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When I opened the box and out came three jewel cases with no covers, I was a little disappointed. After watching the first disc, I was very disappointed.
Review by Matthew Anderson
8 Part OVA
Company: Anime Eigo w/ Studio M-2K
Running Time:453 Min (8 episodes + specials)
Rated: R (Violence, nudity, language and adult situations)
It is the year 2032, seven years after the Second Great Kanto Earthquake. Tokyo has rebuilt its self, with the Genom Corporation, and their new humanoid robots, the Boomers, making major contributions. Boomers can now be found in offices, stores and restaurants doing jobs people used to do.
Yet something strange is going. Boomers are going rogue, attacking people and buildings. The police have created a new team to fight the menace, the AD (Advanced ) Police. The Boomers, however, are proving to be difficult to stop, and the AD Police are constantly outgunned.Now, a mysterious group or power-armored women called The Knight Sabers have appeared. Somehow, they know where and how to take out the rogue Boomers before the AD Police can. With combat suits that are faster, stronger, and more maneuverable than the AD Police's , The Knight Sabers goal is to stop Genom at any cost.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: Video on this release
is consistently well done. A vast improvement from the video release, the colors
are richer, and the image sharper. You get more of the gritty cyberpunk feel
on this DVD.
AUDIO: With the English version, the voices are stronger than the background music and sound effects. Since the entire audio was redone, Anime Eigo had the chance to amp up the sound. Very clear and sharp. The Japanese audio of course is not as clear as the English. Since the series was recorded in the 80's, the soundtrack is not done in Surround Sound, and it shows. However, the blend is perfect, with voices and music sharing the speakers.
EDITS: This is a very big point. Like Urban Vision did with their Gatchaman release, Anime Eigo edited their own work. The M2K release completely removed the animated ending of episode one, replaced the Japanese credits with English on all episodes. We are lucky that the episodes have not be edited.
EXTRAS: What extras? There are none until volume 3. The extras consist of some of the music videos that appear on the "Hurricane Live" DVD. However, they are not subtitled but in Japanese. There is no English audio track either (which is not a bad thing). There is also a picture gallery hidden as an Easter egg.
STORY: Bubblegum Crisis has been described as a cyberpunk classic. While it does have some cyberpunk attributes, a better description would be Cyber Noir. The series feels more like a Sci-fi Pulp Novel, with its grittiness, emphasis on action, and minimal character background.
Unlike it's successor Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, the Bubblegum Crisis had a series of different writers. This contributed to its some what fragmented narrative, and limited background. Overall, this series has more style than substance, but that is part of it's appeal.
ACTING: First the
Japanese track. Nothing to say but some of the best voice work in the
a cast of experienced Japanese voice actors (Yoshiko Sakakibara
of Area 88 fame), and the fantastic singing voice of Kinuko Oomori, they are part
of the reason the series did well in the states during its initial run.
Now for the American actors. In a word, they are horrible. Flat delivery, voice mismatch (Dr Stingray is in his 30's, not just out of high school), cases of overacting, and way over emoted singing make this one of the worse dubs out there. They do get better, with the finial episode being their best work. Stand out performance by Susan Grillo as Nene.
FAN SERVICE: Plenty. Tons of butt shots, shower scenes, changing scenes. The only one you see completely nude is fan favorite Priss. There is also some lesbian sub-context in episode 5, Moonlight Rambler.
Having been introduced to anime with the original series, I was
very excited about getting the first DVD boxset. When I opened the box and out
came three jewel cases with no covers, I was a little disappointed. After watching
the first disc, I was very disappointed. Still having my original VHS release,
I knew where the edits were. I knew that the music video with Kinuko Oomori
was missing. The original commercial spot was gone. I didn't even get a Riding
The second release is now in the plastic keep cases, and Anime Eigo at least has posted some covers that you can print out on your own. Now that the "Hurricane Live" videos are out, things are a little better (at least those videos are subtitled). However, the edits still remain, and the English acting is still horrible. If you are lucky to see Anime Eigo's "Your Under Arrest" dub version (I have on laser disc), you will wonder how comethe BGC dub is so bad.
On the positive
side, you do get better video quality than before, and you can keep your
VHS version safe, only watching it if you really feel the need to rediscover
The Bubblegum Crisis OVA DVD is one of those Catch 22 DVD's. If you don't get it, you won't have the great video quality. If you do, you will have to put up with some minor edits and a migraine inducing dub. At least now you don't have to pay over $60 for a box full of cardboard and 3 bare bone DVD's.
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