In an alternate version of Earth, the Cold War is still in effect after 140 years. The world has been divided into the East and West Bloc, each with powerful organizations and assassins running the show. Agent Mylene Hoffman is as sexy as she is deadly, and while she isn’t bedding with the enemy, she works for Western Bloc’s elite Zero Zero organization as a top-rate spy. With assassins at every turn and an unending war on the horizon, Mylene will use her wiles to charm and kill the enemy – all without breaking a nail!
Oh where to start... Story: It starts out pretty episodic, with Mylene pretty much acting like the female, gun-boobed version of James Bond. Towards the end, there is an actual plot revealed involving the psychic children and some sort of world-wide network. Animation: Was it just me, or did Mylene's eyes look like they contained male anatomy? Besides that, her cyborg body seems a little ill-proportioned (but it's a cyborg body, so of course it is o.o) The style was similar to that of the 70's and 80's, perhaps to connect with the Cold War feel. Also, the "Russians" were almost misshapen in the face... Sound: I watched the English dubbed version, and the voice actors were chosen well enough (though why all of the girls had a different accent is beyond me) The only issue I had with it was the third episode, mainly because I kept laughing at Vic's attempt at a "hard-boiled assassin" Characters: Besides Mylene, most of the characters were bit characters that only appeared to further the story a little. The focus was entirely on Mylene (for whom the anime is titled).
009-1 is an action/drama series, which tries to rekindle the spark of the Old School way of drawing. It has a 60s feeling to it, boosted with modern day flashy graphics. Based on an old title by the now deceased Shotaro Ishinomori (mostly famous for his Kamen Rider and Super Sentai Tokusatsu live action series), it has been animated by the homonymous company he left behind. It is quite close to the feeling of the original; they did a good job at retaining his trademark gloomy and a bit morbid atmosphere. Which is exactly why this show is not for everyone. It won’t be enjoyable for most of the modern audience and will be appreciated only by retro fans or middle aged men who grew up with Ishinomori’s shows and are fans of his work.PRODUCTION VALUESIts retro style helps it stand out from most other newer anime series, assuming you got tired of the cop-out looks of most modern shows. It is all about curvy ladies (for all you pervs), packed with cybernetic limbs and a hundred gadgets, a combination of Bionic Woman and James Bond (for all you action weebs). Remarkable at first, unless you get bothered by the facial structures which is where most of the retro aesthetic is based on (doesn’t look like modern anime).Aside from that there are plenty of detailed backgrounds, dressed with nicely made lighting effects. They are pretty dark-colored, with a mostly cold mechanical/industrial look on them, making them claustrophobic and creepy. If you prefer cheery atmospheres, look elsewhere.Movements are fluid for the time the show was made, backed up with computers to look more real when they turn around or spin, and there is basic battle choreography in every fight. Being a rule of cool action show also means you must not try to reason how everything works out, since you get a lot of bad guys freezing whenever the heroines pull out their secret high-tech gadgets and beat them out of the blue. Basically the bad guys suddenly move like slowpokes when the heroines go on the offensive.SCRIPTIn an alternative history, where the Cold War still rages on and both sides still use spies, now cybernetic in nature, a team of female cyber-spies takes up missions that involve the protection of their leader/creator’s status quo. The backdrop is interesting but they use it in a very light manner. Most episodes are stand-alones and from time to time a flashback occurs to give a few simple twists to the story or to flesh out one of the characters.They went easy with the technology; there is no elaborate explanation regarding how all these hi-tech gizmos work. How does that cybernetic woman move around with a smokescreen grenade launcher inside her kneecap? After awhile the sci-fi setting doesn’t differ from any generic fantasy realm full of magic. It’s a kinda mindless sci-fi series not bogged down by technobabble.The ending is nothing major. You will get to know the characters better but that’s it. You’ve probably seen the same scenario on dozens of spy films and most likely won’t remember anything special about it after it’s over. Also the series is short and ends before it becomes annoying.CASTGirls with hi-tech gadgets, sexy bodies, and retro-style faces that will be a major turn off for younger viewers. Besides that they will never make you wanna cheer for them. The atmosphere of the show ends up being more captivating than them.I mean, every girl has a dramatic past, it’s not like they are left paper-thin in characterization, but it’s not detailed. It feels rather basic and can get overblown with cheesy drama at points. For the same reason there isn’t much character development, it’s more like colorizing them through flashbacks.Certainly not people you will relate with; a common trait of most retro shows where the atmosphere was more important than the characters. You will probably only care about their gadgets and their sexy bodies instead of their tragic pasts.ENJOYMENTCan’t say I enjoyed it much. I liked the retro feeling but most of the plot was quite boring and although the drama and the action were fine on their own, I’ve seen it all before, in a lot better settings than this one. It was mostly the visual aspect that I enjoyed; which tends to be a small part of the whole. The battles were not exciting, the stories lasted too little, and the characters felt basic.It is a typical story dressed handsomely to appeal to the older viewers’ emotions, a time waster at best and eventually a forgettable title. It has no actual replay value and is not some great spy/sci-fi series. As far as mainstream appeal goes it never had much and got forgotten fast.
THE STORY: Story? Oh yeah. Now that you mention it, it did have a smidgen of story in there didn't it? Honestly, the "geniuses" behind this anime ought to be proud of themselves for making another anime that begs the question "Why did I just spend that chunk of my life watching this?". OK, getting serious now, the story wasn't so much horrendous as it was non-existent. From episode to episode there seems to be absolutely no congruency whatsoever aside from the accepted notion that time is passing and we are simply watching mission after mission that our main character Agent 009-1, or Mylene Hoffman rather, is assigned to carry out. Finally, in the last episode, some references are made and a character from our past appears, which gives this anime its glimpse into a progressive story telling. It's much more like a collection of shallow poems than a novel of any sort. It was hard to grind through this series and now that it's over I can safely say that I don't intend to ever watch it again.THE ANIMATION: As far as animation goes, I was unimpressed. After having seen some beautiful anime it is hard to jump into this series and manage to take it seriously. A step out of the norm, 009-1 takes a more unique approach with the same quirky drawing style seen in the old Sonic TV Series, as well as Cyborg 009. The women are all drawn fairly normally despite their outlandish bust and rear accessories, but the men are for the most part, a laugh. Drawn with extra large noses, sunglasses that shape to their eyes, and clumsy, pudgy hands, the masculine portion of the series would be funny if it wasn't first a tad annoying, as 009-1 crept along I found myself expecting to see Doctor Robotnik around every corner. Beyond the people the guns that she uses look, more often than not, like a squirt gun. How is a spy supposed to deliver any kind of fear into the enemy with something like that? Just because it is shaped like a gun doesn’t mean that it strikes the same amount of fear as one. The cars are all very Speed Racer and I couldn't help but notice that the main character (a Spy, if I may remind you) has her code-name on her license plate, I don't think that is the wisest of choices Mylene but you're the secret agent not me.SOUND: The music in this show was actually quite nice and gets the highest rating in my review, although, it won't rise above a five since the implementation of said sound was a bit mediocre to say the least. I particularly remember a very sad melody playing while a character was raging their life away in a monologue. Other than that, the sound effects were all your general tire skids, laser blasts, and gun fire, followed by a cliché ricochet. As a side dish, the music was quite nice and I did like the occasional Big Band touch, but the cooks dumped it on thick and spoiled the main course. CHARACTERS: Mylene Hoffman was a very static character and really the ONLY main character to speak of, very much a female James Bond, the only break in her "I've got a job to do" attitude was her occasional puns and playful banter. Throughout 009-1, the studio did manage to find it in their best interest to introduce some background to the cyborg super agent, which is a touch I could appreciate, except that her unchanging personality remained, and I again found myself getting bored with her. 009-1 will at random find some sort of compassion in herself to help people who get caught up in her missions, whether this is simply because she actually cares, or because her missions are already too easy, and she is looking for more of a challenge, is beyond me. OVERALL: This series was really just an excuse to show someone with a nice rack kick some ass, and I can't help but feel that anyone looking to watch something with more depth than a sheet of paper will be sorely disappointed.
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