Goku: Midnight Eye Anime Review
MIDNIGHT EYE ゴクウ / MIDNIGHT EYE ゴクウII
MIDNIGHT EYE Gokuu / Gokuu II
Midnight Eye Goku
US Release By
Futuristic Private-eye Action
2 60-minute episodes
Goku is an ordinary private eye for hire. While working on a case involving an illegal weapons dealer, he notices a lot of the detectives working on the case committing suicide for no apparent reason. After Goku gets a little too close to the truth, he is then put in a situation where he must stab out his left eye to avoid certain death. Goku then awakens in a mysterious lab where an unknown scientist replaces his eye with a cybernetic one that allows him to control every computer in the world.
Another futuristic Kawajiri anime. This one is also very much in the same vein as his other classics (Cyber City Oedo and Wicked City). If there's any difference with this one, it's that Midnight Eye doesn't seem to have as sinister of a plot as most of his other movies do. Also, it seems at times that Goku is way more powerful than he should be. Don't get me wrong, he faces some pretty bad guys, but giving him the power to control every computer in the world is a little much.
The art style is the same as most of Kawajiri's works. Realistic figures and proportions, and they all work very well within the background of this one while each character manages to have a unique look to them. The voice acting is pretty darn good. Steven Jay Blum (Cowboy Bebop, Big O) does a great job as Goku, by giving him that hard edge yet cocky attitude we heard him display as Spike in Cowboy Bebop. Add to that, there aren't too many outrageously cheesy lines. The music isn't really worth mentioning, as it's all cheap pop rock music.
There is a plot, but I don't think it's as fleshed out as it could be. A lot of Midnight Eye feels very rushed in places. We are never shown anything about the scientist who replaces Goku's eye, nor are we given any reason as to why he did it, and how he managed to get his hands on something like that. It's a bit irritating, but forgettable after a while. Also, I'm pretty disappointed that there was only two OAV's made. Finally, I would've liked to have seen some sort of inner struggle within Goku. If you're given the ability to basically destroy the world with a mere thought, I would think that most people would wig out about it every once in a while. But not Goku, he mentions it kind of like how a guy tries to impress a girl with his brand new car.
Overall, it's a really decent OAV series. If you've seen Cyber City Oedo, it's almost the same thing, minus the hideously unfair advantage Goku has over his opponents. Not a bad watch for a Saturday night anime fix.
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Notes and Trivia
The anime adaptation is based on a comic series of the same name by Buichi Terasawa. An English edition was released in 2001 by ComicsOne, and although they appear to be out of print at this point, they're not hard to find used.
As I mentioned, there was a sequel to Goku: Midnight Eye. This time, Goku deals with a crazed test subject, who uses radioactive waves for deadly purposes. Goku is hired by the sister of the subject to find, and kill her brother.
US DVD Review
So far, there is no DVD release for Goku: Midnight Eye.
16-up is appropriate.
Violence: 3 - The violence isn't terribly graphic or plentiful. Some people get pretty messed up in the first OAV though.
Nudity: 3 - A couple of nude scenes in both OAV's, but it's not particularly detailed.
Sex/Mature Themes: 3 - A couple of sex scenes in the second OAV and one failed attempt in the first one.
Language: 2 - Some cuss words are heard, but they are few and far between.
Staff & Cast
English Dub Cast
Goku: Steven Blum
Other Voices: Clara York, Rebecca Forstadt, Wendee Lee, Kirk Thornton