Half of a year has passed since the Megazone and the Dezalg declared war against each other. The Megazone's military is fighting a constantly losing battle, as the Dezalg's weapon technology is fifty years more advanced than their own, allowing the Dezalg to gain more ground every day. Meanwhile, Shogo has hidden the Garland and has tried to resume a 'normal' life, which consists of leading a motorcycle gang in rebellion against the government. This all ends when a remnant of the AI EVE attempts to contact him. With Shogo's help, EVE might be able to enact a protection program that will save some of Megazone's inhabitants from the Dezalg. Can Shogo recover the Garland and reach EVE before it is too late?
Megazone 23 Part I proved to be an extremely hard act to follow. As stated previously, I was a huge fan of the OVA and can see why it was so popular. With the cliffhanger ending, how Megazone 23 Part II had its work cut out for it. Part II takes place six months after Part I, and it certainly shows, especially in the plot lines. The Megazone is set to do battle with another ship that left a wrecked Earth, the Dezalg. Knowing they are outnumbered and outgunned, B.D. and the other militants of the Megazone try to not only unlock Eve, but also try to stop Shougo Yahagi and his new band of ragtag motorcycle gangsters. Speaking of Shougo, he is still on the run from the police, but not for the theft of the Garland. He has now been framed for the murder of Tomomi from the first part. As her father is a big shot in the government, he naturally calls for Shougo's head. With a different art style, initially it was hard to see who was who. Needless to say I was not a fan of the more “realistic” character looks, as it destroyed the already-established look of the core cast. Other changes abound, but the most notable one is the ramped up mature content. One particularly infamous scene early on involves the Megazone miltary and their flagship, the FX-101 taking on a small squadron of superior Dezalg ships. The result is...well...high octane nightmare fuel for the squeamish. Apparently, director Ichiro Itanou (who would later create Gantz) has a penchant for that sort of stuff, including the pointless sex scene between Shougo and Yui which follows not too long after. For the seasoned anime fan that has seen his share of mature content, this stuff is easy to get past. The aesthetics of the show make a return. The animation is still excellent, and the music remains incredible. The plot just seems to be stuck in neutral a lot of the time. The “Shougo framed for murder” plot thread is quickly forgotten and a lot of the lovey-dovey stuff between Shougo and Yui feels like unnecessary filler. There is very little story to go on aside from the loose threads that were dangling at the end of Part I, and these are stretched out until the climax. Despite the rest of the flaws in the story, the payoff is great and brings some true closure to the story. With such a tough act to follow, I'm not surprised that Megazone 23 Part II just couldn't match up to the first part. Between the meandering plot, drastic art style change, and many other aspects, the biggest reason why you'll watch this is to get some closure to the story. It really felt like it could have been so much more, but alas, it wasn't. C'est la vie.
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