Bubblegum Crisis: Hurricane Live (Mania.com)

By:Eric McGillicuddy
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000



The Review!
Replay rating: High
Missed opportunities: Some

This disc that combines the two Hurricane Live tapes into a single package finally gives the leader of the Knight Sabers her own disc.

Content wise, you get 13 music videos, some live action, some animated, one a combination.

Tokyo 2032 - instrumental opening Episode 1
There's a Hurricane Tonight - opening song episode 1
Mad Machine - opening song episode 2
Wild and Scarred - ending song episode 2
Victory - mood song episode 3
Touchdown to Tomorrow - ending song episode 3
Touchdown to Tomorrow - Live from Tinsel City concert
Crisis - Run with Anger - opening song episode 4
Devil and Angel's Kiss - mood song episode 4
Say Yes! - Live/animated - opening song episode 7
Soldier of Roses - mood song episode 5
Rock Me - ending song episode 6
Jumping Heart - (new song) Live from Tinsel City concert

There is new animation for "Touchdown to Tomorrow" which goes into some background on the characters. Eleven of them are most enjoyable, the first song is just instrumental lead-in and the last is the worst that J-Pop has to offer, fortunately they are easily skipped. At least one song from each episode is presented, although the animation is generally taken from several different episodes, episode 8 is completely absent for some reason, "Chase the Dream" being a personal fave not included. Most of the videos will never make it to MTV, the package warns of Violence and Adult Language, violence is present in spades, but there is no adult language, there is one scene of nudity and two of potentially "adult situations". Generally everything you've come to expect from the series. There are about 100 (plus duplicates) line drawings from 1986 pre-production, presumably found in Kenichi Sonoda's garage, included in a gallery, as with the gallery on disc 3, they are displayed for about 10 seconds then the next appears while a song plays in the background. The music uses the same audio tracks as the videos.

The audio is quite clear. There is background noise from effects relating to the animation sequences. Fortunately these are low level and only emanating from the rear speakers. This is a problem during the line art slide show where there is no visible reason for the noise. The overall audio level is lower than the other discs, but this is not an issue for those with remote controls.

The video is clear and smooth. Some distortion is as likely due to NTSC and masters as to encoding. Honestly, I can't see much of anything to complain about on any of the discs in the series. English yellow/black DVD subtitles are available for all songs.

The menu is in the same style as the other discs. I would have used a different hard suit for each disc, but that's just me. As with the others discs, once 2032 ends you are returned to the main menu, there is no continuous play feature as is standard for most other manufacturers.

I personally like silk screened images on my discs rather than the laser etched ones some companies use. This disc is screened with a completely different image from the preceding three, hopefully the re-released discs will use this style. The packaging is identical to the three separate keepcases, tasteful silver and pink with Sylia on this cover. Unless you still use the original box and crystal cases, it will fit on your shelf as if it has always been in the set, right down to the product code. Actually it is so exact that Southwynde Studios gets credit for English Dubbing, even though there is no English anywhere on the disc.

I suppose that brings up some things that are missing that I would have liked to have seen. The English versions of the songs for instance. Sure they aren't generally very good, but inclusion for the sense of completeness would have been nice. I would have liked French language subtitles as were present on the other discs as well as Romanji for those who like to sing along. I also would have liked the live Konya Wa Hurricane video from the first tape as well as the TV spot and episode 5 teaser. "Vacation in Bali" would have been interesting, basically a home video of a company excursion to Bali with the V A s having some fun, Oomori Kinuko singing something and Sakakibara Yoshiko avoiding the camera.

Overall, if you like the series, you will get this disc. You have no choice. Really, you don't. Just seeing the ladies in person makes it worth it. The only real downside is that the disc is about 1 hour 20 minutes long, so there is plenty of room for other extras. Knowing this you come away feeling that Animeigo sent over the masters and said "Don't call us until the disc is finished.", an opportunity gone forever. Or maybe only until Bubblegum Crash is released. As always, hope springs eternal.



Review Equipment
Toshiba 43H60 43", Sony 600D, Yamaha RX793 receiver, Viewsonic 17GS, ATI Rage 128, Toshiba MD-1212, Soundblaster AWE 32 card



Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AnimEigo
MSRP: 19.98
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Bubblegum Crisis