|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Cyber City Oedo 808
Cyber City features episodic stories that focus around one of three criminals made into cops who serve as law enforcers in order to reduce their lengthy sentences with each criminal they apprehend. Each episode mainly serves to explore elements of each criminal's past and the roles they have among their group, as well as trying to figure out details in apprehending whatever criminal threat they have to investigate and apprehend/ kill. Each episode has enough suspense and credible threats to the group which make their cases engaging to see and all do well enough to have you know what is going through the heads of each criminal as they go through their unique predicament. The animation to this is quite outdated with the silly 80s hair styles and rough details given to character designs, though the future cyberpunk setting is nicely drawn with dark colors that do well to complement the dark and serious mood of this series. It would have been nice if more episodes to this were animated. But as it is, Cyber City Oedo is still an engaging and solid older anime title which offers enough suspense and focus on each member of the trio of criminals as they are entangled in their differing cases.
Last updated Saturday, January 18 2014. Created Saturday, January 18 2014.
Cyber City Oedo 808
Three separate stories of three crimanlas fighting on the side of good, Sen Goku, Benten and Gogul are given dangerous police cases which no other cop would do.|
I personally loved this OVA, nearly all aspects of it were great, animation, music, characters etc. But be warned the English dub has non-stop swearing. All cyberpunk fans must see this.
Last updated Wednesday, April 13 2005. Created Wednesday, April 13 2005.
Cyber City Oedo 808
(Buy- or Rent+)|
Cyber City OEDO 808 is divided into three parts, called "Datas" 1-3. Each concentrates on one of the three members of a team of criminal bounty hunters. Sengoku is a studly charachter who sports an Elvis Presley-like hairdoo. "Goggles" is a computer hacker who looks like he came out of "Roadwarrior". And Benten is hardest of all to categorize--I wasn't sure if he was male or female, but another website tells me he is an androgynous male. And let's not forget "Varsus", the robot who accompanies Sengoku, but is known to him as "junkpile".
In Data One, Sengoku enjoys the limelight. Someone has taken control of the supercomputer located in the "Spacescraper", a building so tall it literally extends above the clouds. Not only may the entire Cyber City be thrown into chaos, the building itself may collapse due to a failure of it's critical gyro-stabilizer system. Sengoku and his companions are sent in to find out who is responsible and set things right. In Data Two, the Japanese military branch known as the "special forces" plans to take control of law enforcement in Oedo. Goggles is tricked into serving as
the target for a test of their secret weapon, a psychic super-cyborg. Finally, in Data Three, a number of underground genetic researchers have been murdered, apparently by a vampire(!). Benten investigates, and finds that's actually not too far from the truth!
After watching Data One, I was left with the impression that there are two distinctly different versions of Cyber City, (subbed and dubbed, apparently) since a review I found on another website mentioned some significant differences from the show I had just watched myself (subbed). The parts were called "Files", not "Datas", and the first one had the title "Virtual Death", whereas mine was called "Memories of the Past". The charachter called "Goggles" in my version was referred to as "Gogul". Profanity was described as "extremely prolific", and Sengoku as "the most foul-mouthed anime charachter" the reviewer had ever seen, but about the most objectionable word I recall reading in the subtitles of my version was "Hell". My initial impression was that I had gotten a heavily censored version, which took a lot out of the Cyberpunk experience. As my fellow reviewer pointed out, the key elements of Cyberpunk anime are a computer-dominated society, plenty of violence, and bad attitudes among the main charachters--and how does a charachter express his bad attitude if he can't even swear? Having read a number of reviews on various websites, I now think it's more likely that the language of Cyber City was originally relatively tame, but that those who produced the dubbed version decided to add a heaping helping of profanity. For once, I think this is an example of the dub representing a major improvement, since a true cyberpunk series needed the foul mouths. Whereas I came away from the subtitled version with a feeling that this show was average (no better and no worse), having finally watched all three Datas in dubbed form I think I now understand why the other reviewer described it as "The cyberpunk anime", a near-masterpiece. I quickly realised that THIS was the version the other critic had been watching! Profanity flowed like a river and soon had me laughing harder than I had while watching a good episode of The Slayers just previously (keep in mind that yours truly is the sort of reviewer who considers The Ping Pong Club to be quite possibly the funniest Anime in existence!). Especially hilarious was the completely logical Varsus trying to make sense of Sengoku's comment that he should "F--k off". Here's an example of the difference between the two versions; it's Sengoku talking to Varsus:
SUB: "Listen, you pile of junk, I'm going to sell you for scrap! Think of me when they start recycling your parts. That's when you'll regret being a heartless piece of junk!"
DUB: "Listen, you miserable, good-for-nothing piece of tin-plated scrap iron! Either you reduce my sentence or I'm gonna f-----g break you up! But first I'm gonna take you and shove you right up Hasegawa's --- where you goddamn well belong!"
What, you don't think that's funny? Sheesh! Well, I guess you gotta be there.
Actually, having just watched AD Police Files, I realised that for all it's foul language, Cyber City wasn't nearly as dark, violent and disturbing. Innocent people don't get slaughtered, and the anti-heroes win out in the end. Some critics felt that the very notion of the police employing hardened criminals was too absurd to be taken seriously. Others felt that there wasn't enough charachter development to sympathize with the three main charachters (are they really guilty, or were they somehow framed?). Granted, you won't find any deep philosophizing on the subject of crime and punishment. But these questions never interfered with my own enjoyment of the series. One word which repeatedly shows up in reviews of Cyber City is "cool". I guess it's the "cool factor" which works for me, and as a result I had no trouble suspending my disbelief and offering my loyalty to Sengoku, Goggles and Benten 100%. Even in the modest subtitled Datas there was a certain charm to these bad boys of the future. About the only hint one gets about how the three wound up as prisoners in orbit is through a momentary glimpse of their Police files. All are supposed to be guilty of murder, yet it's hard not to like them as they do what's right--even if they are doing it for completely selfish reasons. What's more, they'll be doing it in their own way--with style--and you'd be wise not to interfere. They may be convicted felons, but their new superiors in the Cyber Police are far from perfect, too. I thought the most clever twist in the plot of Data One came when Sengoku was ordered to enforce the law in an illegal way. Definitely worth at least a rent. Find the versions with all the dirty language, and they would be worth buying!
Purely by chance I was reminded of this show during the summer 09 season and decided to rewatch it. I've seen countless new series since the last time I watched this, yet it turned out to be even better than I remembered. The profane dubs had me giggling repeatedly at the characters' obnoxious attitudes. That's the beauty of Cyberpunk--a mix of the intellectual profession of computer operation and the vulgar one of delinquency. The plots of the episodes were better than I recalled, too. If only more than three episodes had been made!
My favorite line: "I am arresting you for a whole host of shit I can't be bothered to list"--Benten
Last updated Monday, August 17 2009. Created Tuesday, June 17 2003.