What dreams can demons have?
In an ill-conceived attempt to solve Earth's energy crisis by harnessing another planet's power, a horrible accident plunged the Earth into an eternal night populated by devilishly intelligent aliens. To neutralize the constant threat posed by these beings, known as Lucifer Hawk, the all-female mystic police squad, AMPD, was formed. Each member of the Attacked Mystification Police Department must face the personal demons of her past in addition to the vengeful exiles of the exploited planet Nemesis.
Masters of both supernatural and physical abilities, the multi-talented women of AMP protect the people of Neo-Tokyo and occasionally find time for fun, love, and contentment. Shattering the peace at every opportunity are the generals of the Lucifer Hawk army, Ganossa and Rosa, two treacherous semi-human sorcerors.
Both groups seek the heart and soul of Katsumi Liqueur, daughter of Earth's pre-eminent sorceror, and the only key to opening or sealing the dimensional gateway to Nemesis. Wielding the power to decide the fate of both worlds, she has the potential to be AMP's greatest champion or its worst enemy.
Far and away the most popular of Asamiya's works to-date, the Silent Mobius manga consists of 12 volumes, published by Kadokawa Shoten in two versions. The versions differ primarily in the presence or lack of decoration in the book design. The original version (oversize) has color inserts and vellum title pages, with blue-on-white line drawings of major characters on the inside of the dust covers. The later edition retains the same chapter organization, but drops the embellishment to produce a plain, standard tankoubon.
Although published in several European and Asian languages, Silent Mobius doesn't lose any of its impact across translation. I have found the English version, released by Viz Communications, to be quite gripping and true to the flavor of the original. They have not (yet) shied away from carrying over the adult language and violence used in the story, although it remains to be seen whether or not they will edit the brief sex scene of volume 8. [Revision: As it turned out, Viz did not censor out either the sex or the violence of the later volumes of Silent Mobius, and has finally completed its release of the manga series.]
Silent Mobius has had a long, troubled path to receiving a full animated treatment. There were two animated movies, the first of which focuses on a single self-contained volume of the manga. Because of the need to provide a bare background sketch before proceeding with the actual plot, the first Silent Mobius movie comes across as rushed, with too little time permitted for character introduction and plot development. Manga fans may feel unsatisfied, while those unfamiliar with the characters might wonder about their motivations. I haven't watched the second Silent Mobius movie yet, but I understand that it takes an alternate perspective by transplanting the characters to a setting in Classical Japan.
Released in time for the 10-year anniversary of the start of Silent Mobius, the television series is the closest anime adaptation of the manga. The chapters of the manga are transcribed almost verbatim into 26 episodes. These episodes include material covered in Mobius Klein, the prematurely-ended, single-volume prequel to Silent Mobius. The TV series shuffles the order and timing of several of the events of the story, most notably the induction of A.M.P.D. late-comers Katsumi Liqueur and Lum Cheng. Moreover, due to the multi-director nature of TV shows, the episodes of Silent Mobius TV do not share a consistent look-and-feel. Most action-packed episodes use bold colors and extensive computer-graphics, while more subtle colors and manga-like designs are used for slow, introspective episodes. Once the abruptness of the changeover wore off, I found that the designs suited the episodes well. Silent Mobius TV is released in North America by AnimeVillage/Bandai Entertainment. The Mobius Klein manga is in current release in English by Fanboy Entertainment.
Although there is at least one Silent Mobius video game in existence, the predominant CD-form for this series is combination drama-music audio CDs. Mixing music that seems to suit the moods of various SM scenarios with short dramatic sketches is the norm, although both movies and the TV series have yielded several soundtrack CDs apiece. The TV opening vocal ("Kindan no Pansee", v. Ishizuka Saori) is particularly good, with a combination of classical pipe organ and modern J-rock.
Since Silent Mobius is officially complete, and the TV series has finished its run, it is unlikely that any further continuations or new versions of this story will appear. However, there is a sizeable fanbase, churning out fan-written stories and fan-art. I have also come across a rulebook for role-playing in the Silent Mobius universe, possibly available in languages besides Japanese, that can allow a group of gamers to continue the fight against Lucifer Hawk (or against the A.M.P.D., for that matter).
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