The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Megazone 23 Part III

Title: Megazone 23 Part III
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Victor Entertainment
Format: 2 OVA
Dates: 28 Sep 1989 – 22 Dec 1989

Synopsis: 500 years have passed since Shogo Yahagi landed Bahamut down to Earth. In that time, the remnants of mankind reside only within the confines of City Eden, waiting until The System deems humanity worthy of claiming the surface. In a time of cyber terrorism and frequent suicide, ex-hacker Eiji Takanaka is hired by System overseers EX Corp in order to hunt down criminals and deviants. In his curiosity, Eiji discovers the original Eve, who leads him to learn ugliness behind Eden. Humanity can no longer live waiting, and their fate is deadlocked between those who wish to take the city, those who wish to destroy the city, and those who wish to free the city.

The Highlights
Style: Vibrant cyberpunk.
Characters: Stronger than Part II, weaker than Part I.
Animation: Some frames are sharper than others.
Themes: Remain inelegant throughout.
Mature Content: Toned down, even compared to the first.

The problem with continuously making references to other franchises is that the parallels have to be consistent. The Matrix analogy may go well with Megazone 23 and Part II, but only goes so far for Part III. Despite its cyberpunk environment, system crashes, and chosen one mumbo jumbo, the last edition of Megazone distinguishes itself from The Matrix Revolutions by actually being good.

Being the sequel of a movie with bad characterization, which was the sequel of a movie with good characterization, the obvious route for this OVA to take is an attempt at stronger characters once again. And yes, while Megazone Part III does have weaker development and chemistry from the original, it is only by a hair. This time, Aramaki Shinji takes over as director, who gives his baby the treatment it deserves. Granted some things like the relationship between Eiji and Ryo come off as artificial and unnecessary. However, whenever Eiji is in the same room as Eve, the writing is practically perfect, intellectually and even emotionally.

There must be a proscribed amount of mature content any anime franchise is allowed to have, and Part II must have used it all up, because this installment is beyond tame by ‘80s OVA standards. Aside from some brief scenes of nudity, there is no sex. The same goes for violence. This time, it is probably all for the better because it leaves extra time to focus on the thematic elements rather than the superficial. The final chapter of Megazone focuses on the idea of a self-destructive system, and how it warps the minds of its followers. Sounds like any number of old Star Trek episodes. However, the topnotch writing and use of the system fighting against itself, makes it all the more worth it. I’m typically not a cyberpunk person. But that is where Part III shined the most.

When all is said and done, Megazone 23 is really an anime that deserved more. It deserved a better middle part. It deserved greater expounding on the situation. It deserved a bigger budget so that its conclusion didn’t meander between OVA and TV quality animation. But after that, when all else is said and done, Megazone is still a monumental anime. And Part III is still a satisfying conclusion for this historic piece in the direct to video market.

The Rating: 8

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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