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 Hideaki Suda
Suichi Onodera
Toru Miura
Written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Studio AIC, Artland & Tatsunoko
Licensed by
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
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Studio AIC, Artland & Tatsunoko
Licensed by
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
Music by Keishi Urata
Studio AIC & Artmic
Licensed by
Released September 28, 1989 – December 22, 1989
Runtime 50 minutes (each)
Episodes 2
Wikipe-tan face.svg 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 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]

Megazone 23's story is set in the far future of the human race, after, in the early 24th century, various environmental issues rendered Earth uninhabitable, forcing humanity to leave in several massive colony ships, the titular Megazones. The story itself follows the population of Megazone Two Three, based on a unnamed part of Japan.

Part I and II[edit]

The first two parts occur roughly 500 years after humanity left Earth, as the government attempt to hack into the civic computer, Bahamut, for their city, in order to use the city's benevolent artifical intelligence, known as EVE, to influence the people to help them in a near-endless war against the Dezalg.

Into this is thrown Shogo Yahagi, after he is given ownership of a strange experimental bike by an old friend of his. Over the course of the story, he discovers how false his world is, and eventually makes contact with the EVE Program, who enlists him to assist humanity in any way he can. However, unfortunately, before he can do anything meaningful, the city's government have become focused on the destruction of the Dezalg, and have decided to terminate Shogo and EVE, who has fled into cyberspace. In the end, Eve manages to save Shogo and his friends, sending them in Bahamut's system core to Earth as the battling ships are destroyed, ending the conflict, at the price of an unknown number of people on both ships.

Part III[edit]

The third part occurs several centuries after this, with a hacker named Eiji Takanaka, who is scouted by a rebel group working against the teachings of a mysterious spiritual leader known as Bishop Won Dai. Sion, a high-ranking member of the rebel group, who work under the aegis of Orange Amusements, begins scouting Eiji, while also investigating a strange program, Project Heaven, the E=X Bureau, Won Dai's elite staff, are preparing. Sion manages to confront Eiji as Orange attempt to stop whatever Project Heaven is, and, badly wounded, instructs Eiji to go to the lowest point in the city, finding the real, centuries-old, Eve Tokimatsuri, who was meant to be awoken by Shogo Yahagi. She takes him to Bahamut, meeting the independent version of Eve from the previous two parts, while Sion manages to stop Orange from making the same mistake as several centuries before, using it to broadcast the E=X's master plan. In the end, Eiji and Eve confront Won Dai, and he is slain, Eve heading to the ADAM moonbase to shut down and destroy it, while also taking out the city's computer, finally beginning the final part of the plan enacted around a millenia before, while Eiji heads off to meet with Ryo to begin his life anew.

Voice actors[edit]

Character Japanese English
Shogo Yahagi Masato Kubota (Part 1)
Kazuki Yao (Part 2)
Vic Mignogna (ADV Films dub)
Bob Bergen (Streamline Pictures dub)
Yui Takanaka Maria Kawamura Allison Keith (ADV Films dub)
Barbara Goodson (Streamline Pictures dub)
Mai Yumekano Mayumi Shō Sasha Paysinger (ADV Films dub)
Lia Sargent (Streamline Pictures dub)
Tomomi Murashita Mina Tominaga Hilary Haag (ADV Films dub)
Edie Mirman (Streamline Pictures dub)
Eve Tokimatsuri Kumi Miyasato (Parts 1-2)
Saki Takaoka (Part 3)
Monica Rial (ADV Films dub)
Brittany Harlowe (Streamline Pictures dub) (Part 1)
Muriel Fargo (International dub) (Part 2)
Annemarie Lawless (Manga UK dub) (Part 3)
Shinji Nakagawa Kōichi Yamadera Illich Guardiola
B.D. Kaneto Shiozawa Andy McAvin
Lightning Shigeru Chiba Jason Douglas
Gutz Kozo Shioya George Manley
Cindy Yoko Ogai Tiffany Grant
Lieutenant Shiratori Sho Hayami John Gremillion
Eiji Takanaka Takeshi Kusao Jay Hickman
Bishop Won Dai Kouji Nakata, Kazuki Yao Chris Patton
Yacob Halm Makoto Ataka Illich Guardiola

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,[3] 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.[4] The new cut reestablished Shogo's character as Mark Landry [5] 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.[6] 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.[7][8]

Releases[edit]

Megazone Part II International was released on laserdisc in Japan.[8] 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.[9] Streamline Pictures released an unedited dubbed version of Part 1 to VHS in 1995, which was released to DVD in 1998 by Image Entertainment. Streamline also planned on releasing the other two parts, but were unable due to a dispute with their distributor Orion Pictures.[10] Manga Entertainment also released a dubbed version of Part 3 in the United Kingdom.[11]

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 liner notes on the development of Megazone 23. ADV released a complete collection in 2007. With the closure of ADV in 2009, the series is now out-of-print in the US. Megazone 23 will be remastered onto Blu-ray in Japan. Release date is slated for November 27, 2015.[12]

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]

Video games[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. ^ ja:メガゾーン23
  4. ^ "Macek Training". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  5. ^ "Anime Bargain Bin Reviews- Robotech the Movie". Anime Bargain Bin Reviews. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Macek Training". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  7. ^ "YouTube - UPDATED! Megazone 23 Part 2 Laserdisc opening pt 1 of 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  8. ^ a b "Megazone 23 Trilogy - Buried Treasure info". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  9. ^ Crystalacids.com
  10. ^ http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/streamline-pictures-part-4/
  11. ^ Crystalacids.com
  12. ^ http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B010V5Q05M
  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]