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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment, Japan
  • MSRP: 4800
  • Running time: 130
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Armitage III

Armitage III OVA Collection

    October 23, 1998
Release Date: October 23, 1998


Armitage III OVA Collection
© Geneon Entertainment, Japan


What They Say
A cyberpunk Japanimation taking place on near-futuristic Mars. Our heroine is a girl detective. Also contains a trailer for the theatrical feature ''ARMITAGEIII POLY/MATRIX''

The Review!
In the future, mars has been colonized. Large and complex cities have been built providing living space for humans. Ross is a Police Officer from earth, transferring to mars. He lost his partner shot by a battle robot some time ago. That's why he doesn't or trust technology. But he gets confronted with it as more and more parts of his body are hurt and replaced by robotic parts. At the same time Ross arrives on mars, Thirds (third generation androids) are executed by a terrorist, and on demonstrations, humanistic organizations reclaim their humanity demanding the removal of the Thirds from the Martian population. Ross gets a new partner on mars, Armitage, a Third. She doesn't accept her race being murdered and executed like this.

It is revealed that the Thirds do have a real conscience, that they have true feelings, and some Thirds even appear more human than real humans. (If you've already seen 'Ghost in the Shell', the Thirds do have something that's called 'Ghost' in that movie). So, the Thirds may be called real life forms, only distinguishing from real humans by their body. In time, Ross realizes that it is wrong to murder Thirds and joins Armitage in her fight. Finally, he even falls in love with her :)



Episode 1: electro blood

As Ross arrives on mars, the first android is killed at the spaceport. That's where Armitage and Ross first meet. At this time, no-one can imagine that any android brain could be capable of acting like a real human. As there's shown a statement of the killer, the people learn about the Third type. The android murdered was the only country singer in this universe. She really was an android, and so, everyone's shocked they didn't recognize it. At night, Ross has again this nightmare seeing his partner being killed by a battle robot. The next day, there are demonstrations against robots. As Ross visits Conception, a robot company, he learns a little bit about Martian and robot history. Ross states several times he doesn't like or trust robots in the presence of Armitage. That's the cause why Armitage disappears at the end of this episode. In the meantime, more and more Thirds get executed. One of them transfers a list of all Thirds on mars to Armitage in her last seconds of life. Ross gets into a fight with this terrorist, but Armitage saves him, revealing her true identity being a Third. A very emotional sequence follows, where Armitage gets into doubt about her own identity... Finally, she goes away telling Ross he didn't know what it's like being a robot.

Episode 2: flesh & stone

The terrorist's got badly hurt. He's been brought to a hospital. again, Thirds are murdered. Armitage's still missing. Ross sends her a mail asking her to come back. After one more visit at the Conception company to find out more about the Third type, he's in doubt they're hiding something. One more Third is murdered. This time, she was an author writing a book, and her computer recorded her last words, making Armitage one of the most suspicious cause she seems to have been in contact with her shortly before. A mail to Armitage from a new Third, called Pluto, appears. Conception found out the purpose of the Thirds: They can get pregnant. Ross and Armitage visit Pluto, who's in fact a boy. He's making a backup of himself. They get into a fight and again it is the terrorist killing the Thirds, who was supposed to be in hospital right now. But these terrorists are robots, too. The robot's defeated, and Ross is badly injured. Finally, one of my favorite scenes: Armitage and Pluto wanna leave as Ross says "You're cold, lady". Armitage turns back, gives him a little kiss saying "I will always be cold", then leaves with Pluto.

Episode 3: heart core

This time, there are suicide bomb attacks by Thirds, called pupped bombs. More and more questions arise. Armitage and Pluto still can't figure out why they really were made. They suppose that Asakura, one of the scientists who worked at Conception some time ago might know more. Ross got his recently injured arm replaced by robotic parts, becoming again more like the androids. Pluto connects to the Conception computer trying to find out about himself and Armitage, and to get Asakuras file. But he gets infected with some kind of virus that makes him trying to kill Armitage. It seems as if the terrorist himself was a third type, created on data based on a real human who worked with Asakura together. Pluto doesn't survive. On the police headquarters, politicians from earth are appearing asking for the current situation on mars. Another sentimental scene follows with Ross and Armitage on the grave of Pluto. Then, they visit Pluto's backup in Cyberspace. Later, the hospital is highly guarded. They fight their way through the military forces into the hospital. There, they get again into a fight with this previously injured terrorist who's also just an android.

Episode 4: bit of love

In their last fight, Armitage's got badly injured. The police's searching for them now, and they have to leave town. They find Asakura in a Conception laboratory outside. He's working on a Fourth type robot. His assistant is an android looking like the terrorists, but he got his brain fixed by Asakura. Sleeping outside, on a fire, below trees, Ross and Armitage get more close to each other. The next day, mars and earth sign a treaty with the goal 'one world, one nation'. From Asakuras assistant, Ross and Armitage learn the truth about the Thirds. Asakura infiltrated them into society to program creativity and life instead of destruction, as they were first intended. Unfortunately, the Third prototypes had a lot of instabilities which made it possible to use them as puppet bombs, for example. Asakura wanted to finish the initial terraforming plans on mars. But as mars was dependant on immigration from earth because of low Martian birth rates, the Third type had been developed. They find out that the government's behind the assassins because of a treaty with earth which has become strongly female and doesn't accept any android being able of conception. So they had to be eliminated. Humanity is unified, and Ross and Armitage seem a thread to the government, blamed for the puppet bombs. The Laboratory is destroyed, Asakura killed, and Armitage and Ross have to fight their way through vast military forces. Finally, they survive. At the end, Armitage tells Ross she's carrying a baby from him :)

This DVD holds all four OVAs of Armitage III. The Polymatrix version has been cut together out of these four episodes. I was about to buy the US Polymatrix release as I realized it didn't have Japanese audio. I've heard that Armitage was originally produced for the United States, probably that's the cause... However, I got this code 2 disc at a fair price of Yen 4800. As many other Pioneer LDC releases, this disc has Japanese and English audio, but no subtitles. The disc comes in a standard jewel box, with a colorful cover. The inlet contains a chapter index (roman chars). The disc is black with two nice drawings and some text 'scratched' into the black color shining through in silver of the disc body. Unfortunately, disc title and episode title are printed in dark blue onto the black disc, what makes it quite hard to read. The menus are quite colorful and clear. On the root menu, you can access the chapter index where you can start each of the four episodes or the trailer of the movie version of Armitage (also known as Polymatrix), you can view the art collection (black/white drawings/character designs, unfortunately you can't access them on the disc as picture files. The quality of the pictures is quite bad as the resolution's too low), and you can chose to view the previews of some other releases, especially there are many trailers for lain: the episodes, soundtracks, Playstation game. Finally, there's a button to start the disc playing from the beginning at episode 1. On each of the OVAs, you can access opening, episode, ending and preview of the next episode as separate chapters by your remote. As there's some blood and violence in this move, I'd prefer not to show this DVD to children without supervision...

The main reason why I bought this disc is that I couldn't find a US release of Armitage available with Japanese audio. Yesterday, I've heard about another US release containing Japanese audio... I'll have to check this out. This disc forms a real alternative to the US release for all fans of Japanese language, in other words for those who buy/bought their VHS tapes subbed. Additionally, you get the 'whole' story, compared to the Polymatrix on the US release.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital,English 2.0 Dolby Digital,Armitage Polymatrix Trailer,Art Collection
Previews,Contains OVA's 1-4

Review Equipment
N/A

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