The year is 2808 AD, and major technological advances have enabled humanity not only to travel to work in self-driven hovercars, but also to seal off the planet's most dangerous criminals in a maximum security penitentiary which differs from our contemporary 21st century versions in just one respect: it's in space.
Thus, along with a rocking guitar riff to introduce the absurd acronym title ("Oriental Electric Darwinism Oasis 808", apparently), we are introduced to our three protagonist anti-heros: Sengoku, a hardened criminal who must have decided at an early age to commit as many crimes as humanly possible, currently serving a sentence of 375 years for
a plethora of crimes, with a generous 0.005% chance of parole; Gogul, a computer wizard with a Geordie LaForge-style visor and a tendency to swear like a disgruntled sailor, serving a 310-year sentence with a 0.013% change of parole; and Benten, a silver-haired effeminate embezzler working through the start of his 295-year sentence. Chance of parole? 0.008%.
So, what possible adventures could these three get up to? The situation of no chance of escape, the possibility of parole slimmer than Kate Moss' middle finger, not to mention being encased in solitary confinement for centuries on end does not lend itself well for three half-hour episodes of fast and furious futuristic frolics.
That is, until you learn about their special dispensation.
Hasegawa, a man of questionable power and sombre disposition, has enlisted the help of these three 'cyber criminals' - and here's the deal - for every grade A criminal that they bring into police custody, they get a couple of years knocked off their sentence. What's the catch? Well, aside from the fact that each mission they undertake comes with a time limit that (triggered by Hasegawa's cigarette lighter, no less), when expired, will explode the collars around their necks 'Battle Royale'-style; nothing. To be honest, I'd rather rot in a titanium alloy cell, gazing at the stars and singing old country & western songs to myself and for the benefit of nearby inmates with their hearing still intact; but these three know how to take care of themselves, and are desperate to stretch their legs again after a prolonged period in the can.
The feature is split into three episodes, and though all of the protagonists feature in each episode, it is clear that each half-hour slot is dedicated to allowing the audience to get to know the three criminals individually.
First up is Sengoku's chapter, where we get to know VARSUS, another insane acronym, this time describing a bulky robot on wheels who acts not only as an aid for when Sengoku needs vital information, but also to warn him against the dangers of alcohol, correct his grammar, and generally irritate the living Jesus out of him. You tend to lose count of the amount of times Sengoku tells VARSUS to reproduce with himself, and not always in such eloquent terms.
Which brings me to one of the main features in OEDO 808: swearing. The dubbed English versions feature an absolute overabundance of bad language. "Fuck off" is used in the same vein as "good morning" for much of the feature - and while many Mary Whitehouse-minded viewers will find it moronic and immature, I confess to enjoying it somewhat. Though I freely admit that I am at my basest level a vulgar excuse for a human, often finding fart jokes to be the highest form of wit, I found the continuous stream of curse words a joy to behold, bringing forth the immoral and felonious characteristics of the law-breakers-turned-upholders into the mind's eye of the observer. My personal favourite highlight is the utter pointlessness of the line in the first episode where Gogul, sat in front of a computer, is trying to isolate the location of a hacker in an attempt to stop him from accessing a huge satellite laser cannon: "Come on, where the fuck are you, you cocksucking son of a bitch?".
Anyhow, back to the show. Sengoku is sent into a building (though 'building' is an understatement, I believe the literal Japanese translation is a 'Mega Skyscraper': it stretches into space, just in case you were becoming jaded by the relative realism after the captives are freed from their orbital incarceration) that has been completely overrun by a mysterious hacker, who has not only trapped everybody in the building, but is working on other, entirely more sinister plans too. I'm not going to give any of these away, suffice to say that they rather predictably involve high-tech weapons, large explosions, and a lift falling 100 floors in 10 seconds.
The animation is for the most part impressive as well as functional, somewhat akin to an ultra-modern 'Ninja Scroll' (probably owing to Yoshiaki Kawajiri's direction). The only minor gripe would be a few poor choices of wipes to denote scene changes. In one scene after Sengoku, trapped in a confined space, has just shot a maintenance droid who was bearing down on him at some speed, the screen fades to bright blue and then back to the next scene. The first time I saw it, I thought he had died. Still, this is a very minor grievance, and as a general rule the dynamism of the animation is upheld pretty pleasingly.
Character interaction in this episode is exciting and definitely worthy of note. It's always good when three people are working together towards a common aim and still have the audacity to rip the living piss out of each other at every opportunity. Benten dodges a corridor full of lasers for the best part of an hour while Sengoku takes the maintenance shaft; and on his way out of their common destination, seeing Benten a couple of yards away, Sengoku laughs, "Is that as far as you got? Shit!"
An interesting incident of note in this episode is at the end: the chapter ends just before Sengoku jumps through the window of Hasegawa's office. Apparently in the original he ran inside and was killed, but due to the overwhelming popularity of the first episode, they decided to resurrect him in preparation for the other two. So there you go.
The second instalment of the OEDO 808 series is dedicated to Gogul, and features a mysterious robot killing machine created by the military that is not only close to indestructible, but can harness psychic power and tear the limbs off people from fifty yards away. The army's plan is, after successful testing, to replace the entire police force with these monstrosities, including the special cyber criminal unit of which our three 'heroes' are a part.
Inevitably, Gogul ends up fighting it.
This is by far my favourite episode, featuring gore, protracted fight sequences, the never-ending futuristic anime obsession of the struggle between man and machine, not to mention no end of personal satisfaction when you spend the entire episode wondering whether this insane psychic carnage appliance has any kind of weakness at all. Beautifully animated and crafted, with an amusing and practical script (and still plenty of swearing, abuse fans).
The third episode, however, soon made me wish that I had pressed stop on the video player after Gogul's chapter. My main beef with this episode is the main character - Benten. In the two previous episodes Benten's solitary purpose had been staring up into the sky and saying "The stars are not in alignment - it's a bad omen". Besides the fact that it's a vague and superfluous line, it's the fact that it's some androgynous gimp with long white hair, a pointy nose and glittering earrings that's saying it. In fact, until Benten spoke, I was actually under the impression that 'he' was a 'she'.
The storyline starts out as a murder mystery, and soon becomes twisted in the supernatural, toying with the ideas of vampirism and immortality. Though the last 5-10 minutes are inherently viewable (due to the fact that there's a fairly insane fight going on), the rest of the episode is fairly rudimentary, and the script definitely suffers from Benten's flagrantly bisexual tendencies (the only reason I didn't say homosexual is because he kisses a girl right at the end). In my humble opinion this is the only reason why this 3-part series doesn't achieve a better score, as the other two episodes are no only involving, but at times extremely funny, too. Benten's affair tries its very hardest at being moving, appealing to the heart instead of depicting it being splattered all over the walls; unfortunately there is not enough basis to form any kind of emotional interest, and, coupled with the distinct lack of likeability of Benten's character, fails to entertain.
All in all, however, there is plenty to see here. On the whole OEDO 808 is involving, fun to watch, and has a few moments that may well stay with you forever.
The German phrase Zeitgeist translates to "spirit of the age". This anime perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the 1980s even better than Fist of the North Star...despite the fact that Oedo was actually released in the 1990s and was laughably dated upon arrival. Despite how goofy it often gets, Oedo is freaking awesome and well worth checking out!
The 1980s were a truly bizarre decade in terms of film. The year 1980 saw the release of Heaven's Gate, one of the most boring, pretentious, shitty art films ever made. It bombed so hard it is legendary to this day! At the same time, the wildly popular
American President Ronald Reagan placed value on the average American Joe and showed disdain for snooty elitists. The European film critics of this time were busy hyping up art films from France, Sweden, and the USSR that Americans and frankly most average folks neither appreciated nor enjoyed. It was time for a revolution! It was time for a massive backlash against snooty elitists and "highbrow" taste. The 1980s were the decade in which no writers were saying things like, "let's cut that out, people will find it too corny and cheesy". We embraced the corn! We embraced the cheese! Having shit taste basically became a badge of pride in those days! It meant you weren't a god damned Communist! People came out in droves to see big, cheesy, idiotic action movies like never before or since, despite what ALL the critics said. Films that in any other decade would be scorned or laughed at were cheered un-ironically. Rocky 4 became the highest grossing sports film in American history adjusted for inflation. It was this background of over the top excess, style over substance, and complete lack of care for snarky nitpickers that forged anime like Fist of the North Star, MD Geist, and today's topic of Cyber City Oedo.
The visual aesthetic of Cyber City Oedo is ENTIRELY inspired by early 80s/ late 70s Glam Rock. Expect tons of Jerry curls, mullets, and FABULOUS nails. The 80s were the decade in which the flamboyant, metrosexual look was all the rage. Just look at Michael Jackson, Prince, Def Leppard, Queen, Sweet, Kiss, Wham, Michael Bolton, Rick Astley, and almost everyone popular during that decade. It was like you had to look at least X percent gay in order to be cool.
The final piece of background you need to be familiar with is a dub company called UK Manga Corp. They were the British subsidiary of the infamous Central Park Media. UK Manga Corp saw all anime as “adult cartoons” and tried to add as much swearing as possible to reflect “maturity”. This often led to some of the most forced and unnatural swearing sessions in the history of the English language. Let’s sample some of the many gems from Cyber City:
Terrible Brooklyn Accent: “Heeey Benton, don’t shit ya pants if ya see a vaaampire out there!”
Monotone voice: “Get lost…you wouldn’t recognize a goddam vampire if one jumped up and fucking bit you on the end of your fucking dick!”
Terrible Brooklyn girl: “Eat this ya dick splash!”
Whiny Voice: It’s past your bedtime MOTHERFUCKER!
The plot is that 3 criminals are given the opportunity to reduce their sentences by killing other criminals. The trio of criminals are fitted with explosive dog collars by the government so that disobeying isn’t an option. It’s basically a shameless ripoff of the late 1980s comic series Suicide Squad. The 3 criminals are named Sengoku, Merill, and Gabimaru in the Japanese dub. However, the English dub changed Merill to Benton for some reason and Gabimaru was renamed Gogol. The Gabimaru name change actually has a reason. In one scene he is seen reading a novel with the Cyrillic title “Мальчики” which means young boys. Gogol was a Russian novelist who was famously gay. UK Manga Corp, when they aren’t adding swear words for no reason, they are apparently providing really random in-jokes for Russophiles. Each episode features 1 of the 3 criminals and explores a bit of their backstory. However, there is no resolution to the main plot and each episode can be watched independently or out of order without any issues.
Sengoku is the pompadour wearing goof who drinks heavily and provides some of the funniest swearing dialogue. He isn’t that bright, but he can fight and always finds a way to win. Gogol is the brains of the trio and is an expert hacker in addition to being a badass cyborg. Benton is the pretty boy who has the most impressive fight scenes. He is sort of like if you combined Kurama and Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho…I don’t mean in THAT way fangirls! Hasegawa is the dickish government guy that makes life hell for our 3 heroes and constantly threatens to kill them if they don’t complete the mission on time. That’s pretty much all you need to know for these characters.
It has some gloriously cheesy synth music, but I was VERY disappointed by the lack of glam rock! Central Park should have spent the money and licensed music like “Poor some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard or “The Action” by Sweet!
The art in this anime is actually pretty top notch. Who the hell animated this obscure nonsense anyways?…Studio Madhouse!? Well that explains it.
Cyber City is quite cheesy and goofy, but it provides some great action and plenty of laughs. It is a great anime to watch with friends or alone if it is late at night and you want to watch something ridiculous.
Great 80s animation (yes it's 90s, but is very 80s)! Full on over the top cool cyberpunk action! Enjoyable swearing! Highly highly trashy! Enjoyable heavy rock soundtrack! Inventive architecture! Over the top dubbing! Stuffed full of attitude and one-liners! Excellent yet laughably bad!
If that sounds amazing, go watch now and have fun. Seriously, you can work out if this is for you from what I've just said. This is not a complicated anime. Go watch the UK dub now if it appeals.
3 cyber criminals in space prison (they literally call it that) are offered the chance to do dangerous police jobs in exchange for their
sentences being shortened. If they fail, their hated boss will blow up the rings round their necks. Each episode focuses (not at all exclusively) on one of them. To give you a sense of how fun each character is, I have had each of them as my favourite at some time. First there's Sengoku, who is grumpy and very enjoyably foul mouthed. I fell for his profanity. Then there's Gogol, a huge man with amazing hacking skills and the most enjoyably hammy american accent possible. He goes with the flow, and I fell for his really nice personality... and the way he says 'cocksuckers' and calls people he hates 'limp dicks'. His swearing is less frequent but it's probably the most pleasing. Then there's Benton. Oh Benton. He is a straight-talking cool femme guy with a razor wire for a weapon. He's just so femme. I'm down with that. I'm very down with that. And the razor wire is very cool.
I like robots. Varsus, a sassy yet straight edged supporting robot character, is my 11th favourite fictional character of all time. You won't feel similarly, but just know that.
This is 80s trash at its coolest and best. The animation is very 80s, vaguely similar to Goku Midnight Eye and Golgo 13 The Professional (my favourite kind of animation). If this style of animation is your thing, you will love this. Upon the first watch you'll think the episodes get progressively worse, but for me rewatches reversed that. It is very cyberpunk, but for the most part on the trashy end of cyberpunk.
Watch the UK dub. It has riotous swearing, dubbing equal only to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (good for very different reasons), and the UK version of the dub has a heavy rock soundtrack which fits the series perfectly.
Don't believe me about the swearing being enjoyable? 'Get lost. You wouldn't know a goddamn vampire if one jumped up and bit you on the end of your fucking dick.' It's all like this - just lots of unnecessary swearing. It's beautiful. Not convinced? Right. Watch the second episode - there's a pun off. If I haven't enthused you, probably don't watch this.
(please do let me know yours feelings about this review via private message!)
When bad guys are forced to do good in a futuristic city, fighting their fellow criminals, cybernetic creations, and even synthetic immortals, you get Cyber City.
Lets start with the plot. The idea is simple, three cyber criminals who have done more then a lifetimes worth of crimes, are given a chance to reduce their sentence and get a little fresh air. For every criminal they catch, their sentence is reduced, disobey, be blown to smithereens. Each episode follows a story centered around one of the three criminals turned cop and gives you a little insight into each one of them. Really, the story isn't very
original and its biggest flaw is that it's very short. It left a lot to be desired.
Music wise, it was average. The themes were very very catchy and enjoyable, but otherwise, the background music was generic. Not to much to say.
The art was exactly what I was expecting. It was similar to Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and Gungrave and was a generic style for the era it come from, but still just fine with me!
Characters. Boy did I love them! Each one had a similar sarcastic attitude but they all had their unique qualities. Sengoku is a loner type, hates taking orders and often does things his own way, resulting in problems for himself. But really, he just loves the little things. Gogul is the deadly duo of brain and brawn and, although stubborn, is able to follow orders a bit better and seems more of a team player. A hardened criminal as he may be, he still has a more human side of emotions. Benten may have an androgynous appearance, but he is certainly more manly then he seems. He is more calculating and, although he follows orders better then the rest, he only seems to be doing it as long as it suits him. He has no problem following his own agenda when he see's fit. The support cast is pretty generic but still very lovable!
Overall, the anime was short, but still very memorable. I really did enjoy it even with its minor flaws!
Cyber City Oedo 808 is another one of those great ideas that ended up being completely wasted. I remember coming into this one with very high hopes only because it was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The mastermind behind well known classics such as Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. My fascination increased once I learned this was one of his earlier works, because that was when he was really creative. Anyone remembers Neo Tokyo?
Right from the very beginning, I was immediately hooked to the style of the series. The series began with an introduction to the three main characters named Gogol, Bentan, and Sengoku.
The intro had me believing this would be something special. These three men were introduced through the shadows. They were foul mouth and mysterious, with a rap sheet of crimes that only the worst criminals could possibly have. I mean these guys were serving sentences in the 300 year range, with murder and assault being at the top of their crimes. They just had to be top of the line nasty pieces of work. Unfortunately, outside of how much they curse. You don't really get a feel on how "bad" they are. The characters are very bland, with their personalities being too much alike, in which I found this to be a real problem. To be straightforward, these thugs didn't live up to their reputations.
The series contains three episodes, with each of the former criminals being a main character in his own story, with the other two reduced to side characters. This wouldn't have been a problem had the characters been more diverse. I saw absolutely no sense in starring three characters in separate stories whom were carbon copies of each other. Any of these guys could have performed each others missions with almost no changes to their episode storyline. Kawajiri fumbled big time here, and chose to go the route of an action fest. Perhaps he should have delivered an in-depth story utilizing top notch character development, while also using the exploding collars as the central plot device. I also think that the focus should have been on only one character; that particular approach could have made for far better storytelling when considering the length of the series.
The stories themselves are rather formulaic with some type of dilemma taking place which ends with a final battle against a deadly threat. Kawajiri appeared to think that he didn't have much to work with here. Therefore, his approach was way too simple minded, and this story was just so much missed potential. The plot during these stories aren't great; but they have a fair share of suspense, and touch on government conspiracies and wild ambitions. Despite what you may hear elsewhere, there is a bit of imagination used here with the third episode being the best. Even though I would also consider that episode as missed potential.
The artwork and backgrounds have a gritty feel to them which compliments the feel of the series well. However, I find the animation to be seriously lacking, with the bulk of the effort going towards the subpar action scenes. Fans of Kawajiri's trademark gore and dismemberment should be careful here. His over the top and creative action scenes are almost completely absent.
Overall, Cyber City is a disappointment. Although it does deliver on some of its sci-fi elements. The weak story and poor characterization does it in. The way I see it, any other character type could have filled these roles. It necessarily didn't have to be criminals doing life sentences. In all seriousness, a cop with a clean record and a filthy mouth could have gotten these jobs done. If dirty talking mouths determined ones toughness. Then there's a strong possibilty that the whole world would be invincible.
Highs: Some decent stories
Lows: Somewhat formulaic, action scenes aren't very good, poor characterization
I went into this expecting delightfully generic, violent 80s stuff like Devil Man or Angel Cop, but unfortunately with overly long, uneventful hour-long episodes and mostly lazy animation, it falls on the decidedly "un-delightful" side of generic. The hilariously bad dub can make it watchable, though. "Get lost. You wouldn't know a goddamn vampire if one jumped up and bit you on the end of your fuckin' dick. So just get off my back."
Ima keep this short. In fact, so short that this paragraph is just filler to reach the minimum amount of words required. Can I start yet? Ok.
Cyber City is amazing, but I suggest you dont go in with absurdly high expectations thinking the entire thing is the best Cyberpunk anime ever made. Let me explain.
Each episode is dedicated to one character and out of the three episodes 1 is good, the other is peak cyberpunk masterpiece and the other is kind of stupid and out of place.
The first episode is good standard cyberpunk action. I don't have much to say about it.
The second episode, o
boy, this shit is quite literally peak 80s cyberpunk in its final form. Everything is perfect, the mood, the characters, the fights, the main villain. I wont give any details so I wont spoil it. Its only 40 minutes after all.
The third episode is cool, but I dont know who was the fucking genius who thought it would be cool to put vampires in a Cyberpunk setting. I felt like I was watching vampire hunter D.
Finally, the original japanese soundtrack was kinda meh, specially compared to other stuff that came out at the time.
Actually, I did not have any expectations about this anime for I just decided to get through with all the things I have before stuffing my hard drive with another portion of titles... so, here are the impressions.
Story. It is extremely simple. I would even say - average. There's nothing special about the situation when good guys fight bad guys (a typical action movie). The point is, these good guys themselves were bad guys not long ago. It is placed into cyberpunk setting, which now happens to be old-fashioned (take the usage of floppy disks, for ex.). However, some day the OVA used to be
pretty cool, perhaps.
Art. I personally found nothing special about it. However, some moments were really impressive (broken glass, rose or sakura petals flowing in the air), and some moments were awful (flashing screens are painful to watch, you know).
Sound. Some music in the background, but nothing special and/or impressive.
Characters. They were flat and underdeveloped. I found it interesting that each part was devoted to a different character, however, little about their past is revealed. After all, it is an action where the guys act like superheroes, fighting and saving the world once and once again. They can perform impressive things like running and fighting while being heavily wounded. But it doesn't add much to their personalities.
The most developed character (if we may say so) is Gogul. It is hard to believe that he can be both incredibly strong and clever, but we learn at least something from his past. Sengoku is portrayed as a guy whose only job is drinking and fighting, and Benten is responsible for philosophy and the artistic component. Actually, I first thought that Benten was a woman - don't get fooled, he is a man. And a lover, as far as I got.
So it seems the directors just wanted to mix all character types in three poor little creatures - for you to definitely like at least one of them. A bad bad idea. To set the experiment clear, I personally liked Benten - just because it is the type I like. See? It seems to work - does not add much to the final mark, however.
Enjoyment. Yes, I can say that I enjoyed the anime quite a bit. It is not extremely clever or anything, however, there's some good action. The thing is that, I personally do not like military and government fights combined with intrigues - they make me bored. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
Cyber City Oedo 808 is one of those anime that it is almost impossible for anyone to hate,its just awesome.three of the worst prisoners have been been given life sentences in space prison.They have been made on offer that if they decide to work for the state they will get a small portion of their sentences reduce for each assignment that they undertake.sengoku,benson and gogle reluctantly agree and become members of the Cyber Police .They have been given explosive collars around their neck in case they should ever get out of line.
What I love about this ova was how each of the main
characters got to an episode of their own,this helps to get a feel for each of them.
Benson is the mysterious,somewhat strange guy that wears lipstick and eyeshadow and is more of a lone wolf compared to the others .
Sengoku is a foulmouth no nonsense type that if you cross him he'll probably kill you with a kitchen fork and gogul is the computer expert of the group
even though he looks like a gang member.
The characters are all interesting to watch and their is nerver a boring moment,each story has elements of corruption and exploitation while remaining completely distinctive from each other.The diologue is well written with quite a bit of curseing,the opening theme is great and i particulary liked the british rock theme.The animation is well done with very detailed drawing and the use of mostly black colours really went well with the dark tone of the anime.If you want an short and entertaining watch give this a try.
I,ve seen it first time on videotape, and fast became and fav because it was HANDDRAWN and a good dark cyberpunk story, and i like oldskool cyberpunk anime a lot. This ova is split in 3 parts, each tell a story of a member and their mission, wich all 3 are done very well i think. the animation is more proffesional from that time , wich really integrates into their personal story´s and make´s it flawless. Violent as hell, wich i like but sometimes its a bit slow, good background animation and it seems nearly everything from that time is done very well, but hey
it was 1990 so they had soo much time and effor to put in it.
Saw this one on DVD WAAAY back in the late '90's. A truly atrocious English dub mixed with Kawajiri's direction and animated by MADHOUSE -- WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE? If you are on a Kawajiri binge or want to see some seedier, B-level anime this is a good place to start or finish, what have you.
A perfect little gritty trilogy of sorts, comparable to Gunsmith Cats. Unlike Cats, though, this is more of an anthology where each main protagonist gets their own 15 minutes to shine and hop in and out of each other's stories.
Some really great future neo-noir (ala Blade Runner) aesthetics complement
a trashy English dub. It will remind you of Hideo Kojima's "Snatcher" title more than once.
Cyber City Oedo 808 is not one of the anime i'd consider if i had to list the best works of Cyberpunk genre, neither i'd recommend it to someone who wants to watch some serious Cyberpunk stuff for the first time; the reason? Because from the point of view of someone who is unfamiliar with it this anime could result cheesy and goofy due to its incredibly exalted 80's extravagant fashioned aesthetics heavily influenced by Glam Rock and punk fashion (moreover this anime was already a bit outmoded at the time of its release in 1990, when the hyper colored punk was
no longer so strong).
That said, if you are fond of Cyberpunk and you simply want to plung yourself in the "high tech-low life" flow this anime is perfect for you and gives really strong 80's vibes.
Oedo 808 has 3 episodes and i think that the qaulity of the plot increases constantly from the number one to the number three which has a very good endig, obviously, with the premises given, you can't pretend an outstanding narrative intertwining or unpredictable and polyhedral characters; they are clearly defined ( we have the alcoholic trigger-happy lived man with amazing skills, the serious computer wizard cyborg with a lost past and a passion for literature and the female looking emotionless boy with silver hair) with a simple backstory and do their job well. The music is all Synthwave stuff, so it's amazing and the animation is top-notch and done with care with the evergreen chilly 80's aesthetic atmosphere, really good.
To conclude the only little few criticism i can make regard the world-building; we have spectacular skylines and aerial close-ups on the futuristic city of Aedo but there is not the usual sense of "overcrowded" city, there are few moments where we can see the ill-famed streets, the low life style of normal people, the side effects of unrestrained technological developement.
In the future we have a police force of the country of Japan that decides to fight crime with using criminals with life long sentences with the promise they get their sentence reduced if they do good jobs. If they don't the bombs attached to them will explode and kill them. You can label this anime as being inspired or ripping off the comic Suicide Squad or the movie Escape from New York. Yet this OVA take those story ideas and somehow make a fun, yet stupid entertaining series.
Each episode is a standalone story that focuses on one of the criminals racing against the clock
to have a fight with the insane villain in some pretty good fight scenes. We really don't spend much time to know anything about the three lead characters, so in each episode devoted to them its just some basic introductions to their skills and character traits as they fight either robotic mercenaries to supernatural beings. This anime has poor structure, but with it being a dumb bloody sci-fi OVA series I'm not surprised.
The animation is good for the most part, this is by Madhouse so they know how to make something that's just blood and gore and make it look awesome. As it shows throughout the anime its heavily inspired by everything the 80's had to offer, from everything to its rock soundtrack to its character designs of our three main characters that make me think I'm seeing three lead singers from three different rock bands from the era.
Which reminds me, the soundtrack is just mostly generic synth music but what really made this anime enjoyable for me was the English dub, boy was it terrible. From its editing that included a flubbed line read that was kept in the version I watched, to its United Kingdom actors trying to hide their accents with their attempts with an American one. To its constant, often entire sentences of profanity spewing dialogue, made this an absolute treat to watch. There's so many memorable terrible lines throughout this series, that its UK Dub is essential if you plan to watch this series yourself.
This OVA is three episodes worth of forty five minute cyberpunk action, yes its plots are generic and its characters barely have any depth. Yes its English dub has faults in not only its voice actors line deliveries, but also how its edited. Yet despite these faults I like this anime, it's dumb, it's kind of cheesy and it can be ridiculous at times, but I enjoyed it and I hope you will too.
This anime lives, eats, and breaths GAR. The main characters are criminals, which completely sets it up well, and the screens fills with blood frequently, but not in poor taste.
The story is about criminals who are given shorter sentences if they take care of other dangerous criminals, an offer they gladly accept yet wish they didn’t have to. I personally think it’s a good premise and although it doesn’t do too much with it considering the anime’s short length I still consider it to be a good story.
The art is very 90s and you can take that how you will. They know how to use
the colour red a lot as well as using a fairly dark colour palette. The characters all look unique enough and the place they live is set up well enough considering how little time it needs to be used for.
The sound was one of the weaker aspects of the anime. The music wasn’t very memorable and the voice actors didn’t even do their jobs all that well. The sound effects aren’t good either. Whoever did the hiring did not prioritize good sound out of all of the things to pay for.
The characters do indeed have personalities, but in terms of both realism and likability they aren’t that great. Although they are acting as stand-in police officers they don’t give off that impression. Obviously Japan barely has any black people so they wouldn’t have that stereotype there, but it’s clear that to get into prison they broke the law so they’re not going to be the best at enforcing it.
Despite the problems that this did have, the plot was very clear and easy to follow. It’s one of the few bloody anime that didn’t feel childish to me. It was a really fun anime to watch. You could call it a guilty pleasure, but since not many have seen it and I don’t know many people’s opinions of it I don’t really feel any guilt from liking it.
Overall I thought this was a good anime. There is a lot of really solid things about it. If you’re looking for 90s OVAs I would recommend that you give this one a shot. You will not regret it.
Despite a few plot holes, this story about the far future 2700s cyber criminals forced to become cyber police to reduce their sentences, provides great entertainment value for its one track character archetypes and episodic storyline.
Of the 3 OVAs you'll watch, each one tells the story of one of 3 protagonists, hardened criminals with 300+ year sentences. They are forced into solving other A class criminal crimes in order to reduce their sentence as otherwise the police will detonate their explosive neck collars. You will explore the psych, past, and present lives of each three in quick sequences as they often work together to
terminate other criminals.
The english dub can be found on youtube (search for the anime title). While I typically avoid dubs the english actors (who seem to sport a bit of the brooklyn accent) do a great job at conveying a closer down to earth rendition of what criminals would probably say (though the writing clearly dates from the 90s).
Watch this if you enjoy a little bit of plot, a lot of action, and character development within cliched characters that provide a lot of entertainment for 3x30m OVAs.