Ross Syllabus is a recent transfer from Earth into the Mars police force. While his first flight to Mars seemed uneventful, someone decided to murder the last country singer who was also on the plane. The recent extinction of country singers had another twist in that she also happened to be a robot - yet no one knew. There is one suspect on the case and a woman dressed like an S&M store model was chasing after him. It turns out this woman Armitage is his new partner. Welcome to Mars!
Crazy non police regulation uniforms aside, Armitage is a rather serious cop when she's on the case. They'll both need a clear head when the spree of killings continues. But each of the people killed is also another android posing to be a real person. Creating such life-like androids is also illegal. So in all of this there is the question of if these are really murders, or illegal production of contraband androids. For Ross, who had his partner killed by an android and was himself partially disabled by one; the killing of android people wasn't much of an issue, but Armitage is strangely sympathetic with them.
Morality aside, the killer must be found. And then some other questions also need to be answered. Like who is making these androids, and why?
One key thing I will point out is that Armitage III has two incarnations. The first being the 4 part OAV. Then pioneer decided to get some more famous voice actors who did a terrible job, and cut the 4 part OAV into a single "movie" which they dubbed Armitage III Polymatrix. And not surprisingly, just like every other time I've seen this glue the OAVs into a movie thing attempted (the Macross Plus disaster comes to mind), it sucked.
However as far as the OAV goes the dubbing is actually not that bad. On all fronts Armitage III does nothing revolutionary. The animation wasn't anything to write home about, however it didn't have any weak points either. The story was okay. If you take one of those buddy cop shows from the 80's and infuse social issues about androids, then stick them on Mars, Armitage III is probably what you would come up with. And actually with the balance of action, and detective work that's exactly what this series feels like. The nice tweak comes in the cyber-punk overlay that works really well with the techie soundtrack (which is pretty good stuff).
My nostalgic views aside, I don't think Armitage III ever made enough of an impact to be considered a classic title of any sorts, but it certainly doesn't deserve to be left in the dust of history either. I mean seriously, look at the outfit on this chick. How can an cop dressed like an uber-stripper on Mars not tweak your interest at least a little bit? And let me tell you, there's a hole left in the cosplay community in the wake of this anime. Back in the 90s there was a time when you could look forward to seeing what crazy girl would dress up like Armitage at an anime con.
So the bottom line is that this is an average title at best. It fits right into the cyberpunk genre, but isn't what you would call a classic even there. If possible, avoid Polymatrix in favor of the OAVs. Armitage III is a title that is worth your time, but isn't going to blow your mind.
Ross: Asekura was quite a designer, He created the ultimate woman who could kick ass and raise children
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