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[Cybernetics Guardian box art]
AKA: 聖獣機サイガード (Seijuuki Cyguard), CyGuard, Sacred Beast Machine CyGuard
Genre: Futuristic mecha action thriller
Length: OAV, 45 minutes
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD available from Central Park Media / US Manga Corps out of print.
Content Rating: R (violence, language)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Bubblegum Crisis
Notes: An original OAV directed by Koichi Ohata, best known for directing M.D. Geist. That should tell you a lot in itself. (Notes by Nicoletta Christina)

Cybernetics Guardian


In the "far future year" of 1995, the material known as "astenite" was discovered, enabling humans to channel their psychic power into mechanical creations, to be used for purposes of rehabilitation and peacekeeping...but others plot to use this power to destroy the impure "Cancer" within their utopia of Cyberwood - and to raise mechanical "gods" of evil from the depths of the Middle Ages.


Well, first off, you get this average Johnny-boy (John Stalker, to be exact), introduce his pacifist scientist love interest Leyla, then turn him into this evil machine of destruction that can rip people in half! Isn't that cool?

Ehh, no. The whole "resurrecting gods of evil" bit was hokey from the start, but the entire plot just didn't make a bit of sense. First off, we never figured out exactly whom Adler was working for. Was he with the wacko cult of Doldo? (We kid you not- Doldo.) Or was he acting out of some twisted love for Leyla? Or was he just ticked off that Johnny-boy was from the wicked hive of scum and villainy known as Cancer? We never know his motivations, but he does make for some interesting mecha. (Ooh, where did *that* booster come from?)

Then there was the violence ... plenty of people being decapitated, ripped in half, and you *knew* who the red-shirts were. Even the AD Police weren't this stupid. (Let's walk down this deserted corridor in these power suits ... we're perfectly safe ... AAAAAAH!! *crunch*) At least they didn't kill women too, like in MD Geist ...

Cue the Cult of Kefka, err, Doldo. Well, the guys were dressed up just like extras from Final Fantasy VI ... then again, Leyla gets to cosplay as Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess, Frol from They Were 11, *and* Susan Sommers from Venus Wars. We guess they gave her makeovers every five minutes to give the impression that there was more than one lead female in this entire OAV. (And she's the damsel in distress EVERY time. Save me, John!!) And John himself looks like a cross between Kash Mizutani from Gowcaizer and Zenki on a bad hair day. Oy ...

Were we expecting quality from this anime? With a pedestrian name like Cybernetics Guardian, we really didn't. But to hear Adler call his mecha "Genocyber" (no kidding, don't they have *copyrights* in Japan?) ... Well, it seems like the directors wanted to copy every existing nihilistic-futuristic mecha series in existence and combine it into their masterpiece. It sure isn't a magnum opus, but it really, really wants to be Bubblegum Crisis all over again, especially the badly-done wannabe punk rock, which enhances the mediocrity of the anime by conveying exactly the wrong atmosphere during each sequence. Besides, the "psychic energy" looks like mist from a bad '50s movie ... or Tanabe's body odor from Ping Pong Club. And dare we mention the disjointed, rushed, and badly sequenced plot and animation?

Remember those *bad* straight-to-cable sci-fi one-o-clock potboilers you'd end up seeing on USA Up All Night or local channels that didn't have the money to put anything better on? Cybernetics Guardian is exactly the anime version of those movies destined to be heckled at on MST3K. Badly animated, badly choreographed, badly scored, AND badly acted, this thing fails to deliver any serious thrills it could have potentially had. Yes, the film had potential, but the directing and writing were simply laughable. This anime is a "been there, done that, wish I hadn't wasted my money on the rental" kind of flick. At least AIC was smart enough to release only *one* of them.

Our verdict: Rent something else. For your own sake.

Kefka, Kefka, we love Kefka ... Oh, sorry. What we really want to say is that you'd have to be brainwashed into a cult to enjoy this thing.Carlos/Giancarla Ross and Eric Gaede

Recommended Audience: Hah! Well, maybe teens would like the heavy amount of gore and violence if the plot weren't so boring. Again, it's a *maybe* for the insomniac crowd, but sleep would be a far better alternative.

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Cybernetics Guardian © 1989 Soshin Pictures Enterprise Company / AIC
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