Megazone 23

Megazone 23 (メガゾーン23, Megazōn Tsū Surī) is a four-part Japanese cyberpunk original video animation created by Noboru Ishiguro, written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama and Emu Arii, and directed by Ishiguro, Ichiro Itano, Kenichi Yatagai, and Shinji Aramaki. The series debuted in 1985. It was originally titled Omega Zone 23 (オメガゾーン23, Omega Zōn Tsū Surī) but the title was changed just before release.[4]

Megazone 23
Cover to the NA/R1 DVD release of Part I showing the main characters from Parts I and II of the OVA, Shougo Yahagi (left) and Yui Takanaka (right).
(Megazōn Tsū Surī)
GenreAction,[1] cyberpunk[2]
Anime film
Megazone 23 - Part I
Directed byNoboru Ishiguro
Produced byHideaki Suda
Suichi Onodera
Toru Miura
Written byHiroyuki Hoshiyama
Music byShirō Sagisu
Licensed by
ReleasedMarch 9, 1985[3]
Runtime80 minutes
Anime film
Megazone 23 - Part II
Directed byIchiro Itano
Produced byHideaki Suda
Suichi Onodera
Toru Miura
Written byHiroyuki Hoshiyama
Music byShirō Sagisu
Licensed by
ReleasedMay 30, 1986
Runtime80 minutes
Original video animation
Megazone 23 - Part III
Directed byShinji Aramaki
Kenichi Yatagai
Produced byToru Miura
Isamu Senda
Written byEmu Arii
Music byKeishi Urata
Licensed by
ReleasedSeptember 28, 1989 – December 22, 1989
Runtime50 minutes (each)
Megazone 23 SIN
Megazone 23 XI
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

The story follows Shougo Yahagi, a delinquent motorcyclist whose possession of a government prototype bike leads him to discover the truth about the city. Released on the VHS, Betamax, Laserdisc and VHD formats, the first part was a major commercial success upon release in 1985, selling over 216,000 copies in Japan, mostly to video rental stores.[5] At a price of ¥7,800,[6] the first part grossed approximately ¥1.7 billion from video sales in Japan. The film's concept of a simulated reality has drawn comparisons to later films including Dark City (1998), The Matrix (1999) and Existenz (1999).


Megazone 23's story is set in the far future of the human race, after, in the early 24th century, various environmental issues rendered Earth uninhabitable, forcing humanity to leave in several massive colony ships, the titular Megazones. The story itself follows the population of Megazone Two Three, based on an unnamed part of Japan.

Part I and IIEdit

The first two parts occur roughly 500 years after humanity left Earth, as the government attempt to hack into the civic computer, Bahamut, for their city, in order to use the city's benevolent artificial intelligence, known as EVE, to influence the people to help them in a near-endless war against the Dezalg.

Thrown into this is Shogo Yahagi, after he is given ownership of a strange experimental bike by an old friend of his. Over the course of the story, he discovers how false his world is, and eventually makes contact with the EVE Program, who enlists him to assist humanity in any way he can. However, unfortunately, before he can do anything meaningful, the city's government have become focused on the destruction of the Dezalg, and have decided to terminate Shogo and EVE, who has fled into cyberspace. In the end, Eve manages to save Shogo and his friends, sending them in Bahamut's system core to Earth as the battling ships are destroyed, ending the conflict, at the price of an unknown number of people on both ships.

Part IIIEdit

The third part occurs several centuries after this, with a hacker named Eiji Takanaka, who is scouted by a rebel group working against the teachings of a mysterious spiritual leader known as Bishop Won Dai. Sion, a high-ranking member of the rebel group, who work under the aegis of Orange Amusements, begins scouting Eiji, while also investigating a strange program, Project Heaven, the E=X Bureau, Won Dai's elite staff, are preparing. Sion manages to confront Eiji as Orange attempt to stop whatever Project Heaven is, and, badly wounded, instructs Eiji to go to the lowest point in the city, finding the real, centuries-old, Eve Tokimatsuri, who was meant to be awoken by Shogo Yahagi. She takes him to Bahamut, meeting the independent version of Eve from the previous two parts, while Sion manages to stop Orange from making the same mistake as several centuries before, using it to broadcast the E=X's master plan. In the end, Eiji and Eve confront Won Dai, and he is slain, Eve heading to the ADAM moonbase to shut down and destroy it, while also taking out the city's computer, finally beginning the final part of the plan enacted around a millennia before, while Eiji heads off to meet with Ryo to begin his life anew.

Voice actorsEdit

Character Japanese English
Shogo Yahagi Masato Kubota (Part 1)
Kazuki Yao (Part 2)
Vic Mignogna (ADV Films dub)
Bob Bergen (Streamline Pictures dub)
Kerrigan Mahan (International dub)
Yui Takanaka Maria Kawamura Allison Keith (ADV Films dub)
Barbara Goodson (Streamline Pictures dub / International dub)
Mai Yumekano Mayumi Shō Sasha Paysinger (ADV Films dub)
Lia Sargent (Streamline Pictures dub)
Tomomi Murashita Mina Tominaga Hilary Haag (ADV Films dub)
Edie Mirman (Streamline Pictures dub)
Eve Tokimatsuri Kumi Miyasato (Parts 1-2)
Saki Takaoka (Part 3)
Monica Rial (ADV Films dub)
Brittany Harlowe (Streamline Pictures dub) (Part 1)
Muriel Fargo (International dub) (Part 2)
Annemarie Lawless (Manga UK dub) (Part 3)
Shinji Nakagawa Kōichi Yamadera Illich Guardiola (ADV Films dub)
Daniel Woren (Streamline Pictures dub)
B.D. Kaneto Shiozawa Andy McAvin (ADV Films dub)
Gregory Snegoff (Streamline Pictures dub)
Michael McConnohie (International dub)
Lightning Shigeru Chiba Jason Douglas (ADV Films dub)
Tom Wyner (International dub)
Gutz Kozo Shioya George Manley (ADV Films dub)
Jeff Winkless (International dub)
Cindy Yoko Ogai Tiffany Grant (ADV Films dub)
Melora Harte (International dub)
Lieutenant Shiratori Sho Hayami John Gremillion (ADV Films dub)
Gregory Snegoff (International dub)
Eiji Takanaka Takeshi Kusao Jay Hickman (ADV Films dub)
Michael McGhee (Manga UK dub)
Bishop Won Dai Kouji Nakata, Kazuki Yao Chris Patton (ADV Films dub)
Robert Glenister (Manga UK dub)
Yacob Halm Makoto Ataka Illich Guardiola (ADV Films dub)
Adam Matalon (Manga UK dub)
Ryo Narahara Hiroko Kasahara Jessica Boone (ADV Films dub)
Bud Nozomu Sasaki Spike Spencer (ADV Films dub)
Sion Kōichi Yamadera Brett Weaver (ADV Films dub)


Megazone 23 was conceived as a 12-episode television series set to air on Fuji TV, but it was changed to a direct-to-video project after the sponsors withdrew their support mid-production. According to Noboru Ishiguro, the end result was a "compilation movie" of already produced episodes. Megazone was not conceived as a multi-part story. As such, the original release of "Part I" lacks the subtitle that has been added to subsequent re-releases.

Original mecha designs for the OVA series were created by Shinji Aramaki, while character designs were made by Toshihiro Hirano and Haruhiko Mikimoto, who would provide Eve Tokimatsuri's character designer for all three parts. For "Part II", Yasuomi Umetsu was the character designer, and for "Part III", Hiroyuki Kitazume took over.

The original planned title was "Omega City 23," then "Vanity City" and "Omega Zone 23," but trademark issues compelled the producers to a title change. The number "23" was originally a reference to the 23 municipal wards of Tokyo. In the retroactive continuity established by Part III, the number refers to the 23rd man made city-ship, with Megazone 1 named "Big Apple." However, the title is pronounced "Megazone Two Three" as referenced by several reference books and anime magazines published during the release of the series, the Japanese Wikipedia entry,[7] and even within the series itself in "Day of Liberation."

An ad on the Japanese crowdfunding platform Campfire listed that AIC is working on a remake and a new project in the series.[8]Soon after, AIC announced that the project would be a remake of the series titled Megazone 23 SIN, and a sequel titled Megazone XI would also be in production with character designer Masahiko Komino.[9] At AnimeJapan 2019, AIC announced that only Parts I and II of the original Megazone series would be remade in the reboot series.[10]

Alternative versionsEdit

"Part I" was spliced with Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross by Carl Macek to create Robotech: The Movie in 1986.[11] The new cut reestablished Shogo's character as Mark Landry [12] and included a new ending animated specifically for Robotech: The Movie.

The Japanese "International Edition" of Part 2 has an English-language voice cast that Carl Macek had orchestrated.[13] The consequent adaptation rewrote Shogo as "Johnny Winters" and Yui as "Sue." This creates a continuity error, as the name that appears on her bike helmet remains unchanged. The International Edition also added a narration to the exclusive alternate footage from Robotech: The Movie; the retooled scene became an introduction to Part 2.[14][15]


Megazone Part II International was released on laserdisc in Japan.[15] It was not included in the out-of-print DVD Box Set, but was available as a bonus item to those who purchased all three installments individually. It is currently available as a Region 2 DVD bundled with the Limited Edition of the PS3 game Megazone 23: Aoi Garland. Streamline Pictures later released a straight-dubbed version of Part 1 in 1994.[16] Streamline Pictures released an unedited dubbed version of Part 1 to VHS in 1995, which was released to DVD in 1998 by Image Entertainment. Streamline also planned on releasing the other two parts, but were unable due to a dispute with their distributor Orion Pictures.[17] Manga Entertainment also released a dubbed version of Part 3 in the United Kingdom.[18]

In 2004, ADV Films released each installment of the series with a newly produced English dub and the original Japanese language track. The 2004 editions also contained extensive liner notes on the development of Megazone 23. ADV released a complete collection in 2007. With the closure of ADV in 2009, the series is now out-of-print in the US. Megazone 23 was remastered onto Blu-ray in Japan, and released on November 27, 2015.[19] AnimEigo announced on their website that they launched a Kickstarter campaign of this series, similar to Bubblegum Crisis before.[20]


Publisher ADV has compared and found many similarities between the Megazone 23 series and The Matrix (1999),[21] but The Wachowskis have denied it was an influence during the development of the film series.[22] Megazone 23 has also drawn comparisons to the films Dark City (1998) and Existenz (1999).[23]

Video gamesEdit

Character and vehicles from Megazone 23 appear in Super Robot Wars D for the Game Boy Advance.[24]

In 2007, a video game based on the series, entitled Megazone 23: Aoi Garland, was released in Japan for the PlayStation 3.


  1. ^ "ADV Films Announces Street Date for Megazone 23 Part 1 And Other Releases". Anime News Network. April 14, 2004. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "ADV Announces December 11 Releases". Anime News Network. October 25, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Archived 2013-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 緊急特報!!あの「マクロス」のスタッフがオリジナルビデオアニメに挑戦「オメガゾーン23」 [Breaking News!! The staff of "Macross" are challenging it with an original anime video "Omega Zone 23"]. My Anime (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Akita Shoten: 117. October 1984.
  5. ^ "Megazone 23 - Production History". The Memory Matrix. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Megazone 23 (1985) VHD back cover". Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  7. ^ ja:メガゾーン23
  8. ^ "AIC Ad: New Megazone 23, Pretty Sammy Projects in the Works". Anime News Network. February 21, 2017. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  9. ^ Antonio Pineda, Raphael (July 6, 2017). "Megazone 23 SIN Remake Project Starts Crowdfunding for Promo Video". AnimeNewsNetwork. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  10. ^ Antonio Pineda, Raphael (March 24, 2019). "Megazone 23 Reboot Project Only Remakes Part I and II". AnimeNewsNetwork. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  11. ^ "Macek Training". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  12. ^ "Anime Bargain Bin Reviews- Robotech the Movie". Anime Bargain Bin Reviews. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  13. ^ "Macek Training". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  14. ^ "YouTube - UPDATED! Megazone 23 Part 2 Laserdisc opening pt 1 of 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  15. ^ a b "Megazone 23 Trilogy - Buried Treasure info". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  16. ^ "Megazone 23: Part 1 (OVA) -". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Streamline Pictures – Part 4 -". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Megazone 23 (OVA) -". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  19. ^ "メガゾーン23 Blu-ray Archive BOX -30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION-". Retrieved 8 May 2018 – via Amazon.
  20. ^ Woodhead, Robert J (August 18, 2019). "Megazone 23 Omega Edition". AnimEigo. Kickstarter. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "Megazone 23 - Retroactive Influence". A.D. Vision. Archived from the original on 2005-02-04. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  22. ^ "ONLINE CHAT - Larry & Andy Wachowski". Warner Brothers. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  23. ^ Pellitteri, Marco; Bouissou, Jean-Marie; Fratta, Gianluca Di; Martorella, Cristiano; Suvilay, Bounthavy (2010). The Dragon and the Dazzle: Models, Strategies, and Identities of Japanese Imagination : a European Perspective. Tunué. p. 607. ISBN 9788889613894.
  24. ^ "YouTube - Super Robot Taisen D - Megazone 23 Final Fight". YouTube.

External linksEdit