Released Year : December 18, 1992 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Action,Adventure,Psychological,Sci-Fi
Plot : An exciting cyberpunk romp directed by Rintaro with veteran animator Kanada Yoshinori about a genius hacker and a gang of hot-rodders.
Our Review : Down[r]oad is a perhaps adventurous film, containing a multitude of humour, cyberpunk genre conventions, raunchy and erotic scenes; a shounen aimed at mid-teens.
The plot is rather simple, in fact with much description I'd have ruined it for you. The main character Shirou, vies for the attention of a prestigious stripper, who leads him to a conspiracy. Things go boom, enemies become friends, and a whole lot of flashing colourful lights as per hacking and cyberpunk necessitate, thus proceed.
The animation has some direct conflictions; effort has been made to add detail to technological points, yet landscapes and characters often have a complete lack of detail. The art style is extremely reminiscent of Akira; this is not surprising as Tatsuyuki Tanaka is a key frame animator for this project; he also worked on Akira. The style is maintained by Yoshinori Kanada however- a most famous and respected animator whose works have influenced many. The style creates a vitality and ebullient dynamism to the characters- however with a low-grade budget, little of the empathised genuineness can be felt in scenes. We most certainly feel like we are watching characters, not people. However, the main attraction of this movie is the cyberpunk details that have been envisioned. As per normal, the ideas portrayed are often impractical and bulky apparatus' that indeed do not even improve the standard of a persons life by very much.
Sound was a mixed bag. Bikers portrayed in the film led to a metallic and slight grunge influence in the soundtrack and music- and the actual recording quality of both sound and voices varied dramatically and at some points was almost incomprehensible. Sound effects were rather cliche, nothing special.
The actual characters were indeed stereotypes- but we can find these stereotypes repeated almost exactly throughout time. Even for its time there is nothing new. And there are no lengths taken to give depth to any of the characters. As such, characterisation is poor, or average, but it's not much of a detriment because the film relies on its action, humour, and eroticism, to create a fast-paced 47 minute action-thriller.
So overall, download delivers exactly what you would presume it does having read the very short synopsis. There are no surprises, perhaps the most surprising thing would be how lascivious some scenes are. The production, while not high-budget, manages to deliver a competent cyberpunk vision in a shounen style. It should be appreciated for that at least.