Moebius City (animation)

Moebius City is set in San Francisco. Friends living in the City are able to communicate telepathically, and locate each other anywhere, using the Sutro Tower as a psychic bounce point. The god of the City is an enormous, translucent manta that occasionally sails overhead, answering prayers on its way back to sea. Scene moods are enhanced by tying San Francisco places with a strong impression of style (film-noir, belle epoque, beach bingo) to the emotional tones of the script. Some scenes are claustrophobic night shoots with low-key lighting, others brightly sunlit, psychedelic, and celebratory.

There are Mission Latina mediums and Hippie housewives with braided hair and healing wisdom. Dolores Park is where drag queens and toddlers play patty-cake while moms sip wine, dogs chase, and hipsters toke. The Castro is full of hot gay saints, looking much as it did in Milk but with more barebacking and atomic-nucleus-splitting orgasms. The streets are slick with lube and spooge, so neighborhood residents all wear Wellies and adapt amiably to the environment.

The wealthy class in this show all live in large, futuristic glass houses in Pac Heights and cavort about wearing ’70s glam sci-fi gear. The twist is they’re actually inter-dimensional beings who’ve chosen this as the most likely first human city to effectively handle Gestalt, as homo sapiens’ next organ of perception manifests more fully. But utopia is a garden with at least one kind of snake. Jealous outsiders infiltrate and plot. Fundamentalist missionaries with deeply repressed, twisted sexualities painfully assault the minds of vulnerable Tenderloin drug addicts and outcasts.

Moebius City centers on Justin, who moves to the City from Salem, Massachusetts, and we watch his personal evolution over the span of the series. He arrives a starry-eyed idealist with a fatal flaw: self-destructive tendencies of which he is not aware. Looking for love, he first falls into the crystal meth and sex sub-culture of club nights in the City. At his darkest moment, he is visited by Spirits of the Ocean Air who are embodied by the fog that descends over Twin Peaks. The spirits speak words of comfort and encouragement to Justin as they glide by his window, on their way down the hill.

They give him a task: watch for clues, pray to transmute his share of human suffering into communicable enlightenment that justifies mortality and offers credible hope. A Humanist project, to give everything for his family and humankind. The answer is hidden in plain sight, the shards from Big Bang scattered into our daily lives. Justin moves between the different neighborhoods and gains insights from the people loving, working, dying and transforming in the City. The writing for this show would borrow generously from magical realism and mythology. Wildly unique characters and well-intended stereotypes moving through moments of bitter futility and great joy that are aligned by affinity to individual cosmic principles.