Armitage III

January 27, 2006

Year: 1994

Directed by: Hiroyuki Ochi

Written by: Akinori Endo, Chiaki Konaka

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Key Cast Members:

  • Armitage: Hiroko Kasahara
  • Ross Sylibus: Yasunori Masutani
  • D’Anclaude: Ryûsei Nakao
  • Rating: 9 out of 10


    screen capture

     

    Overview: Armitage III, one of the many Chiaka Konaka written masterpieces (along with Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, Malice@Doll) is simply an awesome story. If you like Blade Runner and haven’t seen Armitage, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Most of the same issues are raised there, but are done in an original enough way that makes you absolutely love this little anime chick. Humanity as an exclusionary concept which also implies “worth” is fully explored here. Are androids still supposed to just be our servants even if they do have a sense of self-worth?

     

    screen capture

     

    Set in a Blade Runner-like future, mostly centering on Mars, Naomi Armitage is a type III series android who works as a cop on Mars, along with her new partner, Ross Sylibus. While most of the public knows about, and barely tolerates the type II series, they are not aware that there are a few lifelike, human-acting type III series androids living among them. Unfortunately for the robots though, someone knows of their existence and is systematically killing them one by one.

     

    screen capture

     

    As the plot progresses, Ross, who doesn’t like robots (his former partner was killed by a cyborg) learns that Armitage is an android. Even worse, they learn that the murderer is a series IV robot. Armitage, who starts off as a wise-cracking, disrespectful cop who dresses in sleazy clothes starts to question her “humanity” such as it is. In addition to realizing she’s one of the very few left, Armitage wonders why she was ever created. As she struggles to maintain “sanity,” Ross begin to develop a closer relationship – one that is not too mushy, and works well with the pacing.

     

    screen capture

     

    Armitage eventually broadens into a large-scale conflict that involves greedy corporations, inter-galactic disputes, android’s rights, population issues, and all the rest. We get LOTS of gun fights in this, and even a full scale battle, mecha style. In addition to being cute and vulnerable as an android wondering if she has a purpose in life, Armitage also kicks major ass in her burgundy leather ensemble. Guts, martial arts and all sorts of other gadgets come flying out of this chick. She is definitely, tough, strong willed, and lots of fun to watch.

     

    screen capture

    Notice the incredible similarity to another futuristic building in Metropolis.

     

    The story is one of the most compelling in cyberpunk anime and really makes you feel for Armitage. Yes, the whole questioning of humanity by an android has been done before (and since) and since, but Armitage is definitely one of the better ones at this. Within the confines of a murder investigation, Armitage’s “soul” is exposed in her search for larger meaning and purpose, all while her fledgling relationship with a cyborg-hating policeman begins to emerge. Interesting questions are posed such as, what happens if an android has a fatal flaw? Should we throw them away is if they are they truly nothing more than a toaster? This is in essence a mirror to questioning how we deal with handicapped people in human society. We still consider handicapped people valuable and contributing members to society, but would we do the same with disabled Androids? At what point do they become real as opposed to simply remaining property – a tool for humanity?

     

    screen capture

     

    The Bottom Line: The visuals and sounds in Armitage III, while good, are somewhat dated and inconsistent. Some shots are absolutely superb, while others have a relatively plain background and almost 80s looking characters. Overall, there’s enough there to keep your interest, but its the story that delivers. Truly, I absolutely LOVE it!

     

    screen capture

     

    What is Armitage III Polymatrix? Polymatrix is a movie extracted from the 4 OAVs in Armitage III. While it is missing a few interesting scenes, its still watchable. It also has Kieffer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley as voice actors here, so if you can’t stand subtitles (You really fix this problem in the long run though), Polymatrix is a reasonable substitute. Some truly hate it primarily due to the English dubbing, the missing scenes and the changed ending. For me, I was OK with the dubbing, was generally OK with the scenes missing, but I liked the ending in the OAV (this movie) better.

     

    ~See movies similar to this one~

    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <span class=”iTitle”>Overview: </span> Armitage III, one of the many Chiaka Konaka written masterpieces (along with Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, Malice@Doll) is simply an awesome story. If you like Blade Runner and haven’t seen Armitage, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Most of the same issues are raised there, but are done in an original enough way that makes you absolutely love this little anime chick. Humanity as an exclusionary concept which also implies “worth” is fully explored here. Are androids still supposed to just be our servants even if they do have a sense of self-worth?

    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-14.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    Set in a Blade Runner-like future, mostly centering on Mars, Naomi Armitage is a type III series android who works as a cop on Mars, along with her new partner, Ross Sylibus. While most of the public knows about, and barely tolerates the type II series, they are not aware that there are a few lifelike, human-acting type III series androids living among them. Unfortunately for the robots though, someone knows of their existence and is systematically killing them one by one.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-06.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    As the plot progresses, Ross, who doesn’t like robots (his former partner was killed by a cyborg) learns that Armitage is an android. Even worse, they learn that the murderer is a series IV robot. Armitage, who starts off as a wise-cracking, disrespectful cop who dresses in sleazy clothes starts to question her “humanity” such as it is. In addition to realizing she’s one of the very few left, Armitage wonders why she was ever created. As she struggles to maintain “sanity,” Ross begin to develop a closer relationship – one that is not too mushy, and works well with the pacing.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-13.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    Armitage eventually broadens into a large-scale conflict that involves greedy corporations, inter-galactic disputes, android’s rights, population issues, and all the rest. We get LOTS of gun fights in this, and even a full scale battle, mecha style. In addition to being cute and vulnerable as an android wondering if she has a purpose in life, Armitage also kicks major ass in her burgundy leather ensemble. Guts, martial arts and all sorts of other gadgets come flying out of this chick. She is definitely, tough, strong willed, and lots of fun to watch.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-10.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <div class=”quote”>Notice the incredible similarity to another futuristic building in <a href=”/additional-screen-caps-for-metropolis/”>Metropolis.</a></div>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    The story is one of the most compelling in cyberpunk anime and really makes you feel for Armitage. Yes, the whole questioning of humanity by an android has been done before (and since) and since, but Armitage is definitely one of the better ones at this. Within the confines of a murder investigation, Armitage’s “soul” is exposed in her search for larger meaning and purpose, all while her fledgling relationship with a cyborg-hating policeman begins to emerge. Interesting questions are posed such as, what happens if an android has a fatal flaw? Should we throw them away is if they are they truly nothing more than a toaster? This is in essence a mirror to questioning how we deal with handicapped people in human society. We still consider handicapped people valuable and contributing members to society, but would we do the same with disabled Androids? At what point do they become <i>real</i> as opposed to simply remaining property – a tool for humanity?
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-18.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <span class=”iTitle”>The Bottom Line: </span> The visuals and sounds in Armitage III, while good, are somewhat dated and inconsistent. Some shots are absolutely superb, while others have a relatively plain background and almost 80s looking characters. Overall, there’s enough there to keep your interest, but its the story that delivers. Truly, I absolutely LOVE it!
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p align=”center”><img src=”/images/armitage3-17.jpg” alt=”screen capture” /> </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>

    <span class=”iTitle”>What is Armitage III Polymatrix? </span> Polymatrix is a movie extracted from the 4 OAVs in Armitage III. While it is missing a few interesting scenes, its still watchable. It also has Kieffer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley as voice actors here, so if you can’t stand subtitles (You really fix this problem in the long run though), Polymatrix is a reasonable substitute. Some truly hate it primarily due to the English dubbing, the missing scenes and the changed ending. For me, I was OK with the dubbing, was generally OK with the scenes missing, but I liked the ending in the OAV (this movie) better.
    <p>&nbsp;</p>

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Awesome Cyberpunk Themes, Made for TV, Man-machine Interface, 9 Star Movies, Android Movies, Animes, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 – 1999 by SFAM.

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