You're Under Arrest Vol. #07 (of 13) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Release Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2003
What They Say
Moving into the second half of the series, the seventh volume of You?re Under Arrest carries on in the same tradition as earlier episodes.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Both tracks are pretty standard stereo mixes with some good moments of directionality during some key scenes, but otherwise is solid with little standing out. Dialogue is crisp and clean throughout and we noted no dropouts or distortions on either track.
Originally airing in 1996, the animation style for the show is definitely showing its roots. The transfer here is pretty good with solid looking colors with some cross coloration showing up along the edges of characters. Aliasing is pretty minimal and overall the transfer looks good. Some areas look a bit soft, but that?s pretty much seen across the board in the episodes we?ve seen so far.
The volumes in this second box set utilize the same cover layout as the first box set. This time around, the front cover features the two women in their mini patrol car with lots of dust flying from the rear wheels. The disc volume is listed here as well as the four episode numbers and titles. The back cover is setup similar to the computer menus in the show and the main menu itself, with a list of the main Japanese production folks as well as the episode numbers, titles and a two-line summary for all four episodes on this disc. There?s no real insert as we?re used to, but we do get the translation recipe cards for the four episodes on this disc that goes into a variety of interesting cultural notes.
The menus are setup in a fashion after the computers available in the girls mini patrol car, which gives it a good feel. Selections are available along the top for language and a play all feature while you can also browse down along the file folders to open each episode. Episode numbers/titles are only shown when you actually move to that folder, so when you initially start up you only see the first episode. Also, when selecting an episode from here as opposed to the play all, it only plays that episode and then returns you to the menu when finished, unlike most discs that continue on to the next episode. Access times are nice and fast, though transitions from the main menu to subsequent menus are a touch slow as a piece of animation plays out along the top each time.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Going into the third box set of You?re Under Arrest and we?re again treated to much of what we?ve seen before. This continues to work well since the central characters are all quite likeable and the general feel of the show is nice and consistent. This is the kind of show that in many senses feels much more Western than what we get from a lot of anime, particularly with its heavy predictability.
This particular volume also marks a change in the opening and ending sequence starting with episode twenty six. Unfortunately, it?s also one of the poorest episodes so far, both in plot and story. But before that?
This volume kicks off with an episode that had me shaking my fist at the TV and yelling out loud, ?Damn you Strike Man!? Of course, some of that was in mock anger, though it?s little secret that Strike Man is my least favorite character of the series, tying very closely to the motor scooter mama. After a bit of a break, Strike Man returns to the series to dispense his particular brand of vigilante justice. This time around, he?s taken advantage of by a pretty face (with a sexy body) who manages to convince him that a local banking loan company is actually a group of evil people who threatened her father and has their money. So he decides to help out by taking them down and returning the money, essentially by robbing the bank but without realizing it in his twisted little mind. Since he?s honorable in his own way, he does give them warning, which allows the folks from Bokuto to step in and try to make things don?t go too far.
This then brings us to the episode where we get the nice new opening and closing sequences. The plot here is the paper thin kind in that the friendly local detective comes to Bokuto to enlist the aid of Aoi. It seems that a true raving maniac is on the loose and has been going to various parties lately and? horror of horrors, ripping women?s dresses with knives. Ok, I know, it?s both amusing and serious at the same time, if you try to visualize it happening in real life. But a plot for an entire episode? This is C-level plot material. What makes this episode even worse is that a number of the character designs are decidedly off model, particularly Miyuki. She rarely even looks like Miyuki as things move along. Add in some weak mid-range character animations and a lot of stiff movement from a cheap apparent budget and you have an episode that?s worth skipping.
Thankfully, that?s followed up by two much more enjoyable episodes. While Natsumi is most definitely an excellent member of the Traffic Division, it only really becomes apparent at this episode that she does not have an auto drivers license. It?s just never really come up as far as I can remember, and it makes sense since I don?t think we?ve ever seen her drive anything other than her mini bike. In an effort to gain the license, and to impress the section chief, she?s taking lessons from a local driving school and working hard with a physical routine to be truly fit and ready for every possibility. When she?s on the test course, she gains quite the audience since she actually drives like she?s engaged in a police pursuit. This scares the crap out of most of the instructors and gets the director of the school into a mindset of making sure she fails the course. This episode was a lot of fun for a variety of reasons, from the bets over whether she?d get her license to the insane way she drives.
This volume also closes nicely as the members of the station are assigned to meet with various local elderly citizens to make sure they?re okay as a criminal that uses his skills to become an imposter has been sneaking into homes lately and gaining their financial records has been causing trouble. Nakajima ends up in a really bad situation with an old woman who thinks he?s a mailman and often forgets that hes even there. Though she dos use him as a good pack-horse. Natsumi ends up with an old-lady herself, though it?s not quite who you?d expect. This episode does a nice job of playing up the comical side of the story and keeps everyone engaged in it.
While there?s nothing overwhelmingly changed as the show ambles into the third box and the second half of this particular series, it does continue to work within the simple bounds that have been set for it and we get a nice almost consisten good message.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AnimEigo
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: You're Under Arrest