Black Magic M-66

In 1987, a portion of Black Magic, the chapter entitled "Booby Trap," was adapted into an anime. In the original manga, several combat robots, Marionette-66s, were set loose by Duna to wreak havoc and left them to be hunted down by the military in an effort to bring down Zeus, the political leader of Venus. When it was adapted to a 50-minute OAV, most of the story changed, leaving only the hunting down of two M-66s by the military as the overall plot intact, cutting Duna from the story altogether.

In the adaptation, the story focuses on Sybel, a freelance journalist(who makes NO appearance in the manga) that gets tangled up in the effort to destroy the robots. When one of the two robots escapes, it goes on a hunt for the granddaughter of its creator. Sybel, being the first to pick up on this, goes to save the girl from the unstoppable killing machine while the military continues trying to stop it.

This was Shirow's first animated project, and his only time directing the adaptaion of one of his works. Unfortunately, the animated product is somewhat disappointing, though whether that is due to Shirow's direction, or those he had working with him, remains unclear. It was not a pleasant experience for Shirow, and as such, he has remained absent from the director's chair on any adaptations of his works since then.

Intron Depot Excerpts

Black Magic M-66 was the first original animation to involve Shirow Masamune. I was entrusted with handling the storyboards and direction, and tried to evoke the mood of a quality B-grade SF flick. So what do you think, dear readers? Anyway, it was a long, long, loonnngg row to hoe... Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all who worked on the original drawings, the animation and music. You did a great job! Thanks a bunch! The laser disk somehow managed a second pressing for whatever it's called, so I guess it got Mr. Bandai's blessing. Still I was so embarrassed . I couldn't watch it for the first year and a half after it was released... It never did quite come together... But the staff really did do their best, and - aahh, enough of that. The video went on sale in the spring of 1987. (page 47)

Despite its flaws, the project actually produced a finished, released work without dying on the vine-thanks to people like Mr. Bandai. Thank you! I learned an awful lot working on the project. A very few members of the staff apparently felt that I discriminate against North Korea or something - I'm not quite sure what they meant - but I want to make clear that I do no such thing. I have never engaged in petty discrimination of this sort, and I do not believe in it. Conversely, I don't intend to give special treatment to Japan either. Also, as regards violence and Eros, I don't deny that these are important elements of my manga. But I were accused of being a violence-monger or a porn-peddler, my response would be "Oh yeah? Well... it's too bad we had a breakdown in communication. Really a shame." (page 48)

Anime Images

(more to come when I get the DVD):

Anime version of M-66 android