For All Mankind [1989]

As the adventures of the female vigilante posse the Knight Sabers conclude, director Hiroko Hiyashi has too little story to fill too much time, and the last five episodes feel padded. In "Hydra," the increasingly powerful and insane Galatea somehow "merges her consciousness" with the skyscraper of the Genom Company, transforming it into a likeness of herself and launching it into space. Her objective is the Showhamm Project, a network of solar energy-collecting satellites: controlling them will enable her to spread madness among Boomer robots throughout world and make herself the master of mankind. Sylia, from whose tissue Galatea was created and who has sworn to destroy her, withdraws from the conflict, leaving Nene, Linna, and Priss to save the planet. The filmmakers try for an Evangelion-style metaphysical ending. The Knight Sabers suddenly develop the power to bond with the hard suits that give them superpowers, and instead of destroying Galatea, they cause her to merge with the universe; she rains onto the Earth as a shower of glittering particles. The Bubblegum Crisis series owes its popularity to no-holds-barred action and tough, capable female characters, not theological/philosophical speculations. "Suggested 15 Up" for violence, profanity, and nudity; alcohol and tobacco use. --Charles Solomon

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