8 Man After Anime Review
This is probably one of the first anime movies I had seen back in 1996. I found it pretty decent back then, but of course I didn't know nearly enough about anime. After viewing it again now, I've come to the conclusion that 8 Man After is as bland as an action anime can be. However, it gets points for trying. The story isn't all that original, but it covers that by introducing other storylines that tie into each other. It starts out promising, stays interesting in the middle with a little political corruption and backstory, but goes completely flat by the end.
The characters aren't anything special either. Hazama is your typical cocky, ladies-man private investigator with a troubled past. He comes off a bit forced though, and I didn't really find myself caring what happened to him. The VA did a good enough job with him, though. His sidekick/love interest Satchiko is as annoying and useless as any anime character ever created. She always getting kidnapped or tossed around like a rag doll. She is the anime version of Olive Oil always crying out for the 8 Man. Sam seems like a good kid gone bad, but they gave him the worst english voice actor ever. He sounds like Gohan's voice actor speaking through a synthesizer cranked up to Alvin And The Chipmunks levels. One character that I did like was Sam's father. Of course, they don't give him much screen time.
The art is pretty decent for the early-'90s, but it suffers from being too bright to the point of bleeding. It's not too bad, but it can really strain your eyes during a couple of action scenes. The sound is generic as hell. There are two themes that mostly play throughout. The main theme (which you will get sick of 30 minutes in) and another tune for dramatic moments. Between that and the voice actors, you can tell not much emphasis was not placed on audio.
Overall, 8 Man After was a good effort that gets marred by some bad production values, and completely generic action scenes. It comes off as interesting, and then quickly spirals downward to barely qualifying as mediocre. It may be worth a rent if you have nothing better to do, but you won't want to watch it again.