Furinji Goku is a detective who has an "eye of god".
While he was investigating the murder case of his colleague when he had been an officer, he was pressured to stop it by the police executives. However, he continue investigating, and he lost his left eye. When he was about to be killed, a mysterious group helped him and transplant an artificial eye. The eye was a super technological device that connected to the whole computer network in the world, and enabled him to control any computers.
This two-part OVA series from 1989 is adapted from the manga by Buichi Terasawa, whose work, I must confess, I'm not terribly familiar with. But I have seen the Space Adventure Cobra movie, and between that and what I've heard, I gather his stories typically feature two elements: manly men and shapely women. The first episode of Goku: Midnight Eye, you'll be pleased to hear (or not), has both.
Let's get this out of the way: Goku is a standard action movie, albeit one that has all the style and flair you'd expect from director Yoshiaki Kawajiri. If you go into it expecting
any more, you'll be disappointed. There are no thought provoking themes or deep characterization here. But despite that, Goku manages to tell an entertaining story. Which I will now spoil, for this is the only way to convey its greatness.
An investigation is being conducted into the activities of a businessman the police suspect of being an arms dealer. But one by one the officers involved in the surveillance operation are taking their own lives. Enter Goku Furinji, a wisecracking private detective with terrible dress sense. A tie draped over his bare chest, he positively exudes manliness. As an ex-cop who was friends with the dead men, Goku takes a personal interest in the case, despite warnings from his old boss to keep out of it.
Goku is, of course, far too manly too manly to be deterred, and decides to take matters into his own hands. After a brief encounter with a naked female android who shoots a laser from her mouth and has motorcycle handlebars mounted on her back, he faces a naked woman with a plume of hypnotic feathers and ends up with no choice but to stab his own left eye in order to save his life. Then he drives into a river. What a man.
If you're not yet having trouble suspending your disbelief, keep reading.
Duing a dream sequence, a booming voice informs a Goku that he has been given a cybernetic eye to replace the one he lost. He wakes up, inexplicably, on a park bench and soon realizes that it wasn't a dream. The eye is, quite frankly, shit-hot. Not only can it access any computer in the world, it can CONTROL them. Suddenly, Goku is practically invincible.
Why was he given this eye? Who gave it to him? Where did the technology come from? Pfft. If you're the kind of viewer who gives a crap about these kind of details, you probably wouldn't be watching this show in the first place. Suffice it to say, he wants revenge, and goes about it in the most manly way possible: by jumping from a helicopter and using his infinitely extendable staff to pole-vault through a window several thousand (possibly) floors high.
I'm a huge fan of Kawajiri and his unique style is evident throughout Goku: Midnight Eye. Like his earlier Wicked City, the show takes full advantage of his ability to create a dark, oppressive, gothic urban environment, and it's populated with a cast of elegantly designed characters. The animation is similarly impressive, with fluid action scenes and minimal reliance on shortcuts. The cheesy 80s synth music, however, does little but ratchet up the camp factor, which may or may not be a good thing. I can't quite decide.
So what do we have? A stoic, indestructible hero. Unspeakably evil bad guys. Plenty of random nudity. Gorgeous design. Yep, it's an 80s OVA, it's great fun, and it's the kind of show that doesn't get made any more. And I think that's a real shame.
This is a true gem in the heydays of cyberpunk anime ova´s, so goes for part 2, anyway i really am SOO distressed that there is no plans to revive or continue this one, with REAL potential that is left unfinished. The storyline starts a bit predictable but evolves into further dark background and some very mysterious charac., villians with some that are introduced fast while others have a more bigger role. the main person in here is definetly no wimp, and it proves it by the fightingstyle, so is the more marure animation with some good late 80´s sketches, i really was totally
into the story at loads of scene´s , with ofc enjoyable music.
SUMMARY: If you love cheesy, goofy late 80s anime shlock with a genuinely well done cyberpunk/noir setting, this is the OVA for you. If you expect an actually good or deep story that doesn't go totally off the rails, look elsewhere.
Goku Midnight Eye is a 1989 OVA based on the manga of the same name. There are two OVA episodes made, this being the first one, and in my humble opinion far and away the better of the two.
Fair word of warning: I'm a big, big fan of B-movie type stuff, cheesy shlock and all sorts of things that are
unintentionally hilarious. With Goku Midnight Eye, I personally feel like I've landed a real hit for my growing list of material for B-movie nights. As a result, if you expect a review that takes this OVA 100 percent seriously, then I'm afraid I can't help you.
On the surface, Goku Midnight Eye has all the makings of a really solid action romp. The animation, courtesy of Madhouse, looks fluid and outright impressive at times. The 80s Cyberpunk setting is very well done, and it's no wonder clips/gifs from Goku Midnight Eye show up in a lot of 80s aesthetic collections. Some scenes and moments really do look great, and have a great sense of color and mood. Some of the music also works quite well to round this out.
However, and I cannot beat around the bush any longer ... Goku Midnight Eye is also complete and utter cheesy nonsense that I found impossible not to laugh at. I'm a huge fan of serious Cyberpunk stuff and man, this OVA is not it. It is however genuinely great fun, especially with friends, if you are open to a lovably goofy time. (Bonus points if you pick the dub for this)
The story is about a smarmy, dirtbag noir cop utterly coated in cliches who thinks of himself as the coolest dude in the universe. He tries so hard to seem like a total badass, and I thought it was hilarious. The dub only cranks this feeling up to 11, because in typical 80s OVA fashion it adds a ton of swearing and goofy language.
Our "hero" investigates a dangerous case, comes across a sexy gal and an evil villain, things get violent, then midway-through the story acquires the titular "Midnight Eye" implant as a, spoiler, *literal gift from God*. This is never explained. Gods and other such powers were never even mentioned up to this point. It just happens, and is never discussed again. It allows our protagonist to literally hack anything in the world. It's as goofy and incredible as it sounds, and just one of many moments of fun action paired with hilarious cheese in this OVA.
I'll not spoil anything more, especially not the villain's master plan which is easily one of the funniest and most incredible villain plans I've ever seen. At some point, there is a fight against a naked woman that is half motorcycle. If that doesn't make you want to watch this, nothing will, really.
BOTTOM LINE: I overall give Goku Midnight Eye a 5, since on more objective levels I just don't think it's a particularly well executed OVA. The story explains very little, the characters are cliches, particularly the English dub has a ton of smarmy one liners. There is nothing of real substance there. However, it's also such good silly fun that it gets laughs out of me every time. A great watch for similiarly minded friends.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Strong violence against women, bunch of exposed boobs, moments of gore, assorted 80s sexism. It all comes across as more harmless and dumb than anything else, since the subject matters aren't treated with any sort of depth, but it still felt worth mentioning.