Anime Meta-Review


Cybernetic Guardian


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Sacred Beast Machine Cyguard
  • alias: Seijuki Cyguard
  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Nov 12 22:22:53 EST 2000
  • mod: none

Short and simple, but full of some quite impressive action, this older video is still quite entertaining. The setting is some time in the future. One of the new technologies open to mankind is a material which allows mental energy to be captured and used in physical machines, causing a huge leap forward in cybernetic technology. Not that this seems to have led to a happy world, as apparently huge numbers of people live in a deadly slum environment known as `cancer'. A large corporation in the much cleaner city of `cyberwood' plans to use cybernetic technology to solve this problem. In fact it has two plans, one humane and one a bit more brutal. Of course there is bound to be conflict and betrayal here, but what neither side knows is that there is a third player. This strange quasi-religious cult, hidden in the slums, contains both a mastery and hatred of cybernetics and waits for the right spirit to awaken the cybernetic gods of destruction they have constructed. These machines are made strong by hatred and rage...but is the heart of man really that simple?

Well, I think i've been generic enough to avoid giving too many spoilers but it shouldn't be too hard to guess what happens. Still, given the short running time and the fact that the focus is on the action and machinery it's not a bad story. It even introduces some other characters, a detective and a female cybernetics researcher, who are good for the minimal time allowed them. Finally, and most importantly for this sort of thing, the level of technical detail is excellent. It's not always entirely logical mind you, with a sense of `atmosphere' being important. Indeed the cynical would probably say it's a monster bash movie with a thin veneer of technology over the top. However there's lots of nice detail in the `birth' of the cyguard, in the intricacies of the rival mecha and even in the equipment of the police (not that it does them any good). The combination of `sacred beast' and cybernetics, while a little corny, actually makes sense and looks good within the bounds of this story. The conclusion is complete, but also seems designed as a springboard for further stories...although I do not believe there are any more.

The disadvantage of this detailed world and tech design is that some of the objects are very complex. The Cyguard itself, for example, having all sorts of spurs, horns, hair and fine detail that must have freaked out the animators. And while this is an older anime, and the action is simplified due to the complexity, it's actually pretty decent. It's also fairly bloody mind you....but then you don't really expect a sacred beast of destruction to use debate as its primary attack. Still, well staged and well handled within the limitations of time, budget and story. Those who like a sort of demonic/cybernetic hybrid will certainly want to check this out, and anyone who likes action will probably enjoy it, but it's no classic. The voices seemed good, though dialogue was limited, and the music is enthusiastic rock stuff (although I think the opening was without music).

This is released in America under the title `Cybernetic Guardian'. Which title allowed me to find this review from THEM. They consider it derivative and tedious with not enough value to rate even a viewing. I guess they've got a low `corn' threshold. Akemi's AnimeWorld can't help but agree (a .5 rating?) in this review stating that despite some okay art and atmosphere there's no redeeming value in this one.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009