NEO TOKYO (1987)
(a.k.a. MEIKYU MONOGATARI)
Article #1569 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-1-2005
Posting Date: 11-28-2005
Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Rintaro, Katsuhiro Otomo
Featuring the voices of Robert Axelrod, Cheryl Chase, Barbara Goodson
Three different stories are told. In “Labyrinth”, a young girl and her cat pass through a mirror into a strange world. In “The Running Man”, a race car driver goes mad under the strain of his concentration. In “The Order to Stop Construction”, a man is sent to a remote site to bring down an expensive operation whose sole human supervisor has gone missing, only to find he can’t override the robots’ orders to let nothing stop production.
It was inevitable that I would eventually delve into anime for this project; the surprise here is that it came as soon as it did, thanks to the special “Last Minute Additions” section of “Creature Features Strike Back Movie Guide”. This is the very first anime I’ve ever seen, and the fact that it is an anthology of three tales gathered together for a futuristic exposition makes it a fine introduction. All three tales are memorable and quite different from each other. The first is evocative, lyrical, sometimes grotesque, but a real visual treat. The second is harrowing, brutal and engrossing. The third has the most elaborate story, and it’s a comic social satire with a wickedly ironic ending. Actually, only this last story really looks as if it belongs to the style that I’ve come to recognize as anime. All in all, a fascinating experience, and it actually makes me a little sad that it will probably be several years before more anime comes up in this series.