Hellboy: Sword of Storms (2006)

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Besides the two live action movies, which I mostly disliked because they dumbed down the entire characterization of Hellboy and the BPRD and included a useless and annoying POV character for the clueless audience, two animated movies were made by Film Roman, which were much closer to the source material. I liked them a lot more, though not enough to consider them really great. Entertaining media-tie ins with great action, well paced and fluid animation, that while not exactly matching Mignola’s style comes the closest I’ve seen to it on the screen.

Sword of Storms (SoS), the first of the two, is the better one. It offers a setting not really used in the main series (ancient and modern Japan) and a pretty straightforward if a bit gimmicky plot. There were two demons, imprisoned in a sword by a samurai, who was betrayed by one of those he tried to save (because he did not save the mans face and honor). The whole killing of the good guys by the samurai lord was a bit extreme and I doubt would have made much sense even by ancient Japanese standards. Worse and utterly suspension-of-disbelief breaking was that the two dead lovers forgave their lord when he changed his stance because of a few words by Hellboy.

Still, the biggest problem I had with SoS was that Hellboy felt like a support character in a story by other people. Just going through the motions, reenacting the plot to give the real main characters closure and also to do some sightseeing. It was nice seeing the various fights, like Hellboy against a kappa, but in the end the entire movie felt superfluous and not like a real Hellboy adventure. As if they took a plot made for some other movie and shoehorned Hellboy into it.