6.2/10
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1 user 1 critic

Ai City (1986)

Ai shitî (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Action, Sci-Fi | 18 May 1999 (USA)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Hirotaka Suzuoki ...
(voice)
Miyuki Ueda ...
Ai (voice)
Yûji Ueda ...
(voice)
Nachi Nozawa ...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Kiyoshi Kobayashi ...
(voice)
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Storyline

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

18 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ai City  »

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Anime B-Movie - Evil Scientist Vs The World
22 May 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Not much to recommend this video-only release - thematically it's a forerunner to Akira, in that it deals with mutation as evolution and centres around a young child possessing trans-formative powers, but Ai City has dated badly. It tries to be dark and prophetic, but is often unintentionally hilarious, scored by bad 80s j-pop and featuring some truly silly dialogue - for example:

"Not to be presumptuous, sir, but Lai Lo Ching may be behind this."

"Lai Lo Ching?! Are you certain of this?"

"83% certain, sir."

The plot is real B-movie material. Without giving too much away, it involves a genetic engineering outfit called "Fraud" (the name's a bit of a giveaway) who send agents to capture Ai because she is 'real', whereas everything else is an imitation, and she holds some kind of trigger in her DNA with the potential to destroy/transform the world. A rogue agent, called K, protects her with the help of a private eye and a Fraud agent called K2 (who K converts by wiping her memory).

The characters are shallow archetypes and also look pretty ridiculous - Lai Lo Ching is a tiny naked wizened old man, sitting in the helmet of an enormous power-suit. The characters called Headmeters have Casio-style digital displays in their foreheads that seem to give them psychic powers. The higher the 3-digit display the higher their power - like some kind of cephalic fruit machine. By today's standards, the visual style is clunky and dated, especially in its use of rudimentary paint tricks for special effects.

If you're a fan of B-Movies, want a bit of a laugh and have some time for old anime, then it may be worth a look, but don't expect a classic.


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