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Cyberteam in Akihabara #4: Cyber Rebirth PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Monday, 07 June 2010 00:00
Cyberteam in AkihabaraAs if it wasn't clear already, this volume of Cyberteam in Akihabara gives us a few more hints that the series really doesn't know what it's trying to do. At least Shooting Star's sidekicks are back to keep us entertained, as there's precious little else in these episodes to make it worthwhile watching...

15 - The Sandcastle
Hibari and the gang are making the most of the summer and heading for the beach, where the first order of business is serious criticism of Tsugumi's swimsuit. Ahh, girls. While they're busy having fun, though, Tsubame is finding the experience rather boring. The Pata-Pi, meanwhile, are discovering that crabs should not be toyed with - and are coming out on the losing side of the underground war they're waging with their scuttling enemies...

Beach funPeeping again

16 - Anima Mundi
Hibari and her classmates are due to be presenting their summer projects during the upcoming parents' day - which would be fine, except that Hibari had forgotten that she even had a summer project. Cue panic. With time running out, Hibari has to get something done on her "dreams for the future", and quickly. Distractions permitting. She's not the only person with problems, either - Suzume has also forgotten her project (not that she'll admit that to her friends), while Shooting Star is getting ever more worried about the lack of interest that Rozenkreutz is showing in his actions...

New friendsRestraint required

17 - Newborn
Hibari's been having strange dreams: running through a deserted Akihabara at night, her Diva close behind her, with the city falling apart as she passes. Turns out it's not such a dream: what she's seeing in her mind is happening out in the real world, and her dream is soon interrupted by the arrival of Shooting Star. He's on his own personal mission to prove his worth to Rozenkreutz, and Hibari's about to become central to that mission - whether she likes it or not...

Shooting Star unmaskedMeeting

18 - The Abyss
Shooting Star had been hoping that his success in fully awakening Hibari would earn him some recognition - but not so. It seems that Rozenkreutz has just been playing him for a fool, using him as a "mere tool", and while awakening Hibari is what he wanted, he's not about to give Takashi credit for it. The realisation hits Takashi hard - but what is he going to do about it? Unable to think of anywhere else to go, he turns to his trio of sidekicks for help...

Unexpected visitorCoo-Coo!

Okay. The first two episodes on this disc don't really seem to serve much of a purpose. The second at least has pretensions of being a character development piece for the cyberteam girls - although it eventually cops out and really doesn't go anywhere - but the first is a cookie-cutter swimsuit episode with very little to redeem itself with, especially if swimsuits on the show's rather ugly character designs don't float your boat. It certainly didn't work for me.

The second is both more interesting and more frustrating at the same time, because of the little incidents and story threads it dangles without doing anything with them. Hibari's mother appears to have lost a child in childbirth - a child that Hibari had already decided on a name for. Why raise it if it's not going to have any impact? The lack of interest that several of the girls' fathers show in them is also brought up, through the parents' open day that none of them are expected to attend - yes, it creates a certain sympathy for the way they're being treated, but it doesn't seem to be relevant to the way the show's story (or lack of it) is unfolding. If a show is going to raise emotional issues like this, I damn well expect them to be properly explored and to have an obvious effect on the way the girls think and behave - but Cyberteam stops short of that, and leaves me wondering why the issues were ever raised in the first place.

The second half of the disc is better, though. The third episode here deals with Shooting Star finally forcing the true awakening of Hibari's powers, through a series of scenes where he neatly messes with her head to get her to the point where everything clicks into place - and where Hibari is able to transform herself, without the need for Densuke or her Diva. Progress, even if it only took seventeen episodes to get there and even if we're still none the wiser as to what Rosenkreutz and his partners are up to. The best is saved for last, though, with another episode that focusses heavily on Shooting Star's trio of sidekicks, who are once again kicking back in the bar and pondering what to do after Shooting Star come to them, looking for help. As well as these three simply being far more enjoyable characters to watch, there's a interesting power shift going on here, thanks to Shooting Star's fall from grace - from being his servants, they're now in the position of holding his fate in their hands (as he's got nowhere else to go if they refuse to help him), and seeing them think things through is probably the best sequence on the disc.

So. While it's generally a poor series, Cyberteam does show the occasional flash of inspiration - although they're all-to-often not pursued. This disc is a good example of all that's good and bad about the series, with the main frustration being that it's still far from clear what anyone goals or motivations are - pretty much unforgiveable at this stage in the series. Not one I could really recommend.

Rating - **

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