In Tristan City science and magic co-exist. Magic can only be used by special sorcerers through the use of Molds, special armor that keeps magic power in check. If the Molds fail then the user will use too much magic and turn into a Demon. Tactical Sorcerers are special Mold Users who eliminate Demon threats. Both admired and feared for their power, they are called Strait Jackets. Rayott Steinberg is a rogue Strait Jacket shunned by the authorities for his dark past and out of control fighting style. But with Demon attacks on the rise due to the mysterious Ottoman terrorist group Rayott finds himself fighting once again, both against demons and his sins.
I love the setting for Strait Jacket. It reminds me of Demonbane a lot with the mixture of science and technology. It’s cool to see that magic is in a way subservient to technology here. The mold armors are very cool, especially with the big guns and heavy firepower they carry around. It’s all very steampunkish, which is good cause there’s a real lack of that subgenre in anime, somewhat surprisingly.
The Demons in the show are designed to be very grotesque monsters, and they definitely succeed there. Some of the most bizarre and frightening monsters designs I’ve seen are featured in this show. Especially got to like the giant mutant flower with two human arms as legs, a face on the front, and a noh mask on the back that sings opera.
Strait Jacket is composed of three episodes. The first two are mostly introduction of characters, the world, etc. with a lot of fighting thrown in. It’s interesting in a way but not the most exciting stuff. Episode three then kicks everything up a notch, killing an important character and sending another one on a merciless personal vendetta that ends in a great duel. I thought the story was trying to go for something epic but the more personal story actually works a lot better for the show. It has a lot of emotional intensity that a larger, more complicated plot would of lacked.
Despite the strong third episode Strait Jacket is still a rather cliche story. On a deep level there’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, whether it be a reluctant hero with a dark past or too much power turning people into monsters. Taken on its own terms the show can be a good bit of divergent fun, but there’s nothing really unique here aside from the aesthetics.
I like that the story manages to wrap almost everything up in three episodes, unlike a lot of other OVA’s, but I really wished there was more. The setting is so good that I would love to see a thirteen episode series to flesh everything out. Strait Jacket is good on its own but it really feels like it should be part of something much larger.
Rayott’s loli assistant Kapel Theta. Yes, that’s her name. She’s some kind of weird demon offspring, which means she has these two glowing orbs on her forehead. This leads to some weird shots, as one minute she’s looking all cute and stuff and the next she’s just a dark shadow with four red glowing eyes where her head should be. The story doesn’t get around to answering everything about her but there’s definitely something weird there.
A decent story in a great setting. Not bad for some escapist fun but really could be much more than it is.