Roujin Z

Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo
Year Released: 1991
Rating: 3.0

Oddball animé curio - written by Katsuhiro Otomo, of Akira notoriety - about the development of a technologically advanced bed that cares for the elderly/disabled and 'frees' the younger generations from the 'burden' of having to do so, but the bed (with the man inside it) comes to life, running amok in the town. Interesting statement about the aging/dying's need for a human touch and how passing off the duty to computers is morally wrong; there's also plenty of mech battles and funny perverted old men to keep genre fans squealing. As with Akira's Tetsuo, the 'old man machine' assimilates pieces of its environment, merging with street signs and bulldozers - at some point, HAL from 2001 even becomes a part of the hardware (why not - it fits with the theme). Typical Japanese animation lunacy, and lots of fun.