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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Vol 2
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Vol 2
ADV Films // Unrated // December 28, 2004
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted March 22, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Show:

The middle third of Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 has been released under the"Essential Anime" banner. Previously released at a higher price point and with fewer extras, this fast action series of four women in futuristic armor fighting berserk robots boasts a new 5.1 English dub track and commentaries.  With a retail price of only $19.98 for a two disc set, this is a great bargain.

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 is a retelling and expansion of the original OVA series Bubblegum Crisis.  Some things are the same, and others have changed, but the basic premise is still the same.  It has been 6 years since an earthquake devastated Tokyo, now known as Megalocity, and much of the repairs have been done by 'boomers;' robots to you and me.  The boomers, created by the Genom Corporation, have wormed their way into most aspects of society; they not only do heavy work and manual labor, they also work in office buildings and restaurants.

The only problem is, sometimes boomers go berserk.  When that happens, the Knight Sabers leap into action.  These four heroes are tough women in form fitting battle suits strong enough to take on the biggest boomers.  They are rock singer Priss, computer hacker Nene Romanova, new member Linna Yamazaki and leader Sylia Stingray.  The police aren't ignoring this problem of course.  They have a special unit, the AD Police, that was created to handle boomer related crime.  This organization isn't terribly happy that a bunch of girls are constantly showing them up either.

The story really starts to pick up in this second set of DVDs.  While the first set had a "boomer-of-the-week" feel to it, the show starts expanding with this volume.  It is clear that Mason, head of security for Genom, is up to something, but what he's searching for, and what his ultimate goals are, aren't quite clear as the set begins.  It is also apparent that Quincy, the president of Genom has some nefarious plans, plans that don't exactly mesh with what Mason wants.  There are also secrets about Sylvia that are revealed, and just where the Kinight Sabers suits came from.  Not to mention some unexpected twists.

The characters of the Knight Sabers are expanded on in this volume too.  In the most interesting pair of episodes in the set, Linna goes to her family in the country and has a bit of a crisis.  She realizes that being a Knight Saber is what she's always wanted, but she's not sure if she's willing to make the sacrifices and commitment that it will take.  Being a Saber means giving up the chance at a regular, normal life, and she's not sure if she can do that.

This show originally aired in 1998, and while the animation isn't up to the best that is offered today, it still looks really good.  The action scenes in particular work well giving the feeling a speed and action. The fights are very kinetic, and it helps the series a lot.

This is a fun, enjoyable series.  The action is good, but doesn't come at the expense of the story, which continues to surprise me.  This show has become more intricate than I thought it would, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

The DVD:


This two DVD set contains the next eight episodes of the show and comes in a single width clear Amaray case with a reversible cover.

Audio:

This boasts a new English 5.1 dub, as well as Japanese and Spanish language tracks in stereo.  I liked the original language track a little bit better, mainly because I didn't care for the English version of Priss' songs.  The dub was actually good besides that one flaw, with the actors managing to sync the lip movements fairly well.  In the 5.1 dub, there was some good use of the soundstage, especially in the battles.  Overall a nice sounding disc.

Video:

The full frame video quality looked great.  There are a lot of dark areas, especially in a lot of the fight scenes, and the detail in these areas is quite good.  The colors of the boomers and the Knight's battle armor come through bright and vivid giving the show a wide color range.  Digital artifacts were hardly noticeable.  I was really pleased with the way these discs looked.

Extras:

The discs have a commentary tracks on the following programs: Episode 11 with voice actresses Kelly Manison (Linna), episode 13 with Laura Chapman (Sylia), Episode 14 with Kelly Manison (Linna) and Christine Auten (Priss), episode 16 with Laura Chapman (Sylia),  Kelly Manison (Linna), Christine Auten (Priss), and Hilary Haag (Nene.)   I'm not a huge fan of commentaries on anime, but I have to admit that I found these more enjoyable than usual.  It's interesting to hear these actor's opinions of the show 5 years after they recorded the dubs.  ADV used a lot of new talent on the show and they had fun reminiscing about this early work of theirs.  A fun set of commentaries.

There are also a series of character sketches, text profiles on the vehicles in the show, voice actress profiles, and clean opening and closing animation.

Final Thoughts:

These two discs originally retailed for nearly $60.  This set, which has remastered sound and bonus commentaries not found on the original has a MSRP of less than $20.  A fun show that looks and sounds good:  It's a screaming deal.  While the 5.1 sound and commentaries probably wouldn't warrant an upgrade fro most people, if you don't have a copy of this series in your anime collection, this set is Highly Recommended.

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