A few years after they first met, Naomi Armitage and Ross Syllabus have started a family. Despite their normal lives, they must keep their identities a secret because many people believe that Robots do not deserve equal status with humans. Ross has an opportunity to abolish these ideas on Earth through a vote, but organizations in the shadows are working so that it doesn't happen.
What Happens when a sequel loses the thread of the original story? To answer that question, you only have to look at this movie. The movie is an example of when they decide to make a sequel to a cyberpunk movie, influenced by the mainstream (IE GITS or the Matrix) and completely lose the 'punk' aspects.
The story itself is a complete reversal of the original/Polymatrix. Now, Earth (or at least a part of it) wants the Third reproduction capabilities, when the original the Earth wanted all Thirds destroyed BECAUSE of those abilities. Add in the go-nowhere/excuse subplot of the Robot Rights bill simply to get
Ross and Yoko on Earth, and you get a clunky, non-cohesive story. Not to mention Yoko's eidetic memory.
The art, to be fair, is decent, but lacks the punch of the original as well. This version loses on the shading, favoring instead somewhat brighter colors. So decent, but not the best.
Going full cyber instead of cyberpunk, the music reflects the nature of the film; muted, letting the action and interaction speak for itself. The voices are well done, for the most part fitting the characters perfectly.
To be honest, the only reason this scores so high is because they didn't completely lose the elements of Ross and Naomi from the first film; they managed to retain their fighting skills, even if there are some asspulls.
In the end, i didn't enjoy this film; while okay or average, as a followup to the original it falls completely flat. This movie does not harmonize with the first at all, ignoring the tightly done story of the first and rewriting the world.
With a futuristic theme and a lot of sci-fi Armitage III Dual Matrix is a must for those who like science fiction and robots. You'll get the classic Matrix style action, high tech battles and a very interesting environment.
Though a few details are left shrouded in mystery, a lot of character development does go on, making it a worth-while movie.
It does have the classic and often overused theme of a robot becoming very much like a human, but it's not sappy about it in the least. While some search for the logic that explains an event proving that humanity, which is not
the common "I have feelings too" claim but a different kind of event, others can't help it but to be amazed by the mystery. To say anything else would spoil it, so just watch it for yourself and enjoy a great sci-fi movie.
Dual Matrix feels very much like one step forward and two steps back compared to the original OVA. While on the technical side it's a large improvement I don't think there's any more fun to be had here than with the OVA.
Art/animation: I'd say this is where most of the drastic improvements took place with visual style of the anime becoming a lot more consistent. From the way the world looks to characters themselves it feels much more solid and defined. On its own it is not that amazing either since it's just a bog standard sci-fi affair with tightly packed skyscrapers
and lots of metal and electronics everywhere. However it's still a decent looker, less jank than in the predecessor and better shot composition on average as well as cool color schemes here in there that are more in line with what you'd expect from cyberpunk. The gore aspect is gone by the way so you expected exploding hands and oceans of blood like in the OVA then you'll have to kill that murderboner for now.
Story: Things somehow have gotten worse and I'm not talking about the events of the movie. The writing in the original show wasn't much to look at either and I can't exactly call that one self-aware but at least they didn't shove it in your face that much. Not the case with Dual Matrix. It feels as if someone on the team thought they've really got something going there and they put a lot more focus on making sure you understand how complex this whole conflict is. In reality it hardly is. I put so much effort to get invested into the story and soak up everything they feed out to the viewer but it's hardly worth it. To begin with we're working with wooden characters that feel less than one dimensional, like hell, I can't even see what Armitage is supposed to be, at times she's a cute mom robot that goes out at night to protect her kind from injustice and takes it all with a great sense of duty and responsibility, other times you see her casually play with people that try to kill her and smirks at the danger ahead. It's a combination of this ally of justice and battle hungry battle robot that's doesn't make sense and is never elaborated upon. When you have a such clash of personality you can't just leave it out like it doesn't matter cause it doesn't fit. To me it just seems like at certain moments the action sensibilities take over and instead of crafting a proper story with characters you can care for they thought "what would happen in a badass action movie" and tried to replicate it without much success. Another moment that made me think this was when Armitage jumps through a window, scans what's ahead of her and we see a whole bunch of armed robots. The way it's presented you'd expect a cool, fast paced action scene to flow from here but instead she just shoots two robots out of a billion and runs through gunfire to elevator and just leaves, ok, cool, that's some badass action you got there. But at least we get to see Armitage fight the same two clones over and over for like half an hour, that couldn't have been shortened in favor of some variety. So yeah, characters suck. Especially the main villain cause it's just a guy who was in the first part for like 4 minutes and doesn't get any development at all. It's just a mess, it would take twice the runtime of the movie to go over each individual element and explain why it's so bad.
Music: Minor improvement over the original. Even though it's a infinitely more cheesy it's also a lot more fitting to the occasion this time around. That's about it, despite it all it's not memorable in any way and just crosses the line of serviceable.
Directing: Not much of an improvement in this category either. I'll commend that they finally started kinda caring about color direction in a sci-fi title, flow of action is a lot more coherent and shots on average are composed better but it's still a mess when it comes to pacing and how much time needs to be spent on something important vs shots of characters looking at things.
Fun factor: Unless you're some hardcore Armitage fan just pass it by. It's a meh action flick and it's an even more underwhelming sci-fi movie. Your time would be better spent watching one of the countless sci-fi titles that executes everything better.
Takes place several years after the OVAS (not the Poly-Matrix movie), Naomi and Ross are living together in St.Lowell with their daughter Yoki. However, Naomi discovers that someone is trying to resurrect the "Thirds" project and Naomi travels to Earth to find out why. On Earth, she discovers that a man named Demetrio wants Armitage to revive the Thirds and to use them as their servants for mankind. she refuses and obviously, all hell breaks lose again. Now Naomi must save Ross and Yoki from the organization, destroy the "Thirds" project and get back to their home by all means necessary.
The story in this
movie focuses more on the heroine Naomi. It focuses on the 2 sides of her; One that she is a Third type fighting machine and the second is that she is a loving mother who will risk her life to save her child from any danger she faces. The relationship with Naomi and Yoki is very hearfelt and you can clearly see that she cares for her own daughter, even if Naomi is a robot. Ross is still good but he has little to do in this movie and he's only useful in the last hours of the movie where he is protecting Yoki from a bunch of Thirds prototype robots that love to kill and for some reason, they can't stop laughing. The villain in this movie was boring as shit here and he's there to be an evil stereotype guy with no purpose whatsoever. Even the side-characters are as boring as ever in this movie and have barely to do in the story, minus that clown looking guy that helps Armitage (forgot the name).
The animation is improved in this movie for the better or worst. For the good about this animation is that it looks more slick and stylish than the first and the colors are greatly improved. For the bad part is that the animation company AIC had a low budget for this project and they used incredibly cheap CG animation that looks terrible and doesn't even fit with the 2D art style but I can't blame them. The English voice-acting is improved tremendously and Juliette Lewis performance as Naomi Armitage is badass, cool and most of all, heartwarming and she did a bang job at her role. Hank Wilspank's performance as Ross is a greater improvement over Sutherland's and while it isn't perfect, at least he gives more energy to his role than what Sutherland did in the first movie.
While not as good as the original, Dual Matrix offers enough depth and charm that it hardly matters if the sequel is better or not. If you're a fan of the OVAS or the movie, then I recommend this to you but don't expect this to be the perfect sequel that makes the original look bad cause it's not. It's only a solid and fun movie.
In the early-mid 2000s, US licensing companies were involved in numerous anime Production Committees. It didn't go so well for them. This year, several US licensors are trying their luck on Production Committees again. Will it go better this time?