More than five centuries have passed since Megazone 23 returned to Earth, and humanity lives in the planet’s only population center, Eden City. On a dark street, Eiji Takanaka and his friends Bud and Akira hack into a public terminal. When several E=X Flaggers approach, the three escape and head to a video arcade, where Eiji plays the space combat simulator Hard On. The next morning, Eiji wakes up in his apartment and watches the news. An increase in suicides is prompting a speech and the first public appearance in seven years of Bishop Won Dai. The news also reports that due to an increase in netjacking incidents, E=X and the Net Police are warning that they may need to institute martial law to protect the System, which maintains Eden City. After showering and dressing, Eiji gets on his motorcycle and drives to a shopping center, where he meets with Bud, Akira, Lisa, Miki and Lester. He shows off his elite Blue ID that comes with his new job at E=X. Akira wants to play a game of Hard On, and Miki suggests they throw a party for Eiji. As they talk, a new Eve video plays on a screen, but Eiji think she’s a lame computer generated idol. He then turns his attention to two waitresses at the bar and walks over to talk to one named Ryo Narahara. Everyone except Akira bets that Eiji won’t score, but he surprises them all by getting a date with Ryo. Eiji, Bud and Akira play Hard On, but Akira dies first, leaving Eiji and Bud to deal with the bosses. Bud is killed from behind, and Eiji moves forward and clears level seven. Outside the simulator, Bud sees Ryo speaking with a tall man wearing sunglasses. Ryo comes over to watch Eiji play, but the game crashes just as the last level begins to load. Eiji tells Akira to practice more, and he promises to pull off a perfect game at tomorrow’s party. Eiji goes for a walk with Ryo, and she tells him she tries to sound as feminine as possible since she has a boy’s name. They talk briefly about Hard On becoming a full program, and Eiji declares that he’s the only one who can beat the game. He tells Ryo he’s joined E=X because he wanted to know more about Eden from his hacker days, and Ryo thinks it’s strange for a hacker to get a job with E=X. She tells him that she wants to be a performer like Eve. Eiji doesn’t understand what Eve’s appeal is, and Ryo says she believes Eve is more than a program and is alive somewhere. Eiji doesn’t believe the rumors that Eve doesn’t age, just like Won Dai. Ryo says she wants to meet Eve and begins to sing along to the Eve video playing on a screen. Eiji asks for her access codes, but she tells him that as an elite hacker, he should research it himself.
At home, Eiji watches a video message from E=X operator Miura Simka telling him where to report for work. Eiji activates his terminal and hacks into Psycholand’s employee list to find Ryo, but she’s not there. He conducts another search and finds the information, but he enters a sensitive area and quickly backs off so that the Net Police don’t find him. The next morning, Eiji meets with Miura at E=X’s headquarters. She takes him through the System Lab, which is the nerve center of Eden’s operations. Eiji watches A-rank System language operators at work, and Miura introduces him to E=X bureau director Yacob Halm. Because of citizen data lost by netjacker raids, Yacob assigns Eiji to the Garland, an anti-netjacker machine. Later, Eiji meets with his friends for his cycle out party. Bud tells him that he was scouted out by Orange, the company that produces Hard On. He says that Orange is planning on creating the hypernet, a separate and more advanced net society within Eden. Eiji doesn’t think E=X will like that, and that it’ll be an all out war. Eiji has a drinking contest with Lester, but the drink proves too strong, causing Eiji to pass out. After waking up, a drunk Eiji asks Lester, Bud and Akira to play Hard On with him. He sees that the top score belongs to someone named Shion, but he says he’ll definitely clear the game this time. The game begins on level 6, and Shion watches from a remote location. He asks a man named Borno to load a special program on the machines. As a battleship appears, Akira and Lester are quickly shot down. Bud is destroyed in a barrage of missiles, but Eiji manages to survive and attack the battleship. Shion orders version X to be loaded, but Borno thinks that’s too much. As the cockpit experiences electrical feedback, Eiji realizes a netjacker is involved and that he can’t escape from the game. Borno tells Shion that if something happens, E=X could catch on and ruin Derekman’s plans. Eve suddenly appears on Shion’s screen, causing the game to crash and eject Eiji. Before vomiting, Eiji asks Bud to come over later with a device. At night, Eiji and Bud hide from a Flagger patrol unit and jack into a public terminal. Bud asks if Eiji is searching for Ryo’s three sizes, but Eiji explains that her information was deleted. Eiji finds Ryo’s information and restores it to lure in the netjacker who deleted the info in the first place. Bud says that the source is deep within Orange’s system, and a counter program activates. Two Flaggers are dispatched to the scene, but Eiji and Bud hide in a dark alley. Bud tells Eiji that he’s going too far and can’t do this now that he’s in E=X, but Eiji laughs it off.
The next day, Yacob gives a speech to Eiji and the other new hires. He says that Eden is mankind’s ultimate paradise, and that E=X must defend it under the guidance of Won Dai and the System. He says that the netjackers have forgotten what the System’s purpose is and are threatening Eden. A man standing next to Eiji mentions that the netjackers’ mission is supposedly to liberate Eden, but Yacob thinks that’s nonsense and says that Eden will be liberated by Won Dai and the System. He says that their job is critical until the day the System decides that humanity can coexist with nature. Miura dismisses everyone except Eiji, and she shows him a photo of him and Bud taken the night before. She says that his actions could be interpreted as treason against the System, and that his affiliation and rank with E=X would be rescinded. Yacob says that’s what would normally happen, but he needs Eiji’s talents as a hacker. Miura then orders Eiji to the Garland simulator, and he runs off. In the Garland simulator room, Yacob explains that the prototype version of the Garland was used during the final conflict. Eiji’s monitor suddenly goes blank, and Miura concludes that it’s outside interference from a netjacker. Yacob says that shouldn’t be possible because the lab has no connections to the net. The simulator program suddenly changes, and Shion challenges Eiji to beat his program. The simulator then overloads, tossing Eiji from the Garland. Yacob says the netjackers must be worried if they’re trying to get data on the Garland. Eiji asks if he can take the Garland home and customize it, but Yacob says there’s no time. Elsewhere, Shion decides to do a frontal attack on the System tomorrow to liberate Eve’s program. Ryo takes a shower and hurries to answer a phone call. At his apartment, Eiji works on the Garland and gets a surprise visit from Ryo. She thinks it’s strange to have a motorcycle in an apartment, and he explains that it’s E=X’s secret weapon to eradicate netjackers like Shion. Ryo lies about knowing Shion and asks why it’s so hot. The room begins to overheat, and Eiji realizes the room’s systems are failing. They’re locked on, so he figures it’s Shion’s doing. Ryo blurts out that Shion wouldn’t do that. She explains that she met him at an audition, but his talk of liberating Eden scared her. Eiji hops on the Garland and asks Ryo if she trusts him or Shion. They then smash through the window and crash into a garden below just before the apartment explodes. Ryo thanks Eiji for rescuing her and kisses him. He then kisses her back and says she should thank the Garland. The next morning, Eiji takes a drive and notices that the traffic control system isn’t working. At the System Lab, workers attempt to deal with massive attacks by netjackers. Miura reports the attack to Yacob, but he seems disinterested and orders her to send out the Garland team. Yacob accesses E=X’s terminals and returns System operations to normal. Eiji and the other two pilots head to the source of the disturbance, but the signal is lost. Miura says that the data seems to be from a different network, so Eiji quickly examines it and determines that the source is Orange’s gaming network at Psycholand. Shion discovers something called Project Heaven and orders the others to escape while he boards a Hargan and attacks the Garland team. At the System Lab, the protection on the Eve program is removed. Elsewhere, Eiji escapes onto a highway and transforms the Garland to G-form to fight Shion. Eiji says he’s tired of Shion messing with him, but Shion says he was just testing Eiji’s life data. Eiji crashes into a building, but he quickly recovers and pulls out two knives to attack with. The Eve program appears everywhere, and Won Dai tells Yacob to plug in. Yacob takes control of Eiji and the Garland and fires missiles at Shion, but Eiji breaks free and runs over to Shion. Shion says that Eve is about to wake up and is calling out to Eiji. Eiji takes the Garland down to Point 0, the lowest part of the city. He’s shocked to see a capsule with Eve’s body. The capsule opens, and Eve greets Eiji as the operator of 7G.
The last installment of Megazone 23 switches hands again, being directed this time by mechanical designer Shinji Aramaki and Kenichi Yatagai. Featuring character designs by Hiroyuki Kitazume (Gundam ZZ, Char’s Counterattack), the characters look closer to the first part than the second. Here, the story picks up five hundred years after part 2. Humanity lives in Eden City, but obviously all is not right. The story focuses on Eiji, an elite hacker and gamer who is destined to take Shogo’s place as the operator of 7G. This installment moves away from the boozing and teenage rebellion of part 2, focusing more on technology to create a cyberpunk story. It’s also lighter on the sex department, so fans of that will have to settle for shower scenes of Ryo and Lisa, or Eve’s awakening. The story manages to tie in well with the previous parts, including some mention of Shogo’s fate. Given the things that Won Dai says at the end, I wonder if he was actually Shogo, twisted by five hundred years of being tied to the system. My complaint here is the antagonist: Yacob isn’t mysterious like BD was, and in fact he’s just a cardboard, robotic slave of the System. Although the mecha combat here is brief, it’s nicely done. Overall, part 3 is a good finale to the series after a disappointing middle.