We review this cult classic as it makes its UK debut…
Just like how it took until the 1990s for the 1980s to reach Canada, it is seemingly still the 1990s in Serbia, which just produced this cyberpunk animesque. Written and directed by Aleksa Gajić as an adaptation of his comic book Technotise, the animated film follows Edit, a young, predictably attractive and often nude psychology student who, having repeatedly failed her exams, decides to cheat using a little cyber-augmentation. She has a super-intelligent chip implanted, but soon ends up with more than she bargained for when the chip calculates a formula that explains the universe, and she finds herself talking to an alter ego brought into existence when the chip combines with the formula. I think. The plot can be difficult to follow, and it is not helped by the poorly translated subtitles. Structurally, the film can be challenging also, with an episodic formula suggesting the Technotise comic would have been better adapted as an arc-oriented television series than a confusing feature film. The occasional, mostly plot-irrelevant chases which come up every so often could then serve as filler episodes.
But when, in its second half, the film remembers that it is a film, it improves considerably and actually gets round to delivering believable, non-stereotyped characters and an involving plot, one that you feel actually matters. The animation, which combines 2D characters with 3D backgrounds, can take some getting used to, and is at times plain ugly. But if it isn’t visually pleasing, it does at least serve a purpose in the universe it’s supposed to be depicting, a collision of high technology and essential humanity. But these themes are not new to cyberpunk, and indeed cyberpunk is nothing new to anime. The characters, the world, the visual style and the central questions raised in the narrative are all utterly familiar from the likes of Akira and Ghost in the Shell, not to mention second-generation properties those inspired, such as The Matrix. You’d have to be very culturally deprived to find anything of novelty here, but if you find yourself stuck in the 90s, utterly unable to get enough cyberpunk, then this does deliver the expected goods.
Technotise: Edit and I is released on DVD for the first time in the UK today (9th November) by Simply Media. Do you plan on checking it out? Let us know in the box below!