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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it for the price....
First off, to answer the question of the previous reviewer; yes, this has all 3 episodes. It also has comentaries, both Japanese and English voice acting (and English subtitles of course), and an art gallery.

Cyber City Odeo is not the best anime out there, but for roughly $10, it's more than worth it. During the time of it's initial release, this small...
Published on April 1, 2005 by Samurai13

versus
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There are THREE VERSIONS of this show!
Cybercity Oedo 808 is a very difficult anime to review, because depending on which version you watched, your impressions will be wildly different. There are three versions of the show, only two of which are available on these DVDs. The first is the original Japanese version (available here), the second is the English dub with the original Japanese score by Kazz Toyama...
Published on April 27, 2012 by Dave


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There are THREE VERSIONS of this show!, April 27, 2012
This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
Cybercity Oedo 808 is a very difficult anime to review, because depending on which version you watched, your impressions will be wildly different. There are three versions of the show, only two of which are available on these DVDs. The first is the original Japanese version (available here), the second is the English dub with the original Japanese score by Kazz Toyama (also available here), and the third is the English dub with a revised score recorded by Rory McFarlane (not available here). The three versions are so different that my first thought before I began writing this review was, "So...which version should I be reviewing, exactly?"

To explain the differences will be quite complicated, so let's start with what's similar. The story is the same across all three versions. Several centuries into the future, due to the abundance of crime, most criminals are now stored in off-planet space prisons that orbit the Earth. However, the lawlessness is so severe that the Japanese government decided to revive an ancient practice called homen, in which imprisoned criminals are recruited into law enforcement agencies and given limited freedom, with complete freedom guaranteed to them eventually in exchange for apprehending other criminals. Essentially, for every criminal they apprehend, the government subtracts a few years from their sentence until such time as they no longer have a sentence left, at which point they are freed. In the mean time, a collar rigged with remotely-detonated explosives--controlled by the Police Chief--is wrapped around their necks as leverage to ensure that they follow their orders.

The story of "Cybercity Oedo 808" follows three such criminals, who are freed from their space prison in exchange for working in the Special Service section of the police. Police Chief Hasegawa recruits Sengoku (the guy with the black hair), Gogl (the guy with the mohawk) and Benten (the guy--and yes, that is a guy--in the pink armor). Spanning three forty-minute episodes, each episode focuses on one of the criminals (Sengoku, Gogl, and Benten respectively), although all of them appear in each episode.

Episode I, Sengoku's Episode: A skyscraper's central computer is hacked, and Hasegawa sends the three anti-heroes to try and rescue the fifty thousand people trapped inside the skyscraper when the hacked computer locks down the building. While trying to figure out who's responsible, Sengoku uncovers a chilling tale of murder and betrayal, with all clues mysteriously pointing to a dead man as being the one responsible for the hacking...

Episode II, Gogl's Episode: Hasegawa suspects illegal activity in the military after a strange murder, and sends Sengoku and Benten on a covert operation to infiltrate a military HQ and investigate. Meanwhile, Gogl's old partner, Sarah, seeks his help in running from the military after she steals classified info from them. Unfortunately for Gogl, he is an unknowing pawn in a military plan involving a deadly new weapon...

Episode III, Benten's Episode: The three anti-heroes are told to investigate a series of mysterious murders where the victims are found with bite marks on their necks, much like a vampire. Benten's research leads him to a pharmaceutical company, its corrupt CEO, and an enigmatic female test subject...and when he becomes emotionally attached to his case, he is forced choose between his eventual freedom and his personal beliefs...

All three episodes are done very well in that they are half-mystery, half-action, rather than committing solely to either. The creators of this series have a wonderful way of setting up a situation so that the viewer can get emotionally invested in the characters, which always makes the action scenes much more intense. If anything, the greatest accomplishment that works across all three versions is that this show is proof that stories with good twists and turns are not incompatible with good action.

The animation, while outdated by today's standards, is not bad by any means. The character designs are unique, the battle scenes are very fast-paced for an early 90's anime, and some of the imagery is very dark and unique. So while not particularly excellent, I would describe it as solid. It's never glorious, but it's never bad.

That's about where the similarities end, though.

The English dub for this series was produced by Manga Entertainment in 1994, and was recorded in the UK (initially for TV, and then later released to VHS). This is rather unusual given that almost all English anime dubs are done either in the US or in Canada, but perhaps even more unusual is that the British actors decided to feign American accents (although--and I say this as an American--they do an exceedingly good job at it for the most part). Furthermore, the adaptation of the English scripts was not exactly the most loyal adaptation ever produced. While it was not terrible by any means, and while it most certainly didn't extend to a complete re-writing of the plot like some other dubs did, the English script was a reflection of Manga Entertainment's business methods at the time. They were very much trying to appeal to the late teenager/young adult crowd with every anime they dubbed, and re-wrote the script to be much darker than the original Japanese script, most notably through the addition of many, many, MANY four-letter curse words that were not at all present in the original version. For this reason, I would feel comfortable showing the original Japanese version to anyone in their young-to-mid teens and give it a PG-13 rating, but I would only show the English dub to people in their late teens or early twenties and give it an R rating.

Perhaps most importantly, though...when this series originally aired in Britain in 1994, the original musical score by Kazz Toyama, consisting of slower, jazzier, synthesized music was tossed aside in favor of faster, more rock and heavy metal-oriented score composed by Rory McFarlane. This was, much like the adaptation of the English script, a reflection of Manga Entertainment's policy at the time of appealing to an older audience.

...And I'd be lying if I said I didn't think the English dub, with the revised score by Rory McFarlane, was easily the most superior of the three versions.

It really pains me to say that. I'm normally of the belief that an English dub should be a faithful adaptation of the original Japanese material. I don't mind subtitles, but I don't prefer them because I want to have the original Japanese experience emulated in English. In Japan, the Japanese audiences don't need subtitles to understand anime--they can just sit back and experience the show rather than read it. That, in my mind, is the point of a dub. It allows English-speaking audiences to sit back and experience the show rather than read it, much like how the Japanese enjoy their anime in Japan. So I am normally a strict believer in the idea that an English dub should be a faithful adaptation of the source material, and not re-written to pander to a different audience.

As much as I hate to admit it, though, the version that was not a particularly faithful emulation of the original material, and the version that was produced to pander to an older crowd...is so much better (in my opinion, of course)! While the original Japanese cast is composed of very competent actors, there's no sense of difference in personality between the three main characters at all. They're all just lower-voiced, slow-talking tough guys. In the English dub, the three voices are all very different both in sound and in attitude. Sengoku, slow-talking and lazy-sounding when voiced by Hiroya Ishimaru in Japanese, is turned into a fast-talking, brash, enraged, curse-spewing loudmouth when voiced by Bruce Martin in English. Gogl, slow-talking and lazy-sounding when voiced by Tessho Genda in Japanese, is turned into a tough-sounding, confident, and intelligent observer when voiced by Sean Barrett in English. Benten, slow-talking and lazy-sounding when voiced by Kaneto Shiozawa in Japanese, is turned into a soothing, melodious, soft-spoken poet and warrior when voiced by Daniel Flynn in English. In the English version, there are distinct and memorable characters, rather than voice actors who sound like they're phoning in their performances. To put it in less official terms, in English, it really feels like Sengoku, Gogl, and Benten, whereas in Japanese it simply sounds like Guy #1, Guy #2, and Guy #3.

The exact same concept applies to the music. The original Japanese score, which seems slow and uninspired when put up against the action scenes that it was composed for, pales in comparison to the loud, high-octane, rock-based English score that truly helps to establish a sense of urgency where the Japanese score did not. A perfect example of this is one of the opening scenes of Episode I. Sengoku, in an attempt to catch a criminal fleeing on an airship, raises a drawbridge so that he can drive his car up the raised drawbridge at a high speed, catapult his car into the air, drop out of his car as he flies over the ship, and apprehend the criminal. In Toyama's score, a rather monotonous synthesizer-based tune drags on throughout the entirety of this event, with a light, slow-paced electric guitar solo towards the end. At no point does the music adjust to the on-screen action. In McFarlane's score, a thundering tempo of bass and drums begins as soon as the drawbridge is raised, slowly building up in intensity until Sengoku puts the car in gear, at which point a blaring loud electric guitar solo shoots through the speakers. Toyama's score made Sengoku's maneuver seem like an every-day, unimpressive occurrence, whereas McFarlane's score emphasized the speed and danger of Sengoku's (highly unusual) maneuver.

Most unfortunately, this very memorable combination of acting and music is not available on these DVDs. Or any DVDs, for that matter. Why is that? To put it bluntly, legal issues. Manga Entertainment eventually lost the rights to this series, and this series did not receive a DVD release until the early new millennium, at which point it was licensed by Madman Entertainment for the UK and Australia, and U.S. Manga Corp for North America. Rather than produce a new dub, they bought the rights to the '94 dub recorded by Manga Entertainment. They did not, however, buy the rights to McFarlane's score, opting instead to stick with Toyama's score. You can still get a great (if not particularly loyal) English dub with Toyama's less-than-stellar score, or a less-than-stellar set of performances on the Japanese end with Toyama's less-than-stellar score and English subtitles. The only way to watch the English dub with McFarlane's superior score is to buy the old VHS release from 1994. Unfortunately, VHS degrades in quality with time. So the only way to see the English dub with Mcfarlane's score AND in pristine quality...would be to have been watching British television in 1994 when they aired it. A high-quality digital release of the English dub with McFarlane's soundtrack will, it seems, never be available.

I will close on one last observation, since it seems to sum up the entire situation. In the 1994 Manga Entertainment release, this show was uncensored, but technically not unedited. All instances of Japanese letters were replaced with English letters, so all writing in that release appears in English rather than in Japanese (all Japanese writing is restored for the DVD release). I honestly couldn't tell, because the editing was so seamless. It truly helped to draw me into the story, even if this story was essentially a story with a different tone than what was originally intended. This new tone, and this new presentation, was a much more fun, unique, and enjoyable experience than the original Japanese version ever was. Unfortunately, without Rory McFarlane's score, that experience will never see the light of day on DVD.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it for the price...., April 1, 2005
By 
Samurai13 (sitting in front of my computer) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
First off, to answer the question of the previous reviewer; yes, this has all 3 episodes. It also has comentaries, both Japanese and English voice acting (and English subtitles of course), and an art gallery.

Cyber City Odeo is not the best anime out there, but for roughly $10, it's more than worth it. During the time of it's initial release, this small series certainly stood out among the droves of cliché filled anime out there. The animation/art style is traditional mid 80's to early 90's, with the it's characters having more normal sized eyes, and the use of heavy blacks for shading being more prominent.

The writing certainly has problems in areas (like the dialog having a bit too much clichéd swearing about every 5 seconds), and the image quality hasn't been enhanced at all fo the DVD (VHS quality, and no widescreen), but for all its faults, this is a great deal for an anime that certainly should be seen by any anime fan out there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and action packed, June 23, 2011
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
The 3 episodes don't let up on thrilling 90's cyber punk action from frame 1! This is a hidden gem that everyone is surprised by upon their first viewing, due especially to what I would describe as western graphic novel-like pacing and narrative than something most would consider Japanese. Can't beat the price, this disk is as featured as the most elaborate Akira tin (in all except packaging) with a plethora of language and subtitle features. It is well worth the >$5 it can readily be acquired for on Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tough, action-packed cyberpunk series even better on DVD!, July 12, 2013
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
Consisting of three 50 or so minute episodes, Cyber City OEDO (oh-ee-dee-oh), set sometime in the future, centers on three convicted criminals--tough brawler Sengoku, super strong but keen minded 'Goggles', and androgynous martial arts expert Benten--who become 'hounds' for the police, earning a little off their multiple life sentences for each class A offender they capture; unfortunately, once assigned a mission, if they don't apprehend a target in 24 hours the explosive collars locked round their necks will be detonated by their ruthless chief.
The well performed English version was produced by UK distributor Manga Entertainment Ltd. Like most of their work, it includes a great deal of very strong added profanity, and, naturally for this sort of stuff, there's a good deal of violence.
Which is to say, this ain't one for the kinder.
The video and audio quality are superb, and there's some nice extras...
Well, that's enough; it's 23:42, and I gotta go get some zees, so:
Oyasumi, everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Collection, March 28, 2012
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
Bought this back when I was stocking up on Anime. Did not know much about this 3 episode mini series. Was plesantly surprised. **Minor Spoilers, nothing that will ruin your viewing**. This short series focuses in on 3 criminals with rediculously long criminal records. Well not so long, (I work in law enforcement and there are people you could literally run outside and wrap their criminal history printouts around the building, if you printed it on Dot Matrix paper...) Anyway these 3 badassess are offered a reprieve. Work for the police and get out of their space prison they are marooned on. They all three accept. The bad catch for them is they have collars on their necks like in The Running Man that will blow off their heads at any time. The "Probation Officer" gives them missions they must complete, and complete in certain time limits he sets. With theirs clocks ticking literally they have to go in and resolve back situations...and fast. Each episode focus's in on a different of the three. So each episode has a slightly different feel. I bought mine for under 10 bucks off Amazon. Recommend you not pay anymore than this, as this is rather short, around 60 minutes. Still good viewing though

-Hope this review helps you in deciding to purchase, sorry for any spelling errors, I'm a terrible speller
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Cyberpunk anime, May 28, 2013
By 
This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
Cyber City Oedo 808 is a 3 episode anime series directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (director of ''Ninja Scroll''). It takes place in the year 2808 and it is about 3 criminals who are given the opportunity to get out of jail to fight crime. If they are successful, their sentence will be reduced.

The 3 main characters are Sengoku, Goggles, and Benten. Each episode focuses on one of the characters, but all 3 of them appear in each episode.

The English dub is known for having a lot of swearing, but I was totally fine with it.

It's a cool Cyberpunk anime with lots of action.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cyber City with some extras!, December 15, 2014
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
Cyber City Oedo 808 is a seminal cyberpunk anime. If you are a youth into the gifs or the webms on the tumbles or the imageboards and you like the cyberpunks you have probably seen some slick hand animated dark pastel computer 80s looking graphical candy. Unless you want to play a byzantine table top game or a somewhat recent AAA video game release where the main character says "You never asked for that" and his prescription glasses explode off his cyberface, you will not see cyberpunk around much for you to scratch that itch. Well here is the long form version of those tumbling pages with detail packed into every frame. If you want to be super reductive it takes elements from the conscripted slave buddy cop genre, traveled to the future and borrowed some of Cowboy Bebop's tropes, an incredibly pedantic way of saying medium brow sci fi, and I guess it throws in profanity relatively gratuitously sometimes?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cyber City, April 21, 2012
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
Is a decent anime, not great but not bad either, if you like futuristic films then you'll like it, has plenty of action too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, September 2, 2013
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
If you like police action flicks, you will want to check this out. warning: good amount of fowl language. Not for Children.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dope old school anime - classic, January 30, 2010
By 
J. M. JONES II "consumerist" (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Cyber City - The Final Collection (DVD)
If you enjoyed Outlaw Star, Cutey Honey, Fist of the North Star and Golgo13 - You will enjoy this
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Cyber City - The Final Collection
Cyber City - The Final Collection by Artist Not Provided (DVD - 2005)
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