This four-part 1994 OAV spawned several follow-ups, and writer Chiaka Konaka went on to do screenplays for Bubblegum Crisis 2040 and Serial Experiments Lain. Armitage III is noted for its brooding, dystopic Blade Runner... more »-influenced backgrounds--which are more interesting than its characters. Terran police officer Ross Sylibus arrives on Mars and finds himself drawn into a complex plot involving seemingly random bombings and the murders of women who are actually "Thirds," or state-of-the-art androids. (Their circuitry is so sophisticated, they can be impregnated by human males.) Sylibus's partner is Naomi Armitage, a sharp-shooting, hard-punching Third, whose scanty costumes suggest a '50s burlesque show. Together, they battle a standard array of addled scientists, sinister corporations, screeching maniacs, and corrupt police officers. Fast paced and violent, this influential adventure is not for the squeamish. (Rated 16 and older: nudity, graphic violence, violence against women, considerable profanity, grotesque imagery) --Charles Solomon« less
Ilker Yucel | Annapolis, MD United States | 04/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw "Armitage III: Poly-Matrix" on the Sci-Fi channel. Immediately I noticed a distinct "Blade Runner" influence, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the film. I liked Elizabeth Berkley's and Kiefer Sutherland's (even though Berkley seemed too excitable and Sutherland seemed half asleep). The movie had some moments of confusion, but overall it was far less confusing than "Akira" (which is still my favorite anime of all time). I'd also seen the sequel, which I won't go into here. So when I finally bought the OVA on DVD, I was sure I was going to love it. I was right.First off, the storytelling in the OVA is slightly better (if you couldn't follow the first film, then you must have ADD or dyslexia...it's not that complicated). The additional scenes that were left out of the film version help give a better flow to the action and a better sense of plot. Extra scenes with Pluto/Julian give more to why Armitage actually cared for his character. And we also have a better sense of how D'Anclaude kept popping up. Some scenes are just done differently, like Ross' flashback (which is a lot more violent and I dare say cliched in the OVA) or even D'Anclaude's first fight with Ross in the church. There's better character development in the OVA as well, especially for the smaller parts like the other cops. The dialogue is pretty much intact (a rarity for animes...the English movie version actually holds up pretty well in keeping the dialogue the same), and the music is still awesome. All-in-all, if you liked the movie, the OVA will not disappoint. It's different, but the addition of certain sequences and bits of dialogue do help give a better flow to the story. The scenes that are left out or altered from the movie give the OVA its own feel. The special features on anime DVD's are always a joy, especially for a graphic designer like myself or anybody with an interest in art.The "Armitage III" OVA is a treat for fans of cyberpunk, for fans of sci-fi, for fans of anime, and for fans of Armitage. Buy it! It's well worth it."
The Original that Poly-Matrix Hacked
AstroNerdBoy | Denver, CO | 11/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the original work that someone hacked to make the movie "Armitage III Poly-Matrix". If you saw and liked the movie but haven't seen this 4-part OAV series, you will like this. Just don't expect the dub cast from "Poly-Matrix" to be in this one.As to the story, it won't win any awards but it is good nevertheless. Those who see "Blade Runner" are correct since that classic movie can be called the father of the cyberpunk genre of sci-fi. This is a cyberpunk series and it owes a lot to "Blade Runner", but it is not that movie. "Armitage III" is a tale of two cops, Ross and Armitage. Ross was a cop in Chicago who's partner was killed by a cyborg. As such, he hates cyborgs and other robotic creations, though ironically, he has a robotic leg. He then transfers to Mars and is partnered with the female Armitage. No sooner than he arrives then Armitage uncovers a murder at the spaceport. The murdered victim is a very famous female country singer, but everyone is shocked when it is discovered she is a robot. While cyborgs and androids are common, robots who look and act exactly like a real human are not supposed to exist. These are known as "Type III" robots.Many themes are explored in this series. First are the roles of androids/robots in society. Normal androids are treated like slaves. Type III's have a will and are no one's slave. Also, the roles of men and women in society are explored. Earth has become a feminist nation and on Mars, men have fled to female androids for companionship. So is it OK for women to be strong, yet still be women (and not try to be like a man)? Is it OK for a human to love a human-like robot and vice versa?I love Armitage as she's my favorite type of heroine. The romance between her and Ross isn't overplayed so don't worry about mush. Yet it is touching just the same. The art and animation are good. It didn't start out as good in the first episode, but improves a lot by the time episode 4 rolls around. The music is rooted in cyberpunk and those who've seen anime titles like "Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040" or "Divergence Eve" will see the music there is very similar. There's just a lot of good things about this and after seeing it, I am happy to purchase this title.Bottom line: Skip the movie "Armitage III Poly-Matrix" which is just a hack job of this series and watch this title instead. If you've already seen the movie and liked it, you'll like this more."
Sister Under the Skin
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 03/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anime science fiction seems endlessly fascinated with the question of the borderline between humans and robots. The answers are surprisingly complicated as the directors confront us with humans who are little more than sophisticated and psychotic machines, and robots that have the finer emotional constructs that their human counterparts are often lacking. In this DVD, which collects the original OVA series, we find one of the works that laid the groundwork for a whole genre.Ross Sylibus has done what many cops do. Memories too intense he has left earth to become a detective in the Martian Police Department. His new partner is Naomi Armitage, a wisecracking, independent cop who dresses like a street girl. Their first assignment is to solve a string of murders where the victims are all beautiful robots. Special robots that are so close to human that they can become pregnant. They find a lunatic behind the killings and a web of conspiracy behind the lunatic.The relationship between Naomi and Ross moves past an argumentative partnership as they discover some of the truths about each other in their struggle to stop a wave of anti-robot sentiment that seems about to overwhelm the Martian colony. Their feelings for each other tells is what human really means, even if it is clear to the end that few on either world really understand.Director Hiroyuki Ochi has created a series that owes much to 'Bladerunner,' but avoids being a hackneyed copy for all its borrowing of plot devices. The aggressive role played by Naomi sets the two films apart, underlying the core humanity of the Type III robots that have been queued up for slaughter when they have outlived their use. Visually the film work and illustration are deeply satisfying, using a style that is more naturalistic than the anime stylings to which we've become accustomed. It is difficult to talk about work done in 1994 as 'seminal,' but the OVA and the related film had a great deal of effect on other anime. Consider this a must see."
Good choice if you have not already seen Poly Matrix
D. Saelee | Oakland, CA United States | 01/16/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I give this a 3 because it's almost the same as the Poly Matrix Movie. It's just chopped up to 4 series and added a few new scenes to the begining of each searies. I got both not knowing this was the same as Poly Matrix, just a way to swindle people into buying more. If you have not seen Poly Matrix get this instead, but if you have Poly Matrix, don't waste your money on this."
Zen Druid | Aloha, OR USA | 12/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting 4 episode series which starts out strong and, unfortunately, ends weak. Basically we have the cop team of Armitage (who turns out to be a "third" robot) and her human sidekick Sylibus who are out after a suspect in a string of robot "murders". After a very exciting first episode, Armitage and Sylibus go their separate ways only to meet up and work again later as outlaws before the series finale. There are some really exciting parts in the first half of the series, unhappily the last half bogs down with unanswered questions. The conclusion is like a made-for-TV happy ending which disappointed, to say the least. I like this series anyway despite it's weaknesses and suggest that it is worth your time to watch. Armitage is one sexy babe."