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Manga / Black Magic M-66

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Shirow Masamune's short manga from 1983, adapted into an OVA by AIC in 1987, later released by Manga Entertainment.

Anti-personnel robots have escaped after a plane crash. Specialists and the military are called to the site of the crash, but they can't figure out why the robots would have torn out of their cases - unless they were programmed to hunt someone. The others at the scene are Sybil and Richard, two investigative reporters looking for a scoop. They soon find themselves more involved in the case than they'd like, protecting a young girl, Paris, the inventor's granddaughter...

This OVA is the first adaptation of one of Shirow Masamune's works, and the only one to date in which he had direct involvement in the production (writing, storyboarding and co-directing it). The OVA is notable for having a very dedicated animation quality, in large part due to the extensiveness of Shirow's storyboarding. It combines action and comedy and also takes much inspiration from Terminator.


Black Magic M-66 provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sybil, full stop.
  • Armies Are Evil: Averted. The military could just wait for the M66 to kill its target and shut down, but they go to considerable lengths trying to capture it preemptively instead.
  • City Noir
  • Cluster S Bomb: Shit is apparently Sybil's favorite word, but she does get a Precision F-Strike to the police.
  • Cyber Punk: Killer robots? Military cover-up? Truth-seeking reporter? Early 90s internet? Cyberpunk.
  • Damsel in Distress: The scientist's granddaughter, lampshaded by Sybil.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: The female military leader.
  • Disney Villain Death: The second M-66
  • The Ditz: Paris
  • Dumb Blonde: Paris
  • Fainting: Paris faints at the most inconvenient times.
  • Fanservice: A funny but totally gratuitous opening scene of Sybil wearing nothing but a towel around her neck as she reads the report on the escaped robots. She even almost leaves her apartment clad in just her camera case... she then leaves clad in just her camera case plus a pair of pants draped over her shoulder and a pair of black boots.
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  • Fem Bot: The M-66 androids.
  • Immune to Bullets: The M-66 androids.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Sybil faces extreme danger to get the story and even saves the scientist's granddaughter from the title robot, making her a particularly badass version of the trope.
  • Killer Robot: The escaped M-66's.
  • Licensed Game: An obscure PC strategy game was made in 1997 by Wiz, but it seems to be a sort of loose adaptation.
  • Mad Scientist: In both the loony and angry sense.
  • Mama Bear: Sybil's sort of odd about this with her protection of Paris.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The M-66 androids are basically killer robot ninjas. One's a robot kounichi for extra awesome.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: The scientist has the swirly and opaque variation.
  • Precision F-Strike: Done in the Manga dub in true "fifteening" style.
    Sybil: FUCK OFF!
  • Product Placement: Funnily enough Sybil wears an Appleseed shirt.
  • Red Shirt Reporter: Richard is flustered by the insane situations, but Sybil is competent enough to take it all.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The M-66 androids have the unbelievable fluidity of a ninja in their movements, but in terms of emotion, they're nothing but robots.
  • Robot Maid: The mad scientist builds them and in one scene you only see the maid from behind and she gets blown up. This is enough for a shock, until you see she was a robot all along.
  • Shout-Out: To Terminator, appropriately since a lot of the themes and plot are obviously inspired by it.
  • Spoiled Brat: Paris shows shades of this.
  • Taking You with Me: When an M-66 is destroyed, it detonates it's "skin", which is filled with small darts. Then it begins emitting toxic gas.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Sybil wears one while kicking back and drinking a beer, like a true Lad-ette.
  • Tap on the Head: Attempted by Sybil, but her hands were tied and the attempt was less than effective, so the only reaction from the potential victim was an annoyed "Bitch."
  • Technology Porn: Along with Scenery Porn, standard for the author.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future
  • "X" Marks the Hero: The woman in charge of the military's got this scar on her cheek.

Alternative Title(s): Black Magic M 66


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