Reviews: Cybersix

Unusually emotional for what is a largely typical action series

A giant eyeball monster that sucks out people's souls and leaves them braindead, has succeeded in removing the souls of just about everyone in the city. Cybersix, distraught at her failed attempts to attack the monster, sits on the edge of a building, crying "How do I stop this thing?!"

Situations like this one, that would be brushed off in any other action cartoon, are treated by the characters here as a major tragedy. While I welcome the idea of emotional realism in an action cartoon, I think it would work much better if the characters faced far more dire and more realistic tragedies. Lucas being transformed into a werewolf and trying to kill Cybersix is understandably upsetting to her, but we've seen things like this in a zillion action cartoons. If Lucas had stayed a werewolf for more than one episode, then Cybersix's emotional response would make more sense. If there's anything for her to get real upset over, it would be her life situation.

See, Cybersix is not quite human, and was created in a lab. In order to live, she has no choice but to kill other creations of the same lab and consume their sustenance. While this is censored in the cartoon versus the original comic, it still has violent implications. One death even has an offscreen snap sound, before the creature disappears. Did she snap its neck?

On top of that, her secret identity... is male. She poses as a male high school teacher named Adrian whenever she's not in her crime fighting form as Cybersix, creating an awkward love triangle.

The cartoon focuses too much on things that occur outside of the action. Many episodes are like a three-act play where the action doesn't occur until the third act. Maybe I'm just spoiled by The Dark Knight and its pacing as it switches back and forth between action and character, but it annoys me that we usually have to wait a while for Cybersix to show up.

As the cartoon goes on, though, the storytelling gets better. One really good episode had Cybersix, in her civilian form, being stalked and attacked by an invisible assassin. The three-act structure is also broken in some of the better episodes.

I say give this cartoon a chance; at least skip ahead to the later episodes. You won't know what's going on at first, but even the first episode explains little. So just jump in and enjoy.