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Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 Perfect Collection (2002) – DVD Review

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 Perfect Collection DVD cover art


Directed by: Hiroki Hayashi
Character Design by: Masaki Yamada
Music by: Kouichi Korenaga


  • Character Profiles

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Watch out for the elimination tubes
  • Boomers outside of their beemers
  • Mild language

Released by: ADV
Region: 1
Rating: 15+
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Buy it.

[ad#longpost]Tokyo has been partially destroyed by a massive earthquake, and in the rubble a fleet of robots called “Boomers” has been created to help rebuild and organize the new Tokyo. Unfortunately, these robots are all built and controlled by a mega-corp with dreams of world domination, and they are using the supposedly rogue AIs in these robots to terrorize and cause chaos. To combat these rogue monsters, Sylia Stingray stepped forward in the year 2037 to create a unit of elite female fighters called the Knight Sabres. The daughter of a genius boomer designer and a fantastic scientist herself, Sylia has designed “skinsuits” and “hardsuits,” kind of personal, wearable mecha that enable the Sabres to defeat rogue boomers. Now, three years later, Sylia has created a team that just might be able to defeat the boomer menace…if they don’t kill each other first.

One of the most interesting things about this series is the mixture of personalities. There are the typical character types: rock star/wild girl, teenage machine genius, and innocent, clueless new girl–but here they really work and don’t just descend into clichés. Priss, the rock star, could be very irritating in her arrogance and downright meanness, but she isn’t. Sylia, as the enigmatic leader, has issues of her own and isn’t just the usual cold, calm genius leader. Nene, the young hacker, isn’t a precocious idiot, though she is innocent and a breath of fresh air when Priss’ angst gets too much. Finally, the new girl, Linna, is more the everyman type, clever and energetic.

Additionally, each girl has a hardsuit specifically tailored to her personality, experience, and strengths. For example, Nene’s hardsuit takes advantage of her small size and quickness, while Priss’ suit is much more straightforward and openly destructive.

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 Perfect Collection

The features on this collection are the only real disappointment. The trailers are all loaded automatically in series when you start a disc, and that will annoy some viewers. You can fast forward or skip them with a chapter skip, but still…it would have been nice to have been able to select an individual trailer or review a desired trailer at will. The only other feature is a set of character profiles, which are nice enough, but a bit thin by themselves.

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 Perfect Collection

The audio quality is great here, especially as new as it is, and with the emphasis put on Priss’ performances. The video quality is similarly good; if you really look for problems, you might find a couple of jagged scene transitions, but you do have to look for them. Anyone just viewing this for pleasure (which should be all of us) will be well-pleased with how rich it looks and how modern the animation is–maybe not as artsy as something like Ceres, but perfect for the genre.

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 Perfect Collection

Anyone who likes mecha titles will love Bubblegum Crisis, and this Perfect Collection is definitely the way to have the episodes on your shelf. If you like police/civil service titles like Gunsmith Cats or ensemble pieces like Blue Seed, then you should enjoy this one as well. Check it out today, and you’ll have all the action, adventure, humor, lively plotting, and character growth you can handle. Be aware that this remake of the original OVA series is rather different than that original one, with new character designs, animation, music, and even a different emphasis and plotting. The basic story is the same, but that’s about it. Just don’t assume that “different” means “not as good,” because that simply isn’t the case here.

Buy Stuff

Click here to buy it on DVD from Amazon.