Bubblegum Crisis was one of the first big anime hits when it
was first introduced to the States back in the early 90's. AD
Police is a three part series that takes place in the same universe
as Bubblegum, but five years earlier. This series looks at
Leon when he was still a rookie with the AD Police, just learning the ropes.
It is a nice companion piece to Bubblegum Crisis. AnimEigo
has released all three episodes on one high quality DVD with a nice selection
of extras making this a great addition to anime collections.
The AD Police are a special law enforcement unit that was made to combat
terrorism and renegade androids known as boomers. When an android
goes berserk, the AD Police are sent in. But with cybernetic replacements
becoming commonplace and even whole brain transplants possible, the line
separating humans and boomers becomes blurred. The three stories
in this set look at what it is to be human, and the difference between
man and machine, if there is any difference. If you replace a body
part with a robotic substitute are you any less human? What if all
of your body is replaced? Can a machine that looks human and has
an artificial intelligence have a soul? These are the types of question
this show asks, though it gives few concrete answers.
This program is not all philosophical though, there's a lot of action
in each episode, with a good amount of violence too. The program
is really intended for mature audiences. It has lots of blood, sexual
situations and some nudity.
The episodes on this disc are:
The Phantom Woman: The first
story introduces Leon on his first AD mission. Leon is a nervous
young cop who still makes mistakes, a far cry from his character in Bubblegum
Crisis. A boomer goes berserk and starts killing for no apparent
reason, and the AD Police take it out, but not without casualties.
When the insurance company for the officer who was killed finds some oddities
with the case and refuses to pay the policy, Leon and his partner Jeena
investigate. They need to find out why this boomer turned into a
Ripper: A series of prostitutes
have been killed in an abandoned subway, their abdomen cut out with a knife.
The AD Police are on the case, but a regular cop has the feeling that it
isn't a boomer doing the killing. After all boomers can't feel the
hate that would make them gut a person, can they?
The Man Who Bites His Tongue: The
tragic story of Billy, AD Police's cybernetic trump card. Billy was
terminally injured, his brain is put into a robotic body. Stronger
than any boomer around, Billy takes on the toughest cases. But in
his metal body he can't feel any sensations at all. An if he can't
feel is he really human?
The last story was definitely my favorite, though they are all very
This is a very good show. I enjoyed atmosphere of the series.
It has a dark feel to it, taking place in an anti-utopian society, much
like Blade Runner. The show has the right mix of action and
philosophical content. And though I thought the violence was a little
too much at times, it does a great job of not being preachy or just violence
for violence's sake. If you enjoyed Bubblegum Crisis, you
owe it to yourself to check this disc out.
This disc comes with the original Japanese soundtrack and an English
dub, both in stereo. I viewed the disc with both audio tracks, and
both tracks sounded very clear with no hint of hiss or distortion.
There was some use made of the front sound stage, but it wasn't too extensive.
The music and dialogue both sounded crisp and full. A good sounding
AnimEigo did a great job with the video portion of this DVD. This
show looks very good. The lines are tight and the colors are nice
and solid. The picture is very clear, with only a little grain in
a couple of scenes and a couple of minor spots on the print. This
DVD looks a lot better than I remember the video tape looking. If
you've been waiting to upgrade your VHS tape, now is the time to do it.
There's a good amount of extras included with this disc. In addition
to an image gallery and a series of trailers, there are four good music
videos accompanied by scenes from the shows. These have that heavily
synthesized 80's feel, but I really enjoyed them. Also included were
14 pages of text liner notes on the disc that reproduce the lyrics to songs.
It doesn't sound like a lot, but I really enjoyed these extras.
This was a good series that adds a lot to the story of Bubblegum
Crisis, but also stands by itself alone. If you haven't seen
the earlier series, you won't have any problem understanding this prequel.
The stories were interesting, mixing action with deeper concepts adroitly.
AnimEigo did a great job with the disc itself, presenting a clean transfer
with a good number of extras. Fans of the first series and dark future
movies like Blade Runner will enjoy this well done DVD. A
very high Recommendation.