Kai Doh Maru
Kai Doh Maru: Looks great, less filling
Emru Townsend · July 2003 | Production I.G., the studio that ably blended traditional anime techniques with computer-generated imagery to eye-popping effect in Ghost in the Shell and Blood: The Last Vampire, once again wield both pencil and pixel, this time in the service of a tale of mystery set in feudal Japan. The title character is a young woman named Kintoki who lives, trains, and fights alongside the soldiers who rescued her from certain death years earlier. Together, the four samurai protect the city of Kyo—but they may have met their match when they face a new opponent who not only uses sorcery as deftly as they wield blades, but shares a common history with Kintoki.

Kai Doh Maru
Manga Entertainment, 2002
Directed by Kanji Wakabayashi
45 minutes

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What's Good: As with Blood, the use of overt CG is largely to enhance mood, rather than show off with glitzy pyrotechnics.

What's Bad: Blood also ran 45 minutes and had little characterization, but the mystery/horror aspect made up for that; Kai Doh Maru has just as little character definition, but because the plot is driven by the interrelation between two characters, it's a lot less satisfying.
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