Cyberpunk Review » Armitage III

January 27, 2006

Armitage III

Year: 1994

Directed by: Hiroyuki Ochi

Written by: Akinori Endo, Chiaki Konaka

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Key Cast Members:

  • Armitage: Hiroko Kasahara
  • Ross Sylibus: Yasunori Masutani
  • D’Anclaude: Ryûsei Nakao
  • Rating: 9 out of 10

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    Overview: Armitage III, one of the many Chiaka Konaka written masterpieces (along with Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, Malice@Doll) is simply an awesome story. If you like Blade Runner and haven’t seen Armitage, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Most of the same issues are raised there, but are done in an original enough way that makes you absolutely love this little anime chick. Humanity as an exclusionary concept which also implies “worth” is fully explored here. Are androids still supposed to just be our servants even if they do have a sense of self-worth?


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    Set in a Blade Runner-like future, mostly centering on Mars, Naomi Armitage is a type III series android who works as a cop on Mars, along with her new partner, Ross Sylibus. While most of the public knows about, and barely tolerates the type II series, they are not aware that there are a few lifelike, human-acting type III series androids living among them. Unfortunately for the robots though, someone knows of their existence and is systematically killing them one by one.


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    As the plot progresses, Ross, who doesn’t like robots (his former partner was killed by a cyborg) learns that Armitage is an android. Even worse, they learn that the murderer is a series IV robot. Armitage, who starts off as a wise-cracking, disrespectful cop who dresses in sleazy clothes starts to question her “humanity” such as it is. In addition to realizing she’s one of the very few left, Armitage wonders why she was ever created. As she struggles to maintain “sanity,” Ross begin to develop a closer relationship - one that is not too mushy, and works well with the pacing.


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    Armitage eventually broadens into a large-scale conflict that involves greedy corporations, inter-galactic disputes, android’s rights, population issues, and all the rest. We get LOTS of gun fights in this, and even a full scale battle, mecha style. In addition to being cute and vulnerable as an android wondering if she has a purpose in life, Armitage also kicks major ass in her burgundy leather ensemble. Guts, martial arts and all sorts of other gadgets come flying out of this chick. She is definitely, tough, strong willed, and lots of fun to watch.


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    Notice the incredible similarity to another futuristic building in Metropolis.


    The story is one of the most compelling in cyberpunk anime and really makes you feel for Armitage. Yes, the whole questioning of humanity by an android has been done before (and since) and since, but Armitage is definitely one of the better ones at this. Within the confines of a murder investigation, Armitage’s “soul” is exposed in her search for larger meaning and purpose, all while her fledgling relationship with a cyborg-hating policeman begins to emerge. Interesting questions are posed such as, what happens if an android has a fatal flaw? Should we throw them away is if they are they truly nothing more than a toaster? This is in essence a mirror to questioning how we deal with handicapped people in human society. We still consider handicapped people valuable and contributing members to society, but would we do the same with disabled Androids? At what point do they become real as opposed to simply remaining property - a tool for humanity?


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    The Bottom Line: The visuals and sounds in Armitage III, while good, are somewhat dated and inconsistent. Some shots are absolutely superb, while others have a relatively plain background and almost 80s looking characters. Overall, there’s enough there to keep your interest, but its the story that delivers. Truly, I absolutely LOVE it!


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    What is Armitage III Polymatrix? Polymatrix is a movie extracted from the 4 OAVs in Armitage III. While it is missing a few interesting scenes, its still watchable. It also has Kieffer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley as voice actors here, so if you can’t stand subtitles (You really fix this problem in the long run though), Polymatrix is a reasonable substitute. Some truly hate it primarily due to the English dubbing, the missing scenes and the changed ending. For me, I was OK with the dubbing, was generally OK with the scenes missing, but I liked the ending in the OAV (this movie) better.


    ~See movies similar to this one~

    This post has been filed under Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, Awesome Cyberpunk Themes, Made for TV, Man-machine Interface, 9 Star Movies, Android Movies, Animes, Cyberpunk movies from 1990 - 1999 by SFAM.


    May 17, 2006

    Steve said:

    Personally i think that Armitage is one of the best anime’s ever made. It is a real pity that most people don’t share my opinion. And to tell you the truth, i liked the sequel too. Sure the storyline may not have been as much fun as the original, but i really enjoyed it none the less.

    SFAM said:

    Hi Steve, I agree - Armitage II is terrific. I didn’t feel the same way about the sequel though. I thought the story was significantly less well thought-out.

    DeadImpulse said:

    I agree with both of you. I thought that the sequel not only didn’t live up to the original but was pretty bad all on it’s on. But if you enjoy it that’s all that matters.

    August 7, 2006

    Jonathan said:

    When I was 14 I was absolutely in love with Naomi Armitage. Now I’m 23 and I still love her (she sat on the shelf for 7 years) until I watched it again. I’m glad to see other people love her just as much, it makes me feel less weird. Even my email is related and I’ve kept it for many years now. Seeya!

    August 8, 2006

    Adam Doub said:

    Armitage III is fantastic! A MUST see for those who enjoyed Blade Runner or even the Animatrix. It’s a shame the sequel was so horrible. :(

    SFAM said:

    Hi Jonathan, Armitage is a good anime chick to have a crush on at 14. She’s complex, cool, and full of life. Glad you stopped by. :)

    And yeah Adam, I agree, the sequel was really a huge drop-off.

    February 19, 2007

    TheAwakener said:

    Awesome anime and the sequel isn´t that bad after all.

    Sure the storyline is rather weak but I still like it.

    Will It Work said:

    I didn’t get the whole Yohko thing in the sequel, but liked some of Naomi’s intereactions with people.

    The Japanese influence in the people and culture, in what is very obviously an American influenced city is interesting. The first movie (I haven’t seen the OAVs) was great, I love the 80’s-ness of the music and bought the soundtrack.

    Armitage the Third is still of my most often chosen introductiory shows.

    February 20, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Will It Work, the OAV is worth seeing, but not critical if you’ve seen the movie version. You miss about 10-20% of the content and have a different ending, but the dubbing is good and it still works.

    That said, I can’t agree with TheAwakener - the sequel is a real drop-off storywise. The visuals are good though.

    February 25, 2007

    TheAwakener said:

    OVA > Movie

    Call me a weeaboo but dubs suck.

    Well as I said the storyline of the sequel is weak but I like how the relationship between Naomi and her child is presented.

    July 2, 2007

    PSY said:

    The first anime I ever saw. So I am rather bias in my opinion of Armitage III, I think it is fantastic. A lot of people don’t share my opinion because of the cost cutting animation, but it’s the story and characters that grasped me. And by God when I was a kid I completely fell for Naomi!

    PSY said:

    My first venture into anime and by God did I enjoy it. I was only about 12-13 maybe? But I fell in love with Naomi Armitage. I understand that some of the animation is pretty low budget, that their cost cutting measures are pretty plain to see and this annoys people, but the story and the characters grasped me and I’ve loved this film ever since.

    February 29, 2008

    Kii Takei said:

    ..:Armitage wasnl’t the first anime I saw, but it was, and still is, in my opinion, one of the coolest. It was this movie that made me take a second look at anime, and now my friends think I should stop watching so much of it (as if, ha ha).
    ..:I’m only 14 (I’ll be sixteen in a couple o’ months), but I know something cool when I see it, I’m sure. And Armitage is cool.
    ..:And yes, Will It Work, the soundtrack is 80’s-ish, but that’s why I like it. I can’t comment on the Sequel, Dual-Matrix, though, because I haven’t seen it. To each his own, I guess…

    March 1, 2008

    Deco Dean said:

    I’m too old for this to be my first anime, but Armitage is probably the best Ova ever made. The last epsiode(4) did not live up to the others but still a must see.
    I have the artbook and love the designs. The Matrix stole quite a bit from this work. Cyberpunk should have a big comeback soon…

    March 14, 2008

    justin lindus said:

    k stabbing her self is hot i masturbate over her every night oops i let some out ill get my sister to clean it up
    any way i love your show and ill keep on masturvating on this site

    December 9, 2008

    gimpy said:

    amazing movie. i dont like polymatrix though because the actors were next to dead in the emotions. dualmatrix was OK but i didnt care for the 3d animation, not to mention the storyline is weak and armitage looks about 10 years older.

    @gimpy: The voice acting and removed scenes were probably the only two things that I didn’t like about Poly-matrix. I prefer the OST any day.

    I think the series started dropping after the OST. It was fine where it was, but I’m glad Dual-Matrix was released.

    June 5, 2010

    Stormtrooper of Death said:

    I watched Armitage III yesterday, still a good Anime.

    September 7, 2010

    AC1DST4R said:

    Armitage *was* ten years older in dual matrix. hence the fact she had a … ten year old daughter.

    agreed, the OVA was hands down the best anime in the existance of anime’s. and Armitage is the hottest, coolest chick ever.i Just want to see more hot Cyber punk girls with her style. i’m just saying.

    December 18, 2010

    paola gomez said:

    muy sangriente y a AC1DST4R gimpy said:los odio

    paola gomez no odie a la gente

    March 4, 2011

    Alex said:

    googled it, finished, didn’t like it. Especially at start, the speech, the fights. I found the ending kind of lame. But i liked how Armitage’s character developed and while the story is thought it’s not hard to follow. It’s worth a shot if you don’t have high expectations.

    March 30, 2011

    skyline said:

    Could someone tell me what is the difference between Poly Matrix and Dual Matrix? Or there more than one Armitage anime? Confused.


    March 31, 2011

    Max said:

    there is 1 anime (4 parts) and 2 movies (poly matrix and dual matrix) (you can check it here,49,ijerxd,armitage_iii.html)

    skyline said:


    The one with 4 parts has Kiefer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley as the voice actors in the dubbed version? How many mins is that? I’ve seen 95mins, 90 mins and 140 mins on some sites. I guess the 140 mins includes the 1 anime and the 2 movies in one set?

    Thanks again!

    August 9, 2011

    ISO 3166-2:f-i said:

    will watch asap ,looks and sounds amazing !

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