Armitage the Feminist

http://myanimelist.net/anime/1079/Armitage_III

Armitage starts off with a rather silly stripperific costume, but she gets different clothes as the story goes on.

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Terminator 2 came out in 1991, the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out in 1992, and Armitage III came out in 1995, and when I squint I can convince myself that I see some influences. Despite the fan service, this seems to have been written by horny men who were trying to ingratiate themselves with feminists. I imagine that a lot of feminist women enjoy imagining themselves as this heroine.

A lot of people claim that this is a cyberpunk show, but I don’t necessarily agree. It’s a superheroine show with some cyberpunk elements. It reminds me of a lot of classic sci-fi, but I definitely wouldn’t put it on a list of definitive cyberpunk shows.

Compared with a show like Stand Alone Complex, this show is much more shallow. It lacks a lot of details, and thus it doesn’t have much room for grit. Even Cowboy Bebop, which is definitely NOT cyberpunk, has a lot of details about lower-class people trying to survive, often on the wrong side of the law. Cowboy Bebop has a gritty, street-level feeling; Stand Alone Complex has a gritty fascist boot stamping on a human face feeling; Armitage III is not a very gritty show. It’s a set piece featuring a sci-fi superheroine. The heroine reminds me of the fearless Action Girls in 1950s print sci-fi from the pens of writers like A. E. Van Vogt.

Although Bubblegum Crisis came out in 1987, and Akira came out in 1988, I suspect Armitage III took a long look at both of those shows, and tried to fit into a similar fictional niche.


The show Mardock Scramble is definitely darker and much more gritty, and seems to have drawn some inspiration from Armitage III . I would classify neither show as very “cyberpunk,” however.

I guess I should also make a comparison to a show that came out in 2005, Solty Rei. That show tried to hit a lot of cyberpunk cliches, and it was remarkably bland and family-friendly.

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