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Anime / Cyber Team in Akihabara

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The Cyber Team, from left to right: Suzume, Tsugumi, Hibari, Tsubame, Kamome.

Cyber Team in Akihabara is a 1998 anime series which moves from being a lighthearted Magical Girl show to a much darker Magical Girl show involving a plot to destroy the world.

The main character is Hibari Hanakoganei, an Ordinary Middle School Student who dreams of getting her own Pata-Pi, the new fad toy. She is given one by her prince, whom she has previously seen in a dream, and calls it Densuke. This leads her to being attacked by Homunculi, which are controlled by a team of three young women, and protected by her Pata-Pi turning into a Diva - the Diva being a combination of Greek goddess and Powered Armor.

Soon she is joined by the other four members of the Cyber Team, each with her own Pata-Pi, thus forming a team to fight the Terrible Trio (the Sibyl Team) that opposes them.

Of course, there are more powerful forces behind the Sibyl Team, including the headmaster of their school who has links with the Rosicrucians.

A piece of The '90s, CTA is an obscure but surprisingly influential anime. Noticeably born in the wave of Evangelion, it was one of the first true examples of Magical Girl Genre Deconstruction made famous many years later by Puella Magi Madoka Magica (which sports enough similarities in characters and plot to count for probable inspirations). It also featured possibly the first recognizable Rei Ayanami Expy, voiced by Megumi Hayashibara herself, and might have been the Trope Codifier for the modern Dark Magical Girl as well.

It is one of the main works of 90s anime character designer Tsukasa Kotobuki, also known by Saber Marionette J and Battle Arena Toshinden.

Cyber Team in Akihabara has examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Kamome, who wants to have bigger boobs for Gold Digger reasons and stuffs her bra in consequence. To make things worse, she has Uzura, a lesbian with an open preference for flat-chested girls, pining for her - in fact, Uzura turned her affects towards Kamome because she has less breasts than Hibari, her former crush. She eventually gains bigger boobs by the film.
  • The Ageless: Several characters via the Elixir of Life.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Rosenkreuz, similar to the Illuminati.
  • Animal Theme Naming: The members of the Cyber Team are all named after birds: Hibari (skylark), Tsugumi (thrush), Suzume (sparrow), Kamome (seagull), and Tsubame (swallow). Many of the other characters have also bird names.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: At the start of episode 21, we see Washu's secretary naked in all her featureless glory. Another example of this are the sequences when Hibari and Tsubame merge with their Divas
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Sibyl Team; Hatoko is the Beauty, Miyama is the Brains, and Jun is the Brawn.
  • BFG: The Sibyl Team get a sweet one for shooting down enemy Divas near the end of the series, but can't agree on what to call it.
  • Big Bad: Washuu Ryuugasaki. Until it's revealed that Crane is the true Big Bad and that he is using him as a pawn.
  • Breast Expansion: Kamome's grandpa gave her a bikini that increases her breast size.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 15, the Beach Episode, coming after a string of serious and dramatic events.
  • But Now I Must Go: After Takashi finds out that he was conditioned by his "father" Ryuugasaki to be loyal to him and thus he cannot interfere with his plans, he leaves Akihabara for good. But not before leaving a cannon to the Sybil Team. Because if he cannot interfer, who says that his minions cannot?
  • Captain Ersatz: Tsugumi's mom is a pro wrestler who's gimmick is a Distaff Counterpart of The Ultimate Warrior.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: What starts out as a fairly light Magical Girl romp gets very dark and heavy in the later episodes.
  • Chest Blaster: Blood Falcon's powered armor fires lasers from its breasts.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Aphrodite has white wings, and Erinnus has with black wings.
  • Dark Reprise: The third version of "Taiyou no Hana" (played in the third ending). It's shrouded in a very dark aura compared to the original version (from the first ending) or the "jazz" version (in the second ending).
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 9 is all about the Sibyl Team. Similarly, Episode 18 is all about Takashi.
  • Defusing the Tyke-Bomb: Tsubame Otorii is introduced as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who viciously attacks and defeats the main cast every chance she gets. It's eventually shown just how badly broken she is. In a late episode, Hibari goes to great lengths to try and befriend Tsubame. After an emotional breakdown in which she compares her life to Hibari's, Tsubame joins the Cyber Team, and spends the remainder of the series trying to repair her broken childhood with good memories as an adopted child in the Hanakoganei household.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kamome was almost completely ignored in the movie in favor of Uzura.
  • Dirty Old Man: Kamome's grandpa, who likes to leer at high-school girls.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Eventually every "magical" event is explained via Techno Babble, albeit not always directly to the one who experiences it.
  • Enhanced on DVD: As shown here, the series had moments of being Off-Model when it first aired, but this was fixed on the home video releases where the animation is much more consistent, and this was used for later airings abroad.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: Part of Hibari's Character Development is to outgrow her wish for a fairy tale prince. At one point the fairytale "The Red Shoes" are brought up as a item and a metaphor of the mind control Shooting Star inflicts on Hibari.
  • Funbag Airbag: Nearly every time Hibari encounters Blood Falcon. After a while, she lets out a complaint along the lines of "Not this again!"
  • Girlish Pigtails: Tsubame's cute pigtails make her Troubling Unchildhood Behavior even more dissonant.
  • Good Bad Girl: Kamome often does fanservicey acts and then extorts money to the ones who saw her, but deep down she is a good girl and has her reason for doing so: helping her family to have back their old house, which they had to abandon because of debts. By the time of the film, she has already got used to save money that she still extorts money even after she succesfully got enough money to save her family house.
  • Good Parents: Hibari's parents, Tokijiro and Hinako are very kind and affectionate towards her.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Played for laughs for Tsugumi's parents. Her dad is a martial arts master and her mom is pro wrestler who fight with each other and their own daughter.
  • Hot-Blooded: Tsugumi and her family.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Episode 9, which explores the Sibyl Team's past and how they started working for Takashi.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Kamome, who is hardly an idiot but personifies pretty much every other element of the stereotype.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Kamome's grandpa, Shimabukuro, surprisingly.
  • Japanese Politeness: Suzume Sakurajosui is noteworthy for always speaking in an extremely polite register, especially compared with the other members of the Cyber Team.
  • Karma Houdini: Crane gets off scot-free for trying to destroy the world and murdering many people.
  • Leitmotif: In the movie, whenever Kamome shows up, you can hear a Musical Pastiche of "Disco Inferno" playing in the background.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Takashi/Shooting Star is in charge of the Sibyl Team, intentionally sending them into losing battles in order to awaken the Divas. He soon turns out to be taking orders from Washuu Ryuugasaki. And in the end, it turns out that Christian Rosenkreuz himself was an Unwitting Pawn in Crane's Evil Plan.
  • Medium Blending: Real-life paintings and photographs are seen in episode 24 as Christian's very long life flashes before his eyes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 9 is a comedic romp focusing on the Sibyl Team and their starts of darkness. Episode 10 is a dark action-packed episode that has each of the Cyber Team nearly killed before their Pata-Pis awaken their true power.
  • Musical Pastiche:
    • In the later episodes there's a very obvious rip off of Pick Up The Pieces, you gotta wonder how Mitsumune wasn't sued for this.
    • In the movie, there's a BGM track that's a very obviously ripping off "Disco Inferno" by The Trammps, however, there's a bit of the Cyber Team OST mixed in so it's not entirely a rip off.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Sibyl Team nearly kills the girls in episodes 10 and 12.
  • Office Lady: Jun Goutokuji's day job when she isn't being a sexy villainess.
  • Older Alter Ego: The Divas are sort of like this for the girls, since they look like adult versions of them. Played straighter when Hibari and Tsubame (and eventually the others) merge with their Divas.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The funny moment where the Cyber Team misunderstands Hibari's "uniting" with Densuke as her a different way.
  • Overly Long Name: The name of Suzume's Pata-Pi, Francesca Leopold Classic Renoir III.
    • Also, the real name of the Sibyl Team's BFG.
  • Petite Pride: Uzura is an absolutely fanatic of the Delicious Flat Chest.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Death Crow tries to invoke this in her debut episode; it almost works.
  • The Power of Love: A rare example where both The Hero and the Goldfish Poop Gang draw strength from it. When the Sibyl Team is rejected by Master Shooting Star in episode 10, their rage nearly kills the girls.
    • Gets name-dropped and invoked in the finale.
  • Put on a Bus: What happened to Takashi after abandoning his father and being defeated in Episode 19. It is eventually revealed in a deleted scene that he got his Earn Your Happy Ending, as he is seen in a train along with a younger clone of Tsubame.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Jun, Miyama, and Hatoko.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Cyberteam's transformation theme was later reused in the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! and in turn both of these were recycled from Nurse Angel Ririka SOS's transformation theme, all three series share the same composer, Shinkichi Mitsumune.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Takashi, of Crane. Also, the reason why Hibari names her Pata-Pi "Densuke" was in honor of her stillborn little brother.
  • Skinship Grope: Lampshaded at the end of the obligatory hot springs episode, when Kamome declares that they've finally gone through all the necessary cliches.
  • Skirts and Ladders: The first time we meet Kamome, she is going first up stairs in a very short skirt providing a Panty Shot; when some boys enjoying the view remark her this, her first action is to demand money from them in exchange for the fanservice, so she doesn't denounce them as perverts.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The surnames of the Cyber Team are all names of railway stations; the given names of almost every important character are all names of birds.
    • Lampshaded by Uzura in episode 08.
    Uzura Kitaurawa: I was embarrassed about signing my real name, so I signed with the pen name I use when writing poetry. I did try signing "Kitaurawa" at first also, but that sounds somewhat like a train station...
    • The Divas are all named after Greek goddesses, with Tsubame's being named after the Greek equivalent of the Furies — infernal goddesses of vengeance. And since this is a Magical Girl show, the heroine's Diva is naturally named after the goddess of love.
  • Time Skip:
    • There's a 5-month gap between episodes 24 and 25.
    • There's a one year time skip in the movie.
  • Transformation Sequence: For every Cyber Team girl. When they all transform, a shorter version is usually used, except for Hibari, of course. Especially cool when Hibari "unites" with Densuke.
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
    • After realizing that he was a Replacement Goldfish for Crane Bahnsteik, Takashi has a Villanous Breakdown and attempt to turn against Chistian by attacking the Cyber Team girls by himself, but cannot bring himself to finish the job because he was conditioned by Christian into loyalty. He takes it pretty bad ans leaves the town, since he cannot do anything to stop Christian.
    • In the finale, the Pata-pis' love for the girls overrides their obedience to Crane, their creator, and they defy his wishes in order to save the girls.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Produced in 1998 and set in 2010.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Hatoko likes to say "cuckoorockoo" after each phrase, quite appropriate since her name means "pigeon".
    • Tsugumi ends her sentences with "dazé".
    • Suzume's "chun~" and "de gozaimasu desu wa/that it is".
  • Villainous BSoD: Tsubame Otorii. Since her introduction, she acts as the Dragon to the Big Bad, easily defeating the Cyber Team girls in every encounter. In episode 20, Tsubame is dragged home by Hibari. She spends the entire episode slowly breaking down while watching how Hibari's family interacts with one another, eventually suffering a Villainous BSOD and freakout by the credits, followed by a Heel Face Turn in the next episode. In the episode we see how horrible a childhood Tsubame actually has had up to this point.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Quirky Miniboss Squad spends much of their time being normal people, and even end up befriending the protagonists in their off-time.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Poor Takashi, being cloned/created to look like Crane and failing for a bit, and treated like crap by his "father". Made even worse as Christian conditioned him to be this, so he couldn't even find solace in having three gorgeous women absolutely head over heels for him. He couldn't either turn against Christian.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Christian Rosenkreuz and his organization want to elevate mankind by any means necessary.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Takashi and Crane Bahnsteik.