Noel originally asked me to write a piece about my experiences playing the Bubsy series, but I think its very hard to do so with such an oddly infamous franchise without discussing the character itself.
There's been several shows we've reviewed here over the last four plus years that I'd never watched before, but in most cases, I at least had a passing familiarity with them. Most of these shows had been from the 80s or early 90s, and the bulk of them were cut from the same cloth as the shows I watched growing up. But here we had something that I'd never even heard of before. Something adapted from an obscure foreign comic in an unique anime style with no familiar writers or voice talent. In short, I went in blind, and with nothing to cling onto.
Holding off on Final Thoughts for one more day, as I suddenly remember this bonus tucked away on the DVD set. Produced by TMS Entertainment and NOA Production, this is a three-and-a-half minute proof of concept short, mostly to show off animation, characters, general feel and action. A lot of what's in here did make it into the finished show, but there's a few interesting elements which didn't.
It starts off pretty much like the opening title sequence, where most of this animation will be used, albeit without the sweeping theme song. Cyber is being chased along rooftops by Fixed Ideas, intercut with creatures swirling around in tubes. Lots of action shots, with the fight from the credits where Cyber is literally jumping from one Fixed Idea to another as she kicks them down going on much longer. It's actually quite brutal at times.
As with the last half, be warned that the comic I'm looking at here is very not family friendly, with copious amounts of nudity, sex, sexual violence, and violence. Still gonna keep my descriptions to our usual PG-13 standards, but be aware if any of the above doesn't sit well with you.
This is also where we reach the point where I had to start translating material on my own. Again, I've never studied French and am relying on Google for the heavy lifting, so if anything I describe doesn't perfectly line up with what was actually written, that's entirely on me.
Desperate for another Sustenance fix, Cybersix hunts the rooftops, finding and setting in on a Techno. Realizing he was keeping watch for something, she sees dozens of Fixed Ideas scouring the alleys until they corral a fellow Techno who's trying to escape from them. Cyber wonders if one among that line has finally gone "disobedient" like the Cybers before it, and rescues the Techno, but not before he's knocked out by a bullet graze. Needing somewhere to secure him while digging up more info, she drops him with Lucas, who's always eager to help.
Recapping a bit of history from our opening piece, Cybersix was originally published as a weekly 12-page comic strip in the Italian magazine Skorpio for two years from 1992 through 1994. It was then released, with additional original stories, as a series of 45 96-page graphic novels, which are most widely available through a series of 12 omnibuses published in French. Unfortunately, the page numbers don't entirely add up, so I don't think those 12 volumes contain the entirety of the series. Have no confirmation of this, though. You never know when Wikipedia has some info wrong. It does look like they may have compressed and redrawn chunks in later years, but I'm not sure.
Those 12 French volumes are what I have. The series has never officially been released in English (nor in Japanese, which is again surprising given the production of the cartoon), which may tie to the creators having bitterly attempted to sue James Cameron's Dark Angel for plagiarism. Only half of Volume 1 has been translated by fans and has been floating around for a while. For the purposes of this review, I completed my own rudimentary translation of the volume. I am not fluent in French, so Google Translate was used. The dialogue is very simple and brisk, so well over 90% translated beautifully, with just a few bits where I had to kind of wiggle around figuring out what was specifically being said.
Out at sea, a fishing boat suddenly runs aground on a fog-shrouded island. They're even more shocked when the island opens an eye and sprouts massive tentacles, smashing their ship before moving on.
In his mansion, José is again berated by Von Reichter, who's had enough and orders his boy to join him in the Fortress, an observatory/lab on a distant bay point overlooking the town. José's peeved, but packs all his Fixed Ideas in trucks and drives them out, never noticing that Data-7 is tagging along to see where they're going. José is greeted by Von Reichter in person, in a lab filled with tubes containing new creations he'll one day unleash. But first, using a password José is quick to sneak a glance at, Von Reichter calls up the plans for the Isle of Doom, the floating mass taking out every ship it passes as it heads into Meridiana's Bay. From there, it'll climb onto the city proper where it will explode, vaporizing the entire populace, including Cybersix, while also making a statement to the world that Von Reichter is a force to be reckoned with. José is stunned that all the hard work he spent taking over the city will be for naught, and doesn't take much comfort in Von Reichter's promise they can start again on a global scale.
Cybersix and Data-7 are being chased through the city at night by Griselda, a new creation of Von Richter, who not only has equal fighting abilities, but a gauntlet which fires a spear on a line, and the ability to turn invisible. She has Cybersix completely on the ropes until a gaggle of Fixed Ideas with a rocket launcher bungle things up. Everyone retreats from the fight, bruised and bitter.