Anime Review: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

Genre: Cyberpunk

Studio: AIC

Distributor: FUNimation, streams legally on Hulu (you need to log in and create an account and be at least 18)

No. of Episodes: 26

Suggested Age: 17+

My Rating: 9/10

Summary: This is actually a reboot of the OVA series Bubblegum Crisis, but you don’t need to have watched the original version.  The series set in the year 2040, seven years after an earthquake levelled Tokyo.  In this future, humans coexist with androids called Boomers.  But the Boomers are going rogue and its up to the AD Police and a vigilante group called the Knight Sabers to stop them.

Review: In the year 1982, a cult movie called Blade Runner was released.  Not only was it a hit in the United States, but it was also a hit in Japan, inspiring several anime titles, including this one.

The anime certainly has a very 90’s look to it. There is very little CG in it and the Knight Sabers have neat sentai-style outfits called “hardsuits”.  I thought the look was neat, even though it was dated.

The battles are really fun to watch. The hardsuits are fluidly animated and accent the battles.

As someone who hadn’t seen the original OVA, I had no trouble following the what was going on.  I liked how the world was designed and its vision of the future.

I did have a few issues. First, I thought the development was unbalanced. We learn great secrets concerning Priss, Sylia, and Mackie.  But most of the other characters seemed rather flat.  Everything seemed too centered on making Priss seem as cool as possible. Linna, the rookie Knight Saber, went from endearing to annoying. Brian Mason, the villain of the story, is done well, but since we mostly have a “monster of the week” approach, there’s little else to go on for the first half, meaning that all the plot development doesn’t really happen until the second half. When it did, it kinda threw me for a loop.  But I still enjoyed what I saw.

So, is this worth watching? Yes, it was a lot of fun.  It reminded me a lot of great cyberpunk shows I’d seen that came after and see what started it.  If you like hardcore sci-fi, this is worth a look. All in all, I’m glad I checked this out and you should too. Oh, and if you haven’t seen Blade Runner, pick that up too.  It’s truly a great movie.

Music/Score: The music has an 80’s feel to it.  Both the opening and closing were great to listen to, at least in my opinion.

Sub/Dub: Either version works. I really liked Chris Patterson’s performance as Leon.

Violence: (6/10): The Boomers are actually pretty close to human and in order to be defeated, one literally has to rip its heart out.

Language: (2/10)

Sexuality: (0/10)

Nudity: (4/10) We occasionally see into the hardsuits and see that the Knight Sabers are naked.

Religion: (0/10)

Drugs/Tobacco: (0/10)

Related Media: This is a reboot of the Bubblegum Crisis OVA. There was also a spin-off called AD Police, but I don’t know if that’s still available.

Trivia: Each episode’s title has a musical connection. It is either named after a song or an album.

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