Altered Carbon: Resleeved Netflix Anime Is a Bloody, Pretty Show Prequel
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Altered Carbon: Resleeved Netflix Anime Is a Bloody, Beautiful Successor to Series

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BY March 21, 2020

We only just got finished with Altered Carbon season 2, and already there is a new adventure starring Takeshi Kovacs. From the trailer for Altered Carbon: Resleeved, the Netflix anime looked to be the best of both worlds. It is a story set in the very recognizable world of stacks, needle-casting, and sleeves. Yet, it also has a unique animation style that looks like a comic book come to life.

Before we get into the story told in this movie, we have to talk about the animation. The backdrops and sets are gorgeous, and in some shots look almost photorealistic. The characters move in very natural ways, despite their hand-drawn look. Because the story revolves around the Yakuza, there is a heavy Japanese influence on the style throughout the film. Even the incredible, bloody violence is gorgeous to behold.

The story, however, is straightforward and a little silly. Thanks to a Yakuza tradition, their leader has to submit to “real death” in order to make way for his replacement. This happens because of a code embedded in their sci-fi tattoos, a process known only to the seemingly adolescent-aged tattoo artist. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but unlike the series the storytellers had barely an hour to lay out and then wrap up the narrative. So, a simple villain and a simple mystery were needed.

Spoilers for Altered Carbon: Resleeved and season 2 ahead.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved Reveals Much About Season 2 but Does Create Some Plot Holes

Altered Carbon: Resleeved Anthony Mackie Tanaseda Takeshi Kovacs Image via screengrab

Resleeved has one detail that connects the Netflix anime to the second season of Altered Carbon proper. During the season, Anthony Mackie’s Kovacs goes to a leader of the Yakuza on his homeworld, a man who owes him a huge debt. Well we meet this character, Tanaseda Hideki, at a different point in his life. He’s not a leader in the Yakuza yet, and he brings Kovacs in to fix that. It’s a fun twist to see the adventures Kovacs had before we met him in the series. It’s also interesting that they are filling out these characters’ backstories via prequels. However, this does create a plot hole.

In season 2, we see that Tanaseda is present with the rest of the founders of Harlan’s World, suggesting he is in a position of power already. Yet, he’s hiding in the shadows when we meet him Altered Carbon: Resleeved, meaning his status in the Netflix Anime is different than we see in the live-action version. Of course, that’s not even the biggest problem. Though, this is less a plot hole and more of a general story problem.

Kovacs, of course, teams up with an attractive and capable woman named Gena. She is a part of the Colonial Tactical Assault Corps, like Kovacs was before he joined the Envoys. Only, she’s later revealed to be his sister, Reileen Kwahara, who took the mission only to satiate her lust for revenge on the Yakuza themselves. As the story goes on, she realizes that her partner is her brother. Yet, instead of talking to him, she just walks away. This makes no sense give the events of Altered Carbon’s first season. Her sole mission was to find her brother, so it’s hard to believe she’d leave him.

Altered Carbon: Resleeved Will Not Be the Only Netflix Anime Set In This Universe

Altered Carbon: Resleeved Anthony Mackie Tanaseda Takeshi Kovacs Image via Netflix

Still, story problems aside, this was a fun movie and great for fans of anime and those who aren’t so keen on the genre. And the story problems may not go unanswered. The end of the film makes it very clear that Tanaseda is not done with Kovacs yet. So, that means a Netflix anime sequel to Altered Carbon: Resleeved is likely in the works. We don’t know if Altered Carbon will be back in live-action. Yet, anime is much cheaper, and Netflix invested heavily in original anime. Even if Takeshi Kovacs doesn’t continue his adventures “in the real” as they say, we’ll likely get more of these types of features, leading up to the events that got Kovacs arrested.

A sequel to Altered Carbon: Resleeved will likely address these so-called plot holes, perhaps as a way to enrich its own story. Perhaps we will learn that Tanaseda fell from grace, and Kovacs helped put him back on top. (He does have a habit of helping out “Meths.”) We may also learn that CTAC’s bounty on Kovacs prevented Reileen from revealing herself to her brother. Though, the real reason she doesn’t is because we already know they don’t reunite until the first season of the live-action series. Either way, more Altered Carbon is undeniably a good thing.

What do you think of the Netflix anime original Altered Carbon: Resleeved? Do the story inconsistencies bother you or do you think they are part of a larger plan? Share your thoughts, reviews, and theories in the comments below.

Featured image via Netflix.

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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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