|Index||5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What do you get if you cross The Matrix with The Truman Show?
I'm sure you've all seen The Matrix by now. The creators of The Matrix say that it is 'anime inspired'. Just from watching the trailer to this classic, you can see where they took the plot from.
The film is sort of set in 1980s Japan, and it really shows. The costumes, music and words(in the recent English Language version by AD Vision) are all like they've been directly lifted from the era. I believe it was made in that time also, but due to certain plot points, this doesn't date the film!
As you probably guessed by my referencing to The Matrix, the world isn't real. It's not really the 1980's. In fact, it's something more like the 2480's. After a nuclear war, the Earth(or "Biosphere Prime")'s ecosystem was destroyed. The survivors we're forced to escape into space, where the conflict continued. Once the planets(or "Biospheres") were all abandoned, people began to live in MegaZones - cities inside of spaceships, where, via hypnotism techniques and Truman Show-esque illusion, they were made to believe they we're back on earth, in the most peaceful time in recent memory... The 1980s. When young Shogo obtains a mysterious advanced looking motorcycle, it leads him to find out more than he's supposed to know... The Garland(a bike which becomes a mech), a weapon from the 2400's, aids Shogo in his escape from the pursuing military. As more and more is discovered about the MegaZone, the war comes closer to home, and due to conflicts between the military and the computer, the war comes to the MegaZone too... I apologise if those points are seen as spoilers, but the plot is outlined basically that way on the synopsis.
Emotions run high in this movie, moreso than The Matrix. You really do believe the war is going on, and Shogo really does become quite scarred by what he's discovering. What starts off as an uber-happy cool 80's flick becomes a tragic tale of war and unreality. These characters are real people, not the cardboard cutouts we saw flipping around in bullet-time in The Matrix. There really is the sense of the suffering people can go through after being caught up in such a conspiracy, and a war. It may just choke you up towards the end... I know it did me.
Animation is pretty impressive for it's day, and the picture quality on the ADVision DVD is unbelievable for it's age. The artwork style is beautiful and reminiscent of traditional anime, very cultural. Be prepared for quite a lot of violence and blood, there's also an erotic sex scene.
The ending can be seen as a 'there can be no ending', similar to the Matrix, or, supposedly can be followed by the sequel, which I haven't yet had the pleasure of watching.
I have to say that this is one of the best animes I've seen, in fact, one of the best movies I've seen, and considered by many to be one of the greatest animes of all time.
I must recommend the ADVision DVD, as their take on the English Language is incredible, and does the movie justice, and can be purchased with an artbox for holding the two sequels when they are released, which will have the same vocal cast.
All in all, MegaZone 23 is an incredible movie, and deserves to be held highly, and should be an essential in any anime fan's collection. Heck, even my mother enjoyed it.
Great movie, though VERY steeped in the 80's. "The Matrix" borrowed a lot of ideas from this 1985 classic. in the US, there are at least 2 different dubs of this film. the first was made by Carl Macek under commission from Cannon films & Harmony Gold USA, and is very bad. 25% of the movie was edited out, the storyline was entirely re-written, footage from the series "Space calvalry Southern Cross" was edited in, and a 12 minute "happy ending" was animated in Japan for American tastes. It was christened "Robotech the movie: The Untold Story" during the 1985 holiday season. as expected by most, this version was a total flop in US theatres, and barely made it out of the test-markets. Only a decade later, after Macek had left Harmony Gold and was co-running Streamline Pictures with Jerry Beck, was Megazone 23 part I released semi-properly(footage & Storyline now intact). but now Streamine is bankrupt and the OVA appears to be floating in public-domain limbo. oh well......
Picture Toyko Japan.It's 1985.Bike gangs roam the streets,when teens carried boomboxes on their shoulders.This is the world of megazone 23.An 18 yearold biker and mechanic named Shogo is given a mysterious motorcycle called the Garland,it's more than he bargins for as the cycle is actually an advanced robotic weapon system.Chased down by the millitary,he and his friends begin to slowly release that the world around them isn't what it really is.And the truth has to be kept a secret as the authorities struggle to maintain the truth for the citizens of Toyko.But how does this all have to do with Eve,the pop idol of Toyko and the Garland?It's a cult classic with great music and nicely done animation done by two masters of anime Haurihiko Mikimoto ans Toshihiro Hirano.
The excellent story line in this anime could have led to a classic in the
Sci-Fi Anime genre, however, the ending left me going,
It's not a cliff hanger ending, either, just a bit of a thud... reminiscent of the animated Lord of the Rings ending. Remember that one? :-)
This film *does* have some excellent visuals, though most of the animation is unpolished by today's anime standards. Since the follow up (Part II) diverges so much from the original this film ultimately fails to deliver on the promise of its premise.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here's the skinny, it seems that this is much older then I thought it was. But it's still cool. The bike mechs are cool and the story works for the most part. There are some character issues that I hope work themselves out by part 2 and my biggest complaint of all that it seems to be a MACROSS knock off. Not just the animation style but several character designs. For example all the girls in this movie look like LYN MINMAY of MACROSS. The mechs look similar to MACROSS as well as the other characters. This is really not made for little kids, it has graphic violence, nudity and graphic sexual content. So to make a long story short I give this cool MACROSS knock-off 7 STARS.
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