Cybuster (series)

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Cybuster (series)

Post by Zotis » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:45 am

Hello, first time poster here. I just wanted to say that I really liked the aesthetics of this site. I spent a little time googling around, but didn't find any discussion on the series. There's plenty of discussion on the Super Robot Wars games though.

I was originally drawn into Cybuster by its artwork. I thought the characters' poses were interesting, and the characters themselves looked distinct. I got the first DVD in the series individually second-hand for fairly cheep, so I figured it was worth checking out. I ended up liking it initially and getting invested in the story and characters. I won't say that it's a good show overall, but I do feel invested enough to keep watching.

It looks like they experienced budget issues, because the quality took a serious hit in the second act. The plot was never great, but it got considerably worse. Explanations for going-on's became less sixteen-year-old fanfiction and more thirteen-year-old fanfiction. I suppose the story also took a dive, so I guess it's just the writing overall. At least in the first act I felt like I knew what the story was, but in the second act I'm not exactly sure what's going on anymore. It's become a haze. Some of the interactions feel meaningful, and there is a hint of an overarching story. It just feels like the writers have started wavering. Plot-wise, characters will recklessly decide to go off with good intentions and potentially endanger the mission costing everyone around them their hard work and energy if not their very lives. But from both the bad guys' and good guys' perspectives these irrational and dangerous excursions are treated frivolously even though they reoccur from the same unreliable individuals. I chalk this up to bad writing, but also I think you can see a personal agenda from the writers. Being polite and avoiding hurting people's feelings is deemed paramount by the show's view of moral law. It's not just certain individuals who do this with results demonstrating this behavior as flawed, but the results rewarded this behavior. It reminds me of bad parents who don't discipline their children because they're afraid that spankings will traumatize them. So when a character actually does something that could jeopardize everyone else's safety, the person who's upset with them is the one who gets chastised by the group, and everyone else brushes the situation under the rug in light of the person's "good intentions." It's really quite absurd. Well, all that in and of itself isn't really necessarily poor writing, but it's the way they go about it. It's all too vague without drawing attention to the severity of the issue. If one character voices complaint, it's overly simplistic and extremely stereotypical. They'll just yell something along the lines of, "You shouldn't have done that," Along with something that makes them seem selfish so they're the bad guy instead of the person who just jeopardized the mission. Two characters freequently argue, and it often reduces to, "You're stupid, no you're stupid, well you're ugly, oh yeah well I hate you." There are insightful moments in the dialogue where there's heartfelt admissions, people realise their wrongs and painfully admit it, and well-rooted mystery to things going on behind the scenes. I definitely noticed more fluff and meaningless banter in the second act. I feel like I'm still watching it in anticipation of some serious character development that will happen, and more heartfelt dialogue. Beneath the sloppy writing, there is some decent writing too.

I find a number of characters surprisingly likable, and I really want to know what happens to them. Commander Saphine is a wonderful villain. She gets other people to do the dirty work for her, and plays from the sideline, but apart from being a bit harsh she doesn't seem like a villain. She does feel like a real person. I've known people with that personality type, and they really nailed it. Ken Ando is the central character, a bit reckless and thick-headed, but a fairly heroic type who would sacrifice himself to save the ones he loves, and who would not jeopardize his ideals. He is probably the most stereotypical of the central characters. He is always standing up for the greater good and being chastised for not being nice or polite enough about it. He tends to verbally attack someone for doing something wrong instead of targeting the issue, but no one else targets the issue either. Mizuki is a spunky budding love interest for Ken. She's pretty level-headed and down-to-earth. Mizuki and Ken often quarrel, but you can tell they like each other and are well-suited for each other. Lyune is a selfish spoiled brat, but a surprisingly sympathetic one who has to struggle with her personal character and admit to some pretty grievous mistakes (although getting away with some equally grievous ones, even rewarded for them). She prioritizes her own personal vendetta over the safety of others. In many works this type of character would have an even harder time dealing with the potentially disastrous consequences of their actions, but in this series the dice are loaded with circumstances panning out so that nothing dire happens and all is forgiven even though she'll do it again and again. I find myself drawn to her character despite some facepalm-worthy implausibilities in the plot. She has noble ambitions, is fighting for the greater good, and does make effort to face her problems and change. Nanase is probably my favorite character. She has less screen time than the others I've mentioned, but she seems like a pivotal character nevertheless. She's the compassionate type, very kind and courteous. She's always thinking of others and doing the right thing. What I really like about her is that she's insightful, encourages others to do the right thing, and takes decisive action herself even before anyone else supports her. Because of her taking the first step, other people rally behind her into a larger movement.

I could talk about more characters, and I want to talk about the artwork too. I think I'll leave it here now for a start though. Is anyone else interested in the series? Anyone else seen it? I'd like to know what other people's thoughts are, or even if anyone has some good links for interviews or critic write-ups on it.

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Re: Cybuster (series)

Post by YokozunaBulldozer » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:40 am

I remember this when I was in middle school as the show where a very young Sugita Tomokazu currently of Gintama and Super Robot Wars OG fame debuted.
Saw a few eps and remembered it being nothing like the Masoukishin game but thought it was an interesting take.

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