm Reply with quote
I have vague memories of this as a nipper, when I'd snook a TV into my bedroom and watched late night TV. Whilst BBC 1 and 2 were showing pages from Ceefax, and ITV was showing some obscure American sitcoms, Channel 4 had these strange cartoons. 3x3 Eyes stuck in memory for it's weird character designs, it was one of the little nuggets I remember. I don't remember much more, because it was on about 3, and I probably had school the next day.

Still, I wouldn't mind checking it out someday.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:57 pm Reply with quote
This was the show that got me into anime, horror fan that I was (and still am.) I thought the concept of a Sanjiyan was intriguing, and I just loved the whole half-mythological monster bent. (Not to mention that I was quite shocked when I watched the scene where Yakumo got gored by monster bird claws. I had never seen that level of violence in an animated feature before.)

Makes me a bit sad that Kaoru Wada's music doesn't even earn a mention, since he did a lot of absolutely wonderful work.... well, as far as I can tell, anyway. Weirdly enough, out of the shows he's done the score for, I've only really seen 3x3 Eyes, Battle Angel Alita and Inuyasha. Not a whole lot to go on, but each of those shows have a very nice score, if nothing else.

Is it also weird that I kind of wish the Collector's Edition had also retained the old Streamline dub? The new one wasn't really all that much better, so I kind of missed Eddie Frierson's Yakumo and even Reba West's Pai.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Now that I think about it, since they're doing it with Jojo, this thread does make me wish there'd be a full anime version of 3x3 Eyes.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 6:34 pm Reply with quote
Holy cow, a Pile of Shame I actually know! 0.0

I remember seeing this on TV back in the day (I think it was on Starz, back when they had an anime block) and found it really interesting! I only saw it once or twice, though. The characters were fascinating, but as a younger teenager, the parts where the guy would get torn to shreds left me pretty uncomfortable.

Had no idea it was by the same guy who did Blue Seed. That's one of my favorite 90's anime! (I would tell my friends it was basically like a shorter, less filler-y Inuyasha with more gore) that explains why I liked the characters so much.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:41 pm Reply with quote
I saw 3 x 3 Eyes on cable as well, along with Blue Seed; I guess it was the Streamline dub as Gargoyles cast would have stuck out more in my mind than another Reba West role {though it would answer the question "Where did I first hear her?"}.

I liked it but I thought it was too short and very incomplete.
That's it. So, yeah, that's 90-95 percent of all individual OVAs so it doesn't really matter what title it is, they all get the same reaction from me.
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