In a future where genetic modification is commonplace and government is everything, vampiric 'Phage' are being hunted down like animals. Special elite agents, under the guidance of the Central Unification Office, are responsible for handling this so-called threat to the galaxy. Nineteen-year-old agent '044' is the organization’s most efficient killing machine; five years ago she was injected with a virus that gave her exceptional physical abilities at the expense of a highly-shortened life. Having already vanquished 120 Phage, 044 is nearing the end of her assignment: to take down the group's leader. However, after pursuing the target and also injuring the handsome Luka Bloom, 044 finds that she can't bring herself to kill him – a decision that brands her a traitor by her employer. Now, 044 must go on the run from not only the Phage, but also the organization that created her.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Ultraviolet: Code 044 given how unpopular the original film was, but ended up only a little disappointed. The programme had some good ideas and I found the story universe interesting, but the background needed expansion. It was difficult to care about the characters when you barely knew anything about them, often until right before they died. Perhaps it would have been better if there were more episodes to tell the story in more detail, and give the characters more back-story. The style of drawing used suited the series well, giving the dystopian future a suitably harsh and hard feel. Unfortunately the episodes were disjointed, with large jumps between some of them which made it hard to understand what was happening and why. The concept of the repressed underclass (the Phage) wanting to create a new society on another world is not a new plot device, but it worked well. It was a shame the writers didn't make more of that, or give any more detail on the misuse of clones and how the ordinary humans felt about that. I also thought there was no satisfying ending to Luka's story. Overall I think the series is worth a quick watch, you should give the first episode a go if you like action anime. Just don't be expecting a work of art!
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