Stephen reviews: Cybernetics Guardian (1989)

cyberneticsguardian_1Cybernetics Guardian [聖獣機サイガード Seijuki Cyguard (Holy Beast Cyguard)] (1989)

Starring Takeshi Kusao, Hiromi Tsuru, Hirotaka Suzukoi, Kiyoshi Kawakubo, Shozo Iizuka, Tessho Genda, Wakyo Sogabe, Yusaku Okura

Directed by Koichi Ohata


This is just a short little action romp. It’s not a very special anime, but then it isn’t trying to be one. It has a very B-movie feel to it. The creators basically threw a bunch of cool stuff into a pot and mixed it up hoping for something awesome. The story is pretty minimal, but still manages to be convoluted thanks to all the random ideas they used.

A robot test pilot named John gets his big trial run sabotaged by Adler, a jealous scientist who wants his own projects to succeed instead. Then some random demon worshipers show up and kidnap John. They do some bizarre black magic science experiment and turn John into the robot avatar of their evil god. Demon John goes on a rampage across town, which only convinces Adler to hate the guy even more. Meanwhile, John’s hot scientist girlfriend tries to fix everything, and the cops run around getting ripped apart by the monster.

The film operates solely on the premise that demons, giant robots, explosions, and hard rock are cool. The plot is nothing more than the mortar that holds those bricks together. It’s not really all that well put together either. Obviously the character development is pretty shallow, but the action scenes don’t have a lot of visceral impact to them either. The film gets by because the creators were right: giant demon robots blowing stuff up to a rock soundtrack is in fact pretty damn cool.

cyberneticsguardian_2The film as a whole is pretty average, all things considered. While it never does much of anything noteworthy, it never really falls on its face either. Even though I never felt invested enough to keep going, I never felt bored. It’s full of action, and keeps up a good enough pace. It’s also got a really great transformation scene where John sprouts arms out of his back and grows awesome monster armor. The animation is great for this scene, although as a whole it can be hit or miss. This is certainly nothing abnormal for the time, and is really to be expected, but there were a couple of moments that felt weaker than they should have.

I think my favorite bits were the weird demon worshipers and their crazy plans. I kind of wish we’d gotten more detail on those guys, but I should be careful what I wish for. The plot here doesn’t bring anything enlightening to the table. Asking for more detail would probably be begging for a boring waste of time that would only lessen the coolness of those freaky rituals. I’ll just be happy with what I got.

There’s enough fun stuff crammed in here to make it an enjoyable way to pass the time, and at a mere 45 minutes it won’t overstay its welcome. Just make sure you’re here for the right reasons. Wanting anything other than some cool action scenes would be the wrong reasons. I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one, but if you’re in the mood to see stuff blow up, then this one’s got you covered.

5 comments to Stephen reviews: Cybernetics Guardian (1989)

  • HAHAHAHAHA, this fucking movie! I don’t remember if I ever watched it, but we used to have the VHS and I distinctly remember staring at the cover and thinking the dude looked like Blanka from Street Fighter II. Some of the stuff sounds familiar, but the trailer didn’t ring any bells so I don’t think I did. Sounds fun, though.

  • Stephen

    Haha, you’re right! I was trying to figure out why this guy looked so familiar, but I just couldn’t get that mental connection. It’s been a while since I played Street Fighter. And here I thought I’d found some minor-slipped-through-the-cracks anime that you’d never heard of before. Well, there’s always another day.

    It is a pretty decent watch, and I think your love of B movies would serve you well should you ever run into it someday.

    • The trailer was pretty fun, and it did remind me of a dumb B-Movie. And if it means anything, I haven’t heard of a good portion of the stuff you review. 🙂

  • Jono

    Arghh! I was SOOOOO disappointed with this movie…After seeing (and loving) MD Geist and Genocyber I had relatively high expectations for this one (in that I was hoping for some epically gory, over-the-top fight scenes) but instead found the entire movie to quite dull and forgettable on a whole. The demon worshippers and the villain (with his bad-ass hairdo) where pretty cool though.

    • Stephen

      I haven’t seen MD Geist or Genocyber yet, but Geist is sitting on my table waiting for the day when Netflix fails to deliver on time and I need something to review. It’s odd, but the films I own are the ones that take the longest for me to get around to watching.

      I’ll definitely admit that this is not for everyone. You’ll need a hefty appreciation of dumb B-movies to enjoy it. It’s far from stellar, and from any objective view it’s substandard, but I found enough dumb fun to keep me from getting bored with it.

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