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[ café reviews ]

Armitage and Ross prepare to face-off against the advancing Martian army...

Armitage III

4. Bit of Love

[ production info ]

Copyright: © 1995 AIC, Pioneer LDC (North America and Japan)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, Graphic violence, nudity and strong language, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Screenplay: Konaka Chiaki Director: Ochi Hiroyuki Animation Director: Abe Kunihiro, Takahashi Shinya and Onda Naoyuki Character Design: Ochi Hiroyuki Music: Namba Hiroyuki

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

The loss of both d'anClaudes creates two problems: first, Ross and Armitage still have no answers to the rash of crimes plaguing St. Lowell City. But an even larger problem looms: the two partners are now wanted criminals, and everyone is out looking for them...

Only one hope remains: Naomi Armitage's father and creator, Dr. Asakura. But his whereabouts is unknown, and the only clue to his location is d'anClaude's final words: Danich Hill. Strangely enough, the location of which is deep in the Martian countryside, and all traces about it location has been mysteriously deleted from all existing maps. Can Armitage finally discover the truth about her existance? What will become of her and her kind should a reunification treaty be signed with Earth, a society which has condemned the existance of robots?

[ capsule review ]

The final chapter of this very short OAV series strives to answer all the questions it has posed in the first three installments. Unfortunately, the show struggles in its attempts to bring all the elements together. While all the individual elements are there - motives, background, plot development and resolution, I found the methodology somewhat unsatisfying. Perhaps the primary reason would be a very "Agatha Christie-esque" introduction of a last-minute element: the political pressuring by Earth. There was so very little mention of this in earlier episodes, that most viewers would have shrugged off this detail is immaterial. Perhaps the writers demanded more than this reviewer's capabilities allowed, but I felt somewhat cheated in the end.

The climactic battle between the Martian military and our two heroes also presented its own little problems... Just where did Ross Sylibus pick up a mil-spec battle-mech? How did he get the transport container to that most convenient location? Perhaps the thirty minutes allotted for this final episode didn't allow for the complete exploration of these questions; it's too bad -- another example where poor planning can literally destroy a good story. This is even a bigger shame when you take into account the production of the final battle scene: it's eerie, somewhat symbolic, and beautifully composed. The entire sequence is done so detached, with the mechanised world looking on with uncomprehending attentiveness, that the sheer irony is sharply poigniant. Two beings, fighting a battle that they can't possibly win, in which they have such far less at stake than the fascinated observers, who can only watch -- without understanding what is really taking place. It's brilliantly directed, and will have you completely enthralled -- that is, until you come to the end, and realise that the denoument is very unsatisfying, and perhaps even a little contrived. It's not that I mind 'happily ever after' endings, but why even present such a conclusion, when everything up to that point tells you that it's not possible? Perhaps, if another ten minutes had been allotted to the show, a better final package could have been produced... and perhaps that's the real reason for the movie PolyMatrix.
- AN, 98.03.07

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 2 stars N/A
Direction: N/R 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/R 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/R 4 stars N/A
Music: N/R 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/R 3 stars N/A

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Page last modified 1998.12.07