Anime Meta-Review


Megazone 23 : Part 1


By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: flawed
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

I'll call it a movie, because at 1:20 it is way too long to be an OAV episode. I was impressed by the way this title managed to merge older, choppy animation with a choppy approach to story-telling. I thought it had some pretty cool idea's, and some on usenet see it as an influence on the cool film `The Matrix', but since the Anime Movie Guide identifies it as drawing from a R. Heinlen novel (universe) I can't even give it credit for that. This story follows a guy called shogo, who is a biker rebel type (accurately rendered as having a day job at genius this bloke). One evening when his friend is showing off a cool new toy the sinister `men in black' show up and in the ensuing gunfight Shogo loses a friend (on a permanent basis) but gains a military secret. In some fairly disconnected and strange storytelling this serves as an intro to two groups.

One is three females trying to live their dreams, and another is a `terrible conspiracy' (tm) which threatens to undermine reality as we know it. The main problem is that the hero, having learnt this awesome secret, is largely too dim to do much constructive about it. Personal tragedy on a local level, and sinister events on a wider stage roll on with him either ignoring them or engaging in seemingly meaningless acts. The movie ends without any resolution, encouraging you to get the other 2 parts. But given that the hero annoys me intensely, and that the story telling is fairly chaotic, I don't personally care much.

The idea's are interesting, and I can see some elements of the matrix here (and macross plus even), but I have no doubt that most of them were better expressed in the original novel...which leaves this anime in a fairly unsupportable position. It is clear they are trying for a `dark future' type ambiance, but it doesn't quite come off.

In addition, despite the female romantic lead looking a bit like Madoka from KOR, the animation is dated and choppy with the action scenes being painful to watch. This is not helped by large slabs of music, which might have been impressive once but sounds dated and corny now. The movie also has explicit violence (one scene) and a single sex scene, but these are not going to be enough to keep the action (or smut) buffs interested. Good ideas in a dated and chaotic format, this movie does not have that much to recommend it. Additional negative points for one of the most un-romantic romantic dialogues ever seen in anime.

The aforementioned Anime Movie Guide gave some vital information, such as the Heinlen source and the fact that it was released in the west as "Robotech the Movie" (can't even imagine how that works). However the review is nothing more than a mini-synopsis followed by an average mark. The Anime Review doesn't have much more to offer in it's review, but does state that this was the first OAV series, and that part2 is even less coherent...scary.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:22 WST 2009