Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bubblegum Crisis

Bubblegum Crisis; Animated science-fiction action series, Japan, 1987; D: Katsuhiko Akiyama, Hiroaki Goda, Hiroki Hayashi, Fumihiko Takayama, S: Yoshiko Sakakibara, Kinuko Oomuri, Michie Tomizawa, Akiko Hiaramatsu, Nozomu Sasaki, Toshio Furukawa, Aya Hisakawa

Tokyo, 2032. Sylia, Linna, police girl Nene and singer Priss wear the robot suits in order to figth as Knight Sabers against evil. Their rivals are cyborgs gone crazy, called Boomers, even though the mega corporations that manufactures them, Genom, always claims they are safe. Knight Sabers are thus confronted with various adventures: to stop a war satellite, save a neighborhood from getting torn down, to fight against a modern car that terrorizes streets, to expose their doubles who are ruining their reputation, meet with android vampires, help the pop star Vision to overcome the death of her sister, while Nene is one adventure is hiding from a reporter, the niece of her boss.

8 episodes of the famous series "Bubblegum Crisis" didn't help in spreading the reputation and sympathy for the anime genre on foreign soil. Since the authors chose the direction of sterile and wide attention of a society corrupted by too powerful mega corporations, they should have done it with more care, spark and overview, and not animate their adventures so sloppy, both in the art design and the plot concepts. Only from episode 4 onwards can one detect an improvement in the animation and clear storyline. But there is also the problem that most stories are not that imaginative, but just bleak, even falling into grey territory. It's a pity this solid, but lifeless adaptation of the manga didn't take much care about the characters: the red haired police girl Nene with a temperament is excellent and deserved to be more than just a supporting character, especially when she says such random lines like: "Do Sexdroids really exist?!" But she is just a side character, and out of 8 episodes, she gets the chance to be the heroine in only 1. If at least there were more such sparkling adventures like that one where she has to take care about the reporter Lisa (voiced wonderfully by Aya Hisakawa) - they could have spun the opinion of the critics around their little finger.


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