Baoh the Visitor (OVA)
Baoh the Visitor (バオー来訪者 Baō Raihōsha) is a single-episode OVA adaptation of the manga series Baoh the Visitor by Hirohiko Araki. It was produced by Studio Pierrot and distributed by Toho and Shōnen Jump Video. The OVA premiered in select theatres on September 16, 1989 and was eventually released to VHS on November 1, 1989. A LaserDisc version was distributed on December 21, 1989.
An English localization of the VHS and LaserDisc were released by AnimEigo on May 24, 1995 and June 6, 1995 respectively. The company followed with a DVD version on February 26, 2002. A Japanese DVD release by Toshiba Digital Frontiers was eventually distributed on April 2, 2003.
|Format||Release Date||Release Date||Release Date|
|Theatrical||September 16, 1989||N/A||N/A|
|VHS||November 1, 1989||May 24, 1995||1999|
|LaserDisc||December 21, 1989||June 6, 1995||N/A|
|DVD||April 2, 2003||February 26, 2002||2003|
The story begins on a running armored train of the Secret Dress Organization. A little girl named Sumire has escaped her cell and is pursued by Sophine, one of Dress' agents. Sumire is a psychic and uses her power to break into a fortified wagon where the containment of Baoh is overseen by Dr. Kasuminome. Sumire then turns a valve, causing a failure of the containment system which reveals a young boy with extraordinary strength and resilience. Sumire and the boy then escape from the train in the ensuing chaos.
Hours later, Sumire and the boy take a rest. The boy named Ikuro reveals that he's amnesiac while Sumire explains her past as an orphan. Suddenly, an assassin from the Dress organization stabs Ikuro from behind. Ikuro and Sumire then flee on a motorbike with the assassin pursuing them. The assassin eventually ambushes Ikuro and inflicts mortal wounds with his combat knife, but Ikuro partially turns into Baoh, heals his wounds and kills the assassin. Meanwhile, Kasuminome demonstrates the potential of Baoh to the sponsors of the Dress organization. Dordo, an elite enforcer of the organization, also shows that bullets to the head and fire can kill the Baoh. Dordo is then deployed with a death squad to hunt down Ikuro.
Ikuro and Sumire take refuge in an abandoned building. Ikuro remembers a car crash and the subsequent experimentations Kasuminome has performed on him. Sumire senses the death squad coming and a battle ensues. Sumire is knocked out in the struggle but Ikuro fully turns into Baoh and decimates the squad. When Dordo takes Sumire hostage, Baoh uses his stinger hairs to melt Dordo's skin, only to reveal that Dordo is a cyborg whose loss of skin is a minor inconvenience. Fleeing with Sumire, Dordo goads Ikuro to come to Dress' main laboratory to take her back.
Back at the lab, Kasuminome tortures Sumire to lure Ikuro, who can sense her suffering. Ikuro scales a cliff leading to the lab and is ambushed by Dordo on a helicopter who tries to shoot him with an explosive bullet. However, Baoh manifests a new ability and projects an energy field returning to bullet to Dordo, destroying the helicopter and killing the agent. Baoh enters the lab but a psychic on Dress' orders confronts him. Walken is a powerful psychic but Baoh eventually throws a sharp arm-blade into his skull, taking him out. Desperate, Kasuminome engages the self-destruction of the building.
Ikuro breaks into Sumire's cell, disables the laser defense set up in the room and revives her. Meanwhile, Walken has regained consciousness; the arm-blade destroyed Walken's bandana which was a psychic limiter, driving him berserk. Walken confronts Ikuro and opens a hole on the ground, making everyone fall into a cavern including Kasuminome and Sophine who were in an escape pod. Ikuro silently points out to an escape route and Sumire leaves him after a tearful goodbye. In the ensuing battle against Walken, Baoh prevails by using a laser to his advantage. Walken, Kasuminome and Sophine die, and the cavern collapses.
Years later, Sumire is still free and is shown waiting by the beach. She sees a vision that Ikuro is still alive, slumbering in the depths of the pond below the lab.
Sean P. O'Connell
- The female agent who is held responsible for Ikuro and Sumire's escape is given the name Sophine. She lasts longer in the OVA, while in the manga she is disposed of by the organization for letting the two escape.
- Dordo appears earlier in the OVA, shooting the Baoh dog in the brain.
- Walken appears earlier in the OVA.
- The headpiece used to suppress Walken's psychic power is a bandana in the OVA; in the manga, it is instead a pair of headphones.
- Dordo's first confrontation with Baoh and kidnapping of Sumire occurs earlier in the OVA, after Baoh disposes of the Dress soldiers in the abandoned building.
- The scene of Dordo using Aroma Bats against Baoh is removed.
- The scene of Dordo being mocked by the Dress Organization for only kidnapping Sumire is omitted.
- The characters Martin and his master are completely omitted.
- The characters Rokusuke and his wife are completely omitted, along with all scenes involving them.
- The scene where Ikuro tries saving a girl from a train without transforming into Baoh is omitted.
- Ikuro's second confrontation with Dordo as well as the latter's death is completely altered: In the OVA, Dordo tries shooting Ikuro from his helicopter while Ikuro is climbing towards the Dress Organization base, but Ikuro deflects one of the bullets, sending it back to Dordo's helicopter, which explodes with him in it. In the manga, Dordo tries assassinating Baoh in a town, but is forced to retreat after failing to do so, resulting in his execution by Walken.
- The scientist that asks Kasuminome if they should stop Sumire's torture is replaced by Sophine.
- The scene of Baoh fighting the Sap Spiders in the Dress Organization base is removed.
- Sophine is seen dying from a falling stalactite, along with Dr. Kasuminome.
- The OVA premiered at select Toho Cinemas on September 16, 1989 with a VHS release date set for November 1, 1989. However, customers were allowed to rent the video at video rental shops beforehand starting from October 13, 1989.
- In later re-releases of the OVA, an original English ending track is added after the Japanese credits, played alongside a set of English credits for the English dubbing and production. The song is left unnamed, as well as uncredited, and has not been released outside of playing during the end credits.
- Hirohiko Araki thought the OVA was really well made, especially considering the limitations on its production. However, he felt that it was a bit of a waste that it adapts both manga volumes into a single VHS. He would have liked to see the two volumes of the manga adapted separately.