8 Man After

volume 2 sleeve

Official Blurb:

"The cyborg cop that started it all is back with avengence!"

"Based on the original 60's comic book and TV series, but definitely updated for the 90's, comes '8 Man After' - a sci-fi cyberpunk animation that in it's original form is acknowledged as the forefather of Robocop. Featuring high quality animation and design backed by excellent dubbing - 8 Man After is a modern anime classic."

"A gang of drug-crazed criminals, under the guidance of Big Boss Mr Hallo'ween wreak havoc on the gleaming Metropolis after hi-jacking a new shipment of psycho activated weapons - grafted onto their bodies for maximum carnage. Enter Hazuma - an ex-cop turned private eye, who is actually '8 Man'. Encased in a super cyber shell suit giving him awesome weapons and light speed travel, '8 Man' faces the cyber junkies with spectacularly violent results. When Mr Hallo'ween discovers his adversary is just a man he sets his sights on the cyber suit and the death of '8 Man'......"

Director:        Sumiyoshi Furakawa
Screenplay:      Yasushi Hirano
Copyright:       Kazumasa Hirai/Jiro Kuwata/Act Co. Ltd

Language Format: English Language
Running time:    50 mins each
Certificate:     18/15
Label:           East2West Films
Catalogue no:    E2W 1000/E2W 1003
Price:           £10.99 each
Release Date:    15th May/26th June 1995


Based on a 1960's comic book and TV series, this has very much the look of an American 'tec/superhero thriller cartoon. 8 Man is encased in a super cyber shell that gives him "awesome strength and near light speed travel". His adversaries are a gang of drug crazed criminals who have cyber-activated weapons grafted onto their bodies which cause maximum carnage when they run amok. The main characters are a private eye, a street urchin, and the girlfriend of the original '8 Man'.

With good quality animation and design, interesting characters, and effective dubbing, this is gripping stuff and undeniably entertaining, if more than a little blood-spattered. [Geoff Cowie]

Volume 1:

So, there's this guy, and he's a private eye, and he's young, good looking and a bit on the rebelious side. And there's this gal, and she works for the head honcho of the bio-engineering firm the PI's investigating, and she's young, good looking and a bit on the strait-laced side.

So he fancies her something rotten, and she would admit she fancies him something rotten if she'd let herself, and in the midst of all this metaphorical bodice ripping there's these drugged-up cyborgs with large guns and rocket launchers where their hands should be causing mayhem where'er they show up - which is why the PI is after the boss of the bio-engineering company.

Now, for some reason which I missed, one of the cyborgs goes after the gal, and the guy does the "rescuing the damsel in distress" number, which causes him to do the "at death's door" number, and the next thing we know there's this new cyborg in town, except the other characters recognise him and he's one of the good guys - which means the bad guys find their guns and launchers getting ripped off at the shoulder, with concomitant amounts of blood, and that's just the beginning. Just wait until you get to the cyborg football team!

Technically, 8 Man After is well animated, competently, though not exceptionally, dubbed and blessed with an interesting story. The down side is this is just the first episode in a series so if you get hooked, which is very likely, it will cost you a fair bit to get the lot. But hey, it's only money! [Marlon Seton]

Comment from newsgroups:

Michael Liu:
Very American.  We would've called it "very Hollywood" had it been live-action.
Eight Man has been lodged in the brain as one of the early bishonen
superheroes.  Back in the early Seventies, the title character's looks in the
Sixties' manga were too feminine for a four-year-old to swallow.  Fortunately,
while Hazama's features have been made more delicate, his hair stuck out enough
to overwhelm the femininity.
The series is dark, but not cynical.  The violence has been upped several
notches while the animation remained wooden.  Watching this OVA is like
watching an American action movie in which the story, character and violence
are all cartoony, and the movie itself never takes off.  As such, it's not bad,
but nor is it good.  It certainly is forgettable after it bounces around one's
head for a few hours.