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Manga / Goku: Midnight Eye

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He has an eye on you.

Goku Midnight Eye is a Cyberpunk manga series by Buichi Terasawa. It ran from 1987 to 1989 and received a pair of OVA by Madhouse under the direction of Yoshiaki Kawajiri. It takes some superficial inspiration from Journey to the West.

In the faraway year 2014, private eye and former cop Goku Furinji has a bad night. He is investigating a number of suicides of police officers when he encounters the person responsible for those suicides, a mysterious woman who promptly ensnares him in her hypnotic trap, and the only way to survive is to stab his own eye out. Fortunately for him, he wakes up fitted with the God's Eye, a cybernetic implant that allows him to access nearly every computer on Earth, and the Sun Wu Kong rod, a multipurpose weapon that can extend to quite a length. Now turned into the most powerful man in the world, Goku resumes the investigation only to find out it falls deeper into the net of underground rulers.


A live action adaptation was announced in the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 and is still waiting.

This series provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: The “Motorcycle Girl” is prominently featured on promotional material and the cover of the DVD but is really a minor character, although a visually striking one.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Genji Hakuryu is killed this way by the severed head of the gynoid Goku killed earlier, sending the rest of him into a Disney Villain Death.
  • The Brute: Champ, Genji's giant mook.
  • Cartwright Curse: Goku’s love interests don’t tend to live very long.
  • Cyborg: A recurring quality among the cast.
    • Goku, of course, has an Electronic Left Eye. These make him a super hacker and allow him to control the Sun Wu Kong rod.
    • The peacock assassin has a Cybernetic Peacock Tail, with which she hypnotizes people. She's the reason Goku lost his eye, because stabbing himself was the only way he could break her hold on him and survive.
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    • Mr. Wong, a human trafficker, has Cybernetic Legs. He hides them by pretending to be in a wheel chair with a blanket covering his legs, but not only is he as mobile as anyone with their own legs, he goes beyond that by having build-in roller skates. Unfortunately for him, Goku destroys his boat when he tries to make an escape by river and his own metal legs ensure he drowns.
  • Electronic Eyes: The title character receives a cyber-eye that does everything an eye, a computer, a microscope, a telescope, an infrared camera and the fabled X-Ray Specs can do. Plus the thing can tap into some kind of Electronic Eye in his ranged weapon to assist targeting.
  • Everything Is Online: Which is justified by the cyberpunk setting. It is stated that Goku could hack even the Russian and American nuclear missile systems, even though this is never relevant to the plot.
  • Eye Scream: It features one of the most horrifying instances of this trope, involving Goku stabbing his own left eye trying to survive his encounter with the peacock assassin.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Genji Hakuryu acts very polite and calm, however it's very easy to see his true sadistic personality oozing through.
  • Femme Fatale: Naturally, being a cyberpunk work, Goku encounters a few, among them the peacock assassin with the hypno-tail (whose only cloth, for bonus points, is black).
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • The peacock woman goes around in only panties, possibly for extra hypnosis.
    • Also Yoko, who was hypnotized by the peacock woman, attacks Goku with a knife while naked.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The midget assassin, Zhang, is killed by his own gynoid when it blasts him through the head with a laser.
  • Instant Expert: At least in the OVA, Goku masters the Sun Wu Kong rod offscreen and apparently quite fast. One can almost forget he is supposed to be a detective and not a pole vaulting champion when watching him Roof Hopping with the damn thing. The manga states he has training in bojutsu, the Japanese art of staff fighting, but that still doesn't explain all of it.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: In one adventure Goku investigates a celebrity targeted by a gang and it turns out she not only has a raging case of Hollywood dissociative identity disorder but her other persona is the leader of the gang.
  • Mind over Matter: The villains of the second OVA have telekinesis thanks to military experiments.
  • No Name Given: The name of the peacock woman is never given, although the manga's notes name her aptly as "Kujaku" or "Peacock".
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Goku wears no shirt under his jacket and tie.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: The peacock assassin kills in this fashion, taking control of her victims' minds and forcing them to kill themselves.
  • Shout-Out: Ryu is obviously based on Roy from Blade Runner.
  • The Unreveal: At least in the OVA series, it is never revealed who gave Goku his eye and rod.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: As said above, Goku doesn't wear a shirt on his suit, yet nobody points this out. Apparently, either future dressing codes are that weird or Goku has a pass because he is a hunk.
  • The Vamp: Yoko is turned into one by the peacock woman, setting her up to seduce and kill Goku.