Lurkers' Retreat
Manga Video
1: MANV 1147 Dub
2: MANV 1181 Dub

Cert  15

Makyu Senjo

If the cover blurb is to be believed, this is a typical mad scientist/fanatical baddy chase using the obligatory weird henchmen involving the chance meeting with the lucious babe. I do wish the Mangle people would get a little more imaginative... The blurb also hints at a hidden past life that is the answer to the riddles that haunt the lead chara. The story is a techno-thriller, I suppose.

A reasonable animation, though the historical cuts did get a bit Dennis Potterish at times, and the passive AI turned active and the geeks with guns were a little weak, though maybe this will work out better with the second part. The whole thing plays heavily on paranoia, but sometimes the rather heavy-handed plot exposition gets in the way and ruins the atmosphere (what there is), before the punches and transformations start. You know where this is heading by that time as plots and schemes of global proportions replace the high ideals once and for all as the blood starts flowing. Ho hum.

Part Two starts where part one left off, obviously. The makers try to introduce some kawaii into the plot as the lead grunt discovers a telepathic side to his nature courtesy of a young girl who is having some trouble with an oversized killer whale. The storyline now tries to go ecological as well before the baddies turn up and start trashing the place, taking the girls' parents as hostages. Is it me, or is this predictable?

Battle Beings? Obvious Boomer ripoffs. Some bits are a little gory, so if that is your bag, then go for it. As for Joe himself, Guyver meets Devilman, or Guy. Not very original, but then not much of this program is. Bubblegum Crisis has better technobabble, Devilman has better baddies and there are quite a few better anime with better suspense. The dub is reasonable but hardly brilliant, though the later section doesn't need much dubbing (violence is violence in any language). Though it dresses itself up in high ideals at the start, but it all descends into violence. The end of this volume is not unlike a Guyver battle or something out of Fist of the North Star and about as satisfying. The way that the second volume went did not endear me any further to this series either, with any deviation from the beat 'em up (sic) theme being firmly cut down to size by the next piece of violence. This stays at two stars, but it is dangerously close to losing one... but then some might even like it. You're never alone with a clone!!!

[2 stars]

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