Megazone 23 has earned its place in anime history by being one of the earliest Japanese OVA productions. In the audio commentary that appears on the DVD for Megazone 23 Part I, David Williams says that Megazone 23 was the second OVA ever produced in Japan.
In Japan, Megazone 23 was actually released in three parts. The original Megazone 23 was released in 1985, Megazone 23 Part II was released in 1987, and Megazone 23 Part III was released in 1989. The first episode of Megazone 23 was the basis for the ill-fated Robotech: The Movie; the Robotech film had a very limited release, then was quickly pulled from theaters and filed away into the vaults.
Megazone 23 tells the story of a delinquent motorcyclist named Shogo Yahagi, who lives in what appears to be Japan in the 1980s. Shogo befriends a dancer named Yui, and shortly after runs into an old friend named Shinji Nakagawa. Shinji shows Shogo the Garland, which is a prototype military motorcycle. Mysterious agents suddenly appear, and Shinji is killed; however, Shogo makes his getaway on the Garland.
Shogo discovers that the motorcycle is transforming mecha, and that the famous pop singer Eve Tokimatsuri is actually a computer simulation. He also learns that they are living on a spaceship and that it's actually 500 years in the future. Shogo is hunted by the military, who are led by an officer named B.D. Shogo is also having complications with his courtship of Yui.
Megazone 23 Part II has a very different anime style from the first. The only characters that carry over from the original are Shogo, Yui, B.D., and Eve. Of those four, the only one who looks like they did in the original is Eve. The other three characters were redesigned to the point that the only way you know who they are is the fact that the characters refer to them by those names. But storyline-wise, it does continue the story from where the first Megazone 23 left off. It should be noted that Megazone 23 Part II contains more explicit scenes of sex and violence than the original.
Megazone 23 Part III takes place 500 years after Megazone 23 Part II. The only character to carry over is Eve; here, she is a 1,000-year-old prodigy that is integrated into the system at the series end.
Megazone 23 is a classic 1980s anime OVA series, and I would personally recommend it to anime viewers who are 16 or 17 years of age and older.
|Megazone 23 – Part I||1||1985||Noboru Ishiguro||AIC/Tatsunoko||ADV Films|
|Megazone 23 – Part II||1||1986||Ichiro Itano||AIC/Tatsunoko||ADV Films|
|Megazone 23 – Part III||1||1989||Kenichi Yatagai||AIC/Artmic||ADV Films|
|Megazone 23 – Final Part||1||1989||Shinji Aramaki||AIC/Tatsunoko||ADV Films|