Armitage III (OVA)

Like Blade Runner Armitage III is a dramatic examination of the difficulties constructed non-human but human-seeming persons could pose for human societies.

Someone is murdering robots, but only robots no one knew existed, robots so human that they have 'passed' in society unnoticed. It falls to Detective Ross Sylibus, who has transfered from Chicago the Mars Police Department to escape memories of his partner's death by the gun of a cyborg, and his partner Naomi Armitage, a petite, well-endowed, female detective, who exchews respectable police dress for hot-pants and a very revealing jacket and bustier, to unravel the mystery.

Since almost immediately after the first murder (is it murder? the police don't quite know what they are investigating), the ultra-human seeming robots start being refered to as "thirds", by analogy to the "firsts"--klunky industrial-style robots--and "seconds"--more human seeming, but still obviously robotic--it isn't much of a spoiler to tell you that Armitage III refers to her nature.

Their investigation proceeds against the backdrop of anti-robot riots remeniscent of anti-import or anti-Free-Trade demonstrations, but with gruesome piles of burned out carcasses of humanoid robots. Ross is dense, and despite numerous occasions when she takes offense at depricating remarks toward robots, doesn't "get it" until she reveals her nature in a fight with the fanatical robot murderer D'anclaude.

Since it's a mystery, I won't go any further into the plot.

I think it a better investigation of the issues involved than Blade Runner. The animation is very clean, the vision of a partially terra-formed Mars, already going seedy after a very few years is well drawn. The music is fitting, though not great. The voice-acting is generally good--indeed I think the more wooden performace by the voice-actor for Sylibus in contrast to Armitage's seiyuu is probably good directing--the plot depends very much on Armitage and the other thirds being at least as human as the humans.

Parents who wouldn't let their kids watch R-rated movies shouldn't let them watch Armitage III either: plenty of violence, mostly fairly graphic, some nudity, and the clear, though not explicit portrail of seconds accoutered as females being treated as sex-toys. (One of the best little details is the discussion of robots existing to fulfill human wishes while a second made to look like Serena from Sailor Moon is used as a chair.) In the trailer, Armitage give the finger to the viewer. On the other hand, if your kids are up to handling the philosophical issues of personhood and prejudice on which Armitage III turns, they'll probably be up to handling the violence, nudity, and sexual subtexts (sorry, but it's a mystery, so I won't say more). Armitage III Poly-Matrix is a shortened version of the OVA with American actors (not unknown American voice-actors) dubbing the parts. I haven't seen it, and so can't comment on the editting or dubbing. Armitage III Dual-Matrix is a feature-length sequel, which I also haven't seen.

Ratings (out of 5, 1 being worst, 5 being best)

Plot 4.0
Voice-Acting (original)4.0
Voice-Acting (English dub)NA

Comment on this review

Return to the Outside the Uni Anime Homepage

Return to David Yetter's Outside the University Homepage 1