AIC/Pioneer LDC, 1993 Pioneer Animation, 1994, 2002 Directed by Hiroyuki Ochi. Rated 16-Up for graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations and profanity. by areaseven (http://areaseven.net/) The year is 2046. Detective Ross Sylibus is transferred to Mars when a country singer on his flight is murdered. Making matters more complicated is that the singer is a "Third" - a robot that looks and feels like a human. Sylibus is partnered with Armitage - a beautiful female cop with a bad attitude. As they investigate the murder of the singer and other women on Mars, they uncover a conspiracy that can have them both killed by the Martian government, especially when Armitage is revealed to be a Third herself. Originally released in 1993, Armitage III was one of Pioneer's first anime releases (shortly after Tenchi Muyo!). A few years later, Pioneer compiled all four episodes into a single theatrical release titled Armitage III: Poly-Matrix. Despite newer sound effects and the use of certain celebrity voices, it pales in comparison to this DVD. Story: A- Armitage III uses a lot of influences from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (known as the movie Blade Runner). You'll love Armitage's spunky personality first time you pop in this DVD. Animation: A- Character designs by Hiroyuki Ochi and clean, crisp animation bring life to this cyberpunk tale. It's almost as good as Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040. Soundtrack: A- Hiroyuki Nanba (Burn Up W, Transformers Car Robots) supplies an upbeat techno score that goes well with the Martian environment. Sub vs. Dub Armitage III features Hiroko Kasahara (Sayo in Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X OAV series, Ishtar in Macross II) as Armitage, Yasunori Masutani as Sylibus, Ryusei Nakao (Freeza in Dragon Ball Z) as D'Anclaude, Masaharu Sato as Randolph, Hirohiko Kakegawa as Barrows, Nobutoshi Hayashi (Guts in Berserk, Basara in Macross 7) as Chris Brown, Chieko Nanba as Kelly McCanon, Chiharu Kataishi as Jessica, Wataru Takagi (Garrod Ran in After-War Gundam X) as Gantz, Yuko Kobayashi (Washuu in Tenchi Muyo!) as Rosalind, Hagimori Junko as Lavinia, Emi Ogata as Julian, and Shunsuke Shima as Asakura. The English dub by ZRO Limit Productions/Animaze is very good. As a matter of fact, Pioneer should've stuck with this voice cast for the Poly-Matrix theatrical version instead of hiring Kiefer Sutherland (24, The Lost Boys) as Sylibus and Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls, Saved By the Bell) as Armitage. The English dubbing of this anime is free from no-talent Valley Girls. DVD Extras: A- In celebration of Pioneer Animation's 10th anniversary, Armitage III has been remastered with improved picture and sound quality. Extras include: - Trailers for the ill-fated theatrical Poly-Matrix and the theatrical sequel Armitage: Dual-Matrix. - Original LD covers. - Concept art for character and background designs. - Trailers for other Pioneer anime titles (about time they did this instead of a plain catalog). The Bottom Line Armitage III (the OAV series, not the movie version) is a definite must-buy for any anime or sci-fi fan.