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Angel Cop

Entry updated 3 July 2023. Tagged: TV.

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1989-1994; original title Enzeru Koppu). DAST. Directed by Ichirō Itano. Written by Shō Aikawa and Ichirō Itano. Voice cast includes Mika Doi, Masashi Ebara, Kumiko Hironaka, Kōichi Kitamura, Osamu Saka and Kenji Utsumi. Six 27-34 minute episodes. Colour.

Japan is the world's number one economic power but suffers violent attacks from international terrorists who resent its global authority. So in 1990 the Special Security Force is formed: ten people who are allowed to kill in the line of duty. Their main enemy is the extreme left-wing group, Red May (see Politics) – but matters are complicated when The Hunters, a trio of Psi Powered vigilantes, begin murdering the terrorists, with SSF powerless against them – until one of the force, "Raiden" Sakada (Ebara), turns up in Powered Armour capable of combating the vigilantes: after being badly injured he had been turned into a Cyborg by a Scientist, Ichihara (Kitamura).

The SSF discover the Towa Power Company are planning to turn Hokkaido (the country's second largest island) into a nuclear waste dump, as a result of two-thirds of the Japanese company's stock having been bought up by "American Jewish investors" (see Race in SF) who have Japan's politicians in their pockets. Furthermore, they are also pulling the strings of Red May, with the Hunters used to tidy up the group's failed operations so there are no prisoners for SSF to interrogate. When they discover this, two of the Hunters, who had believed they were doing good, join the SSF; but not their most powerful member, Lucifer (Hironaka).

The Governor of Tokyo, Maisaka (Saka), tries to wipe out the SSF but fails; Lucifer nearly succeeds but Raiden and fellow SSF member "Angel" Mikawa (Doi) eventually kill her, with the help of Ichihara's Weapons. Meanwhile SSF's leader Kaisho Taki (Utsumi) confronts Maisaka: both lay out their positions. Maisaka argues it is better to be America's lapdog rather than become its nuclear waste dumping ground; Kaisho says the "Jews have already taken over America" before going into a long speech about US Imperialism in the Middle-East and Asia: even apparent failures like Vietnam was simply their focusing on using it as a chemical weapon testing ground. Though Kaisho is Tortured by Maisaka the latter ends up dead and Kaisho escapes; the film ends with a message which closes with "it is an era in which everyone leaves the answers to others. And yet, Japan still survives ..."

With the United States the world's sole superpower when the Soviet Union began to collapse, many conspiracy theorists concluded – because obviously change does not occur through the natural interplay of events – it had all been planned, and was confirmation of their very worst fears over US Imperialism (see Paranoia). Angel Cop adds in anti-Semitism and nationalism to make a deeply unpleasant mix with, for example, the SSF using their patriotism to justify torture. The English dub was poor but omitted the racism, leaving a morally uncomfortable but absurd, action-packed and gore-heavy Anime with only one sympathetic character (a child who is one of the Hunters); despite the series' title the character Angel does not really stand out from the other protagonists/antagonists. [SP]


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