You're Under Arrest Vol. #1: Mini-Specials - Mania.com



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Info:

  • 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: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: You're Under Arrest

You're Under Arrest Vol. #1: Mini-Specials

By Chris Beveridge     May 11, 2003
Release Date: May 06, 2003


You're Under Arrest Vol. #1: Mini-Specials
© ADV Films


What They Say
The mean streets of Tokyo are that much safer when the ladies of Bokuto Police Station are on patrol! When the fun-loving and free-wheeling Natsumi teams up with the mechanical wizard Miyuki, criminals don't stand a chance. From booby-trapped handbags to exhibitionists from beyond the grave to geriatric gearheads, you'll be rolling on the floor with laughter at these 20 mini-episodes. Will they be able to protect their undergarments and co-workers from the depredations of an army of Tokyo's oversexed peeping Toms? Can Natsumi's finances hold out until her next paycheck clears? Chaos ensues and neither speeders nor sneaks stand a chance as Miyuki and Natsumi show that crime doesn't pay!

The Review!
With a successful OVA series, TV series and a movie, what else does a franchise need? How about a series of mini-specials?

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese since we’re pretty attached to these actors now. The shows feature a good stereo mix with some occasional use of directionality across the forward soundstage. Dialogue is nice and clear and we noted no dropouts during regular playback. We did spot check the English track and noted no issues there though it did sound a bit lower in volume than the Japanese one.

Video:
Originally airing in 1999, three years or so after the first TV series ended, the animation for the show looks pretty much the same as that series did and shares many of the same characteristics. The transfer here manages to lose some of the softness of the first TV series, but with the style used, there’s a fair bit of cross coloration, especially early on, and some aliasing throughout all twenty episodes as well. The show looks good but not as slick and fluid as a lot of other shows that started to hit the airwaves during that time.

Packaging:
Done up in a white keepcase, the cover artwork is very good looking with a lot of detail and shading of the four main women of the cast lined around one of their minipatrol cars in full chase mode all set against the cityscape. The back cover provides some more good character artwork and a number of shots from the show done as photographs. The summary gives a good rundown of the show and the technical specs are all clearly listed, though the runtime is difficult to see, and you’d think with over two hours of show here, they’d want to push the amount of content available. The insert has another look at the front cover while the reverse side has a shot of Natsumi and a line of photographs showing off more scenes from the series.

Menu:
The menu takes the basic look of the front cover sans the large character shots and applies it here while setting the opening song to playing along with it. With nothing on the disc outside of the show itself and some previews, selections are minimal and quick to access.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having seen half of the original TV series and reading some of the manga, I’d like to think I’m fairly familiar with the You’re Under Arrest franchise and what it’s entailed over the past few years. The show is the kind that’s full of charm with its simple plots, far too nice characters and positive outlook on the world. In the end, it really is a feel good show about people who try and do make a difference in the lives of those around them.

The mini specials, a series of roughly seven to eight minute episodes that appeared in a compilation TV series of other mini shows, takes a slightly different look at the world of Miyuki and Natsumi, the two lead women in the franchise. In watching all twenty of these episodes, I’ve figured that the best way to look at the majority of these episodes is to treat them as “fill in the blank” episodes to the main series. These episodes often either take up the eight minutes total of the characters lives or provide the background of other things that go on in their lives outside of the bigger TV episodes. Sort of like a look at the real people behind the series.

Of course, a lot of this seems out of character for the two women, though enough of it definitely falls within the boundaries established by the bigger series. Sometimes Natsumi and Miyuki go a bit too far in what they’re doing, but it’s something that you often see done in the shorter series due to the smaller amount of time for a setup, especially since these are all self contained episodes. Of course, there’s also the huge smut factor to this release.

A lot of these episodes focus around the male fetish for all things female. Panty thieves make up a substantial amount of the plots, men peeping women make up several and general leering by men of women as well. It’s almost as if the writers let their shady ecchi friend come in and write a few scripts and then they cleaned them up a bit. It’s the more fanservice-like nature of these episodes that lets me treat them as the lighter moments we don’t see between the full length episodes, the kind of things you know people are like when they’re not on the stage proper. Sometimes even the nicest most sincere person turns around and whispers the dirtiest joke you’ve ever heard into your year. The mini’s are something like that.

One of the questions that has come up with this release is a number of people who had previously seen this series in “another form” wondering where their favorite Beach Episode went. This particular episode, which is full length, is not on this release and the reason is pretty simple. It’s not a mini special. The mini’s only ran twenty episodes and were, well, mini. So where’s this mysterious Beach episode some people started claiming was excised? It’s part of the full TV series releases, since it’s considered a Bonus Episode to that series, and not the mini series.

One thing that ADV did that I consider to be a good move and saved a lot of complaining all around is they listened to the fans requests that they outsource the dubbing of this show to the same company that’s doing the dubbing of the 52 episode TV series. This nod to continuity to the much larger dub market is well appreciated by both dub fans and non-dub fans. In the end, the property itself is the most important thing and having things done so that someone watching the English version can do it seamlessly across different studio releases is fantastic. And it saves everyone involved a lot of headaches from complaints and comparisons of the cast.

This year is a big year for the You’re Under Arrest franchise, and finally getting to see these racy little episodes is a treat. Fans of the series will enjoy these for the most part, though those seeing the franchise for the first time here may get the wrong impression. Having been watching this property since the mid 90’s, I enjoyed it a heck of a lot. Good stuff, nice and light and, well, quite sexy at times.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers


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