Cyber City Oedo 808

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Cyber City Oedo 808
Cover of the European DVD
サイバーシティ OEDO 808
GenreCyberpunk,[1] action, tech noir
Created byJûzô Mutsuki
Original video animation
Directed byYoshiaki Kawajiri
Produced byMakoto Seya
Yasuteru Iwase
Written byAkinori Endo
Music byKazz Toyama
Rory McFarlane (UK version)
StudioMadhouse
Licensed by
Released June 21, 1990 October 4, 1991
Runtime45 minutes (each)
Episodes3

Cyber City Oedo 808 (Japanese: サイバーシティ OEDO 808) is a 1990 cyberpunk original video animation series created by Madhouse and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Set in the year 2808 in the city of Oedo (Tokyo), it tells the story of three criminals who are enlisted into fighting crime in exchange for reducing their sentences to the point where they are able to earn their freedom. The three criminals are Sengoku Shunsuke, an anti-social maverick, Gogl, a mohawk wearing hacker, and Benten, an androgynous bishōnen.

The UK release of the OVA includes a completely new score by Rory McFarlane.

Plot[edit]

To combat computerised crime more effectively, the Cyber Police unit of the future Japanese city of Oedo has restarted the feudal practice of hōmen (放免), employing hardened criminals with a history of hi-tech offences and other crimes such as murder as officers themselves.

Three such criminals are Sengoku, Gogul, and Benten, who are serving their 300-or-more year sentences in an orbital penitentiary. For duty served, each criminal will receive a reduction in their prison time. Desperate to get away from the boredom and monotony of jail life, they half-heartedly agree to the deal. They answer to police chief Juso Hasegawa, who keeps them in check with explosive collars that they wear around their necks. Hasegawa has the ability to blow their collars remotely, and they will also explode if they fail to complete their missions within an allocated time period. Each one is also armed with a jitte (the traditional weapon and symbol of authority of the ancient Edo Police), although they also have access to more powerful weaponry.

Although there are no specifics to what kind of society the series is based in, it is presented as very high-tech but with a rather dystopian feel. In the first episode, a man under pressure confesses to a murder (which he did commit) and which is responsible for the present crisis. This is enough for Hasegawa to order Sengoku to execute him without charge or trial. When Sengoku fails to obey orders, his sentence is increased.

Episode list[edit]

# Title English titles Original release date
01"Memories of the Past"
Transliteration: "Inishie no kioku" (Japanese: 古の記憶)
"Virtual Death" (UK)
"Time Bomb" (US)
June 21, 1990 (1990-06-21)
Sengoku is sent to save 50,000 people trapped in Oedo's largest skyscraper after its central computer is mysteriously taken over. Along the way, he finds that the only suspect is a dead man.
02"The Decoy Program"
Transliteration: "Otori no kikō" (Japanese: 囮の機構)
"Psychic Trooper" (UK)
"The Decoy" (US)
December 28, 1990 (1990-12-28)
Gogul's investigation of a murder pits him against an experimental military cyborg as he tries to rescue his ex-partner. Of note is that during this episode at least one other cyber-criminal is depicted trying (unsuccessfully) to remove his collar, so it is known that there are more than the three anti-heroes being employed by the Cyber Police unit.
03"Crimson Media"
Transliteration: "Kurenai no baitai" (Japanese: 紅の媒体)
"Blood Lust" (UK)
"The Vampire" (US)
October 4, 1991 (1991-10-04)
The freak murder of three geneticists leads Benten to investigate one man's quest for immortality, as well as finding a young woman transformed into a vampire with telekinesis because of this quest.

Cast[edit]

Character Japanese English
(Manga UK/CPM, 1994)[2]
Shunsuke Sengoku Hiroya Ishimaru Bruce Martin
Gabimaru "Gogl" Rikiya Tesshō Genda Seán Barrett
Merrill "Benten" Yanagawa Kaneto Shiozawa Daniel Flynn
Juzo Hasegawa Norio Wakamoto Bob Sherman
Kyōko "Okyo" Jōnouchi Mitsuko Horie Julia Brahms
Varsus Kyousei Tsukui Nigel Greaves
Dave Kurokawa (Episode 1) Takeshi Aono Marc Smith
Mishiba (Episode 2) Osamu Saka
Sarah (Episode 2) Yoshiko Sakakibara Tamsin Hollo
Kazuo Shiroyama (Episode 2) Banjō Ginga Eric Flynn
Remi Masuda (Episode 3) Emi Shinohara Teresa Gallagher
Shūzō Saionji (Episode 3) Unshō Ishizuka Marc Smith
Kelley Takakura (Episode 3) Ako Mayama Lorelei King

Related media[edit]

Video game[edit]

Cyber City Oedo 808: Attribute of the Beast (CYBER CITY OEDO 808 獣の属性, Saibāshiti Ōedo Hachimaruhachi: Kemono no Zokusei) is a graphic adventure game released on March 15, 1991 for the PC-Engine CD-ROM² by Nippon Computer System exclusively in Japan. The storyline is completely original and not an adaptation of any episode.[3]

Music[edit]

Cyber City Oedo 808
Soundtrack album by
Released30 January 1995 United Kingdom
GenreAlternative rock
Synthwave
Ambient
Progressive
Length46:56
LabelDemon Records (out of print)
DSCD-808
ProducerRory McFarlane

The original British and Australian VHS release (released in 1994,[4] and televised on Channel 4 in 1995)[5] features a more rock-centric 23 track score composed by Rory McFarlane[6] not present on the US or Japanese versions. McFarlane's score combined metal, electronica and ambient styles. It has been out of print for years and, as such, is very rare to find on CD, but it is known to be available on the internet. The UK soundtrack has a considerably different tone than the original (more pop-like) Japanese score. Due to Manga Entertainment UK losing the rights to the Cyber City series this edition of the score was unavailable on western DVD releases and remained available only on the old VHS versions from the mid nineties[7] until Anime Limited released the movie on Blu-ray in the UK with the UK Dub and Soundtrack CD included in the release.[8]

No.TitleLength
1."Space prison"2:40
2."Kill you"1:25
3."Car chase"2:07
4."Elevator"1:59
5."Murder"3:10
6."Amachi"1:32
7."Amachi dies"1:00
8."Diving"1:05
9."Gogol"0:56
10."Trucking"2:03
11."Arena"2:16
12."Body snatchers"0:36
13."Body vault"1:22
14."Top secret"1:16
15."Sarah"1:05
16."Duel"2:32
17."Molcos dies"2:39
18."Stars"2:37
19."Search"1:44
20."Cryogenics"1:22
21."Big cats"3:47
22."Vampire"4:30
23."Closing theme"3:13

Reception[edit]

Critical reception of Cyber City Oedo 808 has been generally positive, and has received a cult following over the years.

Hemanth Kissoon of Filmulation.com reviewed the series in 2007, saying that the series "was released 17 years ago, yet still stands up as a gripping take on Japan’s potential future."[9]

Stig Høgset of THEM Anime Reviews gave the series a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, with his only criticism being very little character development. He states that the series “rounds off a nicely paced trilogy of stories starring an intriguing cast of different characters and set in a gray, leaden metropolis. It goes from action-filled to conspiringly suspenseful and ends with a legendary battle ballet culminating in a beautiful and melancholy ending.”[10]

In popular culture[edit]

Clips of Cyber City Oedo 808 were used to create the official video for the track "Innocence" by Nero. The video was uploaded to YouTube by UKF and Nero's Vevo channel.

British DJ Lone released a song entitled "Oedo 808" on his 2018 EP Ambivert Tools Vol. 4.

In the background of the first stage of the Neo Geo game Cyber-Lip, there's a "Cyber City" neon sign on a building.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Steve; Thomas, Monique (10 January 2023). "This Week in Anime - What is Cyber City Oedo 808?". Anime News Network. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Cyber City Peso 808 (OVA)". CrystalAcids. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  3. ^ PCE Daisakusen!! PCE 大作戦!! - Cyber City Oedo 808
  4. ^ "Cyber City Oedo". Animejin. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  5. ^ "Animejin News - 9th July 1995". Animejin. 1995-07-09. Retrieved 2023-12-11.
  6. ^ Cyber City Oedo 808 OST
  7. ^ Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990) Archived 2008-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Cyber City Oedo 808 - Blu-ray+CD Soundtrack Collector's Edition".
  9. ^ Kissoon, Hemanth (19 June 2007). "Cyber City Oedo 808". Filmulation.com. Filmulation Limited. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  10. ^ Høgset, Stig. "Cyber City Oedo 808 - THEM Anime Reviews 4.0". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved 14 December 2022.

External links[edit]