Review of Gundress (1999)

Moving picture, 84 minutes

Shirō Masamune (designer).

A bunch of legalized mercenary girls fight criminals in mecha, 2100 CE.

Potentially interesting for approximately four reasons: Shirō’s involvement, a character reminiscent of Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell (1995) (similar cyborg body and ports), a vaguely Gibsonian cyberspace sequence and other cyberpunk emblems, and the fact that the movie was released to theaters incomplete: it still lacks some animation on DVD! This was a mind-blowing failure in perfectionist Japan. Unfortunately, Shirō’s designs aren’t great, the art and animation are pretty terrible, and the cyber stuff is dumbed down à la The Matrix (1999), so there is no meaningful union of Ghost and Gibson. It does turn the initial villain into a nice guy, and the tragically lost old love into the new villain.

moving picture Japanese production animation mecha fiction cyberpunk