Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Parasite Dolls Anime Review

Parasite Dolls
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 1 disc
95 mins. - 3 episodes
$29.98 (2004)
$19.98 (2012)
ISBN 702727095627
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Yoshinaga Naoyuki/Nakazawa Kazuto
Studio - AIC

Synopsis: Genom City is the world headquarters of the Genom Corporation and the place where 90% of the artificial, humanoid Boomers are produced.  The streets and workplaces are filled with regular humans alongside synthetic machines which mimic human functions.  Boomer maids and even police officers form the backbone of modern society.  This next evolution of modern society is not without its dark underbelly and a special division of the A.D. Police called Branch is responsible for investigating the most gruesome, violent Boomer-related crimes.
The sprawling metropolis of Genom City
Lt. "Buzz" Nikvest was a disgraced cop who landed at Branch to avoid a police scandal.  Despite his past, he's an incredibly talented detective and his partner is a Boomer named Kimball.  They work with Reiko Michaelson who is a brash, young former-policewoman, the beautiful spy "Angel" Lynch, and Bill Myers, the genius hacker.
Lt. "Buzz" Nikvest rocking the five o'clock shadow like Miami Vice
This group is overseen by Koji Takahashi who answers to political heavy Sorime.  They start out solving a case of rogue Boomers malfunctioning every week during the same radio broadcast show.  One year later we revisit the team as Angel goes undercover to find a high-class Boomer prostitute and save her from a Boomer serial killer named The Crusher.
A berserk Boomer maid gets taken down
Five years later we return to Genom City where the Boomers have further insinuated themselves into society.  Humans are not just having sex with them, but falling in love and it seems cracks have appeared in the foundation of society (think Jerry Springer episodes, but with robots).  A revolution is coming and the entire Branch organization is in danger as the walls start tumbling down.  Can Buzz protect his team and help maintain order?
Cyber junkies get off on experiencing Boomer fatalities
Pros: Decent animation, mature storyline, bunch of nudity, highly reminiscent of Blade Runner, the time progression in each successive episode was interesting, dark version of A.D. Police, some extras including music video, promo pieces, and sketches
Michaelson shoots first and asks questions later
Cons: Not quite Bubblegum Crisis although set in the same universe, ending was a little too convenient, the Crusher was poorly designed and completely impossible (couldn't possibly be that size), too short at a meager 95 minutes
Angel works deep cover to uncover secrets
Mike Tells It Straight: I've actually never seen Bubblegum Crisis or any spinoffs before watching Parasite Dolls.  This show felt darkly noir and very cyberpunk.  It had mature themes (things can get mature when you have robot prostitutes getting their heads ripped off).  AIC presents some good animation - solid character designs and decent effects.  Nothing too flashy, but easy to watch.
The Crusher is ripping off Boomer prostitutes' heads
The story had many classic cyberpunk themes - robots converging toward experiencing human emotions, humans becoming too dependent on artificial 'helpers', abusing human-shaped robots to vent emotional frustrations.  All good stuff and reminded me of much older anime/sci-fi themes.
So that's why they call them Parasite Dolls
I thought this show (a three-part OAV cut into one three-chapter feature) was pretty solid and delivered a fairly decent storyline. Time jumped between each successive episode/chapter and the show pulled it off.  It explored the controversial aspects of human-shaped Boomers and made us care about the characters.  Better than I expected, but not highly memorable.  Worth a watch if you can get it cheap, but don't put this too high on the list (unless you absolutely love Blade Runner).

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Parasite Dolls/A.D. Police Bundle - $4.99