If you’re looking for a short action-anime, then Karas is the way to go. Consisting out of six OVA-episodes, the purpose of this series is to deliver lots of action, stunning production-values and an engaging story. And I must say that it did pretty well. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s excellent for a quick watch.
The graphics and music are absolutely stunning. Both the computer-generated 3D-images and especially the traditional drawings are beautiful, rich and detailed. My only complaint is that at times, the two don’t blend in together. The music consists out of lots of violins and cellos, creating an epic atmosphere for this series to work with.
But yeah, the plot is just decent. Thankfully, it’s much more detailed than with a show like Afro Samurai, but it’s still not one of the selling points of this series. The setting is quite original, though the plot itself is just enough to keep the action going without feeling annoying. The final episode also is exactly what you’d imagine: an incredibly blown-up fight between the main protagonist and antagonist. While there are a few interesting twists and turns, the lack of time and the other priorities of this series prevent it from becoming really interesting. More time could have been used to flesh out the story a bit much, but instead the creators decided to show more action.
Luckily, the characters do a bit better. While they aren’t the best or truly original, the creators do manage to develop them and flesh them out. This prevents Karas to become “just another action-flick”. Obviously, the characters aren’t that deep, but they’re deep enough to make you care about them, and they’re the real reason why the action remains enjoyable through the three hours length of this OVA. The only exception to this is the major bad guy, he really was in need of more depth.
One thing that should be noted before watching this is that this isn’t such a good movie to show to your little brother or sister. There are quite a few bloody scenes. Obviously, if you like a quiet pacing, this isn’t an anime for you, but if you’re into action, are easily bored or just a fan of great graphics, then Karas is quite a good recommendation.