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[ café reviews ]

Armitage witnesses the death of a loved one.

Armitage III

3. Heart Core

[ 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

A rash of suicide bombings by Seconds announce a new wave of terrorism sweeping St. Lowell city. The MPD's focus shifts full-time into these bombings, leaving the grisly murders of the Thirds on the back burner. Sylibus is not too happy about the recent turn of events, and decides that the mystery of the Thirds deserves more attention than it's getting...

Meanwhile, Armitage is re-united with her brother -- the only male Third, and the last of the series. Armitage discovers two shocking secrets: Rene d'anClaude, along with Dr. Asakura created the Thirds. But even more shocking: Thirds can reproduce, and their children would be fully human. But this raises even more questions -- why is the last of the series, Julian, a male? Why is d'anClaude so bent on destroying all the Thirds? And if d'anClaude is in ICU at Shinora hospital, just who is responsible for the continued attacks? Julian tries to hack into the central database, but when his attempt fails with disastrous consequences, Ross and Armitage decide that there's only one hope for finding out: get to d'anClaude at the hospital. But this might prove trickier than first thought, for the Martian government has decided to guard the hospital with tanks!

[ capsule review ]

I have no idea why this series isn't better known. The writing and visual concepts are better than most cyberpunk-genre shows out there. If you're a technophile (or as I like to phrase it, "techie-geek"), there's a virtual cornicopia of imaginative ideas to be had in this series. If you're a mystery lover, this story unfolds better than an Agatha Christie novel. If you love guns and action, this series has that as well. If you're into philosophical dilemmas, Ross Sylibus' predicament of become more and more artificial will tickle your fancy. If you love cute babes -- well, maybe that's where the problem lies...

The drawing style of Ochi Hiroyuki might take some getting used to; still I don't find that it detracts from the visual impact this show presents. While Naomi Armitage has some of the most disturbed looking eyes ever endowed to an anime character, it's nevertheless fitting. Her personality meanders like the wind. The imagery presented is intricate without being overwhelmingly complex, with just the right touch of background music to get you completely involved into the plot. Several times I had to force myself to remember to take notes, lest I get completely enthralled with what I was watching. This OAV series feels like it should be a feature-length film -- and perhaps that was the thinking behind the recent release of Polymatrix.

This show is not perfect, though -- acting by Kasahara Hiroko is not as strong as the character demands, though you won't find it too disappointing. Some of the scenes look like they were lifted from other SF shows, most noticeably the voyage through the neural net to the main databank, which was an obvious copy of Star Trek: The Motion Picture scene of Spock passing through V'ger. Perhaps the most disappointing was the translation by Pioneer. A lot of "artistic license" was taken in the English subtitles, to the point where I felt that it changed the intent of the original script. It won't affect how you understand the story, but it does change how you would interpret the relationships between the various characters and how they interpret things. Some strong language was also inserted into the English version, but since this is targeted at an adult audience, I didn't find it out of place. Finally, this episode is short... very short. Only thirty minutes, as compared to fifty for the previous two. Just as things seem to get rolling, the closing credits appear. But in the end, this episode has far more positives than negatives which translates to a big 'thumbs up!'
- AN, 98.03.07

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 5 stars N/A
Direction: N/R 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/R 4 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 4 stars N/A

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