Something I really dig is cartoons, and animation in general. There’s just so much more you can do with a piece of animation then you could with a high-budget film, television show, or comic book. Animation is a very difficult medium to break into, especially due to how bad a lot of animators get treated. However, animation can definitely be a rewarding thing to a lot of people.
When you get the right animation team, the right vision, the right characters, and the right story, then you can have a show that just feels… Right. For a lot of people, that could be something like Rick & Morty, Spectacular Spider-Man, or Samurai Jack. For me, there was one show that’s always been my favorite. I saw it when I was just 8 years old, and it’s one of those few shows that have ALWAYS stuck with me.
Heck, I ever remembered its name! I can’t always recall the names of most shows I’ve watched as a kid, yet Cybersix has been burned into my brain for nearly 2 decades. That’s saying a lot, considering how few people rarely talk about it. Despite this, there was just something special about this show.
I remember this show premiering in 1999 to little fandom. I was one of the lucky people to catch the series while it was still airing. Cybersix was one of those shows that was just so… Alien. It’s a cyberpunk superhero series, yet it has elements of other genres as well, such as horror and comedy. Heck, one episode was just one big homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s magnum opus: The Birds.
Let’s back up here before we talk about the episodes: What is this show exactly? Cybersix was a group project, between three different countries: Canada, Argentina, and Japan. Cybersix started life as a cyberpunk superhero comic under the same name, and was eventually adapted into a short-lived live action show. What little clips I could find of it are truly terrible.
Just look at this crap! It’s like if someone mashed together The Crow and Batman & Robin into an unholy abomination. The suit is pretty bad, the action scenes are atrocious, and everything looks very low budget. Few clips of this show exist online, some of which have their audio claimed. Honestly, I can kind of respect that. If I let a trainwreck like this get made, I’d probably try to get rid of all traces of it as well.
Thankfully, Cybersix got another (and far more faithful) adaptation later down the road. In 1999, we were gifted with the shining super-heroine symbol of simmering special-ness that was the Cybersix cartoon. The show (and comic it was based off) revolved around an escaped science experiment named Cybersix. She’s a member of a group of augmented humans called “Cybers”.
She was created by Von Reichter, a Neo Nazi mad-scientist. She eventually escaped, and took up the identity of a recently deceased child named “Adrian Seidelman”. That’s right, Cybersix’s human disguise is that of a male! Under the guise of Adrian, Cybersix takes up a job as a local high-school teacher. Our cross-dressing heroine is aided by Lucas, who is a teacher from the same school as Adrian.
What’s interesting about Cybersix’s alter-ego is the idea behind it. In most superhero shows, the secret identity is used so the hero can continue their civilian life without fear of being discovered. Cybersix has a human alter-ego so she can hide from Von Reichter’s mutants during the day, while carrying out her vigilante actions against them at night.
Cybersix has a small, yet interesting cast of characters. Lucas stands as one of my favorites, being a teacher who can hold his own fight. There’s also Data-7, Cybersix’s sidekick, brother, and an actual panther. That’s right, Von Reichter had placed the mind of Cybersix’s deceased brother (and fellow Cyber) into the body of a black panther. With the body of a ferocious jungle beast, he was used by Von Reichter to wipe out his enemies.
He is snapped back to his senses by Cybersix, and very quickly becomes a supporting sidekick. There are several other primary characters, but they are of far less importance. What is of importance is Jose, Von Reichter’s cloned son. Yes, the mad-scientist has a son, who is also a clone of himself. I kind of like Jose, despite the fact that he can be an annoying kid at times
At least Jose is able to be somewhat of a threat at times, though that’s more due to the monsters Von Reichter makes for him. Now, judging by what I told you, you’re probably thinking: “Wow, that sounds like an intricate plot!” Well, that’s not entirely true. Sure, the setup and lore are deep, but you really only need to watch three episodes to get the gist of the entire plot. The episodes you need to see are: Episodes 1, 2, and 13. The other 10 episodes were monster-of-the-week shenanigans that focus on one-shot characters.
If you were to skip these 10 filler episodes though, you’d be missing almost all the best parts of the show. You see, this show is a monster-of-the-week series that is done amazingly well. A lot of the scenarios presented in the episodes are done well, and handled expertly. Characters that only appear once are interesting, such as the expert investigator known as “Yashimoto”.
Now, I’ve seen some video reviews out there that seem to harsh a lot on the fact that Cybersix isn’t as dark as the comics. They were annoyed that it was dumbed down for kids, which is something I disagree with. Sure, Cybersix is lighter and softer than the original, but it keeps elements of what makes the comic darker.
The show hints greatly at these darker elements, without outright revealing them. For example, the show shows bits and pieces of Cyber-29’s death, hints at the fate of what happened to the other Cybers, and even touches on Jose’s Neo-Nazi upbringing in a way that is left purposefully vague.
This means that the show has a hidden layer of depth to it. The problem is that you need to read a lot of the comic to understand this depth, as a lot of backstory is left purposefully vague in the series. Still, Cybersix remains an interesting series with some dark elements here or there.
Now, if you’re planning on watching the show for the first time, make sure to watch the first 2 episodes first. The show is very background heavy, so seeing these episodes will help you understand the world and characters. If you’re interested in weird 90s sci-fi superhero shows, give this one a shot. My description of it may weird out a lot of people, but it’s definitely worth a watch.