Armitage III "Poly-Matrix" Review

Original Review by: sothis from Anime Planet


9/10

Armitage III screenshotI love cyberpunk. I dress like it, read about it, and am enamored with anything related to it. For god’s sake, I’m covered in cyborg tattoos because I’ve been obsessed with becoming a cyborg since I was 10, and since I can’t physically, I might as well look like it superficially. Thus, people have been telling me for years that I’d love Armitage, yet I put it off until today. The moral of the story? Listen to your friends more often. 






Armitage III takes place on Mars, in a dark and futuristic city. Androids, amongst other things, serve as housekeepers, babysitters, and intimate companions, but some feel that robots are becoming too much like humans for their own good. One such man, D’anclaude, has made it his mission to destroy high tech robot prototypes known as Thirds, but what is his real reason? Armitage III follows two cops: the hardened Ross, and the gorgeous gun-toting Armitage (pronounced Armahtaygee as opposed to the English pronunciation "Armahtahjhe") as they try to figure out the reason behind the mayhem, and uncover the true purpose of the elusive Thirds.

Armitage III ends up playing out strongly like a cross between Blade Runner and AI. The story, while perhaps a tad predictable in this day and age, is still wonderfully constructed and engaging. The pacing is fantastic, and in general it just ends up being a damn good sci fi adventure. It’s hard to put my praise into words, so just trust me: the story kicks ass. Even the ending is fulfilling.

The only thing (and this is minor) that I wasn’t down with was the very first shot in the OVA, which is a close up of an android ass that says "don’t touch" on it. It’s a stewardess of sorts walking down the aisle, in essentially a thong leotard. I was quite concerned, because of that first impression, that Armitage III would be nothing more than an ecchi boob fest. As it turns out, that ended up being the extent of the ecchi; the rest was nothing more than the occasional (appropriate for the scenes) naked scene, or Armitage in skimpy clothes. Thankfully, the condensed movie version of this OVA (Armitage III: Poly Matrix) removed that shot.
Armitage III screenshotArmitage III screenshot

animation9.5/10

For something so old, I am incredibly impressed with the animation. Usually when I watch older titles it’s hard to rate something highly; it’s hard to when you are spoiled with such beautiful current animation. Not the Case with Armitage III; it’s freaking GORGEOUS. From the dark cyberpunk cityscape to the detail of the robots, there’s almost nothing to complain about. Brilliant florescent green and red data flows across Armitage’s visor, prophetically mirroring the Matrix. Dusky street corners are illuminated with neon signs and filled with busy crowds. Literally every shot of the city made me think "wow", time and time again. The level of detail is also incredibly amazing for something of this time period (or even for now). EVERYTHING is detailed, unlike many anime out there that only focus on something like the background. At times, the background shots almost looked real. I also was a big fan of the way the internet (or whatever you’d call it) was represented.

Literally the only thing that I thought was less than perfect was the character designs; specifically, Armitage. She looks very much like a character from the 80s, and often her face in the light was very simplistic and freakish. In general though, outstanding visuals.

sound9/10

I’m a big fan of industrial music. Thus, I was extremely happy that the opening theme song sounded quite a bit like the background to a 80s industrial track. What better music for a cyberpunk anime than industrial?! Completely effective and a great change from the usual J-pop fest. The rest of the songs were a little more minimal and often bizarre (such as English-singing pop music), but all of it fit wonderfully. Kudos to the composer for making an intro song so catchy to a girl like me, that I’d never skip it. The voice actors were all fantastic.

characters8/10

Armitage is a badass, plain and simple. Her clothes are hot, she fights like a pro and has an attitude to match. Ross is a hardened cop whose hatred of robots is apparent. Together they have a wonderful dynamic, and both go through a great deal of character development by the end. The villains are evil and the robot types unique (especially the ones near the end, that’s all I’ll say without spoiling). There are plenty of secondary characters who are forgettable, but that’s acceptable in this case due to the strong personalities of the main characters.

overall9.5/10

Armitage III ended up being a smash hit in my book, hence the high rating (based not on the average of the scores above, but how much I liked it as a whole). For any fans of sci fi or cyberpunk, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see this. With gorgeous visuals, an interesting story and great soundtrack, this OVA is definitely something that will go on my frequent watch list. Don’t wait, watch it now!

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