Bubblegum Crisis poster
|Genre||Action, Mecha, Cyberpunk|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Katsuhito Akiyama (1-4),
Masami Ōbari (5-6),
Hiroaki Gōda (8)
|Produced by||Junji Fujita,
|Written by||Toshimichi Suzuki|
|Music by||Kouji Makaino|
|Studio||AIC, Artmic & Youmex|
|Released||25 February 1987 – 30 January 1991|
|Runtime||335 min (total)|
Bubblegum Crisis (Japanese: バブルガムクライシス Hepburn: Baburugamu Kuraishisu?) is a Japanese cyberpunk OVA series. The series involves the adventures of the Knight Sabers, an all-female group of mercenaries who don powered armor and fight various problems, most frequently rogue robots.
The series begins in the late 2032, seven years after the Second Great Kanto Earthquake has split Tokyo geographically and culturally in two. During the first episode, disparities in wealth are shown to be more pronounced than in previous periods in post-war Japan. The main antagonist is Genom, a megacorporation with immense power and global influence. Its main product are boomers - cyberdroids used for manual labor and military purposes. While Boomers are intended to serve mankind, they become deadly instruments in the hands of ruthless individuals. The AD Police are tasked to deal with Boomer-related crimes. One of the series' themes is the inability of the department to deal with threats due to political infighting, red tape, and an insufficient budget.
The OVA series is eight episodes long. It was originally slated to run for 13 episodes, but due to legal problems between the two studios who jointly held the rights to the series, Artmic and Youmex, the series was discontinued.
The setting displays strong influences from the movie Blade Runner evidenced for example in the graffito in Episode 2 that reads "Replicants". The "boomers" also resemble Terminators from the Terminator film.
Nearly all of the music is available, as there are 8 soundtrack releases (one per OVA), as well as numerous "vocal" albums which feature songs "inspired by" the series as well as many drawn directly from it.
Bubblegum Crisis is notable also in that it was one of the few early anime series that were brought over from Japan unedited and subtitled with English captions that still have a great deal of popularity today. While anime has become much more popular in the intervening years, in 1991 it was still mostly unknown as a storytelling medium in North America.
A digitally-remastered compilation of the original series' episodes, featuring bi-lingual tracks and production extras, was released on DVD in 2004 by AnimEigo Inc. Animeigo successfully crowd-funded the show for a North American Blu-ray release, on Kickstarter in November 2013.
|1||"Tinsel City Rhapsody"||1987-02-25 (45 min)|
|The Knight Sabers are hired to rescue a little girl from a group of kidnappers, but the girl is far more than she seems...|
|2||"Born to Kill"||1987-09-05 (30 min)|
|A friend of Linna's threatens to expose Genom secrets that led to the death of her fiancé, but Genom plans to silence her, first.|
|3||"Blow Up"||1987-12-05 (25 min)|
|The Knight Sabers attack Genom Tower to put an end to the machinations of Genom executive Brian J. Mason.|
|4||"Revenge Road"||1988-07-24 (40 min)|
|A racer modifies his car into a weapon of vengeance against the biker gangs of Megatokyo, but the car soon develops a mind of its own.|
|5||"Moonlight Rambler"||1988-12-25 (45 min)|
|A killer is draining victims of their blood, but this is no vampire. And what do a pair of escaped love-doll androids, Priss's new friend Sylvie and the D.D. super-weapon have to do with it?|
|6||"Red Eyes"||1989-08-30 (50 min)|
|A group of fake Knight Sabers are ruining the group's reputation, leading to a fight against a returning foe.|
|7||"Double Vision"||1990-03-14 (50 min)|
|A singer with a vendetta comes to Megatokyo, and brings some heavy firepower with her.|
|8||"Scoop Chase"||1991-01-30 (50 min)|
|An ambitious technical scientist and an aspiring reporter both plan to make their names at the expense of the Knight Sabers, and of all people, Nene is caught right in the middle.|
The success of the series spawned several sequels, prequels, and remakes.
- AD Police Files (1990): A prequel OVA set five years earlier and focusing on the A.D. Police and the start of the Crisis.
- Bubblegum Crash (1991): A three-episode OVA sequel. Reputedly an attempt to resolve the final five planned, but unproduced episodes.
- Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (1998-99): A 26 episode TV series remake of the original OVA series.
- A.D. Police: To Protect and Serve (1999): A 12 episode TV series prequel to Bubblegum Crisis and to A.D. Police Files, as the last episode reveals the setting is the year 2020.
- Parasite Dolls (2003): A three-episode OVA about Branch, a secret division of the A.D. Police.
- Scramble Wars released with Ten Little Gall Force. A massive crossover event between Bubblegum Crisis, Gall Force, Genesis Survivor Gaiarth, AD Police and Riding Bean
- Holiday in Bali special (live action)
- Hurricane Live 2032
- Hurricane Live 2033
In Japan, a number of comic books were produced that featured characters and storylines based in the same universe. Some were very much thematically linked to the OVA series, while others were "one-shots" or comedy features. A number of artists participated in the creation of these comics, including Kenichi Sonoda, who had produced the original Knight Saber character designs. A North American comic based in the Bubblegum Crisis Universe was published in English by Dark Horse Comics.
- Crime Wave: a game for PC-88, set in Megatokyo and featuring Knight Sabers as the main characters.
- Bubblegum Crash: a game for TurboGrafx-16.
In May 2009 it was announced that a live-action movie of "Bubblegum Crisis" was in the early stages of production. A production agreement was signed at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The film was expected to be released in late 2012, and the production staff was said to have consulted with the original anime's staff members, Shinji Aramaki and Kenichi Sonoda, to help maintain consistency with the world of the original. However, no further developments have been announced.
- Bubblegum Crisis role-playing game produced by R. Talsorian Games. It introduces an alternate setting named "Bubblegum Crossfire", basing on a premise that data units with hardsuit blueprints have been sent to more individuals than just Sylia Stingray, resulting in that by 2033 there are numerous Knight Saber-like groups spread all over the globe. RTG's license to produce this game has expired and at present all copies of back stock have been sold.
- "Bubblegum Crisis: Before and After" (covering material from A.D. Police Files and Bubblegum Crash)
- "Bubblegum Crisis EX" which includes completely new materials (also incorporating early design concepts for BGC mecha and hardsuits as new variants)
- Knight Sabers
- Boomers (actually BU-55 combat boomers)
- A.D. Police officers
- "GENOM bosses" (pack contains Quincy, Mason and GENOM battlesuit)
- Soldier Blue, a novel by Toshimichi Suzuki. Translated into English language in 1997 by R.Talsorian Games. A copy of the translation can be found here.
- "Bubblegum Crisis [商品紹介:Video/Ld]". Anime-int.com. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- trebor (2000-06-28). "Mason Largo Theory Part 2 [WAS Re: [INFO] ANOTHER BUBBLEGUMCRISIS FAQ (Part 3/3)]". Newsgroup: alt.fan.bgcrisis. Usenet: firstname.lastname@example.org. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "channelnewsasia.com". channelnewsasia.com. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "AIC Agrees to Live-Action Bubblegum Crisis Proposal (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "Pre-Production Bubblegum Crisis Film Image Posted". Anime News Network. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- "2012 Bubblegum Crisis Film Planned with Caucasian/Asian Cast (Updated)". News. Anime News Network. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- Product Listing - BGC
- AnimEigo's Bubblegum Crisis website
- (Japanese) Bubblegum Crisis – AIC's official Bubblegum Crisis page.
Articles and information
- Bubblegum Crisis (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Bubblegum Crisis at the Internet Movie Database
- Bubblegum Crisis at TV.com
- Anime in Retrospect: Bubblegum Crisis
- Animerica article
- Website listing all the soundtracks