...that I first stumbled into a comic book store in New Rochelle and found a printed magazine version of Megazone 23. I must have been mad. I didn't know a word of Japanese and I flipped obsessively through the magazine piecing together what I could of the narrative. Its similarity to Macross and the inclusion of a steamy sex scene helped me along. Long story short, I was in love.
At long last, I found Megazone 23 for sale on VHS at an SF convention. I was frustrated over the open-ended conclusion, when the salesman at the booth proudly presented me with its sequel at a reduced price. The animation styles of both episodes differed radically but that just made me more obsessed with the series.
The Megazone series puts a more intense spin on that famous "Transformers" tagline "more than meets the eye." The hero of the series - Yahagi Shogo - is a good-natured, motorbikin' slacker who happens to steal a top secret motorcycle from the military. Not only is there more to the 'cycle than can be seen at first glance but the city, the era and world he lives in is more complicated and mind-bending than Shogo could imagine. The brave, new, weird world Shogo learns about hinges on a seemingly innocuous queen-of-all-media pop star named "Eve".
Who and what exactly is Eve? What is an abandoned city doing hidden under the firm concrete of Tokyo? What is the significance of the word "Bahamuto"? And what of the fiendish schemes and goals of the series' mysterious villain B. D.? Gun the throttle and race through the labyrinthine streets of Megazone 23 to learn the secrets.
The mental mind-bending of this series, I must admit, left me a little jaded when a certain popular movie hit the screens in 1999. As an enthused friend of mine went to great lengths to describe the wacky world of "The Matrix," I smiled calmly, lifted my hand up in a halting gesture and said: Been there, done that.