'Altered Carbon: Resleeved' Review: Breezy, bloody and raunchy, the anime is a visual treat for cyberpunk fans
With generous splattering of blood, the explosive action, raunchy sex and cutting edge-tech, the film makes an attempt to join the storylines from Season 1 and the ending might spawn a sequel or two
This review is spoiler-free
Season 2 of 'Altered Carbon' wasn't the last we saw of the dystopian cyberpunk drama. Three weeks after the release of the Anthony Mackie-starrer, comes an animated version helmed by 'Cowboy Bebop' writer, writer Dai Sato.
It also makes sense to bring in a more Samurai version of the series as the plot is set in the events between season 1 and 2 and deals with the introduction of Tanaseda Hideki (Played by James Saito in the series, and voiced by Kenji Yamauchi in the anime).
'Reseleeved' encompasses all the elements from the live-action series — the generous splattering of blood, the explosive action, raunchy sex and cutting edge-tech. The 90-minute film also makes an attempt to join the storylines from Season 1 and the ending might either spawn a sequel for another animated series.
The plotline is simple: Takeshi Kovacs is given another state-of-the-art combat sleeve and is tasked with protecting a teen Yakuza tattoo artist from CTAC and some really badass ninjas.
Deception has always been one of the elements behind Altered Carbon's success and when Kovacs takes the mission, he realizes there is more to the reason behind the tattoo artist, Holly Togram (voiced by Ayaka Asai) who's hunted by two parties.
In Gena, a CTAC soldier, Kovacs finds an able ally as the duo face-off against a horde of enhanced ninjas to save the girl. Multiple storylines come into play with Gena having her own past as a storyline.
Her story will be a revelation and raises some serious questions about some of the recurring characters in season 2 of the live-action series while Hideki is shown to be one of Kovacs mentors after the supposed death of Quellcrist Falconer.
'Resleeved' may not have the wry humor or the rage-filled broody character of Mackie's Kovacs, but its version of the lead character is heavily modeled on Kinnaman. Be it the insanely jacked physique that clearly defines the hard-worn string musculature or the swagger, it gives an honest shot in showing Kinnaman as an anime character.
Chris Conner's Poe was a revelation. The AI was instrumental in both seasons and in the anime, we get to see Ogai (voiced by Jouji Nakata) who is the owner of the hotel, The Wild Geese. Again, another attempt where we see a Japanese version of Poe who's got some top-notch weaponry as part of the hotel's defense systems.
As far as the antagonists go, the film really keeps things tight and simple making 'Resleeved' a predictable affair. But, it does make up for the mainstream plot with some blitzkrieg action. The fight sequences bring in the feeling of being an active part of an FPS game and almost every ten minutes sees an action sequence.
'Altered Carbon' was ranked highly on Rotten Tomatoes and while the second season did see a dip in the audience score, the animated version promises to win back some fans who were disappointed with the second installment. 'Reserved' is breezy, bloody and aggressive.
Cyberpunk fans can pretty much give this a whirl for the visual treat it is. 'Altered Carbon: Resleeved' is available for streaming on Netflix.