Cyber City Oedo 808: In the year 2808, convicts with Longer-Than-Life Sentence are imprisoned in penal satellites orbiting around the Earth. Some convicts with 'skills' considered profitable to the general public are offered jobs as special police officers known as the Cyber Police, allowing them to deduct some time off their sentences, as well as a small degree of freedom while they're working.
The catch: they have an explosive collar on their neck at all times, which will explode when:
- Tampered with.
- A mission time limit (fully arbitrary) is reached.
- Whenever Warden Hasegawa damn well feels like it.
Three such lucky men: Shunsuke Sengoku, the foulmouthed anti-hero; Merrill "Benten" Yanagawa, the effeminate razor-wire wielding assassin-type; and Gabimaru "Gogol" Rikiya, the imposing, gruff hacker with the cool visor, are put under the watch of Juzo Hasegawa, the warden. Hasegawa assigns these men to various incredibly dangerous cases throughout the dystopian city of Oedo (while never stated explicitly, it is assumed that this city is Tokyo in the distant future, given that Oedo is a variation of "Edo", the name of Tokyo until 1868).
Each criminal-turned-almost-unwilling-cop gets his own focus episode throughout the 3-episode OVA series, with plenty of trademark Yoshiaki Kawajiri action and character designs all over the place.
- Age Without Youth: Unusual example, as it is played straight, and then averted. Shuzo Saionji, the CEO of Saionji Medical Research Institute, is driven by a crippling fear of death, and has lived for over 300 years using a large array of scientific and cybernetic technology. However, the aging itself is not paused, so Saionji is extremely decrepit and sickly, confined to a futuristic wheelchair. As nobody (that we know of) in Real Life has ever lived to that age, we have no idea what someone of that age would look like naturally. However, after fulfilling his objective of inventing immortality, the created virus averts this trope and makes him lose 2.5 centuries of aging in just a few seconds.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Kyouko has a clear crush on Sengoku (who's also at least a bit fond of her), the most traditional "bad boy" archetype of the three crooks.
- Anti-Hero: The three protagonists are all anti-heroes by proxy, seeing as how they're all convicts. Honestly, however, none of them are actually evil people. Sengoku is kind of an asshole, but when it comes down to it he's a good guy. Gogol is a Gentle Giant in prison for hacking offenses, and Benten is a Warrior Poet. They do all have at least one charge of murder on their lengthy rap sheets, though, so none of them were unjustly imprisoned.
- Badass Longcoat: Sengoku owns a red one.
- Bare Your Midriff: A male example: Gogol wears a crop-top. However, with the exception of Kyouko and Remy, the few remaining female characters also do so.
- Bishōnen: Benten is the only one of the three to wear lipstick and paint his nails while not being some kind of crossdresser.
- Big Badass Rig: Gogol owns one that has a smoke machine that can blind chasers and a library for his reading. Unfortunately it gets trashed in his episode.
- Boxed Crook: The three main protagonists are all criminals who have absurdly long sentences. Rather than being expected to stay in prison until they're up, they "work off" the years by serving as law enforcement (with explosive collars keeping them in line).
- Cartwright Curse: The few females that happen to have been linked the three main characters usually don't last long.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The dub. Like most Manga UK dubs, however, it actually works... Mostly because it was hilarious. Thanks to YouTube, one quote from Benten in particular has become a borderline-meme:"Get lost. You wouldn't recognize a goddamn vampire if one jumped up and bit you on the end of your fucking dick. So just get off my back."
- Sengoku is guilty of this a lot in the English dub. He's surprisingly well-spoken in the original Japanese though.
- Complete Immortality: Shuzo Saionji gets this once he uses the immortality virus on himself. In just a couple of seconds, he reverses almost 260 years of aging, and all his wounds heal almost immediately (with the added bonus that the virus gives him psychic and teleportation powers). Benten is obviously outmatched and tries to defeat him by sucking him out of the airlock in the spaceport they are in, and even after being torn to shreds, he somehow teleports back inside and fully reforms in just a couple of seconds. Benten is extremely fortunate he was carrying the antidote to the virus.
- Cool Car: Each of the characters have their own one. Although Golgol has a truck.
- Crapsack World: Considering this is a world where crime is so bad that elite convicts are allowed to be police officers, the military is willing to do blatantly illegal things to create cyborg super soldiers just to help police the city, and sick people who are put into cryostasis can be experimented on without anybody knowing, it's pretty obvious Oedo is anything but a utopia.
- Contemplate Our Navels: A brief philosophical discussion about starlight in episode 3 and how it continues on forever. Appropriate, considering the themes of the episode.
- Cyberpunk: Well what else did you expect from something called "Cyber City Oedo 808"?
- Daywalking Vampire: Justified, due to the vampire being a genetic experiment rather than supernatural undead.
- Delinquent Hair: Sengoku has the usual Japanese pompadour while Gogol has a mowhawk.
- Depending on the Writer: The Japanese script is nowhere near as crass as the infamous English dubbing would suggest. Sengoku is surprisingly mild mannered in the Japanese dubbing.
- "Die Hard" on an X: The first episode has them rescuing 50,000 people trapped in the city's largest skyscraper.
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm: In the second episode, Sengoku tells Varsus a few joke lines ("get lost for a while!") as he's trying to infiltrate a secret facility where the cyborg villain of the week was made and Varsus doesn't gets it ("This unit is equipped with a GPS unit. It cannot get lost.")
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Benten, complete with the flowing white hair, long nails and red lipstick. Word of God says that Benten was actually a woman in the original draft for the story, but Executive Meddling made them change it.
- Explosive Decompression: What Benten tries when fighting the newly-vampiric Saionji. It works, but because Saionji's new abilities include a ridiculous Healing Factor, it doesn't take.
- Explosive Leash: The collars. Gogol sees one in action when he tracks down a fellow con who went rogue and tried to disarm his collar himself.
- Genius Bruiser: Gogol is very strong and physically tough, but also seems to be an avid reader and a very talented hacker. On several points he's seen reading classic Russian literature. In the original language.
- Gorn: Actively averted through most of the series. The age rating appears to be mainly based on profanity and one scene in episode 2 where a man literally explodes from a railgun shot.
- The Gunslinger: Sengoku is a great shot with his giant Hand Cannon.
- Hand Cannon: Sengoku's giant magnum revolver with a scope. It's got a fingerprint lock so only he can use it.
- Hidden Disdain Reveal: In the dub of the third episode, Sengoku bluntly invokes this trope when he is ordered to kill a rogue Benten if he doesn't stand down (which he won't). Luckily Gogol (who hadn't been given any orders) shows up and knocks Sengoku out.Sengoku: All right, I never liked you anyway. [raises gun]
- He does hesitate for quite a while before firing though, which suggests he may have just been talking tough.
- Human Popsicle: Has been in use for centuries to preserve people with terminal illnesses until a cure may be found. Unfortunately for them, the chairman of the medical foundation thinks this is a great source of test subjects for illegal medical research.
- Literal-Minded: Varsus Does Not Understand Sarcasm and often tries to parse through the syntax of what he thinks is Sengoku feeding him instructions. One such exchange:Sengoku: Varsus, mission accomplished. Tell the puppetmaster—
Varsus: "Puppet Master"... does not compute. I have no such recollection of such an individual or organization. Please clarify—
Sengoko: Hasegawa, you fucking idiot!
- Longer-Than-Life Sentence: All three protagonists are serving such sentences, to the tune of 300 years or more. For duty served, they get a few years of that sentence taken off, though if they screw up a job or piss off Hasegawa, the warden, time gets added to their sentences — if he doesn't just pop their collars, that is.
- Love Hurts: Star-Crossed Lovers (Benten and Remy). Also it is implied to be the case with Gogol and his former partner Sarah.
- Made of Iron: All three of the protagonists are this. It's honestly ridiculous how many fatal-looking injuries they manage to walk off.
- Man in the Machine: It turns out the villain of episode one is an undead version of this, who somehow fused with the building upon his death. It is implied that he landed in the building's computer circuitry when thrown from the balcony, but it is never confirmed.
- Meaningful Name: Gogol can be seen reading Russian literature, which hints to Nikolai Gogol, a Russian writer.
- Mercy Kill: In a way. Benten answers Remi Masuda's wish to die by putting her in eternal cryogenic sleep as she drifts away through space in her glass coffin.
- No Immortal Inertia: Benten, despite having a very brutal stab wound when fighting Saionji, is still able to make one final attack, shooting the antidote to the immortality virus into Saionji's heart before collapsing in pain. Saionji is originally unfazed and about to finish off Benten with a shotgun, but almost immediately, the antidote ages him back to his science-assisted 300-year lifespan and beyond, painfully and dramatically turning him into a smoking, emaciated, decayed husk of a corpse in less than 20 seconds.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Science-created, psychic, and completely immortal people with an inability to create their own blood. Benten has to deal with this weird version in his focus episode, having to kill the "vampire" by driving a stake full of the antidote into the heart.
- Pet the Dog: Sengoku seems to have a slight soft spot for Kyouko, the cute police girl who is absolutely smitten with him.
- Playing with Syringes: The results of this trope are the focus of Episode 2 and Episode 3.
- Razor Floss: Benten's primary weapon, used to stylishly slice through enemies.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Hasegawa, while officially a warden, is essentially a police chief assigning cases to the Cyber Police. However, he is often seen as cruel and uncaring to the protagonists, caring only about the case at hand, seeing them as means to an end, and expecting orders to be unquestioned, continually dangling the Explosive Leash stick in their faces. Given how he is dealing with hardened criminals handling extremely dangerous cases in a dystopian, crime-ridden city, these seem like very appropriate actions to take.
- Revenge: The motivation of the villain in Sengoku's focus episode. Also, in Benten's focus episode, Remy against Saionji who experimented on her and countless others for his immortality virus.
- Robo Speak: Varsus, the cons' handler. He actually uses contractions occasionally, though.
- Scenery Porn: My god! The city is just awesome!!!
- The Slow Walk: Sengoku at the end of the first episode. He figures out his computerized enemy is predicting where he would be if he tried to dodge, and counters that by a calm walk directly towards it. He still takes a few glancing hits, but shrugs them off with sheer badassery before stabbing the enemy in the brain.
- Space Elevator: Benten takes one of these to the top of the medical institute, once to investigate medical patients in cryosleep, and again to save Remy and stop Saionji.
- Starscraper: The high-rise that Sengoku and company must save in the first episode is tall enough to reach low Earth orbit. The building is so tall that it needs "gyroscopic stablizers" to stay standing...which get turned off during the climax.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Tried against the Big Bad of Benten's focus episode. It doesn't work due to his ability to teleport.
- Weapon of Choice: In the intro, we can see that our heroes receive a special weapon after they accept the deal and join the Cyber Police. It is a futuristic, multifunctional version of a jitte, a weapon which was typically used by policemen during the Edo Period in Japan. The dub erroneously calls it a katana in episode 3.
- Worthy Opponent: Benten to Kerry. Kerry even hands him a sniper rifle so they can have a fair duel to the death.
- Your Head A-Splode: The end result of the collars. Seen in episode 2 when Gogol visits a fellow member of the Cyber Police in the same arrangement. Gogol watches him use a series of complicated tools to defuse the many explosive fuses and remove the collar...but he screws up near the end and Gogol witnesses his demise.
- Zeerust: Averted. Despite showing that clear late 80's/early 90's asthetics, the show aged surprisingly well with its portrayal of high-tech gear and cyborgs.