Hello =) I’m back. Haven’t done any posting in a few weeks, and I am sorry. When you stop for a week it is kinda hard to pick it up again.
But on the good note, I have been watching some anime here and there. Watched some FMA, a little bit of Mazinkaiser, Dirty Pair and Afro Samurai. And one of the things I’ve finished recently is what I am going to write about today, Cyber City Oedo 808.
And before we start, that is not a review, I just what to talk about that anime a little bit.
Cyber City Oedo 808 is an OVA made by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. I have written about some anime he directed, but really, I feel I didn’t write about his works often enough. His style is one of those things that come to my mind when I think about 90-s anime. But well, that is not going to be a post about Kawajiri (but I sure what to write specifically about him some other time). So, Cyber City.
The events of the anime take place in future Tokyo. This is time when you can make cyborgs, and when science can be used to enhance human psychic abilities. People can now create buildings tall enough so that the upper floor can be connected to a space station. And you would think think that in that society everything should be running smoothly and there shouldn’t be any problems whatsoever.. or maybe not?
Well not really. For some reason there is still crime, and there are all sorts of bad people around. From low class no-brain criminals to plotting politicians. And the most dangerous out of all – the things that were made by humans who used science without thinking about the consequences.
So one of the things I wanted to talk about is characters. The anime has three main characters and tells us three stories (yep, one episode for each character). And the characters are somewhat interesting. The names are Sengoku, Benten and Gogol (MAL spells it as Gogul, which is a mistake, I believe). All three are criminals working for police instead of rotting away in their cells with life sentences.
First one, as you guess from his name is aggressive all-out type. I find him quite generic. He kind of looks like a simplified version of Spike from Cowboy Bebop (though the comparison isn’t fair at all, cause Cowboy Bebop was made way later). And I think that what we have now as a template for a hero for fighting shonen shows is this same archetype projected on a teenager (or a preteen, as the tendency goes).
The second one is a bit more interesting. Benten is this feminine looking guy, very agile, fast and precise. This archetype is not unknown too. Think about the feminine males in action-based anime, how often they have those same qualities I mentioned? Often enough I should say. Yet here in Cyber City they didn’t try to make it ridiculous. He still a guy. He does rough job that calls for some rough actions. And the show doesn’t try to make a joke out of him, as it often the case with characters like that. I mean, when one of the Fist of the North Star characters (the name is Rei I think), who is a pile of muscles (as all of them) disguised himself as a woman and got away with that, that was such a nonsense, you can’t look at it seriously. Kawajiri didn’t do any of that nonsense.
And the last one is Gogol. Do you know that Gogol is famous Russian writer? One of his most remarkable books is Dead Souls, you can try reading it, though I don’t know if that will make sense without some prior knowledge of Russian history. Or you can read Overcoat, though that one is quite painful. Russian classics aren’t very cheerful in general.
But back to the anime. So Gogol in this anime is a programmer. He is apparently very smart too. And you know, I don’t know many characters like him. Smart and talented, yet just a criminal on the leash of the police. He is not a man of action, but he can act swift enough when time comes. Dealing with computers is his strong point, but he does not shy away from real combat, and he is willing to take risks. And he is quite good at it, not as good as the other two guys, but not what people call “useless”.
What else I wanted to talk about, besides the characters is the settings. Cyber City is futuristic, yet there is a place in it for.. vampires and ghosts? How can that possibly work without making the whole thing ridiculous? Somehow it does. Cause those are not real vampires, but side products of the manipulations with genetics. And not a real ghosts, but a computer programs acting in a weird way. Or something. I am not saying that the movie has well balanced smooth plot, I am only saying that it holds together well enough. And the mood of the series, that alone is something you can watch it for. The animation is also awesome. This is 1991, and Madhouse did a great job on the fighting scenes and the movement in general, especially in the last episode.
I’ve got to stop. The size of this post is already out of control, and I should really edit it all out and start again. But I don’t wanna, so well, what can we do =) Hopefully I will remember how to write and my next entries won’t be as blurry and random. But till then, see you (^_^)/