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Cyberteam in Akihabara #5: Cyber Friends PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 00:00
Cyberteam in AkihabaraWell, well, well. If you're still wondering what Cyberteam is all about, the this is the volume that will finally give you answers. Shame we had to wait until episode 22 to get them. Along the way, there are sacrifices made, friendships formed and plans moved into their final phase - it almost sounds like it could be good...

19 - Mask
Shooting Star has decided that it's time to go his own way - a decision that Rozenkreutz is happy to support. After all, his usefulness to Rozenkreutz's cause is over. But Tsubame is also showing signs of her own independence, which might not suit them so well. Hibari, meanwhile, has been telling the others about her own transformation - they're not too sure what to make of it, or of the news that Tsubame was controlling the Diva that was fighting against her. They'd quite like to try transforming themselves, though - and if Shooting Star gets his way, they may not have to wait too long...

Ready to fightDefeated

20 - A Time to Spread One's Wings
A giant asteroid - that looks suspiciously like a floating castle - has been discovered in orbit around the Earth, with the first mystery about it being how it had managed to remain hidden until now. Its discovery is all over the news - although somehow, Hibari has managed to miss it. She's still recovering from her near-loss to Shooting Star, and repairing Densuke's injuries. While out buying Pata-Pi parts for him, she runs into Tsubame, and invites her over to her house - which, given they were fighting not that long ago, seems a strange idea. But Tsubame's brief taste of "normal" family life (as normal as things get around Hibari's home, anyway) makes a lasting impression on her...

Looking for acceptanceAnger

21 - Summons
Rozenkreutz and his partners are finally ready to put the final stage of their plans into motion, and judging by the army of Divas that he seems to be keeping in his hideaway, it's not going to be good for those who oppose him. Tsubame, meanwhile, has moved in with Hibari for the meantime, but while she's enjoying the new life that she's found, there's something niggling at the back of her mind, a worry that she can't quite place. Hibari's also spending a lot of time with her at school, something the other cyberteam girls don't take at all well...

Happy family life?Choosing sides

22 - A Momentary Vision
It's Rozenkreutz's 500th birthday - an auspicious day, then, for the completion of his plan to reawaken Metatron. Whatever, or whoever, that is. The old geezer has been filling Hibari and the other girls in on their school principal's long history and plan for the future, with a little help from Tsubame - while most of the detail is far too technical for the girls to comprehend, at least they now have an idea of what they've been fighting against...

Elixir of life & deathPlotting

Colour me surprised, but this volume of Cyberteam is actually quite good - which goes against the whole flow of the series so far. Shame they left it so damn late. There's still a fair bit of filler here, mainly with the final demise of Shooting Star and the ongoing story of Tsubame finding her independence, but even the stuff that doesn't advance the story much is fairly enjoyable to watch.

Taking everything in order: Shooting Star, having realised that he's a clone and no longer being aware of who he "really" is, decides to go down in a blaze of glory. It's never quite clear just what the thinking behind this is, or why his loyal threesome follow him quite so blindly, but he's the honourable type and his demise is almost touching. Tsubame's switch in sides also has an emotional aspect to it, and one that works rather better - from being the cold, emotionless one, through seeing what a normal life could be like, through to eventually living the Hibari and forming a friendship with the other girls (eventually), hers is a good story and probably the best part of the disc.

But it's not the main event. The final episode on the disc is the important one, as it finally explains exactly what Rozenkreutz has been up to over the past few hundred years - but with the episode being 25 minutes of pure plot exposition, it's not exactly the best way of doing things. I'm trying to think of a good reason why all this information was saved for one big info-dump so late in the season, instead of being trickled out across the full run (you know, like most shows do it), and I can't think of one. Yes, you do get to know all you need to know, but frankly with only four episodes left, I was already past caring.

That's not the only flaw, either. Cliffhangers are left unresolved, and not for the first time in the series (episode 21 ends with Hibari flying off in pursuit of the other Divas as they're stolen from the girls; the next episode, the event only gains a passing mention with no comment on what happened to Hibari's pursuit). The girls, other than Hibari, spend most of episode 21 in a full-on bitch mode that's completely out-of-character for them. Some of the explanations in episode 22 almost drown under the weight of the technobabble that's being used to explain the Divas and other items in the series - it's so absurd that it beats even the worst of Star Trek's babblings.

Add it all up and, despite the good points that this volume undoubtedly has, there are still enough negatives that, overall, you just end up shaking your head and wondering why you bothered. If you've actually bothered to watch the series this far, then yes, keep on watching as this is where it all finally begins to make sense - but I really can't recommend the journey you'd have to take to get here.

Rating - ***

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