When the Canadian network station ‘Teletoon’ started, they branched out to find a wide variety of animation. MTV shows like ‘Downtown’ and edgy shows like ‘Duckman’ started airing, putting a spotlight on the shows that push the boundaries of what animation could get away with on TV. Also dipping into the foreign market, Teletoon also aired ‘Cybersix’, an Argentine superhero cartoon.
Released in 1999 and originally based on the popular comic of the same name, the basic concept of the show was great if not a little cliche. The heroine, Cybersix plays a genetically enhanced super hero going up against the mega-corporation that created her. Created by Carlos Trillo and Carlos Meglia, the comics themselves held quite a bit of mature content that was watered down in the cartoon.
The shows are plotted nicely with a fair bit of action, but I feel that something got lost when transferring the world from comics to the television. Removal of all sexual content and the antagonist’s Nazi background was probably the correct move for a cartoon of the era, but left fans curious what the cartoon could have been. The characters and dialogue fell flat a lot of the time, hinting at the interesting characters that they could be. Still, the show was overall plotted well and there are episodes that are quite memorable for their emotional through-line.
The biggest draw of the show, I feel, is the incredible aesthetics of Cybersix. The art design for the characters and setting give the show a very refreshing and specific flavour. Animation was done by the Japanese studios Tokyo Movie Shinsha and NOA and was incredible. Movement animation is top-notch, not shying away from a variety of exciting angles and lighting effects. Impressive still, Cybersix manages to do this with a level of detail that was near-impossible to find in an animated television show at the time. If anything, the show is worth watching on these merits alone.
In preparation for this post, I had rewatched the one and only season that was released. I was pleased to find that the show still holds up. I have yet to try and find the comics, but have found in the past that translated foreign comics that aren’t from Japan are very hard to come by.