CYBER CITY OEDO 808. So great, so short anime series
CYBER CITY OEDO 808 – a city of the future where cybercrimes (and not only) are an everyday occurrence. But there’s a remedy for it – a special police unit comprised of… the worst criminals.
The three main characters of Cyber City OEDO 808 are part of a short OAV series consisting of 3 episodes, each with a different storyline, all connected by the main characters. Our trio has quite an interesting past – murders, hacking into networks, thefts, and various other crimes. They were all sentenced to several hundred years in prison, confined in well-protected cells on a spaceship somewhere in Earth’s orbit. However, it’s precisely they who have been summoned by a mysterious gentleman with plans to create a special police unit to deal with cybercrimes and more. So, our splendid trio is equipped with the appropriate weapons and sent back to Earth. Of course, each of them has a special “collar” around their necks for tracking and, in case of danger, elimination. It’s also a good way to force one of our heroes to cooperate – just set the countdown on the “collar,” and our heroes have a specific time to complete the mission. If they happen to fail, and the timer reaches zero – well, there are always other volunteers… But in reality, our trio can handle anything; they’re the best at what they do – true, tough badasses. The action takes place in the very distant future, in the year 2808, and the setting for their struggles is the titular city, Cyber City OEDO 808.
CYBER CITY OEDO 808 Characters
SENGOKU-SYUNSUKE, code name: SEN-GOKU
A real tough guy who can handle just about anything. He usually works alone, like each of our heroes. His strong points are incredible agility, speed, and resourcefulness. In combat, he wields a special dagger, which is also the distinguishing mark of the cybernetic police. Sen-Goku is naturally very impulsive and aggressive, and in the film, he utters the most curses (there’s probably no sentence he doesn’t swear in). He is the main character of the series and is at the center of the first episode – Virtual Death.
MERILL-YANAGAWA, code name: BEN-TEN
Although she looks like a woman (long hair, long and painted nails), don’t be fooled – she’s just as cruel and dangerous as our other two heroes. Unlike Sen-Goku and Go:Gl, Ben-Ten is very composed and self-assured. His weapon is an incredibly sharp wire (which he pulls out of his dagger) that cuts literally everything in its path. Apparently, he doesn’t get along well with Sen-Goku, which is quite evident in the movie. Ben-Ten is at the center of the last episode, Blood Lust.
GABIMARU-RIKIYA, code name: GO:GL
A brilliant computer hacker who can crack anything and break any code – there’s nothing he can’t do. He wears special glasses that allow him to see better – farther, clearer, and things that regular eyes can’t see. Gogul (as everyone calls him) loves to use all kinds of heavy equipment – pistols, rifles, cannons. He’s a self-confident hero who never gives up – he always fights to the end to maintain his dignity and honor. GoGul is at the center of the second episode, Psychic Trooper.
Of course, in the movie, not only this trio is visible. There’s also a mysterious head of the cybernetic police who keeps our heroes in check, a rather annoying robot accompanying our trio, and many others—mainly in different episodes. These include various kinds of characters, such as scientists, generals, or doctors. However, Sen-Goku, Ben-Ten, and GoGul are the ones who truly play the main roles, and they deserve the most attention.
FILE ONE: VIRTUAL DEATH
The main character of this episode is Sen-Goku, who is the most prominent and takes center stage here. Our heroes are assigned a rather mysterious task—someone has taken over a super-modern skyscraper in the city center. They’ve trapped many innocent people inside, locked all the doors, and activated the defense systems. Sen-Goku, Ben-Ten, and GoGul’s task is to reach the top of the building and solve the puzzle. Sen-Goku is the first to arrive at the scene, where he encounters a scientist. As it quickly turns out, he is not responsible for the whole mess. However, he tells a story of how, out of jealousy, he once killed his talented colleague and threw him into the abyss of the skyscraper. Sen-Goku decides to venture into this abyss and finds something he absolutely did not expect—apparently, the supposedly dead scientist is still alive, or rather, only his brain is alive, connected to a heap of cables, which allows him to control what he has created. The episode is quite good but not the best of them all. The atmosphere is particularly fantastic when the supposedly deceased scientist appears on the screen—or rather, what’s left of him.
FILE TWO: PSYCHIC TROOPER
The main character of this episode is GoGul, who encounters an old acquaintance. Together, they try to solve the mystery of several recent murders in the city. It turns out that the military has built an incredibly dangerous and lethal machine with many incredible weapons—a magnetic armor that deflects all projectiles and obstacles, a devilishly powerful cannon, and on top of that, Psychic Trooper (the name of this machine) can extend its limbs indefinitely to reach inaccessible places and grab its enemy. The military eventually captures GoGul, and he is to face their newest creation. Additionally, the chief of cybernetic police activates a countdown on his “collar,” so GoGul will have to hurry. A truly deadly showdown awaits him because Psychic Trooper is an immensely powerful and dangerous machine. However, GoGul soon discovers its weak point. In my opinion, this is the best of all the episodes—with the best plot, the most action, and an excellent atmosphere.
FILE THREE: BLOOD LUST
Now it’s Ben-Ten’s turn, and he’s at the center of the events. Ben-Ten has to solve a mystery—random people are disappearing in the city, and everything indicates that the culprits are… vampires. Our hero quickly finds the perpetrator (or rather, the perpetrator finds him), leading him to a hospital where she had recently left. The hospital director is a rather old-looking doctor who, as it turns out, conducts various experiments on people to uncover the secret of eternal life. And for that eternal life, blood is needed. In the end, there’s a spectacular showdown between Ben-Ten and the doctor transformed into a vampire prince. Along the way, our hero encounters an old acquaintance with whom he will have to settle some scores. It’s a good episode, albeit a bit slow at the beginning (not much action, nothing much happening), but the fantastic ending makes up for it all.
Cyber City OEDO 808 is a very good mini-series, although a bit short – 3 episodes are definitely not enough, and you’d want at least twice as many. It’s also a shame that not all episodes are equal – both in terms of action and the intriguingness of the plot. Nevertheless, it’s very enjoyable to watch, especially considering the high technical quality (animation, drawings, sound), but most anime have accustomed their viewers to this level of quality. Additionally, there’s a very good musical score that enhances the excellent atmosphere in places (nice music also plays during the end credits) – more about the soundtrack in a separate review. The character designs, their diverse personalities, fighting styles, and behavior are also a plus. However, it’s definitely not an anime for children – it’s too brutal, and there are too many curses (especially Sen-Goku dominates in this regard. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth watching because even though it’s a production from the past, it has hardly aged at all.