22 July 2014 | DonaldDooD
The Best Bad Anime Ever?
Some fans out there like to believe that anime is some higher art form, superior to the kiddy cartoons or Hollywood blockbusters in the states. As someone who is on constant lookout for new anime, I can confirm that's not the case. Plenty of anime play overused, immature tropes, and have little value beyond an occasional good time. Nor are older anime necessarily better than newer ones. Many new shows solely focus on being cute and "sexy"...but many 80s/90s examples are shallow, violent, crudely sexual, stereotypical pieces of trash. Yoshiaki Kawajiri is a master of this craft, director of such "classy" films as Wicked City, Demon City Shinjuku, and Ninja Scroll.
Goku Midnight Eye and its sequel show no more ambition. Once again we find ourselves in a dark, futuristic Tokyo. There may be no demons, but shady figures and their cybernetic henchmen rule from their skyscrapers. The action is violent, the characters are flat, and women only exist to be saved and provide fan service.
Yet GME is so outrageous, its attempts to be dark, thrilling, and mature are hilarious.
Peacock women? Swan-based WMDs? A Chinese man rollerskating down a glass building? What!? GME plays to absolutely every stereotype of the time, then goes the extra mile. If you're with friends, there is plenty to riff on, and never dead air. Bloodshed is never far away, and you won't go 5 minutes without being shocked at what's happening
In addition to its amazing camp, GME dodges banality because of Goku's powers. The abilities of his eye give him an endless plethora of options, to the point where its difficult to tell what he'll do next. With x-ray vision, access to the world's databases, control over most electronic equipment, and a surprisingly deadly staff, Goku is a unique hero in the bargain bin. He could honestly be in a great anime if anyone took him seriously. As is, he adds some spice to a generic plot.
I can only go so far before you need to experience the OVAs yourself. When you're in the mood, call some friends over for Bad Movie Night. Its everything wrong with the bad sci-fi anime of the time, and everything right for commentary.
One more thing - don't forget to listen to the English dub. Not only is it equally bad, but freaking Steven Blum, lead voice actor in Cowboy Bebop and The Big O, plays Goku!