Megazone 23 (1985 IMDb)

Categorization

Science fiction, action. Direct-to-video feature, supposedly a compilation of material from a TV series that was never produced.

Subject

A group of teenagers have carefree lives in what they believe is contemporary Japan. The discovery of an advanced motorcycle, and a government cover-up of its existence, starts a chain of shocking revelations and violence.

Commentary

Clearly a child of the time of Akira (1988) (the manga started 1982) and a potential seed of The Matrix (1999). This is slightly harder science fiction, but loosely directed. I get the sense that, as in Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie 2 (1993), part of the power of the film comes from the idea that the calm and wealth of Japan at the time were conceited and based on a false sense of isolation. Good bummer ending.

Japanese production animation movie

Sequel:

Megazone 23 II (1986 IMDb)

Categorization

The resolution of the story arc from the first “episode”, also at feature length. Very different in visual style, mostly because all of Mikimoto Haruhiko's characters are very ambitiously redesigned by Umetsu Yasuomi.

Subject

Shogo and Yui reunite after some months, with the nihilistic motorcycle gang. They have lost the Garland, but continue to track the real Eve.

Commentary

Strongly nihilistic and, ultimately, apocalyptic. Heavy on the punk in cyberpunk.

Japanese production animation cyberpunk movie

Sequel:

Megazone 23 III (1989 IMDb)

Categorization

Only barely a sequel. Almost completely isolated from the plot of the preceding parts by several centuries and what appears to be a retcon. Part III has two episodes, rather than being a feature-length work like the other entries. More typical cyberpunk stuff.

Subject

Arcade games are cool.

Commentary

Much less original.

Japanese production animation cyberpunk series