"It is 2808 and computerised crime proliferates in the neon ghettoes of the automated cyber cities. The Cyber police combat this escalating crime rate by drafting high - tech criminals into the force. Each criminal is fitted with a collar containing high-explosive. Failure to complete an assignment within the given time results in instant death - but successful missions reduce the convict's sentence."
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri Screenplay: Akinori Endou Character Design: Yoshiaki Kawajiri & Hiroshi Hamazaki Music: Ruari McFarlane Animation: Madhouse Copyright: Madhouse/Japan Home Video First release: Language Format: English Language Running time: 40/45/40 mins Certificate: 15/15/15 Label: Manga Video Catalogue no: MANV 1049/MANV 1055/MANV 1063 Price: £9.99 each Release Date: 10th Oct/7th Nov/5th Dec 1994 Compilation version: Language Format: English Language Running time: 125 mins Certificate: 15 Label: Manga Video Catalogue no: MANV 1138 Release Date: April 1996
Cyber City Oedo is MEL s first attempt to move into the Cyberpunk market. Cyber City Oedo which I hadn t heard of before, is a classic Cyberpunk story with a twist. Set in 2808 where the Cyber police have a major problem in controlling the crime rate. The police have decided to draft dangerous cyber- criminals into the police force. If these new recruits are successful in completing dangerous missions, their sentences are reduced, but if they fail the high-explosive collars they wear are detonated.
I was particularly impressed with Virtual Death, where the mass-murderer Sen- Goku and his two colleagues are sent to rescue 50,000 people that are trapped in a skyscraper. People have been trapped because the security computer has been hacked into by a person or persons unknown, and the police are afraid that they are going to blow up the skyscraper.
It is a pity that MEL have decided to use an excessive amount of swear words, as I found this distracting in a title strong enough in plot and atmosphere, to carry itself.
The second tape Psychic Trooper although lacking some of the sparkle of the first OVA, is still a worthwhile purchase for Cyberpunk fans. The story of the three 'recruits' continues in a story reminiscent of Robocop. Gogul discovers that a covert military operation is illegally obtaining human corpses and using them to make psychic cyborg fighting machines. Gogul has been specially selected to 'test' a cyborg, but who will win?
Although I suspect that this title will be bought by the gore buying market that MEL has created, for me it is not just your average blood and guts type anime. I thought that the plot using dangerous killers to protect the public was an interesting, thought provoking concept. I was also surprised that MEL kept Benten as a bloke, because although anime (as any fan knows), is full of effeminate men. Benten with his long red nails and flowing blue hair will be perceived by the MEL market as homosexuality personified.
I mention this because it is the first time (to my knowledge) that a pretty bloke has cropped up in a UK title, and I am interested to see what the UK market will make of it. Cyber City makes a great addition to the pool of anime available in the UK. It is a MEL title that I can honestly stay that I have enjoyed, and have already watched more than once already. 8.5 out of 10. [Steve Whitcher]