The Cleopatra Corns Group, aka Cleopatra DC, is a powerful financial conglomerate controlling most of the United States economy, almost as powerful as the US government itself. At the top of the organization is the beautiful, smart and brave Ms. Cleo, the Group's young, talented Chairman. This is good--it means she can handle the repair bill when that airplane crashes into her bedroom. With stolen artifacts, corporate kidnappings, and top-secret cyborg projects gone awry, her luck only gets worse from there.
This is a review of the DVD version of "Cleopatra DC" released by Media Blasters in 2002. It was viewed with English subtitles.
"Cleopatra" falls into the category of action with some sci-fi elements mixed in.
There are a few very brief scenes with female semi-nudity. The dialog includes some profanity. There is also a significant amount of violence, but nothing graphic. Overall, the content is roughly on par with what one might see in a typical summer action movie rated PG or PG-13.
The series includes three episodes, the last of which is almost as long as the first two combined.
All of the episodes are quite good, and they are able to stand on their own and be viewed separately. In each, the main story revolves around the actions of Cleopatra (Cleo) Corns, who is the leader of a powerful financial group known the Corns Group.
Several of the scenes are located in the U.S. while others occur in different regions of the world. Given that so many anime works tend to be based in Japan, this is a refreshing change, and it would be nice to see more stories set in other parts of the world.
As the plots unfold, there are a lot of action sequences, some of which reminded me of scenes from some successful 80’s action films. In addition, there are elements of spy thrillers and some interesting sci-fi plot devices sprinkled in along the way. At various points, Cleo seems a lot like a female version of James Bond but without any romantic interests thrown into the mix.
Cleo is charming and sexy, and she seems to be quite capable in combat as well. However, she seems rather non-plausible as the leader of a huge organization like the Corns group, even if it may be her birthright. She is a bit naïve at times, which reinforces her youth and inexperience. Overall, she is a very likeable character, despite a few flaws.
One of the more prominently featured supporting characters is Suen. As Cleo’s personal assistant, her wisdom helps provide somewhat of a counter to Cleo’s brashness and naivety in various scenes. Unfortunately, this character is not explored much further, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.
Other supporting characters and villains are fairly well done. Some of them appear in each episode, which helps develop and strengthen their impact.
Art / Animation: 4/10
The art and animation are the weakest part of “Cleopatra DC”. Starting with the character designs, some of the faces seem a bit odd, sometimes uneven, and at the very least, rather outdated. In particular, the noses seem problematic from various angles. Another oddity is that Suen’s hair covers one eye, yet the eye shows through. While this isn’t the only anime character to have this style, it’s simply unnecessary, and a better approach would be to cover the eye completely or change the hairstyle to allow it to be seen.
Meanwhile, the animation is generally fluid. However, it tends to look very dated by today’s standards.
Sound / Voice: 6/10
Soundtrack and background music and is good. Sound effects were generally good. I can’t judge the voice work since I don’t speak Japanese and that was the only audio option available.
Between its story, action scenes and characters, “Cleopatra DC” strikes a good balance making for an enjoyable watch.
The “Cleopatra DC” DVD is very sparse. It only has one language option (Japanese with English subtitles), and virtually no other extras beyond a couple of previews. I don’t generally consider the other DVD contents when judging an anime, but in this case, the lack of additional contents is somewhat glaring and hard to overlook.
Final Verdict: 6/10
For anyone looking for an action anime, and that is willing to overlook the somewhat dated animation and character designs, “Cleopatra DC” is a decent option to consider. Despite the relatively short length, the three episodes pack a lot of action.
Manga writer Kaoru Shintani has had an interesting career, having worked on stories of varied genres: military drama (AREA 88), journeys of self-discovery (HIDARI NO CLOCK), and comedy (I DREAM OF MIMI). Renown seems to elude him though, I guess because his work is rather ordinary by anime standards. That doesn't mean it's not enjoyable, though.
This feature tells the adventures of Cleopatra Corns, a corporate heiress who prefers play to work and who has various adventures. The stories focus mostly on corporate thrills and the race against time to stop deadly plots, and in general are adequately written: there are the mandatory comedy and half-naked
girls common to anime, balanced with Cleo's fast thinking and employment of resources as she outwits her enemies; however, there is one above-average story involving a dangerous but lonely girl whom Cleo befriends and tries to help, that is well worth watching.
The artwork is beautiful, featuring elegant character designs and stunning backgrounds of cities and vistas. The voice cast is also very good; Maria Kawamura leads an all-star cast as the bubbly beauty Cleopatra. And there is a distinct 1980s vintage atmosphere throughout the feature, which is very nice (in my opinion) or very dated, depending on your view.
All in all, it's a generally decent and fun watch.