Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
A tale of two dubs...
on 23 December 2003
Bubblegum Crash was a horrifying disappointment. It had such a good pedigree, and somehow managed to suffer the "Binks Effect". But if you'll bear with me, you might enjoy the production a little more, because this release has a very peculiar story to it, and a slightly better edition is still out there...
As you might already know, Bubblegum Crisis was a classic anime release from the 80s by Artmic, and one of the big names in early anime history. It ran for only eight episodes, owing to a fatal shortage of cash. The result is that it was never really finished properly, and some story threads were left hanging in the wind. Then this mini-series, Bubblegum Crash, came along. It was supposed to finish off the story with some newly improved animation and new kit for the main characters.
It flopped. Badly.
Firstly the show itself isn't too brilliant. Half the elements of the OAV were dropped altogether, despite the series being set only a year after previous events in the series. The overall feel of the original show was largely sacrificed for a more "artistic" feel. The classic 80s soundtrack of the show was dropped for a more "techno" beat. And the Knight Sabers' hardsuits were "upgraded" (presumably on the basis that bigger guns and chunkier kit always brings in more fans). Actually it ruined them altogether because now the Sabers didn't really have to fight very hard to smash any opposition into the floor. All in all, it took out most of the elements that made the OAV work and replaced them with junk. Only the quality of the animation itself improved at all. And the title sequence is probably the best any anime show has had until very, very recently.
But what really killed it stone dead for many fans was the new dub (this is where it gets complicated). The license for Crash in the US belonged to Animeigo. The license for its UK release belongs to Manga. What I found was, first with Manga's VHS releases, and then with Animeigo's DVD release, that the two license holders seem to have used a different dub.
Yes, that means that there are TWO dubs out there. And I can honestly say that Animeigo's dub is the most faithful to the original series because, if I'm not much mistaken, all the original voice actors and actresses from the OAV are in it again. And for Manga's release some of them aren't. A BGC fan will notice almost immediately. Now throw in some poor editing on Manga's part, and there's simply no other conclusion you can make:
The US release by Animeigo leaves Manga's UK title standing.
So overall, it's hard to mark this title. On its own merit, it's worth the asking price, which is fairly reasonable. It's not the best anime out there, the dub is substandard and it's not been properly cut for your viewing experience. And it's because of this "So-so" feeling that I can only give this title Two Stars.
But if you own a multiregion DVD player (and if you are a serious anime fan then you really need to), and really like your anime, I should advise that you spend a little more money and import Animeigo's Bubblegum Crash Perfect Collection. It's worth the expense for the better quality.