8 Man After

Title:8 Man After
Cyber Desesperado
エイトマン AFTER
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - JC Staff
Private detective Hazama Itsuru is hired by Professor Tani to investigate a cyborg parts theft which eventually leads him to meet Sachiko Yokogawa, the original 8 Man's love interest. Living her new life working for the Biotecho Corp., Sachiko finds herself involved with a new 8 Man, who appears after Hazama is fatally wounded by an unknow cyborg. Amidst a violent urban background with cyber-junkies creating chaos around the city, this other 8 Man will fight criminals in a more agressive way.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

4 episode OAV series released from August 21, 1993 to November 22, 1993.
Animated by J.C. Staff
Licensed by Streamline Enterprises
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 5 6 5 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:2541#1552]
(Watch-/ Avoid+)

This was one of the very first anime titles I had a chance of seeing in the mid-90s when the Sci-fi Channel usually aired anime movies and OVAs. By the looks of it, Streamline combined the OVA episodes into a nearly two hour long movie for its video release and it lacks the original Japanese audio track, even with its DVD release. It's also apparently supposed to serve as a sequel of sorts to a 1960s TV anime series take to the 8-Man character yet with a more darker and edgier feel to it. But like Iria Zeiram the Animation and Green Legend Ran when I seen them on Sci-fi, I can't say 8 Man After's aged too well for me when I have had enough exposure to many titles over the years.

The anime does do a decent job at first sucking you into its cyberpunk-like world with a corrupt megacorporation and an enthusiastic freelance detective fishing around for clues suspecting that the executive of said corporation has connections to the city's crime world. But when the character of 8 Man makes his presence felt towards the middle of the series, things do become formulaic pretty quickly with the series making a poor mix out of the typical "anti-hero hooked on revenge" cliche and 8 Man's character becoming conflicted with the blurring of both his human and robot sides. While the latter usually has its potential in cyberpunk titles to explore a robotic character conflicted with their humanity, the series does suffer some major logical lapses with how 8 Man came about with his origins as some details on his past are brought up from a man who provides maintenance and his missions for him and the series conveniently ignores this issue as later developments in the main plot progress thus killing any kind of feeling one is suppose to have for 8 Man's personal conflicts.

The plot with the megacorporation is your typical Hollywood-style plot in terms of its development and having its fair share of over-the-top moments compliments of the violent activity of the thugs and the issues faced from the megacorporation's actions. The only prominent aspect of the plot that stuck out decently was its exploration on how the megacorporation's actions effected a washed-up football player who winded up having his limbs converted into a cyborg during the later part of the series.

The visuals to 8 Man After are mostly standard for the time period with decent details given to scenery shots and character designs, though 8 Man's design looks a bit rough compared to other characters. The animation leaves quite a bit to be desired as animation shortcuts are quite apparent in action sequences, especially with reused animation frames done when 8 Man is showing off his ridiculous speed. The music does do its part to complement the title's various scenes, though nothing memorable sticks out with it.

Unless you are a fan of the original 8 Man anime and/or manga series, I wouldn't recommend watching 8 Man After as many of its prominent elements are quite cliched and poorly developed making it a weak watch if you are a fan of cyberpunk titles.

Last updated Tuesday, March 27 2012. Created Tuesday, March 27 2012.

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