Pros: Another story within the Altered Carbon universe; compliance with cyberpunk style; good staging of combat episodes Cons: Quite a simple story; predictable plot twists; not always appropriate 3D Altered Carbon: Resleeved / “Altered Carbon: Restored”
Genre Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Anime
Directed by Takeru Nakajima, Yoshiyuki Okada
The roles were voiced by Rae Chase (Takeshi Kovacs), Doug Stone (Tanaseda), Kaiji Tang (Shinji), Chris Conner (Ohai), Brittany Cox (Holly), Elizabeth Maxwell (Gina), Jamison Price (Genzo), etc.
Anima Studios, Netflix
Year of release 2020
One of the problems for the creators of the Altered Carbon series is the diversity and different genres of all three books about Takeshi Kovacs, written by British science fiction writer Richard Morgan. The first season of the Netflix series followed the plot of the novel Altered Carbon (2002) until about halfway through. The second season was based on the third book, “Awakened Furies” (2005), and overall turned out to be much weaker than the first. On the other hand, the concept of changing bodies and sending consciousness “along a beam” allows you not to be tied to the plot of the original at all and to bring to life separate, not particularly related stories from the lives of Takeshi Kovacs on different planets. Actually, the anime spin-off Altered Carbon: Resleeved is built on this principle.
Chronologically, the events of the film take place between the events of the first and second seasons of the series. This is the story of Takeshi Kovacs’ stay on the planet Latimer and his forced collaboration with the Yakuza. Kovacs was hired and given a new, well-trained body to infiltrate the mafia syndicate on the eve of the ceremony of transferring power from the boss to his heir. There were rumors that a conspiracy was brewing within the clan and that someone wanted to interfere with the ceremony. Somehow, the young tattooist of the Holly clan is involved in this, without whom the ceremony will not take place. Takeshi must protect Holly and understand who is behind the conspiracy. In addition to Kovacs and his mysterious employer, Gina, who works for the police, is also interested in the Yakuza and also becomes Holly’s bodyguard.
To work on the film, Netflix brought in manga artist Yasuo Otagaki, who worked on the manga Moonlight Mile and Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt. He was responsible for character design. The script for the film was worked on by Dai Sato, who wrote the script for several episodes of the legendary Cowboy Bebop, the TV series and two OVAs Ghost in the Shell, as well as the video games Ace Combat 3, Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil: Revelations 2. It is interesting that the directors of the film became people associated with video games. Both Takeru Nakajima and Yoshiyuki Okada have previously worked on cutscenes and intros for games such as Fire Emblem Heroes, Fire Emblem: Fates, Tenchu: Shadow Assassins, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad, Drakengard 2, etc. You probably won’t be surprised if I say that Altered Carbon: Resleeved was also produced by a studio specializing in game video – Anima. Her work includes videos and intros for such famous games as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Pokémon Sword, Valkyria Chronicles, etc.
Now it’s clear why some scenes in Altered Carbon: Resleeved are so similar to fragments of game intros. This especially applies to the action episodes, in which Takeshi Kovacs and Gina fight off deadly cyber-ninjas and cyber-samurai. The battles look really stylish, dynamic and very bloody. With real deaths, if you know what I mean. The calmer episodes of the film are less impressive, although the backdrops, the depiction of the city and the compliance with the cyberpunk style are quite on the level here. The character designs are somewhat controversial, but what spoils the film the most is the poor use of 3D, which for some unknown reason is so beloved by Netflix and is not always appropriate.
In general, the story told in Resleeved is quite prosaic, and it’s not difficult to guess who is the hero and who is the villain. As well as predicting most plot moves and “accidents”. By and large, the story underlying the plot is as old as time and dates back to Greek mythology.
However, despite the complaints expressed above, Altered Carbon: Resleeved looks good overall, maybe even better than the second season of the main series, which turned out to be too banal and a little sweet. Plus, Resleeved has another big advantage – its duration is only 1 hour 10 minutes, and not 7.5 hours, like the series.
Not particularly pretentious, short, but in its own way a sweet story in the Altered Carbon universe