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Fans of Formula One really can't complain. After the very moving Grand Prix no taka (1977) and F, a not less interesting series shown in Italy, they were lucky enough to get in 1991 one of the best animated creations of the Rising Sun, Cyber Formula.

The storyline is quite simple, perhaps even simplistic. We follow the adventures of the young Hayato Kazami, 14 years old, son of a racing champion, and friend of an engineer who designed a fabulous racing car fitted up with the intelligent computer Asurada. Yes, like in Pole Position, but in a more serious version... These famous cars roar at over 400kph, served by a perfect animation, especially for a TV series ! One would think it's an OAV... During the 37 episodes of the series and the ten races of the championship, Hayato is confronted with competitors in ever increasing number, each time more powerful and interesting. And he will win the championship, but only by struggling in the earlier episodes and by fighting his best in the last episode...

Hayato's adventures continue in the Cyber Formula 11 (pronounce double one) 6-episode OAV, and their (amorous) conclusion is in a wonderful 8-volume video, Cyber Formula Zero. Its animation and style (designed by Mutsumi Inomata, yes, from Kaze no tairiku) get even richer to the point of reaching a really amazing perfection level.

Let me introduce you to the characters who move around Hayato. Asuka, who sometimes acts as technician in her team, is the feminine element of the story, and Hayato's heart will not stay insensitive to her. To such a point that she will make him choose between her and racing competition in the second OVA. Among Hayato's rivals, you'll find Randoll, a handsome young blond - and a distinguished man who will be Hayato's loving rival. There's also Knight Schoemach (or should we rather say Schumacher ?), who is so cute under his black fashionable glasses. And his voice, Shô Hayami, makes girl scream even more when they see him... I won't forget Naoki Shinjô, Jackie Gudelhian, Franz Heinel or Bleed Kaga, who sometimes steals the show from Hayato with his strange green/orange hair. No, no, he isn't a punk head.

As the racing cars cruising speed would let us suppose, accidents are quite numerous during races in this near future. It's up to them to know how to avoid it because they are part of everyday life for these modern heroes, such as are all their trips, the practice or the podium - for which our gladiators risk their lives. With such fascinating, dynamic and exciting sequences, one quickly understands why the series got its success in Japan, and we can only hope one day the whole world will be able to admire this wonderful merging of energies which will make you yell with rage any second, from the beginning of the race to the delighting Japanese ending theme.

Cyber Namida was created and designed by René-Gilles Deberdt. All rights reserved.