Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up is an anime unto itself. It is funny, quirky, and full of ’70’s pop culture. The animation style harkens back to the anime’s of the ’70’s and in this aspect is quite beautiful. The story telling is strange and full of off the wall characters, although you will find later they can still be pretty normal despite their certain quirky traits.
The story of Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up has to do with the Demon Patrol and their friend from the human world school of Demondor, Harumi. The Demon Patrol was sent to the human world by Prince Enma’s uncle-the King of Hell-in order to fight the demons who are reeking more havoc than usual on the poor defensless humans; oh, and to keep Prince Enma from making trouble in Hell. Harumi will become caught up in the fights and end up lending a hand to the demon patrol in many episodes, and in others she will just find herself in the crossfire.
One of the best things about this anime is the art. With the anime being set in the ’70’s it is great to see that the art reflects this. Just by looking at it you get the feel of the animes from that era. This is not to say that it doesn’t still look modern and have it’s own twist on the animation. It gives the impression that the animators are using the animation from the seventies as a stepping block to create the art in Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up. If you are going to do a story that takes place in a time period that is close enough that the immediate surroundings and costumes don’t necessarily give it away, using the art style from that time period is a great way to give the impression of being there. This anime does that quite well.
There is one thing about Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up that I found strange and a little over used; the use of one liners regarding the pop culture of the seventies. This could take the form of song titles, song lyrics, movies released in the seventies, and occasionally famous people. I felt the titles of the episodes being takes on seventies pop culture was cute, and even one of the teachers using one liners as he keeps getting into trouble as his name implies; Mr. Luckless. But then the other characters start doing the same thing. I felt this broke the humor that came with the teacher using them and the episode titles. It just became a way for the time period to continue to be thrown in your face over and over again. In an interview, it was revealed that these were used in order to help set the time period because they were afraid the animation was not enough to do so. Instead it comes off as overcompensation and can break the flow of the scenes at times.
Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up is not for the younger viewers. It is labeled as older teen by NIS, which means 16+. This is not just a random warning. The anime is full of mature humor, sexual content, suggestive themes, and not to mention lots of violence.
NIS’ complete series premium edition of Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up comes with all 13 episodes on both DVD and Blu-ray. Along with an 36 page exceptional accompanying art book. In addition to unbelievable art work the book includes staff interviews, over views of the characters, pencil designs of many of the main characters, as well as a look at the settings within the anime. There are many wonderful interviews included in the book which will give you an insight into what they were looking to do with the creation of this anime as well as how they feel after making it. Interviewees include voice actors Kappei Yamaguchi (Enma), Minoru Inaba (Chapeuldie), Takehito Koyasu (Kappavier), and Mamiko Noto (Yukiko) and many more-the director Yoshitomo Yonetani, character designer Takahiro Kimura, sound director, art director, and the original comic author Go Nagai. There is so much to learn about Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up through these indepth interviews.