The alt-history animation centers on Division Six, a do-gooder group of mentally linked youths who use the gifts of astrology, clairvoyance and hypnosis against legendary sorcerer/black-arts practitioner Baron von Wolff and his wizard warriors.
After having bloodily slaughtered a Russian village to smithereens, the Baron aka the Angel of Death is pursued by Nadya, a girl sent into the Netherworld aka the world of the dead to fight demons and spirits, although she risks being stuck there forever.
The first half is of "First Squad" is all set-up; the second half is all battle. It's grisly, pulp-powered and, like the recent "Redline," an anime that can bears the potential to transcend the medium's mere fan crowd of obsessives and into the mainstream. Its story feels like a merger of "X-Men: First Class" and "Sucker Punch." Being only an hour (although the box promises 75 minutes) sure doesn't hurt, either. Rod Lott