I really like being able to purchase anime shows in complete sets.
No more waiting for a month or more between volumes. Just pop in
the next disc and see how the story unfolds. The latest offering
from ADV to get the collected series treatment is Cyberteam in Akihabara,
a combination of Bubblegum
Crisis and Sailor Moon with a bit of Angelic
Layer thrown in for good measure. DVDTalk reviewer Don Houston,
who has been known to transform into a crime fighting super-hero himself,
originally reviewed the separate volumes (read his reviews here: Volumes
and wasn't overly impressed. I have to admit that I agree with his
assessment of the series. While this show has some good aspects,
it's nothing that hasn't been done before, and usually done better.
Hibari is a school girl who desperately wants the new hot toy: a Patapi.
It's sort of a sophisticated Furby (if you remember that fad from several
Christmases ago) that you can train and customize (one even has missiles
that launch from its head. A nice toy for kids, huh?) While
everyone in school seems to have one, poor Habari doesn't. That's
until the prince from her dreams gives her one. She names it Densuke,
and is happy as can be until the Black Prince shows up. This nefarious
character has his minions try to steal Densuke, but when they do the little
toy transforms into an armored fighter who bears an uncanny resemblance
to Hibari, only with a huge bust, who can really kick butt.
Hibari isn't the only one with a transforming Patapi either, her friends
Suzume, Tsugumi, and eventually Kamome all get toys that can transform.
Together these four friends team up to form the Cyberteam in Akihabara!
They have their work cut out for them too. It turns out that the
Black Prince is working for a secret society called the Rosenkreutz.
This group consists of near immortal people who have been secretly shaping
society for centuries. Now, through luck or fate, the Cyberteam is
pretty much all that stands between Rosenkreutz and the world.
This is an unsatisfying series in a lot of ways, partially because it
is trying to be all things to all people. There's the magical girl
part of the show for younger females, but there's also a lot of fan service
too. The two really don't mix. I can't see many people who
enjoy the girls talking about guy they like also enjoying the pantie shots
and jiggling DDD sized breasts.
This characters are also hard to get into. Actually I found them
rather irritating. They each have a single trait that makes them
special, one always talks very formally, another wants to be a pop star,
but that's about it. There isn't any effort made to make them endearing
or even likable. Most of the time they are so incredibly stupid that
it's hard to fathom. (If you were an elementary school girl and you
were attacked wouldn't you tell someone about it after the third or fourth
The show is very uneven too. As Don pointed out in his reviews,
there are several shows that you could miss and entirely and not miss any
plot development. Other shows advance the story a good deal, only
to be followed by more filler episodes. These shows where not a lot
happens are pretty formulaic and make it hard to care about the characters
or the show itself.
It wasn't all negative though. There were some enjoyable episodes
along the way, and I was never bored watching the show, but my mind did
wander on more than one occasion. The show could have been improved
with more character development and a tighter plot. As it is, the program
is a bit less than average, but not horrible.
This 26 episode series comes on five DVDs in thinpak cases which in
turn are housed in a thick boarded illustrated slipcase.
This show comes with the original Japanese audio track in stereo as
well as an English dub in 5.1 Dolby Digital. Though the 5.1 dub is
a bit more full and interesting especially during the battle scenes, I
enjoyed the Japanese dub a little bit more. Some of the English voice
actors were a bit too much over the top for my tastes, and the overacting
got on my nerves after a while. Both tracks sounded very good with
clear audio and no audio defects.
The full frame color video was good but not outstanding. The show
is only a few years old, originally airing in 1998 in Japan, but the colors
were a bit on the dull side and the picture looked a tad washed out, which
was surprising. The lines were tight though and digital defects were
absent. Overall this is an average looking disc.
Unlike the original releases of this show, there are no extras in this
This isn't the best show around. With characters that are more
irritating than endearing and plot elements lifted from other anime shows,
the program doesn't have a lot going for it. It's not horrible mind
you, just terribly mediocre. This would make a good rental,
but I would recommend people watch a few episodes before picking the set