Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2000
In its own rights Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 isn't the same as the original Bubblegum Crisis many of you saw when you were young; rather it's a remade version. And usually remakes aren't that good. This is an exception. I'm not a big fan of the original, but when I heard that ADV was bringing it over BGC2040, I was hoping that I would like this one over the old one. And of course I did, better than what I expected.
The show starts things by introducing Linna Yamazaki, one of the Knight Sabers to-be. Being a country girl with big dreams, she wants to become one of the Knight Sabers. A chance meeting with Priss sets things off in motion for this young girl. We are then introduced to the members of the Knight Sabers. Sylia, the calm yet deeply troubled leader of the group, Priss, the cold warrior who hates everything in this world, and Nene, the ever-important comic relief and brains of the whole group.
The next episode follows Linna trying to find more information about the Knight Sabers, while at the same time Priss is thinking of having a new member on board, much to the disapproval of Nene. Also, we are introduced to the "bad-guys" of the series.
In the third episode, we see Nene telling Linna what it means to be a Knight Saber. Also in the episode we see how the hard-suits are made. With Linna's suit finished, Sylia decides to give its first trial by sending both Nene and Linna out to battle a rogue boomer.
The last episode on the disc, we see that the first trial run of Linna's suit ended up in failure, and Priss having to come in to save both their sorry ass.
I like the way the story flows along. It's not episodic, rather it is neatly structured to flow into each other, and when the end credits appear, you wonder if that's it, leaving a sense of need to see what happens next. The fight scenes are wonderfully choreographed, and great carnage can be seen when the rogue boomers go on the rampage. Another thing I enjoy about the show is the music. The background music really brings the cyber-punk world to life, with good use of synthesizers and the electric guitar. The vocals are also great, which I prefer over the '80's style of the original.
When I first played the disc, what sprang into my mind is how gorgeous the animation is. My hat's off to AIC. The colors are solid, with no pixelation or distortion, along with a solid transfer; this disc wipes the floor against all my other anime DVDs in terms of video quality. However what I did noticed is a lot of shimmering and aliasing during panning shots. I checked it on my DVD-Rom and I can't seem to see the shimmering effect, but the aliasing is still there. Might upgrade my old TV soon.
The audio is also solid and I never notice any dropouts, though the English track and the Spanish track have less directionality.
There isn't much in the extras, it only has 4 character bios and trailers that play when booting up the disc. Ho-hum.
The translation is also good on the English side of things. If there were anything about ADV's disc, is that I would always watch the dub first then original track. The VAs get into their parts pretty well, with both Hilary Haag and Jason Douglas doing a stand out job as Nene and Leon. The re-write of the dub track didn't lose much of the important points when I was comparing it with the subtitles. On the Spanish side of things, it seems to me that some of it is over-acting/under-acting. Not being able to understand a single word of Spanish, don't take my word for it. One thing that I should add is that, NO!!!, don't ever dub a Japanese song. Leave it as it is. This is one of the biggest stains in the audio department.
Overall, the show is interesting as it is entertaining. It has action, intrigue and, of course, the women. This is the perfect disc to get anyone into anime. I highly recommend it.
Panasonic SA-HT80, Sharp 21" X-51F4
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040