Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.95
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Burn-Up Excess
Burn Up Excess Vol. #1
By Chris Beveridge
August 01, 2002
Release Date: August 20, 2002
Burn Up Excess Vol. #1
What They Say
© ADV Films
Ready, aim, and fire up for another animated adventure with Team Warrior! Join rowdy Rio and her partners-the machine-gun maniac Maya, the lovely Lilica, tech talent Nanvel, guy Friday Yuji, and their boss Maki-as they take on their hottest cases ever! Mechanical insects, firefighting jewel thieves, panty raiders, sexy sheiks, and fawning fathers-there's never a dull moment when the babes of Burn Up Excess are on the job!The Review!
Bringing back the buxom ladies of the Burn Up franchise for a 13 episode run, Burn Up Excess hints at some of the plot from Burn up W and expands into something more.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show features a pretty basic stereo mix that sounds good but has a fairly limited sense of directionality, with only a few moments of the forward soundstage being used. Otherwise, it sounds good but without much depth or range. We also spot checked the English language track and the Spanish language track and noted no issues with it.Video:
Originally airing back in 1997, the show features a decent budget which means some nice looking animation. Things look rather good with this transfer in that there’s no noticeable cross coloration throughout and only a few instances of noticeable aliasing during certain panning sequences. Colors look good without any bleeding or over saturation. This is one of those transfers that’s pleasing on the eyes but not mindblowingly so.Packaging:
Going right for the fanservice, the cover features a great shot of Rio in her uniform showing off plenty of leg and letting the hair go wild. The colors are nice and vibrant and the minimalist style background works well to simply draw your eye to the character. The back cover provides a number of smaller images of the show as well as the production sketches and menus. There’s a brief summary of the show and a listing of the episode titles, but no numbers and no volume numbering, which gets a big thumbs down from us. The insert provides another look at the cover while the reverse side is just adverts. One thing you can’t miss with this release is on the front shrinkwrap, with the huge “Jiggle Counter!” promotion. That just had me dying of laughter.Menu:
The main menu utilizes the artwork and background from the cover in an even more vibrant color palette while the selections are listed along to the right. Moving about the menus is quick and easy and the layout is easy to figure out. Access times are fast and there’s little issue here.Extras:
There’s a good selection of extras included with this first volume, filling out the extra space on the dual layered disc. First is several pages of production sketches that get done right, with the Japanese notes being translated. There’s a clean opening and clean closing that let you get a good look at the animation without any credits and the US trailer made for the show. Finally, there’s the option to turn on the Jiggle Counterä feature. Unlike its appearance on Plastic Little, the counter is cumulative through all four episodes on this disc and there’s a counter for each of the main women in the cast. Suffice to say, Maya makes the most use of it. It actually takes quite a bit of time in the first episode before it even comes on, making you question just what exactly is a jiggle.
Note: do not argue this factor with your female significant other.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Burn Up Excess, from all appearances of the first volume, doesn’t stray far from what makes it popular. Fairly self-contained episodes where the buxom ladies of Team Warrior deal with crises that come up with varying levels of destruction. There’s an underlying storyline that gets plenty of screentime, but only in that we see the minions of evil doing various things that make little sense in the end.
For now, we’re basically just supposed to enjoy watching Rio try and survive massive debt and get her next meal while looking like she does. Of course, she doesn’t do it too well at times, which is where the fun generally comes in.
The opening episode for example deals with a group of terrorists that take over the Tower where a number of very important persons are, including politicians. The terrorists demand freedom for their comrades, bucketloads of money and transport out of there. Well, you know they’re inept when they don’t even plan their own escape with their own vehicles, but they’re used as a setup by the evil organization that’s got a higher purpose and working in the background.
This works well for getting reintroduced to the cast, where you have Rio going in causing the most damage while you have Maya shooting a massive gun from a distance while they get an EMP burst to take out all the mechanical insects that are guarding it. You get a nice taste of the advanced technology that comes into play here in addition to getting the women in their tightly drawn gear.
Follow-up episodes prove to be just as amusing, such as the crossdressers who are using firefighters to burglarize jewely stores and other places and an episode the lets Rio work as a bodyguard for the only son of a world power oil company. Both episodes let you get to know Rio and the overall cast better as well as get you more familiar with the way the city is laid out and the inner workings of the Team Warrior and how they get their jobs. They’re essentially standalone episodes with only more background references to the larger plot via tangents.
What works best is the final episode that deals with Maya going home to her yakuza/crime family where they’re being muscled out by a new competing syndicate. This episode lets her really cut loose and have fun, and as a real bonus, lets us get the focus away from Rio for awhile. It also lets the jiggle counter go mad. Maya’s return home and dealings with her goofy downtrodden syndicate family are good for many laughs, as is the competing syndicate and the whole arms show they get involved in.
Burn Up Excess isn’t the kind of show to win awards, but after taking in so many serious shows in the past week, it was a real treat to watch something that made me do a complete braindump and just laugh at it. The show looks good, plays simple and provides much fanservice. Besides, how can any show with the line of “Looks like someone got a visit from the titty faerie” be all bad?
Japanese Language,English Language,Spanish Language,English Subtitles,Production sketches,Clean Opening & Ending,Jiggle Counters(tm) for each of the main characters
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.