…How am I supposed to write about this show? Or this movie, or OVA, or whatever it was? Ok, so, I watched it during a groupwatch a few months ago, which is good, because otherwise I would never ever have found it, let alone decided to watch it. Cipher is truly awful, but I’m not saying it was the fault of any one person, kind of like how some people say awful things while meaning well, or how some people think they make sense but others hear only nonsense. It’s not malice, it’s just miscommunication, for better or for worse(often for worse). In the case of Cipher, the miscommunication does, however, have some upsides, because it turns an otherwise seemingly uninspired story into a veritable work of art.
According to MAL, both Kenny Loggins and Phil Collins are credited for creating the music of Cipher together with Deniece Williams. Both the opening and the ending themes are Against All Odds by Phil Collins. There is no Japanese dub, it’s all English. The story is almost completely disconnected, and feels more like a series of music videos(of songs by the aforementioned artists) than a regular film. All of these elements are brought together in the worst possible ways imaginable, which is why Cipher is awful, but I had a lot of fun watching it for some reason. And then, when the OVA proper ended, I found out why I had liked it so much: The 20-minute “making of” video that played afterward documented the staff’s trip to NYC to get inspiration for the OVA. The result of this trip was, as I already mentioned, far from amazing, but I couldn’t help being moved by the enthusiasm with which they worked. It made me feel like Cipher was made with love, regardless of the outcome, and I value that. Sometimes. Maybe.