"Rock Formation Reproducers"?
Ace-of-Stars | Honolulu, Hawaii | 10/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
What else could the title "Geobreeders" possibly mean? But along with its indecipherable title, it would seem (at least upon the first couple of viewings) that the story itself is likewise indecipherable and incoherent. ...At least that's the impression that one initially walks away with after viewing the ''first chapter'' of this Moriyama Yuuji ("Project A-Ko"; "Jungle de Ikou") OAV series (a.k.a. "File-X: Get Back The Kitty") -- especially for someone like myself, who had no prior knowledge of the story and characters from Ito Akihiro's manga series before taking a chance on the anime stories. With the release of the "next chapter" in the OAV series ("Geobreeders 2" / "File-XX: Breakthrough"), it was my hope that many of the difficulties in following the events of the first "File" would be smoothed out and begin to have the overall story make some sort of sense. To my great pleasure, much was indeed cleared up ... but again, only after several close and scrutinizing repeated viewings. In a way, that's good, because it gives the viewer genuine reason to pay close attention to the many details and branches in the plotline which makes the experience even that much more enjoyable as the greater picture becomes clearer and more coherent (plus it allows the viewer to relive all of the hillarious moments throughout the adventure that make this OAV such fun to sit through), but it may not be such a good idea for those who want quick, immediate, spoon-fed answers and explanations ... because it DOES take work to figure out what this story is really all about and where it's all heading. Which leaves me somewhat in the middle of an uncomfortable dilemma -- either SHARE what I have been able to piece together from my time spent with the OAV series ... or HOLD OUT and not "spoil" it for anybody who may wish to put the pieces of the puzzle together on their own. (...what to do... what to do....) Well, everybody probably already knows by now that "Geobreeders" is about a team of five young women (all but one of whom are psychological case studies within their own right) and one hapless "do all the dirty work and take all the blame" young man who make up the private organization called "Kagura Sougou Keibi" ("Kagura All-Purpose Defense" ...or, as the original translators prefer, "Kagura Total Security" -- "kagura" being the name of a type of sacred Japanese dance being used by the group as a "brand name"). Their job is ridding Japan of terroristic shape-shifting "bake-neko" or "phantom cats," who are comprised of living data and energy, who are vulnerable in their full "feline" form, but become virtually unstoppable whenever they assume a full "human" or hybrid "cat-human" form (...in these latter forms they can bypass anything with an electronic circuit and access computer information files). Whenever Kagura is not pursuing the bake-neko with "talismans" (used for "sealing" the enemy as information files onto computer discs), they're going after them with big loud guns and big loud explosive devices, which usually results in big loud destruction ... with all damages to the facilities in question being covered by whatever firm is hiring them to do the job. But there are those aforementioned pesky twists in the plot which complicate the story and make it appear terribly convoluted -- including the lack of unity amongst the bake-neko themselves, understanding the roles of the various "government defense forces," and trying to determine the "official" position, level of involvement, & TRUE aganda of the enigmatic "Mr. Irie." And what did those United States Marines want with Kagura's resident pet phantom cat, the sweet and innocent Maya? So many questions ... and so many answers, which I'm very anxious to share, but I fear that I will take away from the full enjoyment of each viewer's learning these answers for themselves... so, regrettably, I digress! You'll just have to view them for yourself ... at least a good three or four times in order to understand what is going on -- which will make understanding "Ghost In The Shell" seem like a swim in the "kiddie pool" by comparison. But once you do understand the inner workings of this anime, it'll be so much more appreciated (as a result, I've since updated my rating of the entire "Geobreeders" series from "3-stars" to "4-stars"). Granted, not all questions will get answered in this anime series, and that's probably because Ito and Moriyama-san want to eventually entice the viewers to delve into the manga series for more of the "complete" story (which, upon my doing an amount of online research into the manga stories, will offer only a very little bit of additional insight, but really not anything terribly significant that could add much more to what can readily be deciphered from the anime alone with just a little bit of time and concentration). The "Sub-Title" purists are going to greatly disagree with me on this next point, but I give my vote of preference to the "English Dub" soundtrack. Although the original Japanese version is equally good (if you can get by Kikushima Yuka's high-pitched squeal), the English voice actors actually breath more life, feeling and character into the individuals they portray -- especially Umezaki Maki, the "Crimson Shooting Star." Now available either separately or in a "2-disc set," newcomers to this anime feature should definitely go with the 2-disc version and get the full story at one time ... that would be the smarter move, both from the standpoint of better understanding the story as well as economically. ~ Enjoy! (Tanoshide Kudasai!) * * *"
Just a wee bit above average...
Rowena Wendy Lim | Asia | 06/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Geobreeders is something of a cross between Burn-Up W and Phantom Quest Corporation. The all-girl one-guy team, fighting, fan service, and the fact that Kagura is a struggling anti-supernatural phenomena company all make it so.
It's very hard to effectively summarize Geobreeders' plot. In the first episode, we are thrown right into the middle of a confusing situation. Someone hires Kagura Total Security to do something, and in the next scene we see the gang storming off somewhere -- only to be intimidated by a huge tank with numerous phantom cats on board. A bit later, Kagura's chasing a certain phantom cat wreaking havoc in a building... and I still had no idea why what's happening was happening. In the succeeding episodes, Taba's pet phantom cat Maya gets kidnapped, and Kagura concentrates its efforts on finding her.
Just about the only unique concept in this anime is the phantom cats, and they aren't explained very well at that. All I know is that they can morph into humans and they have superhuman strength, reflexes, plus other powers and abilities. Phantom cats seem rather commonplace in the Geobreeders setting, but there is no background information provided... so you don't know how they came into being and what their real purpose in the story is.
The visuals are exceptional. Character designs are attractive, objects are drawn with much detail, and backgrounds are rendered nicely. While some scenes include scantily-clad girls and incidental breast exposure, Geobreeders is far from being anything erotic. Action and violence are portrayed without blood and gore. The English dubbing is okay as well.
I have mixed feelings about Geobreeders. The plot is chaotic and somewhat unintelligible. Even after watching all three eps, I was still quite clueless. There's a smattering of humorous moments, but nothing is laugh-out-loud funny. However, the production values are rather high -- you get great art, animation, and music. It's not some cheapo show you'd casually dismiss, but it won't leave you craving for more either. With just about an equal amount of pros and cons, Geobreeders surpasses an average rating only by a hair.
Ghostbusters meets Baywatch for some pretty crazy fun
TTT | Milpitas, CA USA | 08/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Ghostbusters reference is that the Kagura agency has a job of eliminating phantom cats who can mess with electronic data and cause some heck to life. The Baywatch reference will be obvious once you watch.This is fun. Sharp animation, plenty of humor, good action, lovable albeit stereotypical characters, and a swimsuit or two.The plot is a little muddled (hence only 4 stars) about a kidnapped Kagura member along with the phantom cats about to return a nuclear warhead to the city in an explosive way and some guy pulling the strings of both cases. But with cute girls, exciting action, and Geobreeders humor, who cares? This is great fluff.Contains violence and nudity."