Cyberteam in Akihabara Vol. #6 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: D

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cyberteam in Akihabara

Cyberteam in Akihabara Vol. #6

By Chris Beveridge     September 16, 2005
Release Date: July 12, 2005

Cyberteam in Akihabara Vol. #6
© ADV Films

What They Say
Akihabara is under attack! As the Primum Mobile enters Japanese airspace, Hibari and the Cyber Team find themselves forced to choose between two devils. Humanity's future rests on their shoulders! The mystery, comedy and intrigue comes to a thrilling close in this final chapter!

The Review!
The Cyberteam series comes to a close in a way only banging your head on a desk repeatedly will allow you to enjoy.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a very simple mix to it that's listed as stereo but is more of a full feeling soundtrack than anything else. There's a fair amount of action and sound effects throughout the show but there isn't much in the way of real depth or directionality to it. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally airing in 1998, the transfer for this series is presented here in its original full frame aspect ratio. Done in the traditional animation style and avoiding most of the obvious bad digital animation that was cropping up at that time, the transfer here looks good for the most part with a clean set of materials to work with. The main problem that some will see throughout will be the aliasing during some of the action sequences but otherwise it's fairly problem free. Cross coloration is very minimal with only some slight sight of it in a few scenes. Colors look good and maintain a solid feel throughout and you can see a good amount of detail in the animation when it's there.

Though it looks a bit cartoonish and not quite the same as the in-show artwork, the cover final cover goes with Hibari in her Densuke-transformed more along with Crane in a more elegant outfit than he wears in most of the series with the standard circuit board background. The style of the artwork mixed with the sleek logo gives it a really current feel and overall looks pretty sharp. The back cover has only a couple of very small animation shots and is instead filled with lots of pastel colors that hold the sizeable summary and the large section of production information. The discs technical features and extras listings are easy to find and are all accurate. No insert was included with this release though there was one in earlier volumes.

The menu layout continues to use the same design and colors as other parts of the release with a static background of a Pata-pi lined across it several times that changes color as it goes along to the music. On top of that there are the usual selections and a cute image of a Pata-pi being picked up with a claw arm game. While not the most amazing menu, it's nicely in theme and gets the job done without slowing you down in getting to the sections you want. Access times are nice and fast and the disc read our players' language presets without issue.

The extras for the final volume include a round of the standards with a new set of sketches and the clean opening and closing sequences.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In watching the final volume of this series there were so many places where it was just so bad I had to laugh. Unintentional comedy is sometimes the best but even that was outweighed by the general awfulness of how this is all playing out. The series has done a very mixed job overall of trying to do whatever it is that it's trying to do and the worst thing they could have done was to provide that flashback to the beginning where Hibari thinks to herself, "I never thought it would turn out like this."

Such are the words echoing through the minds of the fans of the manga and probably the shows sponsors as well as the last dozen or so episodes have strayed so far from the origins of shoujo that it probably alienated most of its core audience and ended up with the completely wrong one. The last volume had us laughing along as it brought about the centuries long plan that Rosenkreutz had been involved in up through the time that Crane took off in a V2 rocket for the stars in order to build his space castle in order to achieve world peace and harmony in a future paradise. But mankind has proven itself over and over to be completely selfish and self-destructive that the arrival of his Anima Mundi doesn't mark the beginning of a new era but rather an abandonment of what humanity has become.

I'm sure all the little girls in the audience got that.

Rosenkreutz's pure happiness is expounded upon as Crane's floating fortress has finally descended to Earth and it has a connector that plugs right into the center spire of the school. Removing his old look and returning to his youthful nature, Rosenkreutz is eager to welcome back what he loves the most only to find that Crane is disgusted by what's going on. In fact, he abhors the way that Rosenkreutz is essentially the same as he always has been and hasn't grown at all. From killing his able assistant at the end and still wanting to rule the world, he hasn't learned from his mistakes at all according to Crane and simply isn't worth his time. He's more interested in the Diva's and what's going on there and simply pushes the main villain of the series offstage within a few minutes time.

It just gets even sillier from there. After a bit of grappling because the city is in a power loss zone due to the castle and how it works the other girls make their way in through some positively laughter inducing means. The end result is that Crane informs all of the girls that he'll be back in 165 days to take them up with him to a new paradise and that if they don't come with him he'll do to the world what he's done to Akihabara in terms of the power loss. So for the next five months, the world prepares for this day and gets everything in place to handle it. The show skips all of this and takes us to the day before Crane's return and…

And it's almost insulting. The five girls are all known but they get to live at home under zero protection. All five of them walk the streets at night all alone. I mean, I know Japan is considered safe but if you know there are five girls who if they don't do something the world will be destroyed, don't you think there's at least one or two crackpots that will do their best to kill them? It gets better though. The girls are all considered ambassadors from Akihabara to the UN and they're going there on the day Crane comes back so they can deal with it by going up. What does this mean? That's right, Hibari's father is lucky to get that day off from work to deal with it. But he spends the night before out drinking with people from work!

The absolute best though is that on the day of Crane's return as the castle starts to descend, the government then starts an evacuation of Tokyo and its main suburbs. Maybe it's hindsight having seen how badly an evacuation just went with plenty of notice, but I'd like to think this would be insulting even before that. I'd say it all falls apart from there as Hibari and her friends decide to stand up to what's essentially a little boy with unrealistic expectations of the world with his self-centered view of how he wasted a hundred years but honestly, it fell apart a long time ago and it's been painful and alternately comical watching it trying to hold itself together. There's no real satisfaction with the ending of this series since one of the pieces it pushed forward was Hibari finding her prince. With the prince being an ass, we're left with a choice of final images. Either that of Hibari finding good friends being the best thing in the world or that her Pata-pi will provide for all of her needs.

Yeah, the mind is in the gutter, but so was that of the people behind this show that over-exploited a girls show into what became a bizarre male oriented fanservice heavy piece with lots of conflicting ideas and innuendo.

In Summary:
The less said the better really. Most series have at least something interesting to offer at times and there are precious few series that are painful to watch and get through but Cyberteam in Akihabara is just that. I'm sure it has its audience and its fans but this is one of those times I wish I could have bailed out at the first volume like any other person.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Sketches,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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