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8 Man After

8 Man After (1993) Movie Poster
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Japan  •    •  104m  •    •  Directed by: Sumiyoshi Furakawa, Yoriyasu Kogawa, Carl Macek.  •  Starring: Mari Devon, Steve Bulen, Mike Reynolds, Richard Allen, Catherine Battistone, Richard Cansino, Jeff Winkless, Mika Doi, Issei Futamata, Masaru Ikeda, Jûrôta Kosugi, Eiko Yamada, Keaton Yamada..
    Whatever happened to 8-Man? Why did he suddenly disappear, never to be seen again? This was the question on Sachiko's mind, as she couldn't forget about that fateful day when she learned the truth. When she found out Rachiro Azuma (whom she called Azuma-san) was the 8-Man, Azuma disappeared, never to be seen seemed. She went on with her life, working in Public Relations for the Biotechno Corporation. Times have changed. Crime has a new face and a new mode. Newer technology has become part of the game, but the number one player is still power. Power is what high crime is looking for. So what do you do when the criminals turn into near-invincible cyborgs? The answer: bring back an old cyborg crime fighter, one capable of combatting this new threat. 8-Man returns to the scene, but he (like the scene) has changed. His mind is different, as he has a new host with a different set of priorities. 8-Man's new host is private detective Hazama Itsuru, a hard-nosed, sometimes violent man who likes to do things his way. So what does that mean when he's 8-Man? To put it short, he's quick and usually brutal. And since he still remembers his original life, he also remembers his grudges and his old enemies. With such a volatile mind in such a powerful body, what could possibly happen?


Lame anime version of Robocop (even if the manga might have come out first... yes, I was too lazy to check) with some dorky PI who almost-'sort of-'kind of-'but not really-' gets wasted, and then gets overhauled by a mad doctor, so he can, when he feels like it (and only then), transform into an even dorkier cyborg version of himself with an 8 that makes him into a power ranger with down syndrome (or insert other mildly offensive jab at people with disabilities of some sort so sensitive people will get upset for other people who aren't paying attention).

The movie starts off well by introducing the megalomaniac villain, who was probably drawn with reference stills from Robocop, but whatever-'the scene with the cars that are revealed to be miniatures on a set meant for a Godzilla flick is a nice transitional element that reveals a lot about the one-dimensional villain-'speaking of one-dimensional, that pretty much addresses all of the lame characters, who are stale archetypes at their absolute best, but are mostly just a bundle of stereotypes and action anime tropes.

A dark color palette with blues and purples is mostly well utilized, and not unlike a somber bruised child, but it looks like some gaudy batman crap half the time, but for the people who like that sort of thing, well... that's the sort of thing they like.

A bunch of stupid stuff happens, and he takes some kid to a football game to watch his dad die. What a bastard; but it was kind of funny, the honest shall admit. The kid was a wannabe gangbanger who only listened to Joni Mitchell albums and wore more ostentatious garments than Liberace, so he had it coming, and was clearly naive (Probably influenced by the more embarrassing moments of Harmageddon than Robocop).

The animation is a mixed bag. Certain scenes have decent movement, but it's not on par with a lot of the better OVAs of the time. Additionally, the only aspect they really sink much animation into would be for effects work and action scenes. The action lacks much tension because 8 man is basically invincible, and none of the enemies stand a chance without a hostage. There's also a crucial difference to the change of 8 Man and Robocop that makes 8 Man the less interesting of the two: While Robocop is permanently merged with ugly cybernetics that make him a nearly emotionless killing machine that is controlled by the programming of his makers, 8 Man shifts seamlessly from his bland PI character, who has no perceivable loss of humanity, to the full cybernetic body of 8 Man.

Review by sb19870 from the Internet Movie Database.