THEM Anime Reviews
Home Reviews Extras Forums
[Cyber City Oedo 808]
AKA: サイバーシティ OEDO 808
Genre: Cyberpunk thriller / horror
Length: OAV series, 3 episodes, 50 minutes each
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from US Manga Corps / Central Park Media out of print.
Content Rating: 16+ (violence) For the UK audience, there is also lots of swearing
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Animatrix, Battle Angel, Ghost in the Shell
Notes: The "Oedo 808" is a reference to the traditional 808 districts of Edo (the old name for Tokyo).
Rating: Four StarsFour StarsFour StarsFour Stars
 

Cyber City Oedo 808

Synopsis

(O)Edo in the year 2808.

Criminals now have a choice when serving their time; serve it in jail or become bounty hunters for the police in return for having their sentences reduced for each successful mission. Sengoku, Benten and Goggle are three criminals currently serving time and chose to become bounty hunters for law enforcement.


Review

This series is proof that even US Manga Corps (and in the UK, Manga Entertainment) can hit the bull's-eye from time to time. Yes, Cyber City Oedo 808 is a solid cyberpunk thriller/horror feature with enough action and characterization to satisfy.

What we get here are three episodes, one with each of the characters in the main focus and with distinctly different stories. Sengoku introduces us to the first story about the haunted skyscraper and the murders performed within, Google becomes the main feature in a story of political and government conspiracies and undercover testing and lastly Benten opens up for an honest-to-goodness vampire story in full gothic flair.

As you've probably guessed, one can't exactly call the art and animation in this series colorful. The future is pretty much gray and leaden, though at least not cataclysmically so. And the suspense is certainly there.

Whatever growth the characters might have is mostly shown through flashbacks, though mainly and mostly in the case of Goggle (the computer hacker) who is the only one that faces his past in his story. And plus points, by the way, for him not looking like your stereotypical hacker, since he's rather large-and-in-charge, with a neatly trimmed Mohawk adorning his otherwise cleanly shaven head.

Nevertheless, I must say that the best part is saved for last, starring Benten - our resident androgynous martial arts master and his battle against an old vampire inside a huge space station. It rounds off a nicely paced trilogy of stories starring an intriguing cast of different characters and set in a gray, leaden metropolis. It goes from action-filled to conspiringly suspenseful and ends with a legendary battle ballet culminating in a beautiful and melancholy ending. If that sounds like something floating your boat, I'd say that it's most certainly DVD worthy and shouldn't be passed up.

Madhouse does it again.

Well, it's Madhouse. Enough said.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Recommended for adults. No sex, or even any nudity for that matter. The violence and death is there, though not abundantly so and not really much excessive either, save perhaps for the last episode.

It's also worth noting that the UK video release has a lot of swearing put into it. I have no idea why they chose to do that.



Version(s) Viewed: UK release (Manga), aired on European run of Sci-Fi Channel, English dub
Review Status: Full (3/3)
Cyber City Oedo 808 © 1990 Madhouse / Japan Home Video
 
© 1998-2014 THEM Anime Reviews. All rights reserved.