The List
7 Times Technology Went Totally Wrong

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Most of you are probably nose-deep in Attack on Titan fervor right now, but another little adaptation came out in theaters this week starring ScarJo as The Major. Hollywood's Ghost in the Shell premiered to mixed reviews, but no matter your personal take on the plotting, cinematography, or casting choices, it seems to have already opened doors for more Hollywood anime adaptations. Just on the heels of its premiere, the long dormant live-action Akira got an update that director Jordan Peele might take the reins. Cyberpunk might just be finding some new legs, and its message of tech taken too far will be delivered to the world's most technologically connected society yet. What happens when technology goes too far? Hubris, immortality, and regrets open all kinds of forbidden doors.

Lucy (Elfen Lied) Initially, Lucy was simply a more evolved human possessing psychic powers. It's not until humans decide to start experimenting with her in the cruelest way possible that a girl with special abilities became a ticking time bomb. Scientists analyzing Lucy bound her with a helmet in an isolated containment chamber, while other girls were injected with explosives. The specialized devices used to restrain these Diclonius only served to further their resentment against humanity and lead to their violent retribution.

The Immortal Legion (Fullmetal Alchemist) Military recruits are sometimes referred to in uncouth terms as "bodies", but the foes in Fullmetal Alchemist take this quite literally when their experiments result in living weapons: a cannibalistic swarm that can be unleashed to literally devour its opponents. The arguably human drones are powered by the souls of the dead. They do show some childlike level of consciousness, which is only manipulated by their handlers.

Magi Computer (Neon Genesis Evangelion) The bio computer is the crowning work of Ritsuko's mother, Dr. Naoko Akagi, so much so that she continues to live within it. Three aspects of her personality: mother, woman, and scientist are used in conjunction with the technology inside the Evangelion units. There's a lot that can be read into the Magi system as it appears in the series. The "woman" aspect of the system ultimately overrides the "mother" aspect by superseding Ritsuko's attempts to cause the system to self-destruct and kill Gendo. The whole thing is a pretty loaded statement.

Protodeviln (Macross 7) Let's say you're an entrepreneurial dominant galactic race, and one day you decide you need more weapons. Not just any weapons, but high-energy consuming biological weapons. The technology is there to engineer these weapons, but the power requirements are too high. But wait! There's a seemingly energy-filled galaxy with no discernible life, so let's just sap it from there to power our weapons! Wait, there was incorporeal life there? It's possessed our biological weapons of mass destruction, and now it's enslaving every alien race it comes across? Whoops.

Phone Microwave (Steins;Gate) All Okabe wanted was the ability to heat up some leftovers remotely using his cellphone. That plan went belly-up when everything kept turning into green gelatin. The Future Gadget Laboratory discovers that it isn't just the cellphone and microwave interacting with each other, but also a 42-inch Braun Tube TV, and a combination of these three devices creates black holes inside the microwave, allowing Okabe to send messages (and eventually his memories) into the past. This causes its own Butterfly Effect, resulting in the neverending death of Mayuri, not to mention attracting the attention of a government entity involved in a huge conspiracy.

Boomers (Bubblegum Crisis) Boomers are another case of useful technology, in this case service robots, going haywire because humans are assholes. A boomer can only take so much mishandling and abuse before it goes renegade, and this has now happened so often that there's a whole police department dedicated to dealing with Boomer problems. Bubblegum Crisis 2040 takes this concept even further when a secret Boomer project devised from experimenting on a child decides to wipe out humanity and bring the Boomer revolution.

Z-001 (Roujin Z) The generational numbers gap in Japan is a long-discussed issue, since current population growth simply isn't there to support a large number of elderly folks. Roujin Z satirizes this issue and the government's treatment of his elderly citizens, when the Ministry of Public Health introduces a mecha hospital bed that's supposed to serve as all-encompassing care for aging citizens. Mr. Takazawa is recruited without his knowledge, and the computer controlling the device is wired directly to his brain. This connection has an unintended effect of giving the Z-001 sentience in the form of the senile Takazawa's wife. The bed makes off with its occupant and eventually transforms into an Tetsuo-style mesh of biological technology.

The new poll: Have you ever dropped a manga because it went on for too long? If so, which ones?

The old poll: Who is your One True Naruto pairing?

  1. Hinata 54.1%
  2. Sasuke 18.0%
  3. Sakura 8.2%
  4. Teuchi the Ramen Guy 6.1%
  5. Harem Ending 4.2%
  6. Villager B 3.7%
  7. Lady Tsunade 1.7%
  8. The Rower 1.7%
  9. Orochimaru 0.6%
  10. Karin 0.5%
  11. Iruka 0.5%
  12. Naruko Uzumaki 0.3%
  13. Mei Terumi 0.2%
  14. Rem 0.2%
  15. The Third 0.1%
  16. Sarada 0.1%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

discuss this in the forum (11 posts) |
bookmark/share with:

The List homepage / archives

Loading next article...