Tag Archives: cyber punk

Goku Midnight Eye

Type: Goku Furinji and his Cybernetic Eye

Synopsis: “Midnight Eye.” Get it? Like private eye, but in the future!

Pros: This anime is divided into two OVA stories. The first story is an origin story/80’s action movie. In it, Goku’s a rebellious private detective who takes the law into his own hands when the system fails. It has all the classic 80’s cliches: an evil business man, a sexy female partner, gratuitous violence, cyborg strippers that double as motorcycles. It’s like Paul Verhoeven directed it himself! The story is fairly passable, as Goku has to solve a string of murders loosely connected to him. Though they never really explain why Goku got his cybernetic eye, or why he wears no shirt but still insists on a tie. I have a theory that he moonlights as a Chippendale’s dancer to cover expenses. The second story completely forgets about all the previous characters except for Goku.  It deals with Goku being hired by a dame with legs for days searching for her brother, who is a cross between a super solider and a terminator. Both stories pretty much have the same structure: Goku is given a case, he’s actively attacked by the antagonist’s cronies, he and the female lead have sex, female lead dies somehow, the antagonists dies, and Goku feels kinda bad about himself. The end.

Cons: Being an anime from the later 80s/early 90s, you can expect a lot of violence, nudity, and sexuality. Blood, guts, and naked ladies. These aren’t the negatives, but get really for a really grimy feel when watching it. You also shouldn’t expect any real female character development here. Their main function in this story seem to be: sex object, nude enemy, or thing to protect/regret not being able to protect. And while were on the topic of characters, I have to say that Goku is pretty one dimensional. We never really get a sense for who he is other than the “cool detective” that the anime wants him to be. But we all KNOW that there’s a story behind that no-shirt/necktie combo. Animation wise, it’s pretty cheap. The images are well done, the coloring is well done, the shadowing is well done, but the actual movement is clunky. (P.S. For some reason, this story seems to have a real problem with the Chinese).

Watch it?:….not really, no. Unless you want to, I guess.

MVP: Goku’s eye

(But it really does to that motorcycle chick. I just can’t put a picture cause she is always naked)

Best Moment: Goku never actually fighting the evil business man in the first OVA (really subverted expectations, ya know?)

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Armitage III

Type: Is this a rip-off?

Synopsis: Because this OVA came out in February 1995, while the Ghost in the Shell movie came out in November 1995. BUT, the Ghost in the Shell manga was published in 1989. So I don’t know if Armitage is a omage to the GTS manga, a product of the cyber punk trend in the mid-90’s, or a desperate cash grab at a more popular movie coming out 8 months in the future. Either way, it’s not that memorable.

Pros: Armitage III is a cyber punk story where an android questions what it means to be alive. Super original, I know. The basic story starts with a murder of “The last country singer in the Universe,” who turns out to be a robot. This starts Armitage, a cop and android, down a path of intrigue and philosophical questions of technology and society. This is all pretty by the numbers by now, but what I actually really liked was the setting of this OVA. This story takes place in Mars, where a “Third series” of robots who could give birth were secretly introduced to help with the low birth rate in order to increase the population and make Mars more autonomous from Earth. But then Earth pressured Mars to get rid of the robot women for moralistic and political reasons. Whether these robots who look, act, feel, and can reproduce just like humans deserve this type of treatment is what the anime ask you to decide. That type of political sci-fi is right up my alley.

Cons: I mean, in a world where Ghost in the Shell exists, is this OVA even worth paying attention to? Apparently not, given that I found this anime on Funimation, while Ghost in the Shell got a live action American adaptation starring Scarlet Johansson. So I guess the real winner is Armitage III. The story itself was fascinating, and I loved, loved, LOVED the old school cyber punk animation. But the characters really bring the story down. Armitage’s too cutesy, and Ross is too boring. And the 90’s English dub is…the 90’s English dub. Still, as an artifact of 90’s anime, it’s an interesting watch.

Watch it?: I still haven’t watched Ghost in the Shell! (3/5)

MVP: The backstory

I really should watch Ghost in the Shell

Best Episode: Ep.4 “Bit of Love”  (I’ve just been delaying it so long, it’s starting to get a little awkward).

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