Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
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- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: AnimEigo
- MSRP: 59.95
- Running time: 399
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Bubblegum Crisis
Bubblegum Crisis Megaset
By Jme Wheeler
February 06, 2002
Release Date: October 30, 1998
Okay, I know this boxed set has been out for about a year, but I've just now watched the series again and was reminded exactly why I love this show so much.
Let's see, where to begin. Well, first of all I have to say that I was really surprised that MM2K released this set so early in anime's DVD lifetime. Not only because it had been an AnimEigo title, but also because the show is so old. I have to give props to anyone who shows an appreciation like that for an older anime title. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the newer titles coming to DVD, but there's just something very nostalgic and good about old skool 80's titles. Anime was really starting to come into its own at that time, and there were a lot of great things happening.
Anyway, as for Bubblegum Crisis, this boxed set (and later individual releases) is really something special. Even taking into account the subtitling problems some people experienced, MM2K did a great job with this. You not only get the entire original 8 episode OVA series, but there are music videos, a photo gallery, and DVD ROM applications as well. For me, that's the only real disappointment, as I do not have access to a DVD ROM, and cannot access the printable lyrics sheets.
The video quality is really quite astounding considering the relative age of the source material. I've seen many copies of this series on VHS, and let me tell you, the DVD blows them all away. Granted, DVD always presents a better picture than VHS, but the difference isn't quite as striking when the source material is only two years old, as opposed to say ten or fifteen years old. The lines are very clear, and clean, and the colors are very vibrant as well. The Knight Sabers' hardsuits stand out well against the rather dull and darkly colored backgrounds.
Visually, one of the great things about this show is the distinct character designs from Kenichi Sonoda, creator of Gunsmith Cats. Each of the character's designs manages to look very different from one another, conveying their separate personalities.
In addition to the characters themselves, the design of their hardsuits and various other equipment is also spectacular. Only in the eighties could you have something as impractical as high heels on powered armor. There is also some great mech design on display via Priss' motorslave. It may even remind some of you of the Cyclones from Robotech: The New Generation.
On the audio side of things, one couldn't ask for much more, again considering the age of the source material. The music in this series is some of my favorite anime music of all time. When I first saw this show back in the late eighties, the music just grabbed me, and hasn't let go since. I love the J-Rock style tunes and Priss' vocals. One thing I wish had been included in this set, which is something I saw on one of the video releases many years ago, is the live action video of the real band playing the opening song "Tonight a Hurricaine!". It really caught me off guard to see the real life "Replicants". Zebra stripe spandex and all the hot pink ripped tank tops you can handle. So, back to the subject at hand, the DVD offers fans of the music a chance to hear a high quality presentation of it. That was probably VHS biggest drawback: The better the soundtrack, the more unbearable it was to have to listen to it with the VHS hiss. This series music just has a style and attitude that is all but forgotten in today's anime.
On to the story. You can read the overall gist in the "What They Say" section of Chris' review, so I'll just say a few things about it and leave it at that. For my money, this is easily one of the best cyberpunk stories ever. You get to have the Knight Sabers, four attractive yet tough women, go up against a giant, evil corporation bent on conquering the world through technology. Granted, it's a little more involved than that, but at it's core, this simple main plot is what drives this series 8 episodes. You get a good mix of robot action and human interaction. I think, like Gundam, this series is all about the real people, and the cool robots and armor are just a means to an end. I think that's what makes a good robot/powered suit action/adventure. Macross (Robotech) used this same formula to great success. You not only get to see the Knight Sabers' interaction with one another, but also with people in each of their own separate personal lives. This really helps to let you get to know the characters.
So basically, if you're looking for a good, relatively short series to get on board with, and don't mind, or better yet, enjoy a good, older show, I definitely recommend you add Bubblegum Crisis to your collection. Thanks for reading! Bye!
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