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Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040

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Hiroki Hayashi
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Welcome to Megalo City , formerly Tokyo , 2040 AD. This city is monitored by the A.D. Police, whose job it is to enforce the law, to serve and protect. However, this police force is often outclassed by a series of cyborgs known as Boomers. When Boomers go rogue, they tend to take any shape or form imaginable, and inflict destruction at will. At the opening of the series, when the A.D. Police fail to stop the Boomers, a group of vigilantes in hi-tech armor called the Night Sabers step in.

At the onset of the series, the Night Sabers consists of only two active members, with a third, Sylia, having retired from active duty. By the middle of the series, the Night Sabers have grown in number from merely Priss (Asakawa) and Nene (Hiroko Koyinishi) to four. Through character development and interaction, Linna (Natsuki) joins the team and Sylia (Yukino) returns to active duty.

Sylia's father, Nigel, was among those who created the Boomers, but he was murdered as a result. Instead, the Boomer technology has been crafted and marketed by the clever minds at Genom Corporation, with far too many of the constructs going “rogue”.

The series essentially ties in the battles of the Night Sabers with the growing character relationships between hard-nosed Priss and A.D. Policeman Leon (Yanada). In addition, Sylia must fight with increasing knowledge of her father's failures, and Linna and Nene each battle for their place on the team against a slew of increasingly destructive and gory Boomers.

As a huge fan of the original Bubblegum Crisis series, I was excited to get my hands on the DVD's for the series set in 2040. The initial series was released in 1987 and set in 2023. Essentially a re-telling of the formation of the lead characters and their purpose, the second series has several different aspects. As far as the characters go, Leon lacks the sly cockiness he emitted in the first series, and instead becomes a drooling schoolboy at the site of Priss.

As for the story continuity, the episodes are far more uniform in their look, timing and soundtrack. The initial series used different music for each episode, where the 2040 series has the same opening and ending tracks for each airing. Still, the artwork is sleeker, the characters are given more dialogue with which to expose their feelings, and the threats become more distinctive than the somewhat repetitive feel of the first series.

The series is broken into several DVD's. Episodes 1-4 are included on the CD titled Genesis. Episodes 5-8 are titled Crusade. Episodes 9-12 are titled Leviathans. Episodes 13-16 are titled Buried Secrets, etc. There is also a Perfect Collection, released in 2002.

Each DVD release includes English subtitles, audio choices of English, Japanese and Spanish, Scene Selection and Character Profiles.

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