Netflix’s Original Anime department comes back with Altered Carbon: Resleeved, and centres around Takeshi Kovacs protecting a young Yakuza tattooist whilst being hunted by assassins across Planet Latimar. Netflix describes it as: “Dai Sato, the creative mind behind Cowboy Bebop, further explores and expands upon the Altered Carbon universe in this anime adaption.”
Throughout the story we discover that CTAC Agent Gena (Elizabeth Maxwell) is really Reileen, Kovacs’ sister resleeved — he can’t know this, for it ruins the events of the live action version’s season one, though she later realises who he is. A strange story unfolds about the Yakuza amidst a coup d’état, punctuated by flat dialogue, expert scenery, and interesting fight scenes.
This movie does not engage an audience, and barely holds the amount of complexities the original series championed. So, what does work? The action sequences are curious, and the non-traditional, three-dimensional animation style, places the movie in the realm of a prolonged cut scene — a cross between Capcom Street Fighter and Borderlands. If you find yourself outside of the fandom, the moments where Gena and Kovacs hack through ninja assassins to get to the “big bad boss” are truly worth watching.
We find Takeshi Kovacs, once again, merely a vehicle for a rather bland story (as season two of the Netflix series failed to match the impact of season one’s noir-investigation aspect). Resleeved is a poor addition to the franchise, and a potential let down for fans of the book and original series. The movie ends with a hint at a possible sequel, and frankly, why beat a dead horse?
Part of me wonders how Richard K. Morgan, the original author of Altered Carbon, would feel about this adaption — and then I wince. With so many other series on Netflix, both from western and international production companies, Resleeved should be a last-ditch effort to combat isolation — or at best, background noise whilst you work from home or on a pesky assignment.
JOSHUA HALL HAINES