Bubblegum Crisis (1987)

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bubblegum crisis cover

Director: Katsuhito Akiyama, Masami Obari, Hiroaki Goda

The year is 2032. The city of Tokyo has turned into a sprawling metropolis now known as Megatokyo. With the advancement of robotics, mechanized servants known as Boomers are now a part of our everyday lives. However, whenever a Boomer loses control and goes berserk, a vigilante group of armored women known as the Knight Sabers fight to protect the public and expose the secrets of the Genom Corporation, the company responsible for developing the Boomers.

One of the unarguable classics of 80s anime, Bubblegum Crisis is a complex science fiction series full of action, stellar music, and hand drawn animation that puts pretty much anything made these days to shame. Boasting rich themes and inspiring countless anime in the years since, Bubblegum Crisis was become the defacto representative of the ‘cyberpunk’ genre.

Throughout the 8 episode OVA, we get a glimpse at each of the Knight Sabers’ backgrounds and it results in a richly realized universe and one of the most purely entertaining anime series ever. Sylia; the brilliant developer of the Sabers’ suits, Nene; the technical wizard and ‘inside man’ within the AD Police, Linna; the cash conscious but most socially adjusted of the group, and the volatile Priss; a popular musician but fiercely loyal to the cause. Supporting characters are peppered throughout and add more layers to the plots of the mostly episodic but complete stories.

The animation, as mentioned above, is beautifully rendered via hand drawn animation that looks as distinctive and detailed as I remember from my first viewing years ago. Mechanical design is stellar and the fluidity during the furious action scenes is easy to follow but exciting nonetheless. The production is rounded out out with terrific sound design and a legendary soundtrack that will have you humming the tunes for days to come. The.music itself is more than a little reminiscent of the popish and synth-rich music of the period it was produced so nostalgia plays no small part in my enjoyment.

This release, from the wildly successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter by Animeigo, is an absolutely beautiful set and the series has never looked or sounded better. A plethora of features, including remastered PVs for the great soundtrack and galleries for the various media connected to the series, nicely round out the most complete release of this series yet. While currently only available to those who pledged during the campaign, there are plans to release the set in the future. If you’ve seen the show, you already know its importance and if you’ve never had the pleasure, it’ll be sure to be a new favorite.

 

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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