If you’ve noticed by now, Neko’s tastes in film tend to run towards horror movies, crazy Asian exploitation and generally weird stuff. But……
Every now and again, your Favorite Catgirl Princess likes to break out the tissues, curl up and watch a sweet, heart touching romance. Mind you, I usually like a ghost or two in the mix, but aliens and time travelers are OK too…. So what could be more perfect than a Japanese Cyborg girl from the future on a mission to protect a hapless but goodhearted geek here in the present?
Our synopsis for this one reads: “Lonely and hopeless geek, Jiro Kitamura (played by Keisuke Koide) always spends his birthdays alone, buying his own gift, and having the same spaghetti dinner every year. It’s his standard routine year after year, but in 2007, he happens upon a girl (played by Haruka Ayase) whom he sees shoplifting a dress from a departmental store, and who unexpectedly crashes his birthday dinner. This begins a wild inexplicable evening in which he starts to fall for her quirky charms just in time for her to leave him just as mysteriously as she came. What is her secret, and will they ever meet again?”
Of course they will. But you are going to have to “Read On” gentle visitors, if you want to know more…..
So… the film next fast forwards to his next birthday a year later, when Jiro meets the same girl again (…..or does he?), but this time he discovers that she’s really a female cyborg from the year 2070 here to save him from a crazy random shooting that would have crippled him and made his life one of pain and misery. One that he built himself some 60 years in the future…. seems he’s really a genius inventor trapped in his dead end job at the burger joint who has always just lacked the motivation to reach his true potential.
Anyway…. having saved Jiro, our cyborg heroine can’t return to the future as it’s all been changed by her actions and so has to remain here with him. That, and she has yet another, even more important mission, one she won’t tell him about…… This sets up that wonderful anime inspired romantic plot line we’ve seen a thousand times before and that always…. always works. She slowly learns and becomes more and more human the longer they stay together…… and Jiro falls deeper and deeper in love with her.
We go through all the fun “fish out of water” moments as the cyborg girl tries to fit in and learn how to be more and more human. She goes to classes with Jiro and scares his nearly psychotic professor silly…… drinks alcohol and malfunctions….. goes dancing and does the “robot”….. You get the idea.
All throughout this, she takes time to save people in trouble, like some vigilante superhero. Seems she’s got a list of all the things “old” Jiro remembers as having made him sad… things he couldn’t stop from happening at the time and people who died needlessly. This continues… but sadly she doesn’t seem to be able to make the leap from cyborg to “real girl”…. she can’t “feel Jiro’s heart”…. even after she uses time travel to let Jiro revisit the town of his youth, cruelly destroyed by earthquake when he was a child. These touching moments only help to drive Jiro crazy…. finally making him snap and angrily drive the Cyborg away. She stays close though… just keeping out of Jiro’s sight… for the worst is yet to come.
Seems the “Mother of All Earthquakes” is going to destroy Tokyo utterly. This is her real mission. To save Jiro from certain death in the catastrophe. In a special effects climax, she does just that…. but at the cost of her own existence, but not before finally realizing her devotion to him comes from more than just her programming.
Here most movies would end…. but not this one. Jiro saves her memory chip, and dedicates his life to restoring her, even though it takes 60 years and only happens at the very end of his life. She eventually breaks down, as all things will, but seems we’re not done yet….
Here, Neko gives you your “SPOILER ALERT!!” So don’t say I didn’t warn you… Hehehe!!
Another hundred years pass…. and the android girl catches the eye of a young lady of the distant future, one who bears an uncanny resemblance to her as if they could be twins. She buys the inactive cyborg, downloads the memories into herself and becomes obsessed with the love story that happened all those years ago. Yep…. naturally it was her who first time traveled back to meet Jiro in 2007 and have that wonderful wacky birthday evening, thus inspiring Jiro to build the android in the first place….. a replica of that mysterious girl. How will this end? Well, Neko’s not going to tell you more, but if you watch it, you’d better keep the hankies handy…….
All, in all…. despite it’s convoluted storyline, “Cyborg She” does what it set out to do….. if what it set out to do was to make me all teary and melt my heart like ice cream on a hot summer day. Sniff!! Sniff!! I give this one 4 “Meows” out of 5, with several shed tears for the tender romantic melodrama within….. If you too want a change of pace from ghouls, zombies, kung fu, and ghosts, you should give it a try. You wont be sorry.
And naturally, there’s a Trailer for you all to enjoy…. courtesy of Youtube.