Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Vol. #3 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2001
What They Say
A new horror envelops Tokyo in a web of fear as a mysterious entity runs amok, pulling its victims into the sewers and devouring them! Can even the combined forces of the Knight Sabers, Genom and the A.D. Police stop the monster before it chooses its next victim? Then, with Linna missing, and Sylia and Nene out of action, Priss finds herself facing her most deadly adversary yet, a gargantuan military boomer that she cannot possibly stop alone.
How to know how much I like a series: It jumps ahead of several other discs to be watched the very minute it arrives. Bubblegum Crisis 2040 definitely fits the bill.
Once again, things sound great here. This series continues to sport a terrific soundtrack both in ambient music and the vocal tracks and it sounds wonderful. Listening to both audio tracks, we didn't notice any distortion or dropouts on our copy and had no issues at all. Pretty much flawless playback.
This show continues to look fantastic. The variations between lots of dark underground colors with practically no breakup of the blacks and blues to the vibrant colors of the above world, especially hair colors, all hold together wonderfully. There's a few jaggies here and there, though they do seem to be smoothed over better in some players than others. This is definitely a solid presentation all the way around.
I'm a bit less happy with this cover than the previous two for two reasons. One is that Priss gets the front cover again. Bah! Gimme some Nene or Sylia love! Heck, give me some Mackey! The other thing that bothers me is that the side has shifted to more of a white based style than the past two, which were mostly black. It doesn't look too bad on the shelf with the other two, but it doesn't look great either. The back cover gives a good rundown of the disc and its features and the insert provides a very nice picture of Linna. I'm definitely more of a Linna fan than I used to be.
Rather surprisingly after two discs of the exact same menus, this volume goes a completely different route in terms of menu style. Not bad by any measure, these new menus are pretty slick looking and have some good animation and music attached to them. The access times are also still pretty fast, which is always a definite plus.
The only extras included in this round are a few character profiles which I now fully avoid after a few discs by different companies putting completely obvious spoiler material in them.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much like episodes on the 2nd disc, the batch of four here proves again to me why this series completely rocks; it's not really episodic. Even the slightly filler episodes contain a lot of good nuggets to the overall story and helps build the characters backgrounds as well as moving the overall story forward. This is great stuff.
The feel of the four episodes here are similar to the filler type episodes you get in many series, but there's much more going on here. The basic premise across the first three episodes is some thing deep underground of the city is stealing boomers. The deep underlayer of the city has many mysterious things associated with it, due to most of the labs and other areas being lost to the earthquakes and other land shifts over the years. Supposedly even the lab of Dr. Stingray is among those lost down there.
With some unknown down there now doing something with a variety of boomers, all three major parties become interested in what's going on. The Knight Sabers begin their own investigation into the disappearances while the AD Police look into the possibility of some kind of boomer terrorist group. Mason uses the tools available to him via Genom to find out just what it is as well, as anything that can further his mysterious supposedly anti-boomer goals can be useful to him.
Naturally, all these things converge at one point or another with varying results. I'm really enjoying how both the Knight Sabers and Leon and Daley of the AD Police react against each other when they meet up. The stories also delve into the more expected areas of Nene being demoted off the team and her trying to stay on as well as a few more explorations into Priss and her AD Police/Leon issues.
Probably one of the more enjoyable aspects, being such a Linna junkie now, was her trip back to the countryside to visit her parents. This area tends to feel fillerish as well, but goes a long way towards strengthening both her and her commitment to the team. It also serves as the side story to massive military boomers fighting a run-amok military boomer through the streets of the city. This entire combat sequences was a real treat to watch and to see the various factions slowly changing their opinions of each other and how they fit into the scheme of things.
There's a lot of really great bits that I haven't covered that are throughout this disc. There's several layers to a lot of things here and some very interesting revelations that could really impact things later. I've really turned into a junkie on this show and I can easily see myself rewatching the whole thing once all of them are released.
If only everything was this good!
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040