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"Operator 7-G, please respond!"
Teenager Shogo Yahagi is a motorcycle nut with few cares in the world; he and his friends do little more than ride around and have fun. This all changes when one of his older friends leaves a mysterious, incredibly-advanced motorcycle called the Bahamut in Shogo's possession. The Bahamut is far more than it seems, and a mysterious cabal of men in black seems willing to do anything to get it back. Soon, Shogo discovers some of the secrets hidden in the Bahamut, and it leads him to even more -- secrets that will completely change his understanding of the world he lives in.
Now if only he and his friends can survive his discoveries...
Released somewhere around 1986, Megazone 23 is historically signficant for being one of the very first OVAs and also was one of the first anime to extensively interweave music with the plot. The story itself was a mindbender at the time, and is a forerunner of such later American works as The Matrix and Dark City. Since then, the plot twists and the character types have become standard in anime, almost cliche in some instances, but as a certified classic it is still worth seeing.
The original American distributions of Megazone 23 were anything but impressive. It was briefly released in North America by Harmony Gold as Robotech the Movie. Carl Macek crudely spliced in footage from Robotech to force a linkage between the two shows, and of course the usual Macek dub script was conjured up out of nothing to replace the original dialogue.
MacekHarmony Gold also produced a dub of Part 2, which was only released in Japan as an aid for teaching English. (The release also included the alternate ending for Part 1 that was produced for the Robotech movie as an extra). Later, a different production house released a dub of an unbutchered version, but the result, reportedly, was still horrendous.
Megazone 23 was revived in 2007 with a Playstation 3 RPG game, Blue Garland; the game takes place in an Alternate Continuity that diverges after Part I, and revolves around Hiroto Takanaka, the son of heroine Yui.
- Adam and Eve Plot: Eve's interest in Shogo turns out to be in determining whether his love for Yui, and to a lesser extent his concern for his friends, might make them all candidates for repopulating earth after A.D.A.M. destroys the Megazone.
- All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Averted in the beginning of Part I, where Shogo and his friends are completely harmless enthusiasts (though Shogo likes to pull off crazy stunts), but played straight in Part II with the bosozoku gang Shogo and Yui join up with.
- All There in the Manual: There is an unbelievable amount of information out there that isn't even hinted at in the released episodes. For instance, the identity and history of the enemy, why the deserted levels of Megazone 23 where B.D.'s forces hid from Bahamut existed, et cetera. This is to be expected since the first OVA was a compilation of animation from a scrapped TV series.
- Almost-Lethal Weapons
- Art Shift: Most obvious between Parts I and II, which feature the same characters. Eve stays almost exactly the same, however.
- Bland-Name Product: A fairly notable aversion - brand names are used very regularly. When's the last time you saw a for real Coca-Cola can in an anime, honestly?
- Burger Fool: Shogo's day job.
- Casting Couch: Aspiring dancer Yui isn't above resorting to this for the sake of her career. Shogo isn't above using his Garland to "rescue" her before anything happens.
- Chase Scene
- City in a Bottle
- Combat Tentacles
- Cool Bike: The Garlands
- Decoy Getaway: "Who? WHO did you say? Johnny... Winters? So sorry, I DON'T KNOW THE GUY! [Laughs]" (From the Harmony Gold dub of Part II.)
- Even in the new dub, the line's pretty narmy. "Huh? Yahagi? Sorry, pal, WRONG ASSHOLE!"
- Defictionalization: So now Virtual Idols like Eve actually exist, huh?
- Did Not Do the Bloody Research - the video game "Hard On". *snicker*
- Disney Death
- Distressed Damsel
- Downer Ending: To Part 1 -- after Storming the Castle, Shogo is soundly defeated by B.D., who decides that he's Not Worth Killing - or thinks he's dead but doesn't even care enough to check.
- The Dragon: B.D.
- Earth-That-Was: The Megazone ships were sent away to preserve humanity while giving a ruined Earth time to heal.
- Evil Diva: Arguably, Eve.
- Evil Minions
- Eye Scream: The aliens in Part II love doing this to people. The very first guy they kill gets his eye popped straight out of his head and it gets better/worse from there.
- Face Heel Turn: Shogo became Bishop Won Dai
- Fan Service: Shogo and Yui's sex scene in Part I serves only to provide eye candy while Shogo delivers a big load of Expospeak in voiceover. Conversely, their sex scene in Part II is completely gratuitous, just like the violence.
- Fan Service Pack: Inverted in Part II -- Yui's still cute and all, but she's got absolutely nothing on the Yui in Part I.
- Fighter Launching Sequence
- Generation Ship
- Gorn: Part II is pure Gorn.
- Government Conspiracy
- Gratuitous English: the video game "Hard On"
- Heel Face Turn: In Part 3, Eiji switches from E=X to Sion's side
- Humanity on Trial: The effective purpose of Eve's talk with Shogo about life, the universe, and everything in Part II.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: Intentionally done by the Orange corporation in Part III.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: When Shogo first drives off with the Garland, the enemies get a nice tight grouping of bullets on everything to the side of him.
- Important Haircut: Yui gets one, along with trying to Take a Level In Badass, while trying to rekindle her relationship with Shogo in Part II.
- It's Personal: In Part II, since B.D. framed Shogo for Tomomi's murder.
- Knife Nut: Eiji Takanaka's fighting style while in a Garland
- Left for Dead: At the end of Part I, B.D. gives Shogo the beating of his life - and doesn't even bother to see if he's alive before he leaves.
- Ludicrous Gibs: See Combat Tentacles.
- Magical Security Cam
- Mega Corp: E=X and Orange are the main rival corporations in Part 3
- Mini-Mecha: The Maneuver Slaves.
- The Masquerade
- The Men in Black
- My Nayme Is: The title was once commonly transliterated as Megazone Two-Three, and may have originated with the Robotech fandom. Carl Macek was known to use this title when discussing the film. The actual title is an indirect reference to the 23 districts of Tokyo.
- New Eden: What Earth became after humanity left for 500 years.
- Ontological Mystery
- Phlebotinum Rebel: Shogo Yahagi and the Bahamut.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The crazy badass bikers love bubblegum pop star Eve.
- Road Block
- Robot Girl
- Shout-Out/Cultural Cross-Reference: The Silverhawks and Thundercats pinball machines in Part II.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears
- Super Robot Wars: Appears in Super Robot Wars D.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Time Skip: Between Parts 2 and 3.
- And to a much lesser extent, between parts 1 and 2, with a gap of only about six months.
- Took a Level In Badass: Shogo starts out as a hapless twentysomething nobody. Then he gets a superbike that turns into a robot. Then he becomes and outlaw and starts hobnobbing with dangerous lunatics.
- Totally Radical: Done deliberately in the new dub, mainly because it fits completely with the faux-80s setting.
- Transforming Mecha
- Virtual Celebrity: Eve Tokimatsuri
- Wave Motion Gun / Chest Blaster: One of the enemy Garlands has this in Part 3 and it is also something that Eiji may Attack Its Weak Point For Massive Damage