Megazone 23 Part 2

Wasted potential is always difficult to bear. Film history is littered with completely wasted potential--The Avengers, Wild Wild West, countless others--where wonderful cinematography, extraordinary performers, and fine craftsmanship mean nothing because somebody forgot to commission a good script. Megazone 23 Part 2 is another such failure, and not due to a lack of talent. With gorgeous character design by Yasuomi Umetsu, fluid animation, and strong ship and mecha designs, it should have been fantastic. However, in reality it has about as much wasted skill as Michael Jordan's foray into baseball.

Megazone 23 Part 2 continues the story a bit after the first film ends. Shogo and Yui are now fugitives from the law (which is somewhat hard to swallow, considering that the physical city they live in isn't that huge) and are hanging out with a bunch of punkers with bikes. They are still trying to unravel the mysteries of Eve and Megazone 23 by retrieving the lost Garland to restore Shogo's status as Operator 7G. Meanwhile, the ever-stonefaced military commander B.D. prepares for an alien onslaught that may take down the ship before they are able to arrive on Earth.

Megazone 23 Part 2 is possibly the worst anime I have watched more often than I care to admit. The animation itself is often great, and the character designs are something to see. The music is still pretty good in this installment, though quite different from the first. The attention to detail is praiseworthy. They also actually manage a decent ending, something that the first part missed.

It's too bad there's nothing else to recommend about it.

If Megazone 23 Part 2 had tried to establish any reasonable plot, I would have been more than happy to give it accolades. However, there's just nothing of the sort. In fact, I used to joke that the movie was really an extended unpaid advertisement for beer and cigarettes, since they are in virtually every scene throughout the first half of the film (and even beyond). People drink, people smoke, people grab at each other...that seriously makes up a huge chunk of the time spent. As such, it can be dreadfully boring. By the time the plot starts moving, which it finally does, we've stopped caring.

When it's not being dreadfully boring, it just goes for gratuitous sex and violence. Witness, for example, both a shower scene and a love scene, which are there just for show without expanding the story. Meanwhile, there's a sequence showing exactly what the aliens can do as they rip through a spaceship on their way to destroy Megazone 23. The scene is a particularly gruesome slaughter. It serves no plot purpose and exists only to shock the audience.

Between the two--boredom and gratuitous unpleasantness--there's not much to recommend. Though it's wonderfully rendered and provides needed closure, Megazone 23 Part 2 is one of those films you might casually enjoy at times, but afterwards wonder why you bothered.

Megazone 23 Part 2 -- graphic and disturbing violence, nudity/adult situations, profanity -- D+