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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:

  • A Father to His Men: After Paris has been rescued and the second M-66 neutralized, a weary and saddened Major is shown going over the names of his troops who were killed during the operation, all 18 of them. He laments their deaths and wonders what he can say to their grieving families.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Cluster S Bomb. Shit is apparently Sybil's favorite word, but she does get a Precision F-Strike to the police.
  • Cyberpunk: There are killer robots, a military cover-up, a truth-seeking reporter and early 90s internet. That's Cyberpunk in a nutshell.
  • 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. Another example is the scene where Paris is introduced at her home, where she is shown wearing a rather skimpy outfit that leaves little to the imagination.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me: When an M-66 is destroyed, it detonates its "skin", which is filled with small darts. Then it begins emitting toxic gas.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: Sybil wears a tank top while kicking back and drinking a beer, like a true Lad-ette.

Alternative Title(s): Black Magic M 66