Mania Grade: C-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Central Park Media
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 45
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cybernetics Guardian
By Chris Beveridge
February 15, 2000
Release Date: February 15, 2000
What They Say
© Central Park Media
In the near future, The City of Tomorrow is being devoured by the violence bred in its hellish slums. When the Central Guard Company is hired to clean-up the slums, two scientists compete to find an effective solution.
One favors a non-violent method utilizing her psychic-powered Guard Suit. When John Stalker is sent to test the prototype suit, the other sees the perfect opportunity to test his Genocyber Killing Machine and eliminate a romantic rival! But neither scientist could have predicted the dark secret lurking within John Stalker...
From the Director of M.D. GEIST & GENOCYBER!
"...there's plenty of action, lots of explosions, heavy armour and cyberstuff... The animation is good... you won't be too disappointed." -Anime FX
"...fluid, dynamic animation..." -Animerica
"CYBERNETICS GUARDIAN is in the mainstream of competent anime and will engage your interest as the protagonists struggle with the morality of their unusual situations." -Video WatchdogThe Review!
Originally released back in 1989 and acquired by Central Park Media in 1995, Cybernetics Guardian has finally been released on DVD in region 1, though the disc is playable worldwide.
The audio is a pretty solid Dolby Digital stereo mix. A lot of the dialogue and sounds come mainly out of the center channel, but the music and a lot of the action effects are spread out among the left and right channels. Dialogue is clean and clear with no real distortion that I could notice.
For an older release, the master must have been of good quality. We could find only the barest hints of line noise throughout the OVA. The transfer, which is full of dark colors and all sorts of shades of black and gray, looked very well done. There were few vibrant colors, but when they did appear, such as the police sirens, they looked quite good. Overall, this is a very solid transfer.
CPM has released this disc in the clear keepcase which seems to be working well for them when they do single disc releases. The front cover artwork is pretty decent and the back cover contains plenty of information both on the show itself and how the disc is set up. The reverse side contains the chapter stops and bits about the show and the people behind it as well as several pictures.
The menu is pretty basic but very functional. Selections are made quickly and they pretty much do as indicated. The only quibble some people may come back with is when the languages are selected, it jumps right into the show from there. Otherwise the menus are what we've seen for several releases now from CPM.
Cybernetics Guardian also has some pretty decent extras on the DVD-ROM side, which is accessible from both a PC and a Mac. There are 24 stills in the gallery section, the entire script, 32 storyboard to anime pages, the cast list that's also on the discs main menu, 30 character design pages and 12 conceptual design pages. Each item is quickly accessed and provide more insight into what went into creating and designing the show.
Once again though, a solid disc contains a subpar piece of work. Directed by Koichi Ohata, who also came up with the original concept (but did not write the screenplay), is not one of my preferred anime creators. Cybernetics Guardian marks his first directing gig, but he's also been responsible for such other pieces of anime crud like MD Geist 1 and 2 and Genocyber.
Essentially, what projects of his that have been brought over to North America, I have not cared for in the slightest. One of the problems with Cybernetics Guardian is that it's a condensed version of a movie into a 45 minute space. Spread out across 90 to 120 minutes, it would have been more detailed, had actual characters with some amount of depth and may have had something resembling a full plot.
Not that it would have been anything other than formulaic, but it wouldn't seem like it was so rushed and skeletal. John is testing a new suit that will help clean up the city of the future (2019) but the gentleman that's high up in power has other aims and sabotages the project. John manages to escape somehow from major harm, but he ends up in the slums where he came from.
Adler, the evil gentleman that he is, finds John being taken in by a cult who is intent on transforming John into a God of Destruction. Things make even less sense after that as rock music plays to fights between the transformed John and the first mention of the Genocyber, which is completely unrelated to what that project eventually becomes.
The animation quality is very nice and there are some pretty fluid scenes, especially considering the relative age of the title. Unfortunately the character designs are rather poor and almost dated. The conceptual artwork included on the disc tend to look better than the finished product, but since the city itself and its history isn't fleshed out hardly at all, it's all for naught.
For fans of C-movie anime, Cybernetics Guardian is your best bet. It's not as horrid as MD Geist, but that's damning it with faint praise to be honest.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Trailer,Direct background
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.