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Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

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  • Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

    Widgets Magazine
    Can anyone recommend a good cyberpunk title, other than the Ghost in the Shell* franchise? Ideally, I'm looking for true cyberpunk: neural implants, multinational corps that have their own military forces, cyborgs . . .



    *which I've already seen, and enjoyed
    "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

    -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

  • #2
    Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

    Cyberpunk was a contemporary of the baroque era of anime, so you'll find a lot of that sort of thing in late Eighties anime - Cyber City Oedo, Bubblegum Crisis, all those testosterone-poisoned Buichi Terasawa/Yoshiaki Kawajiri OAVs, etc... Kind of rough around the edges and more swaggering than great. Personally, I like Bubblegum Crisis 2040 more than most of the "pure" cyberpunk shows, at least in part because it *is* kind of post-cyberpunk.

    They say that cyberpunk is Chandler on drugs and curdled futurism, and I can't fault that. Noir with a full pharm cabinet and a mohawk... Speed Grapher lacks the hacker chrome tinsel, but it definitely is in the spirit of the old cyberpunk, of a left-paranoid, curdled dirty war against evil corporations by compromised anarcho-individualist protagonists.

    Serial Experiments Lain definitely brings the cyber and the drugs, but it's probably a bit moe for anyone looking for that swaggering cyberpunk macho. Speaking of "too moe for the room", Dennou Coil is probably the best cyber SF show of the Oughts, but it's all children and not dirty in the slightest, which takes it right off the 'punk reservation. The fact that it's far more realistic in its approach to futuristic cyber-hack intrigue than the old cyberpunk cowboys-among-the-black-ICE melodrama is probably beside the point.

    Silent Moebius is very stereotypically cyberpunk, but bye and large it sucks... The Animatrix shorts are cyberpunk without corporations, they didn't suck that much, but I dunno how much the removal of the leftist anti-corporate element in favor of Dickian gnostic-religious paranoia would offend cyberpunk purists.

    Cowboy Bebop definitely comes out of the cyberpunk milieu, and of the array of mainstream anime it probably approaches the pure minor-key Gibson atmosphere most closely in its atmosphere of cynical decadence, political anarchy, and its retro-goofy approach towards the presentation of hacking. But I think it has too much of its own aesthetic sensibility to be safely crumpled into the pigeon-hole. It's a little too blues-jazz horse-opera for cyberpunk.

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    • #3
      Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

      There is Lain, then there is Key the Metal Idol.
      Key alone. Will you be Key's friend? Grandpa told Key will become human if Key find enough friends.
      Time never betrays dreams. But on the flip side, dreams must not betray time.

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      • #4
        Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

        Coincidentally, Mardock Scramble is definitely cyberpunk along the old school, late 80s/90s line of thought of cyberpunk (probably closer to Blade Runner than any other anime). But we'll have to wait on that one (unless you import).

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        • #5
          Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

          I've never even heard of this show before, but it seems Shirow Masamune and Production I.G. are involved. Its called Real Drive. I found it via animenewsnetwork.

          Link;http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ency...me.php?id=8941
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          • #6
            Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

            Appleseed. The OVA traditional cartoon, the CGI movie & (best) Ex Machina, also CGI but more fluent.

            There is also Vexille, which is Shirow-like, but more complicated & humanist.

            Technolyze & Battle Angel are 2 classic cyberpunk shows. Battle Angel manga is better than the anime, but gives a flavour of the world it takes place in.

            I prefer the original GiTS manga (not MMI) to any GiTS anime. In it Motoko is like a future Deunan from Appleseed. Have Real Drive, but not watched it yet.

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            • #7
              Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

              Originally posted by Njr Resurrection View Post
              Have Real Drive, but not watched it yet.
              I didn't know that was on your list of shows worth importing. Maybe I should have given it a shot after all?

              Alternately, perhaps you're actually thinking of Rideback, and thus I call upon a famous line:

              "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
              asa --> S^2 --> Hayate
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              • #8
                Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

                Originally posted by kamiikazeheart View Post
                I've never even heard of this show before, but it seems Shirow Masamune and Production I.G. are involved. Its called Real Drive. I found it via animenewsnetwork.

                Link;http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ency...me.php?id=8941
                Having seen the show via the usual means, I can say that it's definitely a modern (post millennium) take on cyberpunk. The setting is in some tropical island somewhere, it is not man-machine but man-nature sort of thing. Instead of neural implant, you dive into the ocean? There are androids and cyborgs still tho. Depiction of nanotech is more "realistic" given its recent vintage. The themes and concepts are unique. I think it's worth checking out if you are an open-minded SF person, cyberpunk or not.

                I don't want to get too abstract. it's the kind of issues that are not done in, say, Shangri-la, but the setting and themes are not too far apart if you boil them down.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

                  Another lost title, M66 & Armatage III as they are a third generation Bio-android, fits the bill
                  Last edited by StanS; 06-22-2011, 02:11 PM.
                  Sincerely: StanS
                  Anigames

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

                    I would suggest Texhnolyze or Ergo Proxy. Although most might think Ergo Proxy is straight up sci-fi.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

                      My first thought was Armitage III (1994 OVA, I haven't seen Dual Matrix or Poly-Matrix yet). It's older, but I thought it really embodied a lot of the key elements of cyberpunk and did it well, with a strong lead character. I think I need to watch some of these recommended shows too.

                      -Sandrylina-

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

                        Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                        I didn't know that was on your list of shows worth importing. Maybe I should have given it a shot after all?

                        Alternately, perhaps you're actually thinking of Rideback, and thus I call upon a famous line:

                        "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
                        Definitely 2 reasons why Real Drive; Hiromi Tsuru as Secretary General & because it is a Shirow show. Also because its supposed to be thought provoking...
                        http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/en...me.php?id=8941

                        Probably start watching in the autumn, I'm outside working or relaxing too much at the moment.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cyberpunk Recommendations - other than Ghost in the Shell

                          If there's anything from the 1980s that you should check it out, it's Megazone 23. Admittedly, the second movie is much more cyberpunk than the first, but they all play with these kind of cyberpunk concept.

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