I will admit that I'm a fan of cyberpunk in its many forms, from novels by the likes of William Gibson and Iain Banks to movies like Blade Runner and Mad Max. As a child of the 80s, these were mainstays in my entertainment repertoire. By the time Armitage III was released in February 1995, I had already been exposed to titles such as Appleseed, Battle Angel Alita, Cyber City Oedo 808, Genocyber, AD Police Files, and those classics Akira and the Bubblegum series.
Now, given the time of it's release, much of the hype of that moment centred around the forthcoming Ghost in the Shell,
set to be released later that year. Because of this, Armitage III has been somewhat left by the wayside when it comes to mid 90s anime, especially given the huge marketing campaign devoted to GitS. This irony is that of the two major cyberpunk releases of 1995, Armitage III just pips GitS as being the best of that year.
The story is set in the year 2046 in the city of Saint Lowell, on the planet Mars. Earth has become overpopulated, and Mars has subsequently been terraformed to deal with this issue. Humanity was aided in the terraforming process by the first generation of androids, and by the time of the story the second generation of androids had become widely used for service and pleasure purposes. Unfortunately, Mars has been suffering from declining birthrates, and whilst the planet is autonmous from Earth, this fact is one of the main drivers for the story.
The plot is well thought out on the whole (barring a few inconsistencies), and the pacing is very good. There is a nice mixture of action and intrigue, as well as a dollop of political machinations (nowhere near as much as GitS though). The story does suffer from its flaws, however the premise is one that is just as plausible as GitS and, given the advances in medical science since 1995, may prove far more "real". The biggest irony is that both Armitage III and GitS ask the question "What is life?", but approach the answer from different angles.
The animation is very well done on the whole. AIC, who are also responsible for AD Police Files, Bubblegum Crisis and Now & Then, Here & There, have done a great job animating the show, however there are some moments when the animation loses its polish. The backgrounds are nicely drawn and are generally atmospheric, but they lack the detail that is one of the hallmarks of GitS.
One of my biggest problems with this series was the design of Naomi Armitage. The other characters were quite well done on the whole, however I initially had difficulty taking the show seriously given that her outfit seems more appropriate for a dominatrix than a police officer. It may be that the designers wanted to emphasise that Naomi is different from other humans by garbing her in very little, however they seem to have forgotten about the utility of clothing in their approach.
The sound is generally very good throught the OVA. The music is very much of the time, so lots of beats are prevalent in many of the actions scenes. The sound effects are well handled on the whole, however there are moments when the sound and music can clash quite badly.
As far as characters go, Ross Syllabus is very much a stereotype - an honorable and decent man who unfortunately hates robots and androids (although he has his reasons for this, and the series tries to explain them to a degree).
Naomi Armitage, on the other hand, is very much a tomboy. Brash, cocky, somewhat arrogant, and very often wilful, she seems to be just another normal, albeit unusually dressed, human being. It's not until the last two episodes that we begin to see more of her true character, however this is still not enough to ensure that the audience can relate to, or sympathise, with her.
Aside from these two, there are sundry other characters who play their part in the OVA, the chief one being René D'anclaude - a man who has been targetting and murdering specific women on MARS.
Although I had some difficulty at first, I thoroughly enjoyed this series and it's sequels. The balanced mixture of action and drama could have been improved, as could the characters, however that would have needed at least 12 episodes to achieve.
There's a definite appeal to the show because of its scripting and unusual (for anime that is), premise. As it's only a four part OVA, there isn't really any time for any real development ofthe characters or the plot, however this is purely a perceptional issue, and one that I can ignore in favour of being entertained.
With inspiration drawn from many sources, like I, Robot by Isaac Asimov and Neuromancer by William Gibson, this OVA is one of the reasons why GitS became so popular here in west. Even by todays standards the story holds up well, whilst much of the artworks bright and cheery palette belies the story's much darker plot.
Armitage III is a good example of how important execution is now matter what concept you're working with. At the core this is a standard cyberpunk romp about the complex role of ever improving technology in human society, in this particular case it's about incredibly advanced androids that are not much different from humans in their make-up and functions. I don't think there's much wrong with the plot since story is not the highlight this time and more of a vehicle for stylized action that's occasionally mixed with some noir and drama.
Art\animation - I'm not quite sure who did the character designs for this show
but sometimes it felt like it was done by two different people. The show is not entirely consistent with its style so some main characters fit this archetype of 90s fashion with sci-fi elements, particularly strong on the titular Armitage but a lot of side characters kind of dress like normal people. Same with world design, even though there's a lot of future elements like floating city blocks, abundance of neon signs and such there are also pretty normal looking bars and offices so I'm not sure if there was one clear vision of what the world of Armitage should look like. If there was a clear distinction between what's futuristic and advanced and what's old and decrepit then it would contribute something to world building and atmosphere but as is it just feels like another part of the show that creators didn't much care about. Also even though Armitage looks solid for overwhelming majority of the run it also has some moments where characters looks so out of proportions that it hurts to look at.
As far as animation goes it's about as good as you'd expect from a 90s OVA, lots of detail, pretty fluid too but it lacks flare and style to be really memorable. So, it's not exactly bad but without proper direction it won't be impressing anyone. To be a single action scene from Mezzo DSA overshadows all the "sakuga" moments in Armitage because of this.
Direction - this is where I want to kind of continue talking about the art while also bringing up music and some of the story though this will be spoiler free.
The direction is probably the biggest flaw in this OVA, as I mentioned in the beginning, I don't think there's much in terms of plot that keeps this from being an entertaining sci-fi action OVA but all of the potential is squandered thanks to bad direction. First of all the pacing is too slow, even action scenes feel dull when the director and editor don't care to depict urgency, intensity or danger involved. It's horribly mundane and unexciting and music is only making it worse. While on its own it's not necessarily bad, when paired with scenes where it's used I felt like someone just looked at the scenes and thought it's getting too quiet so they just randomly slapped the first bleep bloop track they could find. It doesn't fit the mood or action so what's the point? My next issue with direction is editing, I started paying more attention to it towards the end where the flaws became too bad to go on unnoticed and sometimes the choices made were flat out baffling. Like in episode 3 I think there's a relatively important action scene with higher stakes than most other fights prior but we cut away from it to boring investigation work, just why? Other time the faults were less egregious but there's still plenty of amateurish cuts that disrupt the flow of action as well as spacial continuity. The last complaint is that it's just not interesting to look at. There are too many shots with boring framing that give you nothing to look yet they linger on as if you're shown something important. One shot stood especially stood to me when it was like a 2 or 3 seconds long still shot of an almost completely brown back alley with 5 inches of some neon sign in the upper left corner. That scene was so dead and boring that it took me out of the show. It might sound like a nitpicks but I'm only mentioning it cause it's bad and it's common so stuff like that builds up.
Writing - no surprises here cause pretty much all you need to know how this is gonna go is in the synopsis already. The show doesn't get too deep and it's better for it cause otherwise they'd be encroaching on the territory that's already been covered by far better written sci-fi classics like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell. The script is kind of cheesy and very much in your face at times but I don't think the show pretended to be more than it is and wrapped it all up in the end, can't say it was entirely satisfying but when you got a show that can't offer and interesting story, doing as little to create more problems is fine.
Fun factor - this is the part where I'm supposed to justify why I still gave it a 5 cause so far it seems like a bunch of negatives and not really anything to justify it. No matter how underwhelming the execution is I think it still works as a cheese little sci-fi romp that can be a fine casual watch. It's not good but it's not offensively bad either so if it peaked your interest in one way or another it's worth to have a go at it.
Okay, so let me get this straight...it's 1995. There's this anime about a hot, skimpily dressed cybernetic police officer with her large, strong as hell partner trying to stop a terrorist that's trying to shake the political scales of the world in the distant, but not too distant future? Oh, Ghost In The Shell, right? Well, you're half-right, but the anime I'm referring to is a 4 episode OVA called Armitage III...which in all actuality came out before Ghost In The Shell.
At any rate, the plot revolves around a former Chicago police officer named Ross Sylibus, who is
transferring to a police department on a Martian colony after his partner on Earth was killed by a robot. However, it doesn't take long for Ross to get thrown into action as a country singer that was on the same flight to Mars as Ross is murdered. While in the baggage claim, Ross runs into the murderer and his new partner at the MPD, Naomi Armitage. When Naomi tries to stop the murderer, they discover he's transporting the body of the country singer in a suitcase. The murderer gets away, however, Ross and Naomi discover that the singer was in all actuality a robot that is labeled as a "Third," a model of robots that are illegally produced and indistinguishable from humans. Through an illegal broadcast, the MPD (Martian Police Department) discovers that the "murderer" is a man known as Rene D'anclaude and his objective is to kill all of the Thirds since they aren't real humans. It is up to Ross, Naomi, and the rest of the MPD to discover D'anclaude's plot and bring a stop to his reign of terror.
I can honestly say that the best part of this series was its plot. This plot was really interesting, especially if you love cyberpunk anime. This series seems to have a lot of sci-fi elements reminiscent of Phillip K. Dick's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" (which inspired Total Recall), Isaac Asimov's "Robot Series (inspired I, Robot)," and even a little bit of William Gibson's "Neuromancer." Getting back to the plot though, I can get invested in a good futuristic cyberpunk cop drama, and that's definitely what we have here with Armitage III. As I watched, I wanted to know more about this environment. This series throws at us a Martian colony, robots and cyborgs, and explosive action to go with its investigative mystery. The more I watched, the more I wanted to know about this environment and its characters.
On the whole, I was really intrigued about the characters. Of course, this series shows off its lead female the most. Naomi Armitage is...well...flashy to say the least. She's a cop with a feisty attitude and a rather unorthodox getup (which Ross comments on the first time they meet). However, underneath her rough and rigid personality is someone who is facing an emotional breakdown and suffering from an identity crisis due to her in all actuality being a Third. Ross on the other hand is a level-headed officer that tries to keep Naomi in line, but also deals with his own inner demons as he has a hatred for robots due to his dark past, but also has to come to terms with it when he realizes Naomi is a robot. (P.S. While I know this might rub off as spoilers, these events take place within the first half-hour). Even the antagonist, Rene D'anclaude was an intriguing character with a sadistic personality. It was interesting to see how his character unraveled...although the series still left us with a lot to be desired from all of these characters.
The best way I can describe the overall production from AIC was...well, good, but not great. The animation is solid, but not breathtaking...at least not in comparison to something like Ghost In The Shell that came out that same year. The seiyuu work I thought was actually pretty good. Yasunori Masutani (Guseong from Psycho-Pass) as Ross, Hiroko Kasahara (Magdalia from Rurouni Kenshin) as Naomi, and Ryusei Nakao (Freiza from Dragonball Z, Mayuri from Bleach) as Rene played their roles extremely well. I really bought into all of their characters. The support work was decent but nothing too memorable. I was actually pretty impressed with the music for this series even though I did feel the main theme did get a little repetitive (which I personally didn't mind since I kinda liked the song). However, the one thing I will say is it's a fairly "techy" soundtrack, so if you're looking for a more refined, artistic soundtrack like you would hear in Ghost In The Shell, you won't find it here.
Unfortunately, this OVA's biggest problem is it's way too condensed. This series has a massive plot and it has a fairly rushed feel to it. When the series was over, I wanted to know more about the setting. Why there is a Martian colony, what is the political scale of this colony in regards to Earth (which is looked at a bit in episode 4), what is the Earth's stance on robotics, etc. Those are just a few of the questions on my mind that lingered and I wanted to know a lot more about Ross and Naomi as well. They both had interesting back stories but neither was properly hashed out due to time restraints. This series would have worked so much better as a 12-13 episode series because it had a lot of ground to cover for a 4 episode OVA. Even Rene's character motivations seemed confusing because it didn't seem like they had enough time to touch upon it completely. Even when Asakura was introduced later in the series, I was still confused as to what the connections were between him, Rene, and Naomi. That's another one of my complaints. I hate saying this since it's usually an ugly label to give a series, this OVA had some plot holes and unexplained or unclear character motivations. This series takes a twist later on that I was baffled by because I couldn't figure out the complete reasoning behind it. By the time it was all said and done, I was wondering why this series took such a steep political twist and then didn't properly develop the reasoning for it. I wouldn't say it completely detracted from the viewing experience, but I couldn't help but ask these questions as the OVA came to a close.
All-in-all, Armitage III is a pretty fun viewing experience. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the older, cell animated series out there but I still enjoyed Armitage quite a bit. While yes, the plot holes and unexplained character motivations bugged me a bit, I was still enthralled with it due to having a well-played pair of protagonists and a intriguing, sadistic antagonist with a mysterious motivation. I came for the plot and the characters made me stay. While I know this did get a summary movie as well as a sequel, this is one OVA series I'd really like to see turned into a full series because there is a lot of material here to work with that can be properly hashed out over 12-13 episodes. Still, if you're a fan of cyberpunk anime, especially something like Ghost In The Shell, this might be worth a watch. I wouldn't put this on the same artistic plane as GITS...not by a long shot. However, if you're looking for a few hours to kill, Armitage is certainly not a bad way to kill it.
“I wish I had no brain to think and worry.” — Naomi Armitage
Ah, the age-old dilemma of being human (or a robot emulating a human), that which separates us from the animal kingdom — namely being, our superior cognitive abilities — is the same variable that alienates us, as well. We have the capability of creating fantastic technological instruments to ease our lives, yet those same instruments have the ability to “replace” our intended “purpose” of existence. From a biological perspective, we tend to believe in passing on our genes to future generations in a process known as procreation. The sense
of “fulfillment” gives us great pride, yet evolutionary theory does not adhere to a designed “purpose,” nor does it care how genes are passed on, or if they are passed on at all.
Faced with the prospect a diminishing/stagnant population, the Mars colony deems it “necessary” to hasten their biological development by means of using advanced robots (otherwise known as: “thirds”). The ethical/sociological dilemma’a comes to the fore when job displacement becomes an issue, and feminists begin to protest as their “woman-hood” is supplanted by the female “thirds.” The absence of purpose is evident from the outset, as numerous people define themselves — and take great pride — through their job, or their capacity to start a family. Think about it: how many times does a person ask you what you do for a living, and you responded promptly with, “I work at [fill in the blank.]” We tend to believe we have a life outside of our job, but the fact remains: without a job, we cannot live as we please. As of writing this review, our very own society will be facing this same predicament as automated cars replace truckers, robotic arms replace surgeons, and artificial wombs (potentially) replace human conception.
The political easement of the people’s woes through the faux slogan, “one world, one nation,” as they eliminate their enemies with, “coincidentally” enough, their own robots, highlights the hypocritical nature of politicians and national governments. The Earth Federation Chairwoman, like many politicians, appears before a crowd with a sense of dignity and virtue, but behind the scenes, loose ends are being “taken care of,” for the “betterment” of society.
The characters of the show are fairly interesting, as we get some useful insights into their motivations and their uniquely distinct characteristics. Armitage, while being a robot, struggles with the same basic questions that plague the majority of humanity: why do I exist? There are no easy answers, but it sparks the audience to ask the question themselves, and where the line between robot and human should be drawn? Ross Sylius, in a weird way, represents the anime public, as he falls in love with an “artificial” girl, someone who is not “human.” Think about it: he married, and impregnated his waifu. Well done, sir. Well done.
A fascinating anime relic from the past, Armitage III resembles the highly popularized Ghost in the Shell, but, interestingly enough, its first episode predates the latter’s release. Coming from the mind of Chiaki Konaka — who would later write Serial Experiments Lain, several episodes of Texhnolyze, and Digimon Tamers — it’s no surprise the series deviated from the high-paced action sequences, to a philosophical view of the human condition. That being said, it suffers from a surface level approach to its own philosophical themes; thus, leaving the viewer yearning for something more substantial. Also, the story seems sporadic, at times. Giving the impression of poor planning on the staff’s part. But given the brief nature of the show itself, it did a fine job of accomplishing an entertaining action-drama with philosophical musings, and sociological ramifications of proliferating technology.
In addition, that opening theme song is fantastic. I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I absolutely love it. Perhaps you have to be a 90’s kid to understand.
The story is focused on two cops, Ross and Armitage as they try to discover the reason behind all the chaos. At times I was under the impression that it is maybe too much influenced by Hollywood movies such as Blade Runner or AI but in the end, the story is well constructed and presented through the 4 OVA's. This is well explained with the use of the great animations. This came out in 1995 and it looks amazing for its time. The high amount of details is very impressive and you can see another anime that influenced The Matrix with the now famous green
data line flowing down the visor. The faces of the characters are a little sharp and maybe needed a little polishing but that's a minor detail. The sound was awesome. Industrial and some metal riffs fit any cyberpunk anime like a glove. As far as characters go, only Armitage is worth mentioning. Ross is ok to see as the tough (yet soft on the inside) cop but Armitage is the real star of the show. She's sexy, badass and an attitude that would even make Alucard shit his pants. You don't mess around with her.
In conclusion, Armitage III is awesome. Any SF/cyberpunk anime lover should see this. Great visuals, great OST and a memorable main character bring this anime a big well deserved 10.
Arimtage III is a truly great anime OVA. Sadly it came out about the same time as the original GHOST IN THE SHELL, and was overlooked for the overrated Ghost in the Shell movie. The story is far better, truly delving into whether machines are alive or not and could they be considered human, along with many other questions. Can they fall in love, or even have children. Then there are the two main characters, Naomi Armitage and Ross Sylibus. They add depth and bring life to the story. The action is great keeping you watching even in the
quiet times of the anime. The animation isn't as great as it was after all it's been 13 years since it first came out, but it still holds up today. I would highly recommend this anime over any of the Ghost in the Shell anime.
Setting is probably 100years from now after we’ve colonized mars and are capable of creating advanced robots capable of being both useful and aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well. There exists hidden within the human population of mars a new generation of robot, one that has both emotions and another interesting ability. The animation is nice and detailed though not overly drawn and the sound is not the worst ever. There are 4 eps that I have found and if anyone wanted to they could probably be turned into a movie. Nothing special, has an interesting concept but over all I was just bored
Humans from Earth who created androids known as the "Second Types" colonize mars. People on Mars eventually become paranoid about these very human looking androids, causing riots and lynch mobs to burn the "Second Types" in mass quantities. The androids begin to resist the only way they can, by evolving into a new class of Android the "Thirds". A group of these "Third Types" begin to murder humans in retaliation for the way their kind is treated. The "Thirds" are soon classified as unlicensed androids, for the simple fact that they not only look, but act exactly like human beings.
Upon arriving on Mars Detective
Ross Sylabus is thrust in to the middle of a baffling murder, which eventually spawns an investigation into the mysteries of the "Thirds." During this encounter at the Space Port he stumbles upon his new partner; Naomi Armitage, a young girl with what you might call an outgoing personality.
Being the typical Human of the times Detective Sylabus is openly prejudiced against all androids, but ironically finds he is becoming more and more like those things that he hates. As the story moves forward Detective Sylabus finds that his body is slowly being replaced by cybernetic implants, and is forced to confront many of the same feelings and bigotries that androids deal with on a daily basis.
Arimitage though, is in actuality a "Third Type" android, one that possesses a secret that if revealed, will thrust both of them head long into an adventure that could easily lead to their destruction.
DARGON / Tera-Alpha's Notes:
This is my favorite Anime Movie! I have watched it several times and am still not bored with it. The plot is very well developed and extreamly exciting. The end does seem cut short even though the movie is 90 minutes, but that is explained by there being a sequal ("Dual Matrix") now available on DVD. I have not seen the sequal yet, but predict that it will be at least as good as the original!
See more Reviews: http://teraalpha.com/STA/anime/modules/content/index.php?id=49
I haven't watched too many anime that fit in this category, so keep that in mind when reading the review
overall the story was my biggest problem. the first two episodes are pretty good and dragged me into the story. but the last two episodes feel rushed and forced in ways. had me questioning if i missed part of the episode multiple times. several thing are not really explained.
art was pretty good actually thought this was an early '00 anime. character designs are real nice and the backgrounds are fitting for the story.
sound had a nice wanna say funk vibe going on. op and ed
were both nice and enjoyable.
guess i said all i had to say characters are semi developed but never full fleshed out
overall its worth a watch. it is about as long as a movie so its not super long or anything.
I have a great nostalgia for Armitage III (OVA), for it is among the first anime I had seen, having found an abandoned copy on VHS in a dorm room in 1995 (its year of release). I'm not sure it is possible for me to distance myself from that bit of affection in writing a review, but I have seen it many times since and it remains among my favourite and most esteemed works. Not for its story or art, in which it has surely been outdone by others, but for its sheer visceral feeling.
To clarify, I must make two suggestions. The first is
to be certain that you watch the four-part OVA, rather than the film (Polymatrix), as the latter leaves out enough material to be a disservice. And secondly - very importantly - do yourself a favour and watch it subbed. The dubbed version, as so often is the case, is languid and uninspired. The original Japanese language voice-actors did a very fine job and you will benefit from their efforts. I believe that between their very well characterised acting and Hiroyuki Namba's excellent original score, much of what may be perceived as deficiencies in the animation are more than made up for.
I won't be reviewing the plot here, as it is straightforward and much is written on it already. What I will say is that the story covers a number of very important and often divisive issues, namely how we treat the "other." In the best tradition of sci-fi we find androids used as a stand-in for the minority or immigrant population of your choice. "They're taking our jobs," "they're sub-human," "they're here for our use," and "they couldn't possibly produce great works on their own," etc. Not only is Armitage one of these minorities, both in fact and as analogue, but she is in addition a female. Doubly a second-class citizen! And yet imbued with indomitable character tempered with sensitivity, great power balanced with compassion. Ross, likewise, is a fantastic bridge between human (or white/male/majority) and android (non-white/female/minority), for despite his prior prejudices, he uses the best human qualities of reason, empathy - and ultimately - love, to guide his relationship with Armitage. In many ways the cop-buddy human/non-human pairing owes a lot to "Alien Nation" (1988) and "Mann & Machine" (1992). From the looks of it Armitage has likewise gone on to influence the upcoming "Almost Human" (2013).
A great many comparisons can also be made between Armitage and Ghost in the Shell, but here I will attempt brevity and say that while GITS is cerebral, Armitage is emotional. If GITS concerns itself with the nature of the soul, Armitage looks at what it means to have a heart. Despite all the similarities between the two franchises, in some ways they could not be more different. We accept Kusanagi Motoko as human because she is, though she often behaves more like a machine herself; while Naomi Armitage is not human at all, but behaves more like one than "the real thing." She embodies some of the quintessential essence at the core of the cyberpunk genre. What is it to be human? If you can't tell the difference, what's the difference? It is this last that, in my opinion, Armitage III examines perhaps better than any other work, on par with Bladerunner itself. One really can't give much higher praise than that.
First let me give you a little backstory as to what Armitage III really is. It was one of the first cyberpunk animes to feature a strong female character (coming out the same year as the first Ghost in the Shell movie). However, it typically receives much less attention. It takes place on the planet Mars, and plays out in a "buddy cop" detective style.
Detective Ross transfers to the Mars police force trying to escape his mental anquish he feels from his former partner being killed by a cyborg. His new partner is a woman named Armitage who is secretly a "third type" robot
masquerading as a human. The central plot focuses around a spree of murders involving these robots, detective Ross trying to come to terms with his psychological damage and mistrust of machines through Armitage, and finding out the secrets about these machines.
If you enjoy a bit of action or mystery you should be able to find something memorable in this story which delves into coming to terms and overcoming things that cause you pain.
As previously mentioned it was one of the first cyberpunk animes of this type and the setting is wonderfully gritty and future techy.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the electronic/techno themed pieces I was left feeling like they could have done more with it.
I enjoyed the chemistry between Detective Ross and Armitage as it feels very natural like if you just met your future best friend. It also bears mentioning that there are a lot of personal issues for each character to overcome which I feel made me appreciate Armitage and Ross more, such as Armitage coming to terms with what she is meant for.
The futuristic setting, character models and weaponry, art of Armitage, and prevailing action/drama overtones of the anime definitely make it a fun ride.
Cool anime that was completely overshadowed by the far more influential and spectacular Ghost in the Shell movie that came out the same year! Only room for one cyberpunk epic and unfortunately, this anime would of came out on top if it was any other cyberpunk anime.
For one the story is above par, for both a 90s OVA and a cyberpunk anime. Written well, cute snappy dialogue, no plotholes that were particularly unsettling (but strong inferences are needed when some events lead to the next) and the cyberpunk compulsory themes of government/ megacorporation conspiracy and robots vs humans in the battle over who possesses
more humanity. Not everything is fully explained to a satisfying depth; whether the characters or the premise that features political backgrounds fit for a 18 episode series rather than just 4 ovas (in fact, this aspect is only explored in the final episode). Despite all the material they had to fit into 4 ovas, pacing is done very well but it does jump from detective story to full blown conspiracy thriller halfway through.
The characters are very solid considering the run length of the ova. Armitage is a female cop in red latex; Streets of Rage memories! But just as SoR is a brilliant game, Armitage is more than just a smutty punk girl turned detective. Her rebellious attitude is merely a cover or response to her more sensitive side. A side that drives the themes of the anime. The male protagonist, Roy also develops his character in tandem to Armitage. However, the villlains are definitely underdeveloped if not relentless and unsettling!
Art is on the upper side of the spectrum when it comes to mid 90s anime OVAs. This anime is rather bright and vibrant compared to many other cyberpunk animes but the atmosphere is still there. However, it is not quite up there with the technical and visual brilliance of 90s movie level animation. Polish and detailing drops off at certain scenes. The mechanical and aesthetic design itself is more or less slightly above average for cyberpunk (AKA still really fcking awesome).
I put far lower scaling on how my rating for music affects the overall score of an anime as I generally just don't care for anime music or film scores in general. This is as of the time of this writing, the only instance where that low scaling has worked against the anime. Personally I enjoyed the ost as a whole far more than any other anime ost. Its a nice mix of techno, synth rock, film score and acid jazz. For the unconventional rock fan who likes abit of jazz or synthesizer in their music.
Other things to note? The movie version condenses the ova down (I know we needed more expansion on the franchise but at the same time, it wouldn't hurt to streamline some scenes). It also has an unique introduction scene, extra scenes for Roy's flashbacks and a changed and shortened ending. Though far from a mindless action romp; there will be enough action scenes if that takes priority for any viewers out there.
Recommended to fans of cyberpunk and retro sci fi (anime).
This was a really amazing anmie with great(though aged graphics ), good sound work and a really really solid story.
Armitage really steals the show , one major hawt bad ass , if you ever saw one.
what i liked even more , was some of those awkward questions raised as whats just considered life ,who deserves to be protected and how society deals with its demons and outcasts.lots of thought provoking stuff.
The first thing you should keep in mind while watching Armitage III is 1995... It was released back than... So for sure the drawings and animations can't keep up with newer works, but for the given time it was near to stand of the art. Same goes for the sound, the music isn't anything special nowadays, but back than it was good (Oh yes, just good ;)).
To the setting:
In the 2040's mankind has teraformed and colonized mars, and lives there in a highly technologized society, meaning Robots, Cyborgs and so on are fully developed and can be used for all kinds of things... If
Armitage would have been released today you could say it's old food - but back than the idea was somewhat fresh... Cool, so it's a +.
To the characters:
Police Detectives seem to be kind of nostalgic, even in 2040 they are running wild with a long coat... Hm still, feels cool. Ross seems like a Latino, who lives in a bodybuilding studio, and Armitage is the counterpart: Little girl in hot pants and suspenders... Yay nice one on this too... It's important to say that Ross has lost his (female) police partner while they fought an cyborg, so he dislikes robots... Too bad Armitage is a robot herself - oh well, standard setting, but cool non the less...
I enjoyed watching Armitage - even if I wanted to turn off in the first minutes, it seemed kind of boring, but somehow I got to watch the whole OVA... Well if you like the cyberpunk setting and don't care about the old school art, a few storyline errors, shortcuts and so on - you'll like Armitage for sure.