© 1998 Akihiro Ito / Shonen-Gaho-Sha, JVC
Geobreeders is a short series based on the manga of same name by Akihiro Ito. Sporting bright artwork, a gaggle of anime characters ranging from ultra-cute to ultra-tough, and a plot which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, Geobreeders really exists solely for the sheer fun of it.
The beginning of this three-part series starts off with a rather tense military situation. Apparently there's someone or something inside a nuclear power plant and some real bad stuff is about to go down. All of a sudden, a van from the Kamura Security Agency shows up full of a gaggle of, well, the type of kawaii anime characters you wouldn't normally expect in a situation like this. They proceed to rush headlong into the power plant, get their van blown to smithereens, and then beat a hasty retreat. Then, totally inexplicably, a tank appears from the flaming wreckage covered in... cats; lots and lots of cats with glowing green eyes.
At this point in the video (I guess after 5 minutes or so) I was rather confused and almost tempted to watch it over again from the beginning to make sure I didn't miss anything. Truthfully, I had no clue what the heck was going on and felt like it wasn't about to get any clearer.
Anyway, the story continues and it is soon revealed that these "cats" are really something called "Phantom Cats"; some sort of computerized beings which look like cats, but can also transform into human form when necessary. The Kamura Security Agency happens to be specially equipped for dealing with these troublemakers and take all sorts of cases to deal with these rambunctious felines. However, one of the Phantom Cats also appears to be a member, or at least hangs around the offices of the Agency until she is kidnapped by an unknown party for an unknown reason. Tama, one of the members of the Agency, vows to save her (but not before the Kamura Agency makes him sign a contract for their services).
None of it really makes any sense while it's happening, but then again, the characters and situations are so off-the-wall I really didn't think it matters. After all, when the main adversaries are shape-changing computer cats with glowing eyes, you really have to leave your sense of disbelief behind. In any case, I was able to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Part of the reason for this were the characters. While I didn't really get to know any in such a way that I actually cared about who they where, the designs were pretty cute and that alone was enough to keep my attention. Taba's the main character, a decent guy working for the Kamura Agency despite constant ribs from his female coworkers. Kikujima, the fiery redheaded President of Kamura, seems interested in only one thing: profit. Rando's the purple-haired martial artist of the group who also looks pretty good in a bikini ^^. Umezaki (aka Crimson Shooting Star) is a fadora-wearin', gun-totin' one-woman army. There's also Himehagi, the group's driver, who's very nonchalant about her job ("A driver's job description is driving") and Takemi, the computer expert of the group who freaks out during virtually every tense or wild situation. Put them together and you've got one eccentric cast perfect for an anime like this.
There's no real worth in attempting to deny what Geobreeders is: lightweight entertainment with enough action and comedy to keep one entertained for an hour-and-a-half. Fans of the manga may get more out of it than those without prior knowledge, but it still packs enough entertainment value to warrant recommendation.
The Verdict: * * * 1/2 (above average)
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