Kawajiri and Cool Retro Futures
Kawajiri is not one of my favorite anime directors. I haven’t watched everything he has ever done, but I’ve passed on writing about a lot of the things he has worked on because I just stand a lot of the over top sexual nature of his late 80’s/early 90’s ovas and its a gigantic mess. Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, and so many other things? Cool things, but I just can’t get myself to write about those. Cyber City Oedo 808 though? Really, really cool stuff. In my mind, this is probably his magnum opus unless there is something else that I haven’t checked out yet. That remains to be seen though and that is something to check onto there too.
There are a lot of cool things about it, but the scenery behind all of it is fascinating stuff. It is one of those sorts of dramatic retro futures that was popular around that time. What is the samurai future considering that it’s hundreds and hundreds of years in the future where the Earth is possibly taken over by this massive cyber city. A city named Oedo like a future version of what Tokyo was called before its name switch, Edo. Plus the weapons the space police are given and so many other works and intellectual things onto them there too. I find the future with magic and historical relevance creates such a wonderful and fascinating environment for all of them.
The Idea Behind Oedo 808
Do you know the idea behind Suicide Squad? Criminals who are have bombs placed on them, so they have to worked for public good or they have to just die? That is exactly what Oedo 808 is about. Three criminals with over three hundred year or more sentences, Sengoku the ever clever and charismatic criminal, Gogul the master hacker, and Benten the feminine looking razor welding bad ass, are given special duty for years taken off their sentences. Also collars that can kill them if the warden Hasegawa feels like it and a lot of other details and aspects for them too. Some really crazy wonderful things in Oedo that barely functions as far as we know.
So yeah, this show only has three episodes where each of them gets what own special focus episode. Sengoku gets the first one and it’s a pretty classic sort of anti heist episode with future technology. Very fun episode because Sengoku, based on journey to the West’s Goku, is such a fun character to watch. Gogul is given the second episode and our hacker guy has a match against an experimental military cyborg. Then Benten gets the last one and he gets the episode around space vampires and that is just a lot of fun too. Each of those episodes, even if some are better, that I couldn’t keep my eyes away from. This ova is just so much fun.
Cool Characters and Trying to Escape the Law
Yeah, I couldn’t help but see so many little things in this series that I really love. For example, all the detail work or how each character has an episode that fits who they are and what they are good at dealing with. Plus possibly how they can spend the limited time they are given to finish some sort of mission or quest. Of course, all three of them knew that the deal was a trap. But it gave them the chance to at least be free in the outside world for a little while longer. Freedom, even on the leash of a dog, is much better than not seeing it all perhaps. But is that really freedom anyway? This show does discuss this a little bit.
If there is a major difference between each episode besides genre, it’s how much time each person gets to fulfill their tasks. Sengoku gets over 12 hours to solve his little crime heist. Something which adds tension to his story while giving him some time to brief and be himself. Gogul doesn’t even get that because he only has a small amount of hours to defeat something no one else can. Perhaps because he tried to work with other people to defeat his collar in the first place? Meanwhile, Benten has all the time in the world apparently though he may be in the way for the two others in killing him perhaps. It’s a lot of interesting variability to all of them too.
A Fun Classic That Needs More
I’m not sure what else to say about this little ova because it’s a fun and interesting little thing. It also looks very good with a lot of classic animation techniques. A lot of cool and very dramatic moments rely on a lot of minimal animation, direction, and a very interesting sense of lighting. Then there are moments when the action moments just explode in such cool bits of fighting animation to all the mechanical animation because this is from the future. That added bit of character animation from how characters sit when talking to each other or just taking a day off says so many things about them which we will get to see more of.
This ova is just a solid little show. A great time to check out three, 45 minute, episodes that you could watch them stand alone or one at a time and just have a good time. Very simple little stories with interesting characters that help provide some kind of ideas into the world of what has to say about some attributes of it without having to do too much. I really wish that I could have bought the blu-ray for this show so I could watch it sooner, but it became free on retrocrush and honestly, I jumped on it. Why wouldn’t I? You should too, It’s really fun.
Totally agree with your thoughts on the series. It’s such a cool look at what could have been, honestly what still could be in a way. I would totally love for this series to be re-visited too – I just want to see Benten hunting vampires for longer. Or maybe a werewolf so it’s not too repetitive.
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It doesn’t matter what it is, just something more.
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