30th October '15 - Laughing Target Review.

This is one of the first animes I ever watched and while it's not the best it is still one of my favourites. I still have the VHS version. It's also available on DVD known as 'The' Laughing Target with different box art but it is the same anime.

It's basically a tale about two children, a boy and a girl, whose parents set up an arranged marriage for them when they grow up. Years pass by, and the families move away from the village and the marriage contract is forgotten about. Then out of the blue the girl now grown up meets the grown up boy intending to marry him, but he's already in a relationship and has a girlfriend. The grown up girl, named Azusa, is insistent that they marry and the boy Yuzuru is in two minds as to the right thing to do. Incidentally they are both cousins and the arranged marriage was purely to protect the family legacy which is no longer considered important due to Azusa's mother's death.

At first Azusa is understanding and wishes Yuzuru to explain the situation to his girlfriend Satomi turning her down gently. Azusa seems very calm and sensible about the situation, but once she realises that things aren't turning out the way she expected she attempts to kill Satomi, then when that fails she attempts to kill them both.

The story drifts a little towards the end with references to demons and possession making Azusa more of a monster than a sad misunderstood young woman, which I think would have made a far better story, but that's just my opinion.

Overall it's an exciting anime mixing sad moments, emotions and action together. In many ways Yuzuru made things worse by dismissing the arrangement as unimportant knowing full well Azusa didn't see it that way. If he had been a little more tactful perhaps things would have turned out differently. There is a moral there somewhere but when it comes to demons things become a whole lot more complicated.

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