Megazone 23

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Megazone 23
Megazone23-part1-DVDcover.jpg
Cover to the DVD release of Part I showing the main characters from Parts I and II of the OVA, Shogo Yahagi (left) and Yui Takanaka (right).
メガゾーン23
(Megazōn Tsū Surī)
Genre Cyberpunk, Mecha anime, Action, Mystery
Anime film
Megazone 23 - Part I
Directed by Noboru Ishiguro
Produced by Toru Miura
Written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Studio AIC, Artland & Tatsunoko
Licensed by Canada United States A.D. Vision
United Kingdom Australia Manga Entertainment
Released March 9, 1985 [1]
Runtime 80 minutes
Anime film
Megazone 23 - Part II
Directed by Ichiro Itano
Produced by Toru Miura
Written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Studio AIC, Artland & Tatsunoko
Licensed by Canada United States A.D. Vision
United Kingdom Australia Manga Entertainment
Released May 30, 1986
Runtime 80 minutes
Original video animation
Megazone 23 - Part III
Directed by Kenichi Yatagai (epi. 1)
Shinji Aramaki (epi. 2)
Produced by Toru Miura
Written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Studio AIC & Artmic
Licensed by Canada United States A.D. Vision
United Kingdom Australia Manga Entertainment
Released September 28, 1989 – December 22, 1989
Runtime 50 minutes
Episodes 2
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Megazone 23 (メガゾーン23 Megazōn Tsū Surī?) is a four-part original video animation created by AIC, written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, and directed by Noboru Ishiguro, Ichiro Itano, Kenichi Yatagai and Shinji Aramaki. The series debuted in 1985. It was originally titled Omega Zone 23 (オメガゾーン23 Omega Zōn Tsū Surī?) but the title was changed just before release.[2]

The events take place in a post-apocalyptic future, where Tokyo only exists as a simulated reality. The story follows Shogo Yahagi, a delinquent motorcyclist whose possession of a government prototype bike leads him to discover the truth about the city.

Plot[edit]

Part I[edit]

Shogo Yahagi lives in what appears to be 1980s metropolitan Japan. He meets Yui Takanaka and discovers her roommates are his friends Mai Yumekano and Tomomi Murashita. Shogo's old friend Shinji Nakagawa shows him a military prototype Garland motorcycle (labeled "Bahamut") that can reach over of 300 km/h. He barely escapes as Shinji is killed by unknown agents.

Shogo uses a public video phone to call Eve Tokimatsuri, a popular singer and TV host, during her show to expose the Garland to the public. The show's broadcast is cut off while Shogo shows Eve the bike (now painted red by a mechanic friend) and explains its capability. He escapes in another chase by agents and soon discovers it can also transform into a mecha.

Shogo helps Tomomi make an action film centered around the mysterious bike and has Yui hide the Garland at night. While looking for film locales, Shogo finds a secret entrance to a hidden, abandoned city and battles with some of the advanced fighters he encounters, most importantly with a military big shot named B.D.

After B.D. is nearly defeated, he informs Shogo that Bahamut is a supercomputer that controls the events in this world, and that they are actually living on a spaceship, and that the real time is actually 500 years in the future. The military were developing new weapons underground to avoid Bahamut's detection, and that they have cleared "Level 6", Shogo shows mercy and leaves.

Returning to Tomomi and Yui after his encounter with B.D., Shogo suggests that Tomomi's movie should be a Sci Fi about how the world they live in is a spaceship manipulated by a super computer behind the scenes, telling her it's an idea he "Just came up with." Tomomi agrees. Mai enters the room during the discussion saying she was spotted by a talent scout and will be singing back-up for the pop-star Eve, however a few days later, Shogo and Yui discuss how Eve never showed up for the taping of her music video and Mai was very disappointed. Shogo becomes suspicious when Yui mentions how Eve has never had a live concert and they only ever see her on TV.

He then sneaks inside Eve's recording studio, and, confirming previous suspicious sparked by Yui's comments during filming, discovers Eve to be a computer program. In his anger at the state of the world, he leaves the studio. Eve contacts Shogo through the Garland, revealing that she is an A.I. program within Bahamut created by humans to keep peace. She reveals to Shogo that 500 years ago the Earth was destroyed in a war between two super powers. Multiple evacuation ships left the planet. At some point in the intervening time, two ships from opposing factions made contact. The resulting conflict wiped out both ships' populations. Eve reveals that she is the seventh iteration in a line of programs build by the ship's computer. Her purpose is to prevent a similar battle from occurring between the Tokyo-ship and another ship, each soon to intercept the other. She begs for Shogo's help, saying that the military is trying to deactivate her, presumably to attack (or defend against an attack) from the enemy spaceship. Shogo interrupts, asking her why the city is resembles its current time period (the 1980s). Eve responds, describing the late-twentieth century as being "one of the most peaceful time periods in human history." Eve's transmission is suddenly cut as she reiterates her plea for Shogo to prevent her deactivation.

Shogo returns to Yui, asking her to go have lunch with him. While at lunch she asks him why he looks so serious. He responds by asking if she'd go out with him. When she responds with surprise he tells her bluntly that he wants to sleep with her. However, she gets annoyed by how unromantic he's being he leaves. She chases after him, confused as to why he's acting like this. Shogo, frustrated and confused by all the events that have happened recently, tells her he "doesn't know what he's supposed to do" and breaks down. Later, the two of them retire to what is, presumably, a hotel room. After an awkward moment, Yui turns on the TV. Shogo suddenly turns it off after Eve's idol avatar appears. The two later proceed to have sex. Against the backdrop of the passionate moment, Shogo reveals all the recent knowledge about the world he has learned to Yui. She believes him unconditionally.

When Yui and Shogo wake up the next morning, a newscast suddenly breaks the news that the pseudo-Japan has declared war on an "impossible-to-disclose" foreign country following two orbital attacks on national oil tankers. Thus, the coup solidifies its control over the populace by manipulating the public in lieu of Eve as the military prepares to attack the second spaceship. As the day progresses, further disturbing broadcasts are shown through Shogo's point of view. In the garage, the television shows 1200 recent military enlistees (with one of Shogo's friends among them).

As the military breaks through the ship computer's "Level 7," a coup begins. Members of a portion of the military under B.D.'s command kill all top military staff, attack the pseudo-Tokyo's police station, and take over the Diet. B.D. is shown conferring with a leader among members of the private financial sector. The shadowy man is implied to have interests in the defense/arms market as well as being Mai's father.

While Yui, Shogo, and Mai are out eating, agents, again under the control of the coup, kill Tomomi and steal her master tapes of the movie she was making. Yui's group is shocked at the bloody, trashed apartment as they enter the room. A grief-stricken Mai then receives a phone call from her father (again, likely the shadowy financier) to return home, as "the world is about to change for the worse". Mai agrees, and a following scene shows Mai giving her goodbyes, in tears, to Yui.

Shogo goes back to the underground city in a rage. He battles with the military but, after failing to disable the main computer, is defeated by B.D. who returns Shogo's earlier mercy by sending him back up to surface. Badly wounded, Shogo deserts the broken Garland. The closing scene shows him walking through Tokyo, battered, cut, and leaving a trail of blood droplets.

Part II[edit]

Shogo has been living underground for several months, hiding from the military and police in the abandoned cities and corridors below Tokyo's surface. The police have been informed that Shogo is the person who murdered Tomomi in episode I (presumably by either the brass, B.D. or one of the other military powers). Shogo has teamed up with the motorcycle gang "Trash". He reunites with Yui (now drawn with brown hair instead of green like in episode I). Although Yui and Shogo are obviously still in love, Yui asks Shogo why he never returned to the loft (at the end of episode I). Shogo has apparently been out of contact with her for a while. As for Eve, she is still releasing music videos but they are all 'pro-war', encouraging young men to join the military. The real Eve however has survived the military's attempt at deactivating her and is now running as an independent program, constantly sending out messages through different media devices (television, radio, etc.) to try and make contact with 7G Operator, namely Shogo. Shogo however, having lost the Garland, can not answer her call. The motorcycle gang have made making contact with Eve their prime mission.

In space, B.D.'s military is still fighting a losing battle with the second human spaceship (the "Dezalg"), which uses an octopus-like penetrating weapon to destroy the human fleet including their newest and strongest Battleship. As the fighting goes on, B.D. searches for Shogo as well as the 'Ghost Eve', trying to locate where her independent program is located. B.D. believes once he finds Shogo he will be able to track down Eve and deactivate her properly. B.D. lures Shogo with another Garland proto-type weapon, planning to capture him. However, with the help of the gang Shogo is able to escape the trap with the Garland intact. However, despite getting rid of a tracking device on it, Shogo is unaware of a second tracking device on the machine. Once back at the base Shogo answers Eve's call for Operator 7G. Eve tells him how she was able to isolate herself as an independent program and survive the military's attempt at erasing her. She reveals however that the military is closing in on her location and that Shogo needs to come to where she is. She reveals she is located right in the middle of Bahamut, the central computer running the Megazone spaceship. The gang all agree to go to Eve. Meanwhile however, B.D. has the military surround their base.

Realizing they're ambushed, the gang split up with one group defending the base, another group acting as a decoy and a third with Shogo heading for one of the shafts in Tokyo leading to the lower floors of the Megazone. During the chase many of the gang members are killed or badly hurt. Shogo, Yui and 4 other gang members, Cindy, Lightning, Dumpi and Garam. Garam and Dumpi are hurt once they finally reach the heart of the Megazone and Lightning stays back inside Shogo's Garland, acting as a decoy while Cindy, Shogo and Yui carry on to the Bahamut. Yui however, is badly hurt in the escape. Once they reach the Bahamut, Cindy stays outside, waiting for the others while Shogo escorts the injured Yui to Eve's chamber. When Eve identifies Shogo she opens for them to enter. Yui is getting worse, but once they reach the inner chamber Eve assures Shogo that she can heal Yui and Shogo places her on a table which is sealed.

Eve proceeds to talk with Shogo, asking him questions about himself as the scenery around them changes to scenes of a cafe, a beach, an observatory, a field and a park. At first Shogo is angry, saying he came here to talk to Eve, not watch a show but he slowly relaxing, thinking that maybe she's testing him. With her questioning Shogo reveals he didn't join the military when they asked because he didn't agree with their methods of "Sweep away little things for the sake of big things". When Eve asks Shogo if he's in love with Yui, he first responds saying "I like her" but then goes on to say that he thought he always wanted to be near her and protect her, so he thinks he's starting to love her. Eve also asks him what he thinks it means to be an adult. Shogo at first gets angry again, saying how adults are people who back-stab each other and do horrible things to each other, and that he wanted to be an adult like he used to see in the movies and TV as a kid.

Eve in return tells him once again how the Earth was destroyed 500 years ago, but now reveals the whole story. She tells him that when this happened, the U.N. set up the Earth Preservation Laws, which meant evacuating the Earth's population for 500 years. After this time the program left on Earth, ADAM, will receive Eve's report on the humans of the Megazone and determine whether they should be allowed back on Earth or if they'd make the same mistakes in the past. Eve also reveals that the time is now, and she's awaiting ADAM's response. As Eve explains this, the ADAM program activates. Shogo asks Eve what ADAM's decision is regarding the human race but Eve says she doesn't know due to the military crippling her and she does not have the authority to access ADAM'S information because of this. Shogo replies that he doesn't think the human race is good enough to warrant continuing, but at the very least he was able to meet Eve thanks to his friends. Eve tells him not to give up hope until the very end and that she will do whatever she can. Shogo leaves the inner chamber as Eve disappears and activates an unknown program, causing the room to shift.

Once outside Bahamut, Shogo reunites with Cindy. Soon afterwards, Lightning arrives in the badly damaged Garland, carrying the injured Dumpi and Garam. B.D. arrives in his own Garland, apparently ready to capture Shogo, however, ADAM activates his program and the whole Megazone starts to shift. In Tokyo, a mass evacuation is called, police and military focusing on trying to get as many people into shelters and escape ships. Seeing this, B.D. tells Shogo that there's no point in fighting now and that the time where he had to do what he felt was right is over. He wishes Shogo and his friends good luck as he enters his Garland and leaves, saying he doubts they'll meet again. He and his men leave the Megazone in their Garlands and disappear into space.

ADAM turns out to be the Earth's defense weapon, which is the whole of the moon. As the Dezlag ship gets nearer to the moon it's enveloped with red energy and is slowly torn apart. As the Megazone looms closer, a hologram appears in front of Shogo and his friends, saying "EVE: Final Defense Program". As the Megazone gets closer to the moon the outer layer of the ship and the city are completely destroyed. As Megazone 23 disintegrates, Eve sings a mournful dirge for the people who die aboard the ship.

As the Megazone is completely destroyed, Bahamut detaches from the crumbling ship, revealing to be an escape pod of sorts, and blasts away. After a while, Shogo and his friends comment on how it was now silent and that they were most likely going to die. At this moment however, a door opens and Yui steps out, completely healed of her wounds. The reunited group notice light coming from a door and follow it until the reach a hole in the ceiling, revealing a blue sky. As they step out it's revealed the Core of the Megazone has landed on Earth, which is once again green. It turns out the rest of the gang that had been injured while fighting in the city have also made it and with all reunited on the revived Earth, the episode ends to one of Eve's songs.

Part III[edit]

Episode 1: The Awakening of Eve[edit]

Part III is different from the first two parts for several notable reasons. Firstly, it takes place on Earth, several centuries after the Megazone landed with Shogo, Yui and the rest of the survivors. Because of this none of the original characters return apart from Eve. The story takes place primarily in the city of Eden, a super futuristic, enormous city, the first and last city to be built on Earth (depending on how you look at it). The city was built by 'The System' for humans to live in until a time it decides humans and nature are in balance and the human race can be released into the renewed Earth. All citizens of Eden wait for the 'Day of Liberation'. The Day of Liberation is kept fresh in people's minds by Bishop Won Dai, supposedly one of the original survivors of the Megazone as he is a direct link to The System itself.

Eiji Takanaka is a hacker ("netjacker") and expert virtual gamer that hangs out in the virtual arcade, Psycholand. He starts working at E=X, a company under the leadership of the mysterious Bishop Won Dai that controls the city's information network, known as "The System." Eiji's friend Bud starts working at Orange, a gaming company. However Bud reveals that he's learned that Orange is planning on launching a rival system supposedly superior to E=X's. Both friends play Orange's spacecraft simulator Cyber Game "_HARD ON¯" (possibly a reference to the Sega game Hang-On), that is actively sent updates and new levels by the Orange company. In order to complete a network independent of The System, Orange uses its games to train fighters in Garland combat unconsciously for its cause.

Eiji starts to go out with Ryo Narahara, who works at the arcade. As they grow closer they start discussing how Eiji has been recruited by E=X and how Ryo finds it strange that E=X would hire an ex-hacker. They also discuss the popular singer and idol, Eve. Unlike the Eve in the first episode though, in Eden she is known to be a virtual idol (surprisingly similar to the concept of the real life virtual idol, Hatsune Miku). Ryo however tells Eiji that she believed the circulating rumour that Eve is in fact a real person and says she wishes she could meet her as Ryo also wishes to become an idol. Eiji asks for her access codes, but she tells him that as an elite hacker, he should research it himself. Once he's back home, Eiji watches a video message from the E=X operator Miura Simka telling him to report for work tomorrow. When he tries hacking in Psycholand's employee information he finds her information deleted. He finds it again in another part of the net but the area is sensitive and he's forced to disconnect before getting tracked down by the Net police. He and Bud try to find her information by hacking, using an access point somewhere in Eden's alleys. However a strong defensive program activates and hits then with an electrical jolt. Soon afterwards the Net police show up and Eiji and Bud need to get away. Bud warns Eiji that as a member of E=X he shouldn't be doing things like this any-more, but then comments on how he's no-one to lecture any-one.

At E=X, director Yacob Halm gives a speech to the new recruits about the importance of The System and decries netjackers, calling them anarchists who will disrupt Eden's balance. Operator Miura Simka calls over Eiji after the recruits are dismissed and privately warns Eiji about his hacker-activities, holding up a photo of him and Bud from the night before. However she lets him go because of his invaluable skills as a hacker which Yacob feels could be useful to E=X and the system. Yacob assigns Eiji to use a Garland to catch netjackers. While doing a training mission with his new Garland though, an outside influence netjacks into Eiji's simulation, daring him to break the program. Eiji is unable to but he does well enough to impress the hacker who turns out to be a high-ranking member of Orange named Sion. Seinji takes the Garland home to customize it.

Ryo visits Eiji, and they discuss Sion. Eiji brings up the subject. Ryo says she doesn't know any-one called Sion but when Eiji mentions how Sion is a member of Orange as well as a nethacker he must be violent Ryo jumps to Sion's defense, saying that she knows him and he's not that sort of man. Before they can discuss it further, Eiji's apartment heats up as the room's controls malfunction before it explodes. Eiji and Ryo escape through the window using the Garland. Sion hacks into the E=X network and finds a program called "Project Heaven" but is unable to find out what it is exactly.

Orange then puts its plan to take over The System with their superior network by hacking The System's network and taking it over. In response E=X sends out its Garland unit including Eiji. Orange sends out its HARGUN units including Sion. When Eiji defeats Sion, he reveals that he was testing Eiji to see if he can awaken Eve. The company forces continue to battle as Eiji takes the Garland under the city to 'Zone 0' as directed by Sion and finds a capsule containing a human Eve. When he approaches the capsule opens and Eve awakens. Eve smiles at Eiji and tells him she's been waiting for him, calling him "Operator 7G."

Episode 2: Day of Liberation[edit]

The companies continue their fighting. Orange has broken contact with the wounded Sion, presuming him dead. E=X is focusing on trying to regain control of the network. They are also trying to locate Eiji and his Garland as they believe him to be a traitor for activating the Eve program.

Meanwhile, back at Zone 0, Eve is trying to access the network but can't since the System uses a network she knows nothing about. Eve reveals to Eiji that she is one of the original programmers of Eden's network. Eiji asks her what he as operator 7G is supposed to do. Eve says they should go to Bahamut, the original Megazone computer for information.

When Eiji and Eve are located by Yacobs men, Yacob is horrified to notice the human Eve. He orders his men to kill them, not wanting them to escape. However, Eve directs Eiji and they're able to shake off the netpolice. They follow a forgotten path under the city out of Eden and into the green Earth humans have been cut off from for so long.

They see Eden's outside machinery stretching out further to maintain the city, engulfing the green Earth outside. Eve comments that Eden has become unbalanced and they travel into the surrounding forests to the ruins of Bahamut. When Eve approaches the core, Bahamut activates, recognizing her life-data as 'The Creator'. Eve asks Bahamut to run diagnostics on Eden, which reports status as normal. Eve says that this is impossible, asking why the people have not been released then and wonders why Shogo did not wake her so she could do so. She asks Bahamut what happened to him. Bahamut replies that all data relating to Shogo Yahagi have been erased. Again Eve says that this is impossible. However, the original Eve, the program from Part I and II activates in front of them, telling the human Eve that there is one part of Shogo's life remains on file and directs her to the next room, which contains the original Garland (from Part II) and a disk.

As Eve and Eiji return to Eden, Ryo tracks down the injured Sion who, along with a small group of members from Orange have been staying in a van. They've been monitoring the network from this point, saying that Orange currently controls 40% of it. Sion is frustrated since they still can't figure out what 'Project Heaven' is. Ryo provides him with a disk Eiji had given her with which she could call him. As a member of E=X it's linked to their network. Sion's team is able to breaks through and learn that Project Heaven is a plan set up by the System to launch the entire city of Eden into space. Sion decides to take over Orange from its leaders who only want to crush E=X. Orange has recruited new fighters for their own Garlands, including Bud, who have willingly been fitted with plugs to be directly plugged into the machines to fight. Disgusted by Orange's willingness to sacrifice human lives to try and take down E=X, Sion pushes a disc into Orange's computers, revealing the System's plans and Project Heaven. The leader of Orange is horrified and agrees to pull back from fighting E=X, realizing it would be pointless. Instead, he turns his focus to broadcasting Project Heaven and the System's plans to the citizens of Eden using what of the Network they control as well as notifying high-ranking business men and financiers.

Yacob mans an original Garland from over a 1000 years ago that had recently been restored. He uses it to fight off the last of Orange's Garlands, killing Bud. Eiji and Eve arrive on the scene on their way to the E=X building to get to the System's core. The city starts to shake as Project Heaven is put into action. Back at the E=X tower, several important figures of the city are calling Yacob directly at the System's core, demanding an Explanation. Yacob tells them that The System has decided the human race is too corrupt to be released and they are to be exiled to space once more. When Miura turns to leave, telling Yacob that she's going to show people a way out of Eden as she's not lost faith in humanity as he seems to have, he shoots and kills her.

Meanwhile, Sion, Eiji, Eve and the rest of the members of Orange try to find a way to stop Project Heaven. Eve says they need to disable the System's core, located inside the E=X building. She shows the Orange members where to place explosives within the core to disable it. Sion and Eiji will distract E=X. Eve wishes Eiji luck, telling him Shogo is with him.

Yacob attacks Orange, intent to kill Sion but Eiji draws his fire. Meanwhile, Eve opens the door to the System's core for the other members of Orange to plant the explosives as only she as the creator could do so. They plant their explosives and leave the building. Outside, the battle between Eiji and Yacob continues. It is clear though that Yacob has the superior machine. However, Sion's men's explosives go off and the city stops rumbling as Project Heaven is interrupted and canceled. Eiji tells Yacob that they've destroyed the E=X core. However Yacob tells him that they shouldn't have stopped Project Heaven as this means they've doomed Eden. As he says this and the E=X tower crumbles, the core of the building starts to rise into the sky.

Eve appears on ever screen in the city, addressing the public. She tells them that Won Dai is planning to use the Adam lunar defense system to destroy Eden, but that she is going to attempt to stop him. Eiji races up to the core to rescue her but Yacob follows. Eiji inserts Shogo's Data Disk into his Garland and manages to slice off one of Yacob's machine's arms. However, Yacob further cripples Eiji's Garland but when he tries to deliver the final blow his aim is off as his Garland's power output is dropping. Eiji manages to throw one of his knives, causing Yacob's Garland to explode.

Inside the System's Core, Eve confronts Won Dai who is sitting at the very center of the core, several plugs running into him, connecting him directly to the system. Eve tells him what he's doing isn't the System's will but Won Dai says that disposing of humanity is the only way to preserve Earth. Eiji arrives and tells him that that's a massacre and he won't allow the System to kill people, regardless if it's right or wrong. Eve says that Eiji's life-data is even more pure than Won Dai's and that if Eiji connects to the System, its misconceptions of humans will be cleared. When Eiji steps forwards though Won Dai activates a shield, separating him from Eve and then attacks Eiji with energy. Eiji accuses Won Dai of killing Shogo but pulls out the Data disc, saying that Shogo lives on. The energy surrounds the disc in Eiji's hand and Won Dai is ejected from his seat, collapsing. He tells Eiji that he has lived for far too long and asks him to unplug him. Once Eiji does so Won Dai exclaims that it's as if he's seeing things for the first time, saying that he's been a slave to the system for too long. He asks where Eiji found the Data Disc. Eiji says he found it in Bahamut. Won Dai sighs, saying how Bahamut and Megazone seem so nostalgic and how he'd forgotten them before he dies. From his last words it is vaguely hinted at that Won Dai himself might be Shogo.[3]

Behind him, Eiji hears something activate and turns to see Eve standing in front of Won Dai's seat, a glass tube having descended around her. She thanks Eiji for helping her, telling him that the System was programmed to release humanity from Eden once she connects with it, which is why Shogo was supposed to wake her so long ago. Eve tells Eiji that she will pilot the core to the Moon to destroy ADAM as well, thus freeing humanity from all of its artificial computer overlords forever. She kisses Eiji through the glass of the tube before she continues to rise into the sky, leaving Eden free.

Afterward, Eiji returns to the damaged Eden to reunite with Ryo who has been waiting for him. The city crumbles as the fighting stops and the episode ends with them kissing.

Characters[edit]

Shogo Yahagi (矢作 省吾 Yahagi Shōgo?)

The main character of Part I & II. Shogo is a reckless youth who begins to take on dire responsibility as he discovers the true nature of his world. His best friends are Morley Hiroki and Chombo. In part II he teams up with a gang of bikers to reach Eve and ends up on Earth along with his friends.

Voiced by: Kazuki Yao (Japanese), Vic Mignogna (English)

Yui Takanaka (高中 由唯 Takanaka Yui?)

An aspiring dancer who falls in love with Shogo, Yui lives in an apartment with two other girls, Mai Yumekano and Tomomi Murashita. Interestingly, Her last name is the same as the protagonist of the third part.

Voiced by: Maria Kawamura (Japanese), Allison Keith (English)

Mai Yumekano (夢叶 舞 Yumekanō Mai?)

Mai is a singer, songwriter, and keyboard player who comes from a rich family. Her father seems to be involved in the incident. She left after the murder of Tomomi. Notably, She is absent from Part 2, and her fate is left ambiguous.

Voiced by: Mayumi Shō (Japanese), Sasha Paysinger (English)

Tomomi Murashita (村下 智美 Murashita Tomomi?)

Tomomi is an aspiring filmmaker and scriptwriter who likes beer. In Part 1, She is assassinated due to her latest film being about the truth of the Megazone.

Voiced by: Mina Tominaga (Japanese), Hilary Haag (English)

Eve Tokimatsuri (時祭 イヴ Tokimatsuri Ivu?)

A popular singer in the city. In reality, Eve is part of a computer program named Bahamut which is supposed to keep the people of the city content, ignorant, and safe. Notably, In the second part, she helps Shogo learn his planned place in the world, and in the last part, the original Eve in person helps Shogo's replacement in the same way. Eve was the last original programmer.

Voiced by: Kumi Miyasato (Parts 1-2), Saki Takaoka (Part III) (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)

Shinji Nakagawa (中川 真二 Nakagawa Shinji?)

An old friend of Shogo Yahagi, Shinji has become a motorcycle test driver for a secret military program. Was killed by agents early in the show for stealing the Proto-Type Garland.

Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese), Illich Guardiola (English)

B.D.

A powerful military leader who is intent on taking control of the Megazone ship from Bahamut. B.D.'s plans become tenuous with the involvement of Shogo. He left Shogo alive returning a favour. In part 2 he directs the main operation while keen on hunting down Shogo. He left Shogo for his final battle after ADAM was initiated.

Voiced by: Kaneto Shiozawa (Japanese), Andy McAvin (English)

Lightning

He is the leader of the motorcycle gang Trash. In the second movie, Lightning has befriended Shogo and aids him with retrieving the Garland and making contact with Eve. He also helps Shogo with his second, more organized raid on Bahamut.

Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba (Japanese), Jason Douglas (English)

Gutz

Gutz is the muscle of the Trash gang. He helps Shogo and Lightning with their plan to confront the military and contact Eve.

Voiced by: Kozo Shioya (Japanese), George Manley (English)

Cindy

A member of Trash and the girlfriend of Lightning. Cindy befriends Yui and teaches her how to drive a motorcycle. Her appearance is deliberately modelled after the American pop singer Cyndi Lauper.

Voiced by: Yoko Ogai (Japanese), Tiffany Grant (English)

Lieutenant Shiratori

A soldier liaising with the Tokyo police investigating the Tomomi Murashita murder case. Holding high pride about his job. Shiratori has been tasked by B. D. to capture or kill Shogo and his companions and does not mind sacrificing his life.

Voiced by: Sho Hayami (Japanese), John Gremillion (English)

Eiji Takanaka

Main character of Part III. A hacker, top gamer, and motorcyclist who joined E=X. Attracted interests of Yacob & Sion and ended up taking the task as "Operator 7G" originally by Shogo Yahagi to liberate the human race from computerized supervision. There is no apparent relationship between Eiji Takanaka and Yui Takanaka of the first two movies.

Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (Japanese), Jay Hickman (English)

Bishop Won Dai

The human interface of Eden City's "System" - a supercomputer that serves the same purpose as Bahamut. Won Dai has created an apocalyptic quasi-religion based on humanity's relationship with the planet Earth. Is later revealed to be a major character from the first two parts.

Voiced by: Kouji Nakata (Japanese), Chris Patton (English)

Yacob Halm

The director of the E=X company and a zealous supporter of Project Heaven. Yacob answers only to Bishop Won Dai. Was killed in the original Garland while confronting Eiji.

Voiced by: Makoto Ataka (Japanese), Illich Guardiola (English)

Production[edit]

Megazone 23 was conceived as a 12-episode television series, but it was changed to a direct-to-video project after the sponsors withdrew their support mid-production. According to Noboru Ishiguro, the end result was a "compilation movie" of already produced episodes. Megazone was not conceived as a multi-part story. As such, the original release of "Part I" lacks the subtitle that has been added to subsequent re-releases.

Original mecha designs for the OVA series were created by Shinji Aramaki, while character designs were made by Toshihiro Hirano and Haruhiko Mikimoto, who would provide Eve Tokimatsuri's character designer for all three parts. For "Part II", Yasuomi Umetsu was the character designer, and for "Part III", Hiroyuki Kitazume took over.

The original planned title was "Omega City 23," then "Vanity City" and "Omega Zone 23," but trademark issues compelled the producers to a title change. The number "23" was originally a reference to the 23 municipal wards of Tokyo. In the retroactive continuity established by Part III, the number refers to the 23rd man made city-ship, with Megazone 1 named "Big Apple". However, the title is pronounced "Megazone Two Three" as referenced by several reference books and anime magazines published during the release of the series, the Japanese Wikipedia entry,[4] and even within the series itself in "Day of Liberation".

Alternative versions[edit]

"Part I" was spliced with The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross by Carl Macek to create Robotech: The Movie in 1986.[5] The new cut reestablished Shogo's character as Mark Landry [6] and included a new ending animated specifically for Robotech: The Movie.

The Japanese "International Edition" of Part 2 has an English-language voice cast that Carl Macek had orchestrated.[7] The consequent adaptation rewrote Shogo as "Johnny Winters" and Yui as "Sue". This creates a continuity error, as the name that appears on her bike helmet remains unchanged. The International Edition also added a narration to the exclusive alternate footage from Robotech: The Movie; the retooled scene became an introduction to Part 2.[8][9]

Part III was only available on DVD in an 80 minute version in North America.

Releases[edit]

Megazone Part II International was released on laserdisc in Japan.[9] It was not included in the out-of-print DVD Box Set, but was available as a bonus item to those who purchased all three installments individually. It is currently available as a Region 2 DVD bundled with the Limited Edition of the PS3 game Megazone 23: Aoi Garland. Streamline Pictures later released a straight-dubbed version of Part 1 in 1994.[10] Manga Entertainment also released a dubbed version of Part 3 in the United Kingdom.[11]

ADV Films is currently the owner of the US license. It has passed hands through Harmony Gold, Streamline Pictures, and Image Entertainment. In 2004, ADV Films released each installment of the series with a newly produced English dub and the original Japanese language track. The 2004 editions also contained extensive linear notes on the development of Megazone 23.

References to other media and culture[edit]

In Part I, the police that drive in pursuit of Shogo closely resemble Lupin and Daisuke Jigen from the series Lupin III; director Noboru Ishiguro had worked on episodes of Lupin III Part II. When Mai comes home, having been scouted by Tokimatsuri's directors, she throws a duffel bag labeled "Dagger of Kamui" onto a chair. Posters and an animated scene of the movie Streets of Fire can be seen, and the OVA contains a copious amount of product placement, including major references to BMW, Kawasaki, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's. The Eve character also shares some distant similarities with fictional contemporary Max Headroom from the 1985 TV movie 20 Minutes into the Future, which features a broadcaster called Network 23, though this is probably coincidence.

In Part II, Trash members play a pinball machine that is covered in logos and characters from Thundercats and Silverhawks, which are cartoons animated by the same studio as the Megazone series, AIC. One Trash member is also seen wearing a shirt for Heavy Metal band W.A.S.P. Also on the back of Shogos jacket it says Sex Wax Original a type of wax used on surfboards. Also in Part II, the screen of a military computer briefly displays the words "Harrison Ford", "Blade Runner", "Frank Baum" and "Dorothy". Like Part I, Part II has large amounts of product placement, with references to brands like Marlboro, Budweiser, and Heineken beer.[12]

In Part III, the Psycholand Video Arcade Employee database lists Yui, Tomomi, and Mai from Part I, as well as the surname Miyasato. In a bar scene a character from Akira is sitting with the group behaving a bit goofy and he also appears in the introduction in a virtual reality chasing-scene.

Influence[edit]

Publisher ADV has compared and found many similarities between the Megazone 23 series and The Matrix,[13] but The Wachowskis have denied it was an influence during the development of the film series.[14]

In other media[edit]

Character and vehicles from Megazone 23 appear in Super Robot Wars D for the Game Boy Advance.[15]

In 2007, a video game based on the series, entitled Megazone 23: Aoi Garland, was released in Japan for the Playstation 3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anime-int.com
  2. ^ 緊急特報!!あの「マクロス」のスタッフがオリジナルビデオアニメに挑戦「オメガゾーン23」 [Breaking News!! The staff of "Macross" are challenging it with an original anime video "Omega Zone 23"]. My Anime (in Japanese) (Tokyo, Japan: Akita Shoten): 117. October 1984. 
  3. ^ Mahq.net
  4. ^ "メガゾーン23". 
  5. ^ "Macek Training". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  6. ^ "Anime Bargain Bin Reviews- Robotech the Movie". Anime Bargain Bin Reviews. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  7. ^ "Macek Training". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  8. ^ "YouTube - UPDATED! Megazone 23 Part 2 Laserdisc opening pt 1 of 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  9. ^ a b "Megazone 23 Trilogy - Buried Treasure info". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  10. ^ Crystalacids.com
  11. ^ Crystalacids.com
  12. ^ "Megazone 23 Trilogy - Buried Treasure info". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  13. ^ "Megazone 23 - Retroactive Influence". A.D. Vision. Archived from the original on 2005-02-04. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  14. ^ "ONLINE CHAT - Larry & Andy Wachowski". Warner Brothers. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  15. ^ "YouTube - Super Robot Taisen D - Megazone 23 Final Fight". YouTube. 

External links[edit]