Bubblegum Crisis

feature_bgc_01
The 80s were a simpler time. You had girls in mechanical suits...

From the Unwound archives. Way back in the days of my budding anime fandom, a dear friend of min pulled me aside and said he had something to show me. It was called ‘Bubblegum Crisis,’ and he was positive that I would enjoy it. Now, of course, I had my doubts as to the veracity of his claim. After all, it was kind of a ridiculously absurd name and did not really pique my interest all that much. In response, he simply told me to ignore the name and try not to judge an anime based on the title. I was too tired to put up much of a fight, and after work we ended up at his place and settled in for an afternoon of anime watching.

Yeah, I was taught a rather valuable lesson that day. Had I gone with my instincts of begging off, I would not be the same person I am today. I think, along with many other early titles I watched, Bubblegum Crisis is a staple of anime fandom. At least, it’s a staple of mine. I’m not talking about the remake from Pioneer/Geneon, either. I’m talking about the late 80s produced original, where you could tell it was all hand-drawn and not computer-assisted. along with classics like Urusei Yatsura, Macross, Yamato, Gatchaman, and many others, BGC is a must-see for any anime fan out there. It’s a common frame of reference, a point of contention between fans over what constitutes a bad dub, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re punched right out of the conversation, I guarantee you.

feature_bgc_02
gaudy yet awesome outfits, ...

What’s BGC about? Four women battle against the out-of-control creations of the Genom corporation: one driven by revenge, one driven by boredom, one driven by excitement, and one driven by loyalty. Led by Miss Sylia Stingray, the Knight Sabers band together to crusade against the injustice of androids with too much power. Underground singer Priss Asagiri, Linna Yamazaki, and police data specialist Nene Romanova round out the group, wearing Stingray-designed hardsuits and kicking some serious Boomer ass through eight episodes of OVA goodness.

Can you sense my enthusiasm? Good.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this series. It delivers action, romance, drama, and a memorable soundtrack the likes of which has never been reproduced. Every character shows a level of depth that you really only got to see in much longer series. What a story like BGC, it would take a series such as Full Metal Panic or Gundam much more than eight episodes to provide you with a clear background, and even then it took Crash to really screw the pooch. Which in a sense was an additional three episodes to the story, but you see how perfect the eight was? It really didn’t even need the full eleven, right? See?

feature_bgc_03
... and big hair.

Though… Crash had good music. What is it with all these series that are bad, but have kickass OSTs?

Not that BGC was any slouch in the OST department. Quite possibly the most recognizable set of vocal tracks in anime history belongs to this series, which includes the perennial Konya wa Hurricane and my personal favorite, Bye, Bye, My Crisis. The latter of which is just a fun song to chairdance to. Also, it took me forever to find the music in the pre-Complete Vocal Collection days. I could write a full review on the music, itself, so I’ll cut myself short here. The bottom line is, if you haven’t yet watched this series, then crawl out from underneath your rock and get thee hence!