ALTERED CARBON – RESLEEVED [Anime Review]: Yakuza 2077.

Renaldo Matadeen

Let’s get this off the chest immediately: if you thought the two seasons of Altered Carbon were action-packed, then you might want to take a deep breath before jumping into Altered Carbon: Resleeved. Its breakneck speed, all thanks to Anima, really fleshes out what the series tries to be — high-octane, relentless and ass-kicking…

Now this isn’t to knock the Netflix show because it’s pretty decent. But all the bits of wasted potential are maximized in Resleeved simply because the film allows its characters to cut loose. As opposed to intertwining threats and sprawling adventures with so many characters, we get a self-contained affair with Takeshi Kovacs on Latimer in what seems to be a tribute to The Professional. Minor spoiler, it’s a prequel to the TV series, but it perfectly informs what happens with a couple key players he meets up with later on who’ll help redefine his purpose.

Here, Tak’s in a new sleeve and he has to protect a tattoo artist within the Yakuza. She’s marked for death by a mysterious ninja gang, and when Tak’s forced to work with Gena, a C.T.A.C. operative, let’s just say their deadly alliance unravels secrets that, while they don’t impact on the sociopolitical framework of the Protectorate, they do have consequences on Harlan’s World. So it’s a key job for Tak and when you discover who hired him, and why, you’d understand. The twists may be a bit predictable but again, this suffices in a time where we can’t get anything right with Ghost in the Shell.

If Parker Robbins were Doctor Doom.

The fight sequences are remarkable, and the pace is non-stop and in just over an hour; you do get to see this universe break free the way any fan of The Matrix, Street Fighter or Tekken would. Seriously, Resleeved‘s art style and the combat choreography feels like a video game, with a Blade Runner-esque setting washing the screen at times. This would make a brilliant PS4 or Xbox title and if Altered Carbon ever entered that realm, once this mix of substance and style is held up, it’d surely be a hit. And rest assured, when you get to see what the ninjas can do, you’ll understand perfectly why.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved is balls-to-the-wall batshit crazy. Gory. Thrilling. And as provocative as anything this franchise, even the books, has ever had to offer. 4.5/5 Bibles.

-Renaldo Matadeen

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