Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990)

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Released 15-Mar-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Director`s commentary by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (File 1 & 2)
Gallery-Art gallery
Gallery-Sketch gallery
Trailer-Cyber City trailers
Theatrical Trailer-Madman Trailers
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 127:52 (Case: 135)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Studio
Distributor
Japan Home Video
Madman Entertainment
Starring Akinori Endo
Jyuzo Mutsuki
Sean Barrett
Daniel Flynn
Nigel Greaves
Bruce Martin
Bob Sherman
Michael M. Simpson
Marc Smith
Kazuhiko Toyama
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Kazuhiko Toyama


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

The 1990 Japanese cyberpunk anime Cyber City Oedo 808 remains as original and outrageous as it was on release.

Cyber City Oedo 808 was created by revolutionary writer and director Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who is best known for the horror anime Wicked City (1987), the action thriller Ninja Scroll (1993) and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000).

Most recently Kawajiri directed Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (2007).

Cyber City Oedo 808 is set in the year 2808 and Oedo is the name of what was formally known as Tokyo.

The Cyber Police of the dystopian city of Oedo employ hardened criminals as a means to combat computerised crime more effectively. What follows is the tale of three very different characters who agree to help the Cyber Police in an effort to reduce their long-term prison sentences.

Cyber Police Officer Juzo Hasegawa keeps his prisoners in line by making them wear an electronic collar containing an explosive device (ala The Running Man and Wedlock), which will detonate if the mission fails.

Cyber City Oedo 808 is split into three diverse episodes, each focusing on the plight of one character in particular:

File One: Virtual Death

Twenty-five year old Sengoku is the violent, foul mouthed anti-hero, whose weapon of choice is a high velocity pistol. Sengoku was sentenced for 375 years for a multitude of crimes including murder, unlawful possession of cyber weapons, traffic violations, endangering public welfare and forgery of currency, bonds and data.

In this first episode a computer hacker has taken over the main computer system of Oedo cityís largest skyscraper. With 50,000 people trapped in the building, Sengoku is sent to save the trapped hostages and eliminate the terrorists.

File Two: Psychic Trooper

Twenty-eight year old Gogl is a blinded ex-heavyweight boxer who also happens to be an infamous hacker. Gogl was sentenced to 310 years for crimes such as murder, assault, destruction of private and public property, possession of illegal weapons and disturbing the peace.

In this episode Gogl finds himself having to save his ex-partner in crime and himself from the militaryís latest weapon.

Episode Three; Blood Lust

The twenty-three year old androgynous Benten is an expert gymnast and a keen follower of astrology. Benton was sentenced to 295 years for murder, assault, forgery of currency, bonds and data, forging identification, embezzlement, breaking aviation and space laws and damage to public property.

In the final episode Benten investigates the bizarre murders of three geneticists who all have fang wounds on their necks.

Useless trivia about Cyber City Oedo 808:

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Transfer Quality

Video

The transfer of Cyber City Oedo 808 is presented in the original Full Frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

The transfer has been encoded over a dual layered disc.

The layer change at 39:30 on the second episode causes DVD players to lock up. Madman are aware of this error and I believe are currently offering replacement DVDís.

There is mild grain on the transfer but since the episodes have been encoded at a consistent bitrate of 5.10 Mb/s, the transfer remains smooth with solid colour definition. Telecine wobble is visible on occasion.

English subtitles are available if the viewer prefers to view the anime in the original Japanese language.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The glorified English language script revised much of original Japanese dialogue and become notable for the amount profanity it featured.

Both the English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack are available on this disc.

Both soundtracks are well produced Ė dialogue remains clear throughout the feature and both soundtracks are suitable stereo options for the anime.

The English soundtrack on the British VHS featured heavy metal music composed by Rory McFarlane, however on the Madman disc the English soundtrack is same score which features on the R1 and R3 DVD.

The English and Japanese soundtracks feature the original Japanese score which is composed by Kazz Toyama. This score is synthesizer based and suits the animation quite well.

On a side note it is unfortunate the distinct rock inspired music score by Rory McFarlane, is unavailable on any of the DVD releases.

Apparently Manga UK has lost the rights to Cyber City Oedo 808 and thus the soundtrack can only be found on Audio CD or the original British VHS.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

Static image menu with the title song looped in the background. There are six chapter selections for each episode. The menu is practical and easy to navigate.

Audio Commentary

Episode one and two feature a Japanese commentary with creator Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Madhouse founder Masao Maruyama. This detailed commentary is filled with the pairís nostalgic observations of the anime, Cyber City Oedo 808ís influences and also the development of the characters and storyline. An interesting fact is Maruyama initially wanted Benten to be a female character, but Kawajiri felt that the storyline would not have succeed with a female lead.

†When the commentary is selected (through the extras menu) an English subtitle stream is automatically selected.

Art Gallery (6:53)

†A slideshow with a number of the final animation images. Accompanied with a section of the score.

Sketch Gallery (2:30)

†A slideshow with a number of pre-production images. Accompanied with a section of the score.

Cyber City Trailers

Various trailers directed at the English speaking audiences.

Madman Trailers

An anti-piracy warning precedes the following trailers:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Madman R4 release is identical to the Cyber City: The Final Collection DVD released in R1 in 2004 at a discounted price of $9.95 US Dollars.

The previous R1 release, which was available in three volumes featured an error on the first episode with the Japanese soundtrack.

Summary

Cyber City Oedo 808 remains as original and outrageous as it was on release.

The layer change at 39:30 on the second episode causes DVD players to lock up. Madman are aware of this error and I believe are currently offering replacement DVDís.

Despite this glitch which apparently appeared on the first batch of DVDís, the DVD is well produced with some interesting extra feature content.

In regards to the previous R4 NTSC release, this Madman release is certainly worth the upgrade, particularly considering the current discounted sale price.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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