Bubblegum Crisis: Arc 2 - Largo [DVD]
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Episodes 4-6 of the animated adventure set in Magatokyo, 2033 AD. After one of the Knight Sabers falls prey to a mysterious killer operating from a black car, the rest of the band vow revenge. The arrival of a group of women who have escaped from an orbital facility coincides with a string of vampire murders, and a man known as Largo is using lookalike Boomers to discredit the Sabers.
The second instalment of the popular Japanese anime, Bubblegum Crisis 2 contains the fourth, fifth and sixth episodes of the eight original videos. In a devastated high-tech Tokyo of a Blade Runner-ish future, four beautiful women disguised by their heavily armed exoskeletons protect society from killer androids and from an ambitious corporation that tries to take over the world, while also having complicated personal lives. The cute teenager NeNe always has a crush on someone or other; flighty Linna has to fit her superhero life into a busy social schedule; and Priss has her career as a rock singer as well as a habit of feeling emotional. Only the austere Sylia is entirely in control of her life--so much so that she needs the others for a bit of productive chaos.
In the episodes included they deal with a mysterious car that is riding down motorcyclists, help a tragic android who is vampirising citizens to feed a damaged friend and cope with attempts by an evil conspirator to frame them for mass mayhem. The stories rely rather too heavily on extended sequences of fast bikes and car racing, or mechanised bodysuits and big robots tearing each other apart, but the plotting can be subtle and the emotional scenes tense and fraught. Someone trying to get a sense of anime's strengths and weaknesses could do a lot worse than start here.
On the DVD: the disc is presented in a visual aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and has a very loud Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack which presents every screech of tortured metal vehemently and every pounding anthem in the slightly pompous score. There are no extras apart from a very extended documentation of the credits. --Roz Kaveney
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But I needed Something to watch, and being a recent manga/anime convert I thought I'd give it a try.
Its actually very good. Not Mind-blowingly brilliant (like perfect blue, or Blood : the last vampire), but thoughly enjoyable all the same, and probably has a wider audience, being suitable for (older) kids as well as adults. The episodes are loosely linked, so there is no need to buy the previous volume to enjoy this title.
PS2 WARNING It does not play quite right on the playstation 2 (it appears to be in black&white, or else has funny broken up bits at the bottom of the screen).
Its fine on a normal DVD player though.
Overall impression, an excellent action filled series with strong story lines, and a couple of memorable characters (Priss is cool!) If you like anime, its an essential addition to your collection.
This contains all 8 Episodes across 3 discs. There is a 4th disc containing music videos. There are no other extras worth mentioning.
The important thing to mention is that this release is getting on for 20 years old now (at least the box seems to suggest it was released in 1998), which is early even in for DVD, and uses analog sources. This means it is not as sharp as more recent anime releases (though to be fair having checked it is no worse than any of the other early anime releases from Manga Entertainment such as Dominion Tank Police) That said it is certainly way above VHS quality just not as sharp as todays masters. Just wanted to post this so somebody does not plump down £30 for this set and then gets disappointed. I only paid £8 for mine so im happy. The set does offer Japanese audio/English subs as well as the English dub.
First off, if you're new to the series then don't worry, it has nothing to do with Bubblegum! Nor is it part of the new Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 series currently being released, this is the original item!
Set in Mega Tokyo 2032-2033, the usual apocalyptic catastrophes have occured and the world is a much darker and grimer place. A massive multinational corporation, GENOM, has successfully designed and mass produced a synthetic lifeform with artificial intelligence.
Called Boomers, these new inventions build man's cities, fight his wars, and even serve him coffee. However, the Boomers can become inherently unstable and go on a rampage, causing havoc as the underequipped AD Police struggle to defeat such formidable foes.
Enter the Knight Sabers, a 4 woman vigilante team led by Sylia Stingray, whose father developed Boomer technology but died in mysterious circumstances. Now, backed up by her fellow Sabers Priss, Linna and Nene, she leads a crusade to keep GENOM from global domination and Boomers from hurting the innocent.
That's the plot, so does it work?
Undoubtebly so! The Mecha are possibly the most famous ever designed, and you can see why, as they look awesome, especially Priss'. The fight sequences are riveting, far more so than the newer 2040, for the opponents seem far more realistic and close combat is often the best option.
The characters are all very different and they all have their redeeming qualities, and you will stuggle not to have chosen a favourite by the end of the series. Nene's my favourite, she's just so Kawaii!
The video contains episodes 1-3, but strangely enough, the series isn't really linear in the sense of having every episode based around the central plotline and the furthering of that plot. This isn't a bad thing however, although the first 3 episodes do give us the grounding for the plot and the background, with the first big plot milestone coming at the end of episode 3. The tangents, when they occur, are entertaining in their own right, and don't spoil the flow of the story.
Animation wise, you can tell that Bubblegum Crisis is an older Anime, especially when compared to the lush visuals of 2040, but don't let that put you off. Old doesn't mean bad, but if you've been brought up on a diet of newer, more technologically advanced Anime it might look a little strange.
One thing that is still cutting edge is the soundtrack. The opening sequence of the first episode is still one of my favourite pieces of Anime, as the action splices between Priss and her rockband performing in a nightclub and a Boomer going on a rampage. The soundtrack helps to create a very good atmosphere and if I could sing Japenese, I'd do the karaoke!
Just buy it, you won't regret it!
The dubbings dont match but its very hard to make japanese dubs because they don't use the same syntax as us. The english voices arn't great but they are ok for a dub. I recommend listening to the japanese with english subtitles its much more interesting and the songs are better.
One other negative point is that it may be rated a PG but really there are depictive (if quite short) scenes of nudity, so this isn't really that suitable for younger children.
If your New to anime i really do recommend starting with this, afterwards a good step would be patlabour, then moving on to classics like Akira.
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Episode 5 and 6 are essential viewing, and follow from Episodes 1-3 (on volume 1) leading to the...Read more