Armitage III (アミテージ・ザ・サード, Amitēji Za Sādo) is a 1995 cyberpunk original video animation series. It centers on Naomi Armitage, a highly advanced "Type-III" android. In 1997 the series was then edited into a film called Armitage III: Poly-Matrix (アミテージ・ザ・サード POLY-MATRIX). It was redubbed into English.
The series was followed up in 2002 with a sequel, Armitage III: Dual-Matrix set some years after the original story.
In 2046, the overpopulation of Earth has led to the colonization of Mars--with the aid of the "first type" androids, men were able to begin terraforming the unfriendly environment of Mars and build the city Saint Lowell. Seventy years after the start of colonization, the city is completed and inhabited by great numbers of people and "Second type" robots, much improved versions of the "First types". Ross Syllibus, a middle-aged policeman from Chicago, flies to Saint Lowell using a space shuttle. Syllibus asked to be transferred to the Martian Police Department to escape from his past and haunting memories of his previous partner being killed by a robot. At the Saint Lowell's space port he is to meet his new partner--a young woman named Naomi Armitage.
On the same shuttle as Syllibus travels Kelly McCannon--"the last country singer in the Universe". As the shuttle nears the terminal, a mysterious man is seen entering the cargo section; soon after this, the intruder is noticed and the alarms go off.
Later, as Ross gets off the shuttle, he witnesses a disturbing scene at the airport. He bumps into the mysterious man with a big suitcase and two guards. Soon after that, Armitage orders the men to stop and get their hands up. Puzzled, Ross notices a few drops of blood spilling from the mysterious man's suitcase. The two robot guards are killed by Armitage and the mysterious man is wounded, but flees. However, he leaves his suitcase behind--inside of which is the dead body of Kelly McCannon. To everybody's surprise and horror, McCannon turns out to be a robot: a new, never-seen-before "Third type" android that is superficially identical to humans.
Later, the mysterious man hacks into the public television system and replays the security camera footage. The tape shows the man killing Kelly McCannon and reveals the fact of her being a robot to the entire city. The mysterious man, René D'anclaude, reveals that the Third types have been among the regular people for a long time and nobody can tell them apart from humans. He also reveals a list of Thirds--and it turns out that a lot of well-known people are actually robots. Riots begin in the city as people start to capture and burn all the Thirds they can find. Meanwhile, René D'anclaude proceeds with his extermination of the Thirds. The two main characters start their investigation and eventually find out, that the victims are women.
One of the dying victims sends out a message with the list of Thirds to save them from being slaughtered. Armitage receives it and pursues D'anclaude. Armitage is eventually revealed to be a third and goes into hiding as the police hunt for her. Ross seeks her out as she enlists the help of a male third named Julian Moore. D'anclaude then attacks them and is revealed to be a second.
While the police drop the case with D'anclaude's supposed capture, Armitage and Julian search a databank for information on her origins. Armitage eventually defeats D'anclaude, but is too late to stop Julian from being killed. She and Ross break into the hospital D'anclaude was recovering in, branding themselves as criminals after the rescue.
Armitage and Ross later go off in search of her "father", Dr. Asakura, only to learn he had lost his mind, as explained by a gentler, reprogrammed version of D'anclaude, living with delusions of creating "Fourths". His line of assassinroids were used by the government to kill Thirds so that there will be fewer birth rates on Mars, meaning the planet will have to ally with Earth, which they just did, to receive immigrants. During their time at Asakura's facility, Ross and Armitage fall in love. The next day, after Asakura deactivates Armitage so he can install angelical wings and particle cannons on her chassis, the military kills Asakura and Armitage and Ross eventually finish off the military. Months later, Ross returns to Mars, using false IDs, however Armitage throws hers away after Ross Sylibus' arrival. Ross learns that he is going to be a father.
In the text notes on the English DVD edition of Poly-Matrix, Chiaki Konaka, the script writer, says that Armitage III was influenced from H.P. Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror, one of Lovecraft's best known works and a key text in the Cthulhu Mythos; one of the main characters in the tale is a Dr. Armitage.
Naomi Armitage (ナオミ・アミテージ, Naomi Amitēji)
Voiced by: Hiroko Kasahara (OVA), Ryoka Yuzuki (Dual-Matrix) (Japanese), Joyce Kurtz (OVA), Elizabeth Berkley (Poly-Matrix), Juliette Lewis (Dual-Matrix) (English)
Naomi Armitage is an illegal "Third type" android--the most human-like robot ever. Armitage's creator is Dr. Asakura, whom she refers to as "papa". Armitage becomes Ross Syllabus' partner when he joins the Mars Police Department. She and Ross ultimately fall in love. Although she is simply called Armitage by most of the other characters, including Ross in Poly-Matrix, Ross mostly calls her Naomi in Dual-Matrix.
Ross Sylibus (ロス・シリバス, Rosu Shiribasu)
Voiced by: Yasunori Masutani (OVA), Hikaru Hanada (Dual-Matrix) (Japanese), Skip Stellrecht (OVA, Dual-Matrix), Kiefer Sutherland (Poly-Matrix) (English)
A police officer who transferred to the Mars Police Department from Earth's Chicago Police Department after an incident with a robot that left him crippled and his partner dead. He is only able to walk using a cybernetic leg. This incident is the cause for his disdain of robots. During his assignments with Armitage, he loses his arm as well, requiring another replacement cybernetic limb to be put in place. This causes him some grief, as he is slowly becoming what he hates the most. He soon falls in love with his new partner Naomi, enough so, he becomes a renegade cop in order to help her.
Years later, he changed his name to Kevin Oldman and lives with Armitage and their daughter, Yoko.
Dr. Asakura (アサクラ)
Voiced by: Shunsuke Shima (Japanese), Barry Stigler (English)
Dr. Asakura is an artificial intelligence researcher and, along with René D'anclaude, the creator of the thirds. Naomi considers him her father. At some point in the past, Asakura's mind was altered-this causes him to appear really crazy at times and prone to violent outbursts, when at other times, he is completely sane and rational.
Realizing that the government has tracked Armitage and Ross to his laboratory, he completes an upgrade upon Armitage's chassis, one which gives her the power of flight and two particle cannons (Naomi comments that the wings are "too angelic for my taste", but does not deny that they are useful).
Consequently, he stays in the lab and dies among his projects after the government destroys the entire complex with a tracking missile in an effort to destroy both Armitage and Ross.
René D'anclaude (ルネ・ダンクロード, Rune Dankurōdo)
Voiced by: Ryusei Nakao (Japanese), Dan Woren (English)
René D'anclaude is a doctor that worked with Dr. Asakura to create the Third types. His appearance is used for the line of "assassinroids" that were later used to destroy all the Third types, as well as a base template for their creation. After Armitage and Ross go rogue, D'anclaude is moved to a secretive section of a Mars hospital and the surrounding area is barricaded by official government tanks and droid troops. Armitage and Ross easily face this challenge and smuggle him out, having to avoid the assassinroid D'anclaude in the process.
Julian Moore (ジュリアン・ムーア, Jurian Mūa)
Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (OVA), Mitsuki Saiga (Dual-Matrix) (Japanese), Wanda Nowicki (OVA, Poly-Matrix), Mona Marshall (Dual-Matrix) (English)
Julian, whose alias is "Pluto", is the last model of the Third series, and the only male. He helps Naomi discover her true identity and her origin. An adept hacker, Julian attempts to help Armitage by delving into the files surrounding the creation of the Thirds. His attempt however, is hijacked by the D'anclaude assassinroid who controlled him via a planted computer virus. Armitage destroys the viral link, but it also causes Julian's body to self destruct. His last words to her is that maybe he'll get to meet the "real" D'anclaude.
Sometime after his death, Armitage mourns his loss until Ross reminds her that Julian had backed up his programming into the main registry. Therefore, it might be possible to bring him back. He returns in Dual-Matrix, but only as a ghost program in the systems. He does provide information and remote control aid to Armitage.
Larry Randolph (ラリー・ランドルフ, Rarī Randorufu)
Voiced by: Masaharu Satou (Japanese), Ed Mannix (OVA), Michael Reynolds (Poly-Matrix) (English)
Randolph is the lieutenant of the Martian Police and head of the Technical Criminal SWAT division. He provides indiscriminate advice and opinions to those under him, as well as observations. Although he cannot do a thing to help Armitage and Ross through official channels, he does give them a well-deserved pep talk-signing off surrounded by all of their comrades within the squad.
Demetrio Mardini (デミトリオ・マルディーニ, Demitorio Marudīni)
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (Japanese), Michael McConnohie (English)
Mardini is the vice president of an Earth Robotics Corporation and an admirer of Dr. Asakura's work. The antagonist of Dual-Matrix, he attempts to recreate his idol's work on Thirds, but his clones are unable to give birth to humans. Due to the declining birth rate on Mars, Demetrio plans to create human labor forces that never complain, soldiers who aren't afraid of dying, and increase the human population. He finds out that the original Armitage is still alive and tries to capture her to learn her reproduction secrets. He also blackmails Ross into not voting for the Robotic Rights Bill by holding Yoko hostage. He is subsequently killed by his own clone (controlled by Julian), when Armitage and her family make their escape.
Eddie Barrows (エディー・バローズ, Edī Barōzu)
Voiced by: Hirohiko Kakegawa (OVA) (Japanese), Bryan Cranston (OVA, Poly-Matrix) (English)
Ross' wisecracking colleague in the Martian Police Department. He assists Ross throughout the events of Poly-Matrix, but in the end "squeals" on Ross to Randolph following the assault on the hospital.
Chris Brown (クリス・ブラウン, Kurisu Buraun)
Voiced by: Notobushi Hayashi (Japanese), Stephen Apostolina (OVA, Poly-Matrix) (English)
Lowell Gantz (ローウェル・ガンツ, Rōueru Gantsu)
Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Doug Stone (OVA) (English)
Eugene H. Allen (ユージン・H・アレン, Yūjin Eichi Aren)
Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka (Japanese), Sam Strong (OVA) (English)
Yoko (ヨーコ, Yōko)
Voiced by: Yuka Imai (Japanese), Rebecca Forstadt (English)
Ross and Armitage's biological daughter, who has a photographic memory. As far as Demetrio can tell, she is pure human.
Mouse (修理屋マウス, Mausu)
Voiced by: Takumi Yamazaki (Japanese), Ahmed Best (English)
A third who assists Armitage's repairs.
Fredrick O'Hara (フレデリック・オハラ, Furederikku Ohara)
O'Hara is the chairman of the Mars Foundation. He sends Ross, under the alias of Kevin Oldman, to Earth to vote in favor of the Robotic Rights Bill, promising amnesty for his and Armitage's previous crime. He strongly believes that giving robots' rights will be beneficial to the future of humanity.
List of OVA episodes:
Part 1: Electro Blood (50 Minutes),
Part 2: Flesh & Stone (30 Minutes),
Part 3: Heart Core (30 Minutes),
Part 4: Bit of Love (30 Minutes),
Armitage III (2 Hours, 3 Minutes),
Armitage III: Extended Cut (2 Hours, 13 Minutes),
The Region 1 DVD from Geneon of Poly Matrix was one of the few releases from the company to feature THX-certified audio and video.
Helen McCarthy in 500 Essential Anime Movies claims that the image quality of Armitage III: Poly-Matrix "isn't up to big screen standards, though it still holds well on home screens". She praises the design and scripts, while saying that the "basic plot is simply a retelling of Pinocchio - the toy that wants to be real, or, in science fiction terms, the robot yearning for love and acceptance as a person, not just a product".
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license