Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Vol. #3 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Vol. #3

By Roman Martel     February 06, 2002
Release Date: January 23, 2001

The Review!
Overall Rating: 4
(on a scale of 1-5)

-Disc Ratings-
Sound: 5
Picture: 5
Menu: 5
Presentation: 4
Goodies: 3
Overall: 4.4

-Artistic Ratings-
Animation: 4
Sound: 4
Plot: 4
English Acting: 3
Music: 4
Entertainment: 3
Overall: 3.6

It's storytime! I don't remember how long I've had this disc sitting on my shelf. It wasn't in my "to watch" pile and so I figured, I must have seen it and done a review, right? Well it looks like I missed doing this one completely! So I sat down and started watching it. The first episode didn't seem familiar so I figured it just got put with the other discs as "watched it and reviewed it". It wasn't until I saw the preview for the Episode "Sheer Heart Attack", that I had a flashback. I saw this one, a long time ago! I must have forgotten to write a review for it. It's kinda sad that I didn't even remember the first two episodes on this disc.

Technical Review
It's more of the same with this disc in the technical arena. The sound and picture look excellent on my Playstation and television. The menu is quick and has motion and music. The style of the back cover has changed. It's a little less cluttered looking and includes the region coding now. Unfortunately we still have no idea how many speakers this disc is using. It tells you that you got three languages and subtitles. You also get 3 more character bios, done in a different style from the last two discs as well. It's basically a still picture with text (you've got Sylia's Butler, Mason and Quincy). On the cover is Priss in her everyday garb, the insert has Linna in her work clothes... hey what happened to Nene!

And now I complain about trailers... We still have the trailers that are skippable right before the disc starts. I'm not crazy about them, and prefer having them on a separate menu, like ADV's earlier discs had them.

Content Review
As you read in the intro I had completely forgotten I had already watched this disc. It was really weird. I remember the third episode because it's the best on this disc, but for some reason this show is not grabbing me. I was more interested in watching the original series when it came out on DVD way back when. But this series is seriously lacking something and I can't put my finger on it.

In the first episode something is running around underground and disappearing boomers. Is it Genom? Is it a rogue boomer? Is it the AD Police? No one can be sure. The answer is resolved in this two-part story line. As an interesting subplot Priss is thinking that Nene is more of a flake than a useful Knightsabre. Can Nene prove herself to be a real asset to the team, or is she gonna get herself killed? Of course everyone has some kind of interest in what's going on underground and Mason of Genom makes it very clear that he has his own agenda that is going in a very different direction than the head of the company wants. In the third episode we follow Linna again as she goes back to her hometown. It's a good episode that really explores Linna's character and how dedicated she really is to the Knightsabres. It comes down to a simple choice; does she take the ordinary path through life, or does she make a full commitment to the life she has in Tokyo. This is a real turning point for her. In the last episode a large military boomer has gone rogue. The military can't stop it, the AD Police can't stop it... do the Knightsabres have a chance? To put it better, does Priss have a chance? Nene can't get out of AD police headquarters, Sylia is stuck in traffic and Linna is still back home. It's a true test of Priss' metal in this episode.

The animation and sound stay on par in this disc. The look of this series is very fluid and clean looking. The sound works right along with it. It's got a different style than most of the other more grubby shows I've seen lately and it works great with the feel of this series. I'm getting used to the character designs and love the way Mason is coming around. He looks very similar to the original design from the OAV but the gloves add a new dimension to his character. I'm also finding it interesting that Sylia and Maki both have very grey eyes. It's got a real creepy quality to it.

The plot has everything in place. You know that Mason is up to something, but it's being held just out of sight. You know that Quincy has other plans for Genom and that Mason is going to mess them up. You know that Sylia is unstable and that something is going to come of this. Priss is Priss and that alone is a problem. Nene finds out something about Sylia at the very end of the last episode on this disc, and you know from the preview that something's going to come of that. Linna is the only stable one left and that might be a death sentence. This sounds like a great disc. And it should be. But for some reason I'm not that thrilled with it. I know Linna's character the best of the girls. I know that Sylia's past (as well as Maki's) is going to be revealed very soon, but I have suspicions about it already. Nene got a moment in the first two episodes and we found out about her. I'm not sure if the characters aren't pulling me in or if the pacing is off. It's a real tough call. We've got the workings of an intriguing and twisty plot. But something is wrong.

The acting is still average. Most of the main cast has fallen into step and are working really well. I'm still having a problem with Sylia. I'm not sure if her voice isn't fitting right or if she's overplaying the part a bit, but she keeps pulling me back out of the show. Again we got some under and overacting from the supporting cast. I will say that Leon and Daley are very good and keep me laughing with their banter, especially when Nene is involved. Good job guys!

The music is good. There wasn't much in the way of singing on this disc, but the score was doing a better job in certain places and popped out enough for me to notice it more than usual. What I was noticing was more of a heavy guitar that would chime in at perfect moments. Hmmm, maybe I should pay more attention to the score on the next disc; this CD might be worth getting.

In the entertainment area this is an average show at this point. It's got the makings of a very good series and we can go lots of ways at this point. It's a bit predictable so far and not because of the OAV storyline. Instead we are going in a new direction along the same path. If the story goes where I think it's going to go the predictability could hurt it. But we have plenty of time for some twists. These episodes are good while I have them on, but they aren't sticking or making me want to see more. Something is missing, but what this elusive spice is... I'm not sure. Let's see what the next disc has to offer.

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...

Review Equipment
General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2


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