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ANIME: Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990), a mediocre mini-series about cyborgs, psychics and viral vampire criminals.

May 12, 2016

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MY CALL: Booooooring. This is just some hardly serviceable anime action with a cool premise but a so-so story that sees too little development, generally uninteresting characters and uninspired bad guys. Maybe the fault lies in my favoritism to dark fantasy. But I won’t be watching this again or recommending it.  I should point out that a lot of Amazon reviewers called this the best Anime Sci-Fi “ever.” So take my opinion with a grain of salt…or the whole shaker.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Cyber City Oedo 808: Best bets would probably be Black Magic M-66 (1987) and Dominion Tank Police (1988). And of course check out Vampire Hunter D (1985), Demon City Shinjuku (1988) and Wicked City (1987) for more supernatural fare.

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The first thing I noticed about this Anime was the animation quality. While the robots, vehicles and cityscapes were illustrated and animated with stunning acuity, the characters and the action seemed a noticeable step below Wicked City (1987) and Vampire Hunter D (1985), to name a couple.

Far in the future in a world of advanced technology, spaceships and cybernetics, three criminals are offered reductions from their 300-year prison sentences for each cyber-criminal they manage to detain. When we first met Makie (Wicked City) and D (Vampire Hunter D), they had instant appeal and offered backgrounds of intrigue or mystery. At present, we are simply introduced to three prisoners: Sengoku, the androgynous Benten with long white hair and red fingernails, and the very large Gogul with a visor or sorts.

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[I purchased this with all three episodes of the mini-series combined together.]

Data 1: Memories of the Past. Our first and brief bad guy has some sort of laser claw replacing one of his forearms. It’s kinda ‘dumb. Moreover, I find that as more action sequences with various robotic foes come to pass, they are generally brief and unexciting.

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The most satisfying aspect of this mini-series is the C3PO-like robot Varsus that serves as a parole officer and answer machine generating all manner of obscure odds, identifying strategies and weaknesses, and acting as a talking Suri-Worldwide Web that serves as the butt of Sengoku’s ridicule. Gogul plays tech support as Sengoku works his way through a skyscraper to fight the undead consciousness of a long dead computer engineer who somehow telekinetically controls machinery wiring like electric tentacles. While it looks cool for a hot minute, the final fight is pretty much a letdown.

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Data 2: The Decoy Program. This second episode was even less compelling than the first. A few too many plot-points get tangled as Gogul faces off against a psychic cyborg with go-go-Gadget arms.

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Shocking similarity to the bad guy from Tokyo Gore Police (2008), huh?

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Data 3: Crimson Media. The third episode was Benten’s mission to eliminate a virus-afflicted psychic vampire. This was easily the most interesting of the three parts perhaps, given my taste, because it ventured from the “tech crimes” cyber-police theme and more to the supernatural with a weirder villain.

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Overall, I found this mini-series to be largely boring. Whereas Wicked City (1987) and Vampire Hunter D (1985) are buckets of awesome in my eyes, this is just some hardly serviceable anime cartoon with a so-so story, generally uninteresting characters and uninspired bad guys. Maybe the fault lies in part with my favoritism to dark fantasy. I’m not sure. But I am sure that I won’t be watching this again or recommending it.

I should point out that a lot of Amazon reviewers called this the best Anime Sci-Fi “ever.” So take my opinion with a grain of salt…or the whole shaker.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2016 7:20 am

    Do I ask what is with the hair or do we just let it pass as a sign of the times? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It doesn’t sound particularly interesting.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      May 12, 2016 9:03 am

      I’ve only seen a few Anime at this point, but I’m assuming it was typical of 80s Anime. Not sure. I just bought a bunch of 80s Anime, so I’ll know soon enough.

Trackbacks

  1. ANIME: Demon City Shinjuku (1988), contemporary dark fantasy mixing Vampire Hunter D (1985) and Wicked City (1987). | Movies, Films & Flix

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