Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Vol. #4 (Mania.com)

By:David Owens
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2001

The Review!
More Bubblegum Crisis! More Nene! More Linna! More kicking boomer butt! This is a happy day. Bubblegum Crisis 2040 is one of my favorite series, and for good reason. The detractors tend to be diehard fans of the original, but I honestly can't see how a comparison could be made. It's stuff like this that makes BGC2040 incredible.

The fourth disc serves up more great quality video, with bright colors and strong, bold lines. Typical high-quality stuff, with no discernable change of quality from the first three incredible-looking discs.

Audio is strong again, as usual, with some good surround effects thrown in during battles and even out of battle. The dub voice actors continue doing a good job, and Hillary Haag does a good job getting all pissed off when she discovers the truth about Sylia's past and her motives. The other girls continue fairly good jobs, overall, and Mason's actor still does a nice job acting all sinister. If they'd gotten someone other than Spike Spencer for Mackey, this would be a great dub. :)

The menus are in the same style as disc 3, and I guess I can see this: Disc 1 and 2 had black backgrounds and spines, with girls in their skinsuits and hardsuits in the background. Discs 3 and 4 had white spines, with civilian clothing girls. It only makes sense that 3 and 4 should have unique menus to themselves as well, but darn it, I LIKED the originals. Plus, this disc, the menus only play an excerpt from Y'know, instead of the whole opening theme. Boo! But they're still functional and nice, so no major problem I guess.

The extras are just character profiles. I don't even bother anymore. I think I know most of the character info just from my BGC2040 paraphernalia collection, so eh. Besides, most of the profiles seem spoilerish lately except from Bandai, who post spoiler warnings on their discs (maybe an idea for everyone, hmm). I'm sick of character profiles, so nothing great here. Man, have someone at ADV piece together a music video with a full version of one of the songs from the series, or something...that'd be a FANTASTIC extra. Oh well.

This disc sees Nene leave the group over personal mistrust for their bold leader, Sylia. Without spoiling too much, this is the middle of the series, and thus where you begin to learn Sylia's true motives for what she does and why she wants to destroy rogue boomers so much. We also begin to learn more of what Brian J.Mason is planning and what the heck his twisted mind could possible think up.

There's some good action here, as the girls infiltrate the Wiz Lab, but the majority of these episodes are about background and fill-in on character motives and actions, and amazingly, it's not boring while it's happening. That's what I absolutely love about this series, is even background information is conveyed in an exciting manner.

Action abounds though, especially when Sylia tries to blow up some of the stuff in the lab, and a major surprise happens when things turn out quite different than Sylia expected. Man. This disc is a major teaser for the rest of the series, that's all I'll say for fear of spoiling too much.

At any rate, this will be easy. If you watched BGC2040 and even remotely liked it, buy this disc. Buy discs 2 and 3. Buy discs 5 and 6. Make it part of your collection, because I can't think of ANY reason why this won't end up in THE Essential Anime Collection when it's completed, so why should you wait? :)

Review Equipment
Pioneer Elite 610 HDTV, Pioneer Elite DV-C36 DVD Changer, Pioneer Elite VSX-35TX Receiver, Pioneer ISO-drive speaker setup, Monster component cables and digital coax cable

Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: All
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040