Geneon // 1999 // 115 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // January 20th, 2005
In 2040, the city of Tokyo is in ruins.
Tokyo has been devastated by a series of earthquakes and ecological disasters. In an effort to restore the city's environment, the government has founded DC, a high-tech environmental clean-up organization. The anime series Cybuster chronicles the efforts of the members of DC (most of whom are young adults or teenagers) to rebuild their city and combat a robot god from another planet.
Here is a brief synopsis of the five episodes included on this release:
* Episode One: "Messenger of the Wind"
Ken Ando, the young hero of the series, does not pass the DC entrance exams. Ken's father had never wanted his son to join the organization, but Ken wanted to help repair Tokyo's damaged environment because of his sister, who has severe asthma. An earthquake hits the city, and the DC forces are dispatched to clean up the damage. A mysterious robot appears and attacks the DC recruits. Ken, who just happens to be nearby, jumps into an RT (one of the DC mecha) and attacks the robot, which suddenly vanishes. One of the DC recruits resigns, and Ken is brought in as a substitute.
* Episode Two: "Balcion"
The giant robot returns and attacks a group of senior DC recruits, leaving many of them seriously injured. The younger recruits are sent on a clean-up mission, and Mizuki, Ken's friend, uncovers a mysterious black box. The box is loaded onto a DC helicopter for transport back to headquarters, but the helicopter vanishes in mid-flight. Lyune, another new recruit, discovers Balcion, DC's most advanced robot creation, hidden in the bowels of the headquarters complex. Lyune, whose father was a founder of DC and the originator of the Balcion project, takes Balcion for a test flight and damages the robot. When the damage is later discovered, Lyune claims Ken is responsible, resulting in Ken's termination. Lyune is chosen to be Balcion's pilot, and eventually confesses to damaging the robot, after which Ken is reinstated.
* Episode Three: "The Collapse of Tokyo"
Mizuki goes to the office of Commander Saphine, one of DC's highest ranking officers, and sees the mysterious black box. Nanase Ozaki, another young recruit, questions why the RT mecha are being modified into combat units, and is kicked out of DC. Mizuki, who is also concerned about certain practices within the organization, meets with Ryuzo Ando, Ken's father, who is an investigative reporter. Mizuki informs Ryuzo of her concerns. Mizuki is later run down by a car driven by Commander Saphine. Nanase is reinstated as a member of DC.
* Episode Four: "La Guias"
Mizuki, unaware Commander Saphine is the person who ran her down, is released from the hospital. The mysterious robot returns yet again and the DC forces are sent to stop it. Commander Saphine takes the black box and leaves it near the combat site. The box creates a small black hole, and Mizuki and the robot are sucked in. A dazed Mizuki finds herself on La Guias, an alien world connected to Earth by a wormhole. She meets Masaki, who controls Cybuster, the mysterious robot. Masaki says he has been coming to Earth in order to discover who has been using black holes to transport waste and debris to La Guias. Masaki takes Mizuki back to Earth; no one believes Mizuki's tale of the alien world and its warrior robot god.
* Episode Five: "Artillery Training"
The RT units, now outfitted with cannons, are sent into combat training. Cybuster returns and Saphine orders the robot captured, but Mizuki steps in to foil her efforts. Cybuster flies away and heads for Mount Fuji, where it apparently crashes.
I found the first episode of Cybuster mildly interesting, but after that the series grew repetitious and boring. I was intrigued by the setup, but was let down when the story became another tired excuse for battles between giant mecha, and I found the whole notion of an interstellar landfill a bit silly. I didn't care about Saphine's machinations or her suitcase-sized black hole generators, nor did I care about the strange events surrounding the death of Ken's mother. Other than some of the environmental aspects, this series is pretty much old news.
The video quality of this disc is rather lackluster. Colors are drab and washed out, and there is evidence of defects in the source elements. The animation itself looks crude and rushed. Audio options include stereo English and Japanese tracks; both come across as big, fat mono. The only extras are previews for other Geneon releases.
There's absolutely no need for you to waste your time or money on Cybuster. Avoid it like the plague.
Review content copyright © 2005 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site