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In 2097 Hong Kong, virtuality is preferable to the real world. The Internet has a mind of its own. Cloning is outlawed. Vast supercomputers run on biological software, but the combination of genetics and cybernetics places human beings at the mercy of digital viruses, some of which are accidents, some of which are the work of the infamous "Incubator." The STAND is an elite task force that terminates viruses with extreme prejudice. Serge is a brainwashed assassin, plotting the death of STAND captain Raven. But when Serge is "cured" of his desire for vengeance, he joins the team. Impossibly proportioned token female Erika is just dying to get to know him better. But Serge is less popular with the two gunslinging officers, Macus and Joichiro, who don't want an ex-assassin for backup. The team must learn to work together and to exorcise the demons from their own past-the viruses feed on skeletons in the mental closet.

With its possessed human hosts, Virus shares themes with Ghost in the Shell and glossy horror moods out of Silent Möbius. It combines the angst of Evangelion and the superheroes of Sonic Soldier Borgman, artfully concealing a tiny budget and breakneck schedule with great splashes of special effects, clever uses of shadow, and superfast cuts. Its appeal to audiences is nicely, if perhaps cynically, manufactured; the makers assume that a male SF audience is already guaranteed, so they concentrate on the brooding, pouting, pretty-boys to drag in female fans. Fight scenes are carefully interwoven with character development; the end-of-episode cliffhanger is just as likely to be a terrifying revelation from the past as a physical threat. However, like the equally beautiful Darkside Blues, Virus has a frustrating tangle of subplots and relationships running into dead ends with no time to resolve them. For those who really can't wait to get more of the high-tensile battle action and the darkly erotic aura of the male cast, the Sega Saturn game and later PlayStation spin-off Virus: The Battle Field use the original cast voices and design. The hip-hop group Dragon Ash had its big break with the anime's opening theme, going on to record music for DT Eightron and Kinji Fukasaku's live-action Battle Royale (2001). V

Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Masami Obari

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Virus
Name: ウイルス
Romaji: Uirusu
Publisher J.C. Staff
Start Year 1997
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Aliases Virus Buster Serge
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