Baburugamu kuraishisu [1987]

These OAVs were among the first Japanese series released as such in the U.S. and are remembered fondly by fans. An early example of cyberpunk that borrows heavily from Blade Runner and Robocop, Bubblegum Crisis depicts the adventures of the female vigilante group the Knight Sabers. In form-fitting, high-heeled mecha suits, Sylia, Priss, Linna, and Nene fight the rogue cyborgs of the sinister Genom Corporation in MegaTokyo, 2032. Sylia's brother Mackie, and A.D. Cop Leon, Priss's long-suffering suitor, assist them. The first three episodes (1987) form a single continuity; "Revenge Road" (1988) depicts a battle between an embittered man and a motorcycle gang. "Moonlight Rambler" (1988) and "Red Eyes" (1989) pit the Saber Knights against vampire cyborgs prowling MegaTokyo. "Double Vision" (1990) introduces the mysterious pop star Vision, and "Scoop Chase" (1991), in which a high school journalist tries to unmask the Knight Sabers, ends the series on a silly note. The direction and design in the first trilogy look decidedly old-fashioned, but the later adventures grow increasingly sophisticated. Odd notes include suggestions of lesbianism, officer Daley's homosexual passes at Leon (who gets better-looking in each redesign), and Mackie trying see his sister in her underwear. Included in the set are Hurricane Live! 2032 and 2033, collections of music videos, and concert footage of the Japanese voice actresses singing the pop songs used in the series. Unrated; suitable for ages 16 and up: Violence, grotesque imagery, profanity, brief nudity, tobacco use, and sexual situations, including prostitution. --Charles Solomon

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