You're Under Arrest Feature -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: You're Under Arrest

You're Under Arrest Feature

By Chris Beveridge     July 18, 2003
Release Date: July 29, 2003

You're Under Arrest Feature
© ADV Films

What They Say
The hard-working men and women of the Bokuto Traffic Corps are back on the scene, but this time they've got more to worry about than everyday traffic violations! During a routine arrest, they recover a secret document. Contained within it are step-by-step instructions to terrorists on how to wipe Tokyo off the map! Even the precinct station isn't safe from the bloodthirsty murderers that want this information, or from the rogue who wrote it. Can Miyuki and Natsume rally their fellow officers in time to save themselves and the city? Or is Tokyo doomed to destruction at the hands of a vengeful madman? The fastest and wildest policewomen in Japan are up against their greatest challenge ever in You're Under Arrest: The Motion Picture!

The Review!
With the TV series being pretty popular and spanning two seasons plus a series of specials, it’s little surprise that a full blown theatrical movie was done. And even better, it’s one of the best pieces of work yet from the franchise.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The movie is done up in a standard stereo mix that sounds good but falls short of what it could have been as the amazing 5.1 DTS mix isn’t included and probably wasn’t available as the Japanese release of it was a limited edition. Dialogue throughout the show is good with some solid directionality and a very active forward soundstage.

Addendum: Initially, due to poor information availale with Japanese retailers, I was not able to confirm that the Japanese standard movie release contained a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. After talking with some folks who do have the disc, it's been confirmed that the Japanese release did have that, which makes its absence on the ADV disc all the more painful considering just how solid this soundtrack is for action sequences and effects.

Originally released in theaters back in 1999, the DVD transfer here manages to fall short by being non-anamorphic but at least in its original aspect ratio. The transfer looks solid for the most part with excellent colors and a lot of visible detail, but some areas such as the red batons of the police provided some aliasing and chroma noise. Cross coloration was pretty much non-existent and aliasing overall was pretty minimal.

The cover art here duplicates the Japanese regular edition cover with the full color shot of Miyuki while Natsumi’s headshot makes up the background set againstvarious images from the city. The back cover provides a number of good shots from the movie and a good summary of the premise. The credits are done up in theatrical style and the discs features are clearly listed in the grid format. There’s no traditional insert for this release but there is a four panel foldout poster that has one of the great promotional images from the film with the two leads set against a green backdrop that’s very eye-catching.

The main menu is a nice static piece with some of the thumping instrumental action music playing along that has a full body shot of Miyuki holding her air rifle while there’s a background headshot of Natsumi mixed into the red coloring, pretty much replicating part of the feel of the cover of the Japanese release. Access times are nice and fast and menus load quickly with no transitional animations.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having taken in a massive amount of the You’re Under Arrest franchise during the past year, I was quite looking forward to seeing the theatrical film since I knew that it was a solid move away from the sheer goofiness of the Specials and much more serious that most of the regular TV episodes.

The film is one that lets the cast really flex nicely, though the majority of it is really limited to our two natural leads, Miyuki and Natsumi, but also extends more to the Chief than to anyone else. While people like Ai, Yoriko and Nakajima do move in and about the storyline, they’re never really prominent and really play minor supporting roles for the most part. This may disappoint those hoping to see more of the full cast interaction that they’ve come to love in the series, but I think it works well in keeping the focus more distinct here and it helps the plot move along nicely.

And what a fun plot it is, unless the mere thought of terrorist stories scares you silly. Taking place roughly a year after the TV series ends, we learn that both Miyuki and Natsumi were selected to pilot a cross-training program where they’d go to different police locations, such as the headquarters, and acquire new skills while passing along their own. Miyuki for example spent her year working in the science lab division, picking up more skills that play up her attention to detail and detective work. Natsumi we’re not too sure about, but we know they had one hell of a going away party.

With their return to Bokuto, they find themselves enjoying taking to the streets again, but they also learn that some odd things have been going on throughout Tokyo lately. Scattered occurrences of streetlights going out, phone lines going dead and other bugs have lightly persisted but not caused much trouble. They learn that it’s something more serious though after Yoriko and Ai come across an abandoned car that has a stash of weapons on it that leads the higher-ups to send Arizuka and Kinoshita to arrest the Chief.

A former desk jockey detective becomes the focus in name as we learn that a few years ago he designed a project plan to deal with terrorists invading the city to wreck havoc on the financial institutions of the world. To write the response plan, the detective had to first write up the scenario for the terrorists to play out so that the police could respond. Before he could write that part however, he disappeared and provided a link to the Chief, which is now being played up to find out exactly what’s going on.

While this is all mostly supposition and inquiry, things get very active when a group of terrorists does start to attack parts of the city and their plan proves to be highly effective, threatening the destruction of multiple bridges, taking down various grids and so forth. With this going on, the officers of Bokuto spring into action and the plot rolls forwarding a very strong active way, very unlike the bulk of the TV shows. This provides a beautiful contrast to them with its mostly serious mood, dark imagery and great pulse pounding sequences as it gets closer to the end. This is the kind of police movie that plays up a fairly standard idea, but does it in such an engaging way that I never looked at the clock, rather being fully engrossed in the film and the characters.

At the end of the film and upon reflection, I find myself having a difficult time to really recommend it. It’s a solid story and a great piece of animation, but there are some technical elements that make me unhappy with how it came out. This in itself likely won’t bother the majority of the shows fans, which is why I’ll still end up really giving it a recommendation.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic DMR-E20 DVD Recorder, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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