Series Recommendation: Bubblegum Crisis

Konya wa Hurricane!

Do you like Cyberpunk? Do you like 90s funky music? Do you fancy beautiful girls in power armor? Then this is the choice for you. Set in a futuristic world where technology has advanced but society is still divided, the series follow the Knight Sabers (really cool name) – a group of femme fatales that don powered exo-suits to fight against entities that the police are helpless against, mostly Boomers – advanced cyborgs that go rogue (yes not the other meaning).

Bubblegum Crisis is a series of OVA with 8 episodes, each tackle a different “case” of Boomer-related issues. The Knight Sabers consist of 4 girls and 1 guy (damn lucky guy lol). Each has their own day-job and life. However, when incidents occur, they gather and equip the Hard-Suits and chase after the criminals. But it’s not only them that fight the criminal, but also the A.D Police. While mostly helpless against the superhuman-like mechanical cyborgs, an officer named Leon did go the extra mile to fulfill his mission. But ultimately, it falls to the beautiful girls cladded in armor and sometimes a transforming motorbike to save the day!

+ Plot: The world settings is heavily influenced by Blade Runner and Streets of Fire, giving you completely divided views. One is the utopia that human have achieved thanks to technological advancements in AI and robotics, one is the dystopian Tokyo that the less fortunate people have to suffer day-by-day and the mega corporations are always preying on society’s weakest. The series consist of 7 episodes, each tell a separate story but ultimately lead to the main bad guy.

The Knight Sabers consist of females who are pretty much your average girl but with a higher sense of justice. Their leader – Sylia Stingray – actually has ties to the Boomer-manufacturing industries and know of the danger it possess. She’s the mature woman type that basically sponsor their operations. Linna – the most “average” member – dream of becoming a dancer, but in a world where talents are drowned by money and connection, her dream did not come to pass. That is when Sulia offered her a position in the Knight Sabers thanks to her talent. She is outgoing and cheerful, noone would think she had quite a traumatic past. Then come Nene – the “mascot” – or little sister of the team. She’s an A.D police officer that’s quite clumsy at times, but is actually a skillful hacker.

Then we have the princess – or prince – of the show: Priscilla “Priss” Asagiri. She makes a huge impression right at the start of ep 1 with her voice. Yep, she’s a singer and an incredible one at that. She’ the reckless, feisty type that will charge into danger no matter what to do what’s right. She’s the more centric action star of the show even though each episode may revolve around another character’s arc.

+ Animation: Great 2D animations especially the road scenes. The girls’ suit movement are very fluid and elegant, which goes to show how “advanced” their stuff are compared to the normal police. The suits of the AD Police are bulky and move slower, basically cannon fodder-tier when dealing with Boomers. Due to the setting in a dystopian cyberpunk world, there is a large difference between day and night scenes, and most of the action happen when the regular citizen go to sleep, so night combat is the primary focus of the series, and the coloring and screenplay of the 90s are but amazing. Overall, the animation helps you immerse into the world of Bubblegum.

+ Mecha Design: Kenichi Sonoda acted as character designer and designed the four female leads. Masami Obari-sensei then created the mechanical designs. He is also the designer for the D.D mecha in the show. Along with him is Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma. The suits of the Knight Sabers are reminiscent of a motorcyclist’s full body suit with added mechanical designs, making it look like spandex. Of course, they put some thoughts into the suit-up scenes as well, making it extra spicy!

+ Music: This is the strongest point of the series. Each episode features a completely different set of songs from other episodes. Each episode’s OST describe the theme of the episode, and all of them are great music that will get you further immersed into the episode. My favorite would by “Konya Hurricane” sung by Priss herself. We got a full range from pop to ballad to electronic and more.

+ Conclusion: Beautiful girls, awesome animation, catchy music, Bubblegum Crisis got everything you need to sit back and enjoy some good old classic Power Armor action. If you enjoy Bubblegum Crisis, you should also check out the sequel: Bubblegum Crash.

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