Anime Reviews:

Goku Midnight Eye


A near future scenario, written by manga hero Buichi Terasawa and directed by the prolific and entertaining Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Goku Midnight Eye is a spy story with the usual ridiculous Terasawa touches. Here this manifests itself in the form of an artificial computer eye, which our cop hero, Goku, is given by an unseen benefactor to aid him in his fight against villainy.

Like many concepts in Japanese anime, this suffers from being simply daft because it is so extreme. In this case the eye is 'unlimited' in its power, meaning that Goku can tap into any computer controlled system in the world and even manipulate communication satellites. You could name this the 'Superman syndrome'. This can force writers into coming up with imaginative and clever ways of harming the hero, or it can have the viewer calling out everytime an obvious escape option is conveniently overlooked. Goku falls into the latter category but it remains reasonably fun throughout.

The trite dialogue seems to exist simply to explain the plot to the pre-teens, witness: "Holy shit' I just asked a question and my left eye gave me the answer. Damn, it's unbelievable!" However, the second episode is far better than the first as Goku is hired to try and stop a Doc Savage-like superhuman in what comes over as simple but classic good guy versus bad guy superhero comic book action. The ludicrous concept may be more exciting to younger viewers (and clearly this was aimed at a younger audience in its native Japan that it is in the UK) but with the BBFC's 18 certificate slapped on it here, many Western viewers may find the first tape simply daft. 5/10

Rob Dyer (January, 2005)

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