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Bubblegum Crisis vol 1 DVD PAL
Bubblegum Crisis vol 1 DVD PAL
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MegaTokyo 2032 A.D.
Like a Phoenix, the city of MegaTokyo is rising from the ashes of a devastating earthquake. In the twisted canyons of the megapolis, the Knight Sabers, a small band of high-tech mercenaries, fight a lonely battle against the evil GENOM Corporation and its sinister android "Boomers".
Mason (Episodes 1-3)
The knight Sabers are hired by the USSD to recover the "Black Box", which can remotely control their particle beam satelites. But Quincy, chairman of GENOM, and his devious assistant Mason have other ideas. When the Knight Sabers Thwart Mason's plans, he makes it his personal project to find and eliminate them, culminating in an all-out deathmatch atop the GENOM Tower.
This DVD includes the following special features:<UL><LI>Digitally Remastered Video<LI>Cel Art Gallery<LI>Complete Song Lyrics (DVD-ROM only)<LI>Extensive Liner Notes (DVD-ROM only)</UL>
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"Do you remember the 80's?" by V. Krätke (Netherlands) on Dec 1, 2004
Bubblegum Crisis works decently as an action show, but doesn't have anything really profound to say. Or it if does, it never got round to saying it, since the project was wrapped up before the series' intended conclusion. There are parts of Bubblegum Crisis that I find tremendously enjoyable as just plain, fun action fare. I'll probably never get tired of the highly entertaining 8th episode, Scoop Chase - it's pure fluff, but very pretty and exciting fluff. These early episodes were never my favorite bits, though.
The first three episodes are basically action romps with a cyberpunk flavor, starring four strong women. The animation and art quality was excellent for its day and still holds up quite well if you can appreciate this sort of style. The quality art, striking dystopian-metropolis setting, rollicking action scenes and the novelty of an all-female team of leads that Bubblegum Crisis provided was enough to win over many fans back in the days of Ranma videotapes and Akira t-shirts. A lot of the aforementioned elements have lost their novelty value now that we've been treated to countless similiar shows thanks to the massive expansion of anime fandom. For the Love Hina crowd, these early episodes of Bubblegum Crisis will probably just seem stale and ugly.
The DVD box mentions some tantalising details about Megatokyo being built in the wake of a huge earthquake, which enabled Genom and its Boomers to rise to a dominant position in the first place. Sadly, you never get this amount of backstory from the show itself. Why and how the Knight Sabers banded together is never revealed (save some vague glimpses in Sylia's case), we don't get very profound insights into the characters, and the whole post-earthquake thing gets perhaps one cursory mention in the entire show. Backstory is sadly lacking, and the recurring themes of revenge and the plight of near-human machines (which is completely lifted from Blade Runner, just like several visual elements and character names) never goes anywhere interesting. These early episodes in particular boil down to little more than bad blue terminators vs. good gals in funky high-heeled armor. There are dozens of shows out there that provide similiar things with flashier, fresher visuals to boot. I can't see Bubblegum Crisis reeling in a whole new generation of otaku teenyboppers. While there are some very good episodes further in the show, the sum of Bubblegum Crisis' parts is not a timeless classic that will wow anyone, anywhere.
If, however, you fondly remember first experiencing Bubblegum Crisis a handful of years ago and loving it then, this DVD is worth getting. Animation featuring leg warmers and mohawks brings a grin of endearment to my face - these episodes are heavily date-stamped by the 80's. One can appreciate the series much better in crisp DVD format. The picture quality is quite good considering its age, and the detail that went into the art and animation comes out much better here than it ever did on VHS. I certainly found even these underwhelming episodes a good deal more enjoyable on DVD than they were in the dubbed VHS edition I had seen previously. You're advised to avoid the dub with a vengeance - it improves a lot with subsequent episodes and is quite watchable by the end of the series, but in these early parts it's quite simply terrible. The rock songs that drive a lot of the action scenes simply do not work dubbed in English, which robs several scenes of their punch and distracts from the show more than subtitles ever could. In Japanese and with sleek image quality, episodes 1 to 3 of Bubblegum Crisis are much easier to enjoy. Bubblegum Crisis may have faded into nothing more than a decent action show with a sprinkling of retro prestige. It's not something a new generation needs to seek out sito presto. But with some hunting around, you can find these discs dirt cheap, in which case it can't hurt to pick them up even if you don't fondly remember the era of the Rubik's Cube.