One of the lines from 3×3 Eyes, delivered by a fake occultist, is, “It makes money, so who cares?”
In episode 1 of the first series:
I did not give this series a fair shake, due to sheer carelessness.
There are two series, both of which have more than three episodes, and I happened to watch episode 3 from the second series out of order. This completely wrecked any chance the series might have had to make a proper impression.
Overall, however, my impression is that this show lacks depth. It is pure entertainment. The characters are flat. The premises are superficial.
The over-arching premise is that some kind of magic, done by “demons” who are physical, not spiritual, is real. So “demons” are just monstrous life-forms, not metaphysical or moral threats.
That right there takes a lot of punch out of any thrill that might have developed. An evil ghost of a murderer is scary in a psychological sense. Godzilla can cause much more physical damage, but Godzilla is not morally or psychologically scary.
The whole show is about “magic,” in the sense of “special effects that go boom.” The writers apparently had watched a lot of Hong Kong action movies about “ghosts and gods” but had no other ideas about magic.
Ling-Ling, the money-grubbing Hong Kong girl, is a playful, likeable version of a stereotype. But perhaps she shows the true nature of the writers, not the true nature of Hong Kong girls. The writers seem to have been eager to tell a story, even though they had no sense of where they were going.
If you follow the story in order, it actually seems to develop – apparently the writers got a better grasp on their themes as they went. Unfortunately, if you watch the story out of order, the development of immersion is lost, and the whole thing becomes an exercise in criticism, not a pleasant excursion into fantasy.
In hindsight, I suspect that the manga probably covered a lot of ground that never made it into the anime, and I shouldn’t judge the writers too harshly without reading the manga.
In any event, this show motivated me to delve back into some much older writers, such as Robert E. Howard, to reconsider how modern, materialistic writers have represented magic and gods.