Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bubblegum Crisis OAV and 2040

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Bubblegum Crisis OAV was released in 1987 and ran for 8 episodes it was supposed to have 5 more episodes, but due to legal problems between the studios that held joint rights it was discontinued. The OAV did not do so well in Japan but it was extremely popular in America; ADV Films bought the rights and created BGC 2040 which was released in 1998 and ran for 26 episodes. BGC is an cyberpunk anime set in post-earthquake Tokyo 2032 in which Genom, a mega corporation mass produce boomers (robots used to do manual labour for the human population). These boomers can turn rouge and start killing humans, so the AD police was created to deal with boomer crime. The AD police are little more than a puppet for Genom to cover up the real problems and lure the public into a false sense of security (in BGC 2040 they play on this theme more than in the OAV). The Knight Sabers are an all-woman vigilante group that opposes Genom and fights the rouge boomers. They have technology that is far superior (their robot suits) to the AD police, and they are not bound by the same restrictions as the AD police, therefore are an effective fighting force against the rouge boomers and Genom.

The OAV is a good series; it is funny and you even get to see the anime techniques and drawings evolve throughout. The first 6 episodes look like most anime that was released in the 80’s, but the animation in the last two episodes is different and more advanced. Because the OAV was discontinued on the 8th episode there is no real ending and it really does feel unfinished. In the OAV the Knight Sabers are for hire and are used by the government they are also well known by the public and this is not the same in 2040. You also don’t know why they started fighting the boomers and Genom and you don’t get any sort of background on the girls. BGC 2040 is not a sequel of the OAV and therefore it starts from the beginning and goes over what the OAV did, some of the characters are the same and others have been changed. This annoyed me at first because it felt like lazy script writing, but after watching the series to the end I can understand why they decided to do this. They go into some of the characters background and you finally get to know why the Knight Sabers are fighting.

Both series are good but if you only want to watch one I would recommend you watch 2040. This series starts where the OAV started and it also follows the story line and also draws you into the story, where the OAV did not have enough episodes to do this. So unless you really want to I would not bother with the OAV, 2040 is more in-depth and has better animation as well as an actual ending.