It looks very close to the Anime. I’d watch it. Though of course she isn’t the last Asian in the film. haha
Yeah, I thought that was interesting. I guess maybe they’ll drop that angle from the story in the movies?
I’m an anime dabbler rather than an aficionado, but I highly recommend the two Lodoss series.
Yeah, I know Big O is supposed to be a bit of a parody, but within the story it takes itself really seriously.
So it’s just kind of hilarious that a robot bigger than a skyscraper destroying thousands of square meters of dense city by ascending from the underground isn’t considered as bad as a few human sized androids running around violating Asimov’s laws.
I was born in the 1970s and have grown up with anime since the beginning, which I guess is a long time for a USian.
My fave these days is Knights of Sidonia, adapted from the manga of Tsutomu Nihei. Season 2, episode 10 first run today in Japan! Hopefully somebody will have it translated by tomorrow.
It takes place upon the largely featureless ark-ship Sidonia, approximately 1000 years after the destruction of our solar system by a complex yet cryptic lifeform called “Gauna”. It has been centuries since they have heard from any other humans, and are forced to ready themselves as they encounter Gauna again for the first time in generations.
Like a lot of Nihei’s other work, there are lots of details which flesh out the culture there. Befitting an ark ship, most of the crew and main characters are women. Since the past 100 years catastrophe, people have branched out in diverse ways to assure survival, such as genetically-enabled photosynthesis, cloning with accelerated maturation, and neutral-gender children who can anatomically transexualize for their chosen mate. The rulers are effectively immortal, which is kept secret from the rest of the crew and inhabitants. The story follows a young “mole man” who was discovered living in the infrastructure and becomes a mech pilot. He is kind and capable, but lacks social skills and tends to be oblivious to the machinations and advances of others. As Sidonia advances further into Gauna territory, we are introduced to their history and mysteries, as well as gradually confronting the nature of the Gauna.
Trailer for 1st season condensed “movie” version:
Trailer for season 2:
Almost forgot to mention one of the more obscure and awesome titles:
Cyber City Oedo 808
hard to find on DVD, but it is possible to find it on YouTube
Some real cyberpunk right there. I watched the whole thing for the first time back in…2009 I think? Anyway, I was on a huge cyberpunk kick and managed to track down high quality rips of Cyber City Odeo 808, Armitage III (Both the OVA set from waaaay back, and the more recent Armitage III Dual-Matrix), Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina, Battle Angel Alita, Neon Genesis Evangelion (I still haven’t watched it yet. I’m kinda scared to from all the rage over how it ends that I’ve read about), Akira (My #2 favorite anime movie after the 1997 Ghost in the Shell), and Serial Experiments, Lain (although I’m not sure it counts as cyberpunk, but it does have a lot of cyberpunk themes)
Oh, and my prized possession, which took me years to track down Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade. Although I can’t remember any of it’s plot now, come to think of it.
Any other good Cyberpunk you can think of? I’m a junkie itching for a fix at this point. I really loved Armitage III. The older OVA was so sweet and endearing, and ended so sadly. The later movie was pretty good, even though it followed a relatively standard self-sacrificing savior trope. Battle Angel Alita is another personal favorite. The characters just grab ya by the feels. When I saw Elysium it was instantly recognizable as a ripoff.
hmmm… You kind of went though the big names. Dominion Tank Police, Bubblegum Crisis(and it’s AD Police spin offs), Psycho-Pass, Spriggan(kind of divisive but I liked it) and the amazing anime Metropolis(2001).
Oh and for a quick fix:
I tried to watch Psycho-Pass, but the story arc slowed down around episode 10 and I couldn’t keep myself interested enough to wrap it up.
I may take another running start at it. It’s a neat concept, but they explain and do science wrong which is just nails on a chalkboard to me.
Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll have to check them out.
I never heard of Cyber City Oedo 808 before, I’ll need to check it out.
NGE is brilliant, I watched it (platinum edition) for the first time only last year, and loved it. I would not call it cyberpunk, but I certainly found it a compelling character-based, near-future story. The reason why people raged about the ending is because to address the dwindling budget, they abandoned “traditional” anime story and art styles. What they did was IMO adventurous and effective. I wished more anime was willing to go “full avant garde” every so often. Also, many fans thought that NGE was building up to be the apotheosis of mecha stories, when it was always a deconstruction of them. A loving deconstruction. Those who wanted to assume that the psychological aspects of the story were surface detail existing separately from the main mech/alien story were perturbed that it was all related and resolved in unexpected (and to some, unwelcome) ways. If you aren’t put off by it turning out to be existential psychodrama, I wouldn’t worry too much.
Jin Roh was intense. I didn’t know it was rare, IIRC I used to have it on tape. Mamoru Oshii’s work is underrated, IMO, live action and animated alike - except for the original GITS movie, of course. His other live-action work such as the Kerberos films and Avalon are worth checking out, if you like somewhat philosophical low-budget sci-fi. Innocence gets flak for being un-GITS-like GITS, but I love it.
The stuff I watched in my teens-20s is ancient now, but I share your appreciation of Ghost in the Shell and Akira. I was lucky to see Akira on the big screen in Brookline, MA when it came out, and it is still one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. Even though Otomo’s other work has been mostly less ambitious, it’s worth checking out, mostly because of his sense of mechanical design and how it informs the weird metamorphoses of his stories. His old movie Roujin Z about trying to rescue an elderly man off of a rampaging autonomous hospital bed is at least as topical as it was when it was made. Also, Otomo was involved with three anime anthology movies, which were top form of their (old!) era - Robot Carnival, Neo-Tokyo, and Memories. Being anthologies, the styles and tones of these are all over the place.
If you like the Ghost in the Shell movie, then the Production IG TV works such as Standalone Complex, 2nd Gig, Solid State Society, and Arise are worth checking out. Much tighter than the movie, and more serious than the manga. These are completely obvious to recommend, and you might well have already seen them, but these are IMO the most cyberpunk anime ever. There were some earlier works based upon Masamune Shirow such as the OVA of Black Magic, Appleseed, and Dominion.
WTF!? @incarnedine_v is beating me! XD That Running Man vid is from the Neo-Tokyo anthology I mentioned. I was going to suggest Psycho-Pass also.
I’ve got to recommend Wings of Honneamise, which is not cyberpunk but more sort of a history of the space race on an alternate Earth, so it is kind of retro-futuristic. Lots of attention to detail, and really runs the range from the most hopeful outlook to the petty, un-PC things people complicate life with. Also the short Grasshoppa! series Trava: Fist Planet is really a sort of absurdist space adventure and just not like anything else I’ve seen.
Maybe my most challenging anime - my fave tied with GITS-SAC - is Texhnolyze. It is a near-future dystopia - amazing story, production, animation, etc - but easily the most bleak, nihilistic show I have ever seen. It’s like a Gaspar Noe sci-fi yakuza meditation on the end of the world. It is so damn good, but not easy viewing. I binge watched it the first time over a few days with awe and growing unease, and when it had finished I just sat and watched the black screen for an unknown amount of time.
I’m convinced. I’ll definitely watch NGE now.
You guessed correctly, I’ve seen literally any and all GitS-related material, I’m a GitS Otaku to the bone. But yes, it’s about time I re-watch innocence. I actually really liked it for its in-depth look at Semiotics. It’s definitely not interested in large-scale social behavior so much as psychology on the societal level. Also the musing in GitS: Innocence is wonderful, and is enough to justify watching it.
I’ve seen these floating around, but nobody I trust has seen them, but since you recommend it, I’ll have to go dig them up
This sounds right up my alley as well. I saw Skycrawlers in the cinema and fell in love with it, and that kind of close attention to detail clicks for me. Wings of Honneamise sounds like it’s got a common thread going.
I tried watching Texhnolyze, but I literally vomited watching the first episode from the tension stress and just how casually fucked up that world is… It’s… really insidious. I may have to gird my loins and give it another shot. Last time I tried to watch it I was 14, and wasn’t quite so jaded and crass.
I also tried to watch Ergo Proxy, but it was slower than 2001 a Space Odyssey, which I have watched all the way through, but that was an act of sheer will. It gets frustrating watching 6 episodes in a row where nothing really important happens. Just the main character being depressed while driving somewhere, monologging about other characters who haven’t been introduced yet, and are never really explained until later on in the show. It felt like lazy writing done in the service of putting the shiny CGI on showcase – “See how brown the city smog is? It’s because it took 400 render-years on the server farm to output!”.
Thanks for the recommendations. I don’t often get to talk about anime, and indulge in my love for the near-future and singularitarian fiction.
I slogged through Ergo Proxy also. And I like a lot of slow, slow stories! 2001 is one of my favorite movies. I love everything Tarkovsky. I can watch Greenaway’s “The Falls” over and over - and it’s a three-hour mocumentary about people who think they are turning into birds!
I think of Texhnolyze and Ergo Proxy as polar opposites. They are both slow paced, and with washed-out color schemes. But Ergo Proxy seems to promise that it is leading somewhere meaningful, delivering nothing - while Texhnolyze promises oblivion which contains true profundity. Just because some people can appreciate glacially-paced animation is no excuse to pad out vapid nonsense, and naming side characters after philosophers (Husserl, Derrida, Berkeley, Lacan, etc) was just taking the piss, IMO. It was a well made production, but makes for inconsequential viewing.
I might watch Vexille tonight if I think I might be awake long enough.
Heh, I watched Vexille too! I remember liking it enough, but it wasn’t exciting and come to think of it, comes off a bit like the latest Harlock: Space Pirate movie in that it uses a lot of clichés, and indulges in a lot of unnecessarily grandiose heroism. But it’s definitely not as insufferably corny as Harlock, which spends so much time building sexual tension I ended up a little confused as to whether I was watching a 90 minute trailer for porn.
Really, I had no idea what to expect from Harlock, and I wouldn’t have been so put off if I knew going in that the whole point was that it’s not taking itself seriously. (and also that it’s a reboot of 3-4 older movies from the 1970s to the early 1990s)
I’d recommend Bastard as a highly impactful tragic hero story, and includes a lot of juicy characterization, which I’m very into (that’s the main reason why I love Adventure Time so much. Pendelton Ward spends a ton of time and effort subtly making Finn grow up in non-obvious ways that you don’t even notice unless you spend some effort blitting between seasons).
Although Berserk definitely isn’t family friendly, and has some explicit sex scenes.
I really liked “Planetes”. In 2075, a young woman struggles to fit into her new job: collecting space garbage that threatens human space flight. The garbage collectors are at the bottom of the space company’s hierarchy, but in the end they become space heroes, there’s space love, space drama, yada yada yada,
Anyone seen the Madoka Magica series? It’s utterly bonkers, but it’s kind of great.
It’s a series that’s aimed at a younger audience, but I love Ground Defense Force: Mao-Chan, which kind of lightly mocks anime as a genre. There is a character that carries around a doll that looks like captain Juzo Okita from Space Battleship Yamamoto, if I’m not misremembering, and I think it was the head of the air defense force… But it’s 3 little girls who have to protect Japan from cute aliens who keep appearing to steal Japan’s landmarks.
If you like bonkers check out Spacy Dandy and FCLC (aka Foolie Coolie, I think)
Foolie Coolie was excellent, but I’ll check out Spacy Dandy… I loved Paranoia Agent, too. Bonkers, but in a serious kind of way. Satoshi Kon’s work was great and he died way too soon.
Space Dandy is humorous and very surreal, especially some of the episodes. Very far out. I still need to watch the last half of the season, but I often do something while a show is on, can I can’t do that with subtitles.
Basically he is a bounty hunter looking for new aliens to register. But he is also one of those characters that thinks he is cooler than he is and frequents a restaurant like Hooters called Boobies. And for some reason some space gorilla general is chasing him in a ship that has the head of the Statue of Liberty with a ball gag on it. He has a cat alien and a computer as his two associates. It is done by the same guy who did Cowboy Bepop, but it is a different genre.
Oh man sold. I will have to look that one up.