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Anime: "Girls With Guns" Part 1
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
While its rather a wide encompassing genre and its questionable if all the shows I'm going to list below fall into it in other peoples eyes, I'm a big fan of "girls with guns" shows and tend to watch new ones whenever is possible. I probably haven't seen as many of these shows as some people but I will go through what I have seen and my opinions on each in brief (well about as brief as I get anyway).

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040


Starting off with a show I am admittedly not very fond of here's Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040. In the year 2040 Tokyo has been rebuilt by an army of robots known as "boomers" after being devastated by a major earthquake. With the city rebuilt boomers are now being used everywhere, unfortunately they seem to be developing the habit of going "rogue" (which basically means they twist out of shape and try and kill people). The threat from these robots is being played down by the government, although a special police unit called the A.D. police is set up to stop the boomers. The A.D. police however, soon find themselves in direct competition with a group of female boomer killing vigilantes known as the Knight Sabers.

Much as I want to like Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, I just can't. The show starts well with the Knight Sabers (Nene, Leena, Sylia and the ever cool Priss) battling boomers in a "monster of the week" style show. It worked well, but unfortunately as soon as an attempt to add a plot is made for me it came crashing down. The characters are too cliched and basic to withstand a in depth story and don't carry it well. I found myself bored to tears. There are certainly things I like about the show, but not that many. There is certainly "possibilities" (those who know me will know what I mean *wink*) to be found amongst the four sabers, and the action itself is smooth and slick but that's about the only good things I have to say about it. For it's time this may well have been great, but sadly when I got round to seeing it, it wasn't.

Overall Score: 5/10
A "generous" 5/10 as I do like some of the cast and battles.



Burst Angel


Burst Angel (of which I have only seen 12 episodes so far), is all about the style. The plot? Who needs a plot? We've got Jo and big guns and mechs and things! Hooray!. Actually there is a plot at the core of things albeit a very shallow one.

Welcome to yet another Tokyo, this one is ruled by marshall law. The Judge Dredd style police shoot first then shoot you again before considering asking any questions. To quote the audio drama there's "lots of old fashioned gunfights". Kyohei is studying to become a chef in Tokyo (a pastry chef nonetheless) and excepts a job to be a cook for a group of girls. Unfortunately for him they turn out to be a group of violent mercenaries. The group which consists of the leader Sei, the muscle Jo, the backup in Meg and the elite computer hacker in Amy then proceed to carry on about their everyday lives of bounty hunting, thievery and a variety of other tasks with Kyo caught in the middle. These tasks invariably end up with Meg getting kidnapped and Jo rushing to her aid (there's definitely "something" going on there).

The anime is beautiful to look at and incredibly well paced with the adrenaline pumping action managing to compensate for the lack of much in a plot. Jo and Meg work well as a team on the battlefield and the banter between them is always highly entertaining. In fact the majority of the cast are interesting (with the exception of the incredibly irritating Kyo and Amy). Style over substance? In this case, yes please!

Overall Score (so Far): 8.5/10
Its fast, its furious, its bloody and its mecha demolishing national landmarks? Oh and it also has shiney mix of western, cyberpunk and other genres! What more do you want?



Dirty Pair Flash


Tomboy Kei and the rather girly "oh no I broke a nail" Yuri blast their way through the universe in three OVA's here working as top secret agents "The Lovely Angels" (there may be more to be seen of them, but I've only seen 3 OVA's). To be honest with you, plot wise there isn't much to be found and the general gist of things is big explosions. Really, really BIG explosions, in fact it seems Kei and Yuri can't actually do much without leveling cities/hotels/airports/pretty much any building they come into contact with. Most of the time they are arguing too seeing as they have the most mirror opposite personalities in the world.

There's probably lots of fans who have placed these two together as a couple, but frankly I don't see it, they get on each other nerves far too much and torment each other just as much. To be honest with you there's little nice to be found about either of them, they are both rude and crass and different ways, and really don't care less about anyone but themselves the majority of the time. It's the series major flaw that the leads are so objectionable, but mixed in with this there are elements of fun. The action is entertaining, especially in the second and third OVA's, there is plenty of quirky short comic stories to be found to keep you entertained and some of the secondary characters are far more interesting than the two leads, managing to salvage the anime fairly well.

Overall Score: 6/10
Salvaged from being totally mediocre by some fun little short stories and relatively good sub-characters. If only Kei and Yuri weren't so annoying. It's just rather old fashioned explosive fun.



Kiddy Grade


Eclair and Lumiere are cyborgs who work for the GOTT, a sort of intergalactic police force who seem to have the most stupidly named employees ever. The two of them enforce the law, Eclair with a whip (that doubles as her magic power giving lipstick) and Lumiere with some sort of computer manipulation ability (they do sometimes use guns! honest!). However both of them have had their memories overwritten many times, and in Eclair in particular these old memories are starting to re-surface.

At first glance it sounds pretty good, and for about half of the show you would be right, unfortunately when everything looks to be going good and getting pretty gripping the creators decided to make the end dire, really dire. The plot reverses on itself canceling out pretty much everything else that has happened and what was once "intriguing" becomes "oh dear god who wrote the end to this?". That said, bits of Kiddy Grade are good, as to be expected from a GONZO title its well animated and has some good battle sequences and up until about the sixth dvd I was enjoying it (18 episodes). It would be a good show if the end didn't feel like it was tacked on with blu-tak to make up the 24 episodes. Sadly it becomes merely above average as a result of the ending.

Overall Score: 6.5/10
When its good, it's good, when its bad it's bad. It would be good if it could at least be consistent.

posted by Mangaminx On Wednesday, September 28, 2005  
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