Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

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Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
BCT 2040 DVD Collection.jpg
Cover to ADV Films DVD Collection release
バブルガムクライシス TOKYO 2040
(Baburugamu Kuraishisu TOKYO 2040)
Genre Cyberpunk, Action, Mecha
Anime television series
Directed by Hiroki Hayashi
Written by Chiaki J. Konaka
Studio AIC
Licensed by
ADV Films UK (expired)
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run October 8, 1998March 31, 1999
Episodes 26
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (バブルガムクライシス TOKYO 2040 Baburugamu Kuraishisu TOKYO 2040?) is a Japanese anime series produced by Anime International Company (AIC) and funded by ADV Films. A retelling of the 1987 original video animation Bubblegum Crisis, the series premiered on TV Tokyo on October 8, 1998 where it ran for 26 episodes until its conclusion on March 31, 1999. Toshiba EMI released the episodes on both VHS and Laserdisc across 13 volumes, each containing two episodes. The first volume was released on January 21, 1999; the final volume was released July 26, 2000.[1] The series was later released on DVD, however the Japanese versions were simply the American DVD releases encoded to play for Region 2.[2] Set in 2039-2040.

Synopsis[edit]

Seven years after a devastating earthquake that left Tokyo almost totally destroyed, Linna Yamazaki moves to Tokyo from the countryside where boomers are rare or non-existent and makes contact with Priss Asagiri twice, once after nearly being run over by Priss on her motorcycle and once while fighting a rogue boomer with Priss in her hardsuit. Megacorporation Genom has been producing boomers, a form of autonomous intelligent robot, to help rebuild Tokyo with manual labour where they appear as roughly humanoid, as well as menial service jobs and middle management positions where they are anthropomorphic. Occasionally these boomers go rogue and morph into a new shape while assimilating nearby machines and killing humans.

Genom funds the AD Police, an autonomous police force split off the regular police, tasked with responding to rogue boomer incidents with heavy weaponry and powered exoskeletons. They are seen as incompetent and resent the actions of the Knight Sabers, a small group of women in hardsuits who are always on time to stop the rogue boomer, even going so far as to attempt to capture and kill the Knight Sabers. A small group of Genom employees, including high level executive Brian Mason, while unable to cause a boomer to go rogue are able to replace the core of a normal boomer with that of a boomer that is showing signs of going rogue and thus engineer rogue boomer events for the AD Police to combat. Through Priss, Linna makes contact with Sylia Stingray, founder and leader of the Knight Sabers and Nene Romanova, another Knight Saber, who works as a despatcher for the AD Police, explaining how the Knight Sabers are always aware of rogue boomer events, and becomes a Knight Saber herself.

While ostensibly digging expansive underground tunnels all over Tokyo as storage facilities for energy to be received from the Umbrella, a giant Genom space station in construction as a solar power generator, Mason is searching for the Sotai laboratory, a secret Genom facility believed lost in the great earthquake, where he hopes to find Galatea, the Sotai. Mason worked on the Genom project that created boomers and plans to awaken Galatea so that she can fulfill her function of replacing humans with boomers.

In flashbacks it is revealed that Sylia's father created boomers based on Sylia's brain and DNA, particularly the human-like prototype Galatea who is almost identical in appearance to Sylia, and that Sylia consequently has a connection with all boomers. When Galatea started function adversely she was put into stasis and Genom used an earthquake weapon they were developing for the Japanese military to prevent her influence from spreading outside Tokyo.

Mason succeeds in freeing Galatea. While first naive and innocent and in the form of a young Sylia, she begins to learn and mature and cause boomers to go rogue as part of her plans. She does this to the boomers in storage in the central AD Police station, when the AD Police were on strike due to Genom cutting all funding and plans for the AD Police to be reintegrated since Genoms plans were complete, eventually causing almost every boomer in Tokyo to be under her control, warping all buildings in Tokyo which had machinery present and leading to the evacuation of Tokyo, which is also isolated from the rest of the country so that there is no power available to the boomers. Galatea launches herself, now physically integrated with the Genom building which she fashions into a likeness of herself, into space to take over the Umbrella so that the boomers can be powered. The Knight Sabers apart from Sylia launch themselves into space with the aid of the Tokyo skyhook. Overpowered by Galatea, they find that by cooperating with their hard-suits (which are primitive boomers), they manage to form a union of humans and boomers which apparently fulfills Galatea's designs in an amicable rather than adversarial fashion, even as Priss thrusts a giant dagger through the giant Galatea's breast (and presumably core).

Priss successfully defeats Galatea and caused a massive explosion. The resulting explosion also created a powerful rain of neutrino radiation over Earth. Nene and Linna survived atmospheric re-entry, thanks to their hard-suits, but ended up stranded and naked in a desolate beach area. Due to the radiation rain, it somehow restored Mackey's memories and Sylia was able to have her brother back. As for Priss, while stranded in space, Galatea told her she can't die, just like God, she has become eternal and can be resurrected. In a usual situation, Galatea offered Priss the chance to return to Earth by allowing her to "join" (exactly how it was never specified) together; Priss' hard-suit grew wings and safely crash-landed back on Earth. The ending shows Priss singing a new song while naked across an unknown desert; it's not clear did Priss merge with Galatea or did she merely help her return to Earth. Many of the plots and sub-plots that developed throughout the story was never resolved; everything is open to interpretation: the fate of boomers, the situation with the Knight Sabers, Nigel's actual feelings about Sylia, Nene and Mackey's feelings towards each other, and many other plots within the story remains unresolved.

Characters[edit]

Many of the characters are similar to those in the OVA series.

The members of the Knight Sabers, as seen in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040: Sylia (top), Nene (left), Linna (right), Priss (bottom)
Priss S. Asagiri (プリス・S・アサギリ Purisu Esu Asagiri?)
Priss is the strongest member of the Knight Sabers, specializing in heavy assault. The vocalist of an underground rock band, she lives in the slums of the town in a trailer truck and is a distrustful loner who is rarely seen with her fellow Knight Sabers. She hates the AD Police because they broke her favorite CD when they destroyed a factory she lived in. AD Policeman Leon McNichol is attracted to her, but she initially mocks him. As the series progresses, her view changes as they both encounter each other in various dangerous situations and they helped each other. She also begins to become more friendly with her fellow team mates, though she always retains some distance with them and is very protective of her privacy. Eventually, after realizing Sylia loved Nigel, Priss allowed them both to be together and she eventually developed a romantic relationship with Leon. After Galatea's attack on Tokyo and learning the true nature of their hard-suits are boomers, she at first becomes resistant in returning to the Knight Sabers as well as helping out Sylia; after Galatea's attacked Japan and risked the lives of her friends, she returned to the Knight Sabers to defeat Galatea. After defeating Galatea, she was stranded in space and left to die; Galatea offered her a chance to live, by joining her, but it's unclear does that mean is Priss merged with Galatea or it did Galatea merely used her powers to save Priss and left her personality intact.
Linna Yamazaki (リンナ・ヤマザキ Rinna Yamazaki?)
Farm girl Linna traveled to Megatokyo to become a Knight Saber and to get away from her overbearing family. An office lady for the Hugh-Geit Corporation, she is constantly harassed by her bosses but continues to be a positive, friendly, and outgoing person who dreams of helping others. It was her confrontational tendencies and sense for justice which eventually got her admitted to the Knight Sabers. After joining the team, she forms a close sisterly relationship with Nene.
Sylia Stingray (シリア・スティングレイ Shiria Sutingurei?)
An enigmatic billionaire, and the founder of the Knight Sabers, Sylia is the daughter of Dr. Katsuhito Stingray, the man who invented Boomers. Implants in her brain were used to create both Galatea and Mackey and her brain patterns were used in the creation of Boomers thus strongly relating her to boomers, but she sees them as an abomination as her mother did. She acts as ground support for the Knight Sabers. She is in love with Nigel Kirkland, a sullen mechanic who was an engineer on the Boomer project who helped her design and build the hard suits. Sylia owns and operates an upscale clothing boutique called Silky Doll, which also serves as a front for the Knight Sabers HQ. Sylia suffers from regular flashbacks; most stem from her extremely complicated and disturbing childhood involving her mother's death and the cruel experiments her father conducted on her. She rarely dons her hardsuit or enters combat.
Nene Romanova (ネネ・ロマノーヴァ Nene Romanōva?)
An 18-year old perky and naïve hacker who is employed as an operator for the AD Police, Nene is a genius with computers and routinely hacks into military networks. She is recruited for the Knight Sabers after she hacks Sylia's computer trying to learn more about them. She primarily works on sensor ops, battlefield communications, ECM and ECCM. As the series progresses, Mackey develops a crush on her, despite the fact that she is three years older than him. The two eventually become good friends, although their relationship remains platonic.
Leon McNichol (レオン・マクニコル Reon Makunikoru?)
Leon is a frustrated but dedicated cop, with a tendency to rush in without thinking. Having worked his way up from the normal police, Leon sees himself as the protector of the local citizens and initially dislikes the vigilante nature of the Knight Sabers. He meets and becomes a big brother figure for Nene and falls in love with Priss. He is unaware of her being a Knight Saber until later in the series, but when he learns the truth he keeps it to himself. At the end of the series, Priss returns his feelings.
Daley Wong (デイリー・ウォン Dirī Won?)
Daley is Leon's partner, and a highly skilled investigator who actively questions the contradictory nature of the AD department's relationship with the Knight Sabers. Towards the end of the series, he disappears without explanation, although it is likely that he chose to evacuate the city after he helps ensure that the boomer menace cannot spread any further.
Nigel Kirkland (ナイジェル・カークランド Naijeru Kākurando?)
A former engineer, Nigel worked on the Boomer Project with Sylia's father and Brian J. Mason, then later helped Sylia design and build the hard suits. Now a mechanic, he helps maintain the hard suits. He is romantically involved with Sylia, but because of his quiet, sullen nature he is called the "man of a thousand grunts" by other characters and his true feelings for Sylia are unknown. Mackey becomes his protege and one of the few people Nigel seems to consider a friend. At the beginning of the series, Priss appears to be infatuated with him, though he does not react to her flirtations. However, he later creates a "Motoslave" (motorcycle that can transform into an exoskeleton for Priss's hardsuit) specifically for her that, using Nigel's voice, says it wishes to protect Priss. Both Priss and Sylia is attracted to Nigel, however, Nigel never showed preference for either one. However, Sylia was more emotionally desperate to have Nigel and Priss gave up on Nigel since she has Leon. Nigel would later build more advanced Hard-Suits for the ladies in their battle against the mad-boomers and eventually Galatea.
Mackey Stingray (マッキー・スティングレイ Makkī Sutingurei?)
Mackey was initially introduced as Sylia's younger brother, however, he's actually a male doppelganger version of Sylia. Created by Sylia's father, in his quest for advancing artificiality, Mackey is neither fully human nor boomer; he's a prototype that was deemed too human and considered a failure. However, he wasn't discarded and was kept around to be a false little brother to Sylia and she accepted Mackey as such. Mackey is depicted as being a naïve, inquisitive and awkward young man who loves machinery and computers; due to his artificial nature, he can never age and remains forever in his mid-teens form. After surviving the infamous earthquake, Mackey reunited with Sylia and walked right into her Knight Saber Operation. Although reluctant at Mackey's infatuation with machinery and getting involved in her affairs, she eventually accepted it and allowed him to tag along with the Knight Sabers and eventually formed a good relationship with Nene and Nigel. As the series progresses, his origins was revealed as well as his connection with Galatea.
Brian J. Mason (ブライアン・メイスン Buraian Meisun?)
A ruthless corporate shark who works against the wishes of Rosencreutz, Mason believes the human race should go away and that Boomers should become the new dominant species and uses Genom's spaceborne solar generator and earthborne energy storage project to search for the underground laboratory that housed the Sotai project (Galatea). He once worked on that boomer project with Sylia's father and Nigel Kirkland. Because of his traumatizing past, he is a bitter man. He adopted Galatea in hopes of using her. To fulfill his wish, in a manner he does not want, she changes him into Boomer-Human hybrid, then fuses him into a wall to be hung up high above Megatokyo so that he can observe Galatea's plans for Tokyo and the world.
Quincy Rosenkroitz (クインシー・ローゼンクロイツ Kuinshī Rōzenkuroitsu?)
The GENOM Chief Executive Officer, Quincy wishes for humans and Boomers to live together peacefully. Though suspicious of Mason's activities, he believes he can control and maintain Mason. With his body badly decayed, he uses tubes and wires to keep him alive, afraid of using more advanced implants. Mason's boomer secretary later kills him by disconnecting a vital cord in his life-support system. He shares his surname with Christian Rosenkreuz, legendary founder of the Rosicrucians.
Kuzui (クズイ Kuzui?, Kusui in ADV dub)
Kuzui is a double-agent inside GENOM who passed information to Sylia in exchange for money, but was also aiding Mason in his search for Galatea. He is willing to sell his services to the highest bidder and states that he has no ethics. On Mason's orders, he tells Sylia about the search for Galatea so that she could find it for Mason. Shortly afterwards, Mason has him murdered.
Galatea (ガラテア Garatea?)
Galatea, also called Sotai, who shares her name with the wife of the king of Cyprus, is a secret Boomer Project started by Sylia's father, Dr Stingray. She becomes the main antagonist of the series. It is revealed in flashback that she was grown from an implant inserted into a young Sylia's brain against Sylia's mother's wishes, that Dr Stingray asked her to go into stasis when she started to function strangely and that she killed Dr Stingray while still complying and that Genon caused the great earthquake in order to seal her in and prevent her contaminating boomers for her own design. When she is initially seen, she has an appearance like that of a prepubescent Sylia. She is released from stasis by Mason and rapidly matures from her childlike appearance to an adult almost identical to Sylia. After her plans are revealed her hair turns black and her eyes change to red. Late in the series, her mind begins maturing and she begins questioning the meaning and purpose of her existence. At the end of the series, Priss helps her find her path, and Galatea, in turn, saves Priss's life.

List of Hardsuits[edit]

Hardsuits are powered battle armour developed by Sylia Stingray and Nigel Kirkland. Initially they are suits of armour that the four Knight Sabers step into while wearing body stockings as close contact with skin and "plumbing" connections are required. Sylia states that the reason there are no male knight sabers is because it was easier to find women who shared a similar shape to her than to redesign hardsuits for a different anatomy. After the suits are lost the replacement suits are instead applied to the naked women as a viscous liquid silver-coloured 'biometal' that morphs into the coloured hardsuit. The hardsuits and the motoslave are revealed late in the series to be a form of boomer, that the very first set of suits (not seen in the series) were all lost due to their wearers not being well suited for their use and that Sylia had to find people like her whose consciousness could meld with the boomers' nascent consciousness (itself based on Sylia's consciousness due to her father's development process) in order to optimise their function. This requirement is revealed when the Knight Sabers receive psychic messages from Galatea and at times the four women are sometimes able to communicate telepathically. Sylia notes that the highly limited power supply of the hardsuits was to prevent them going rogue.

Priss's Hardsuit is specifically designed for the alley-style, hit and run fighting tactics she prefers. Her red-accented dark blue suit's main weapon is a set of "knuckle bombs". These are essentially shaped-charge explosive devices on the knuckles of her gauntlets, with which she beats against a Boomer until she can tear inside where its "core" (its heart) resides and destroy it from the inside out. Until Linna's arrival, Priss was the primary combatant of the team and it is her suit that is used in Linna's first test simulation.
Linna's hardsuit is a green color accented with orange trim, and is extremely maneuverable. As the newest suit of the group, it has some of the most advanced features, including a pair of long, ribbon-like cutters with nanometer-thick mono-molecular edges that can slice through almost anything. This newness is a double-edged sword however, for it fails on its first mission with almost tragic consequences for its owner. Linna's suit also has heavily armored gauntlets, but she does not carry the knuckle bombs that Priss's suit has.
Designed more for field support and data acquisition than for combat, Nene's hardsuit is an unusual reddish-pink and purple. Her weaponry includes a railgun that can shoot high sectional density armor-piercing metal spikes into her opponents, armored gauntlets, and an incredibly powerful computer system and scanner array that lets her handle almost any field intelligence operations required of her. Nene tries to prove herself as a fighter several times but overestimates her physical prowess and endangers herself and others. Eventually her suit is upgraded with several automatic functions that greatly increase her ability as a fighter.
Sylia's Hardsuit is not often seen in the series, as Sylia does not engage in actual combat as often as the other Knight Sabers. However, when she does, her hardsuit is equipped with a retractable Katar (कटार) style sword blade that she uses to inflict fatal damage to any boomer who makes the mistake of getting too close to her, and her combat style is even more savage and brutal than Priss's. Her suit is primarily a silver/white color with teal and pink accents. It also sports active stealth systems, and she is known to carry remotely detonated explosive charges.

Media[edit]

Episode list[edit]

Each episode was named after an album or song by a rock/punk band. Many songs were also the title tracks of their respective albums and thus shared the same name as the album. The songs were never played in the episodes themselves. Two pieces of theme music are used for the series. The opening theme, titled "y'know", is performed by Yu Asakawa. The ending theme, titled "Waiting for YOU", is written and performed by Akira Sudou.

The twenty-six episode anime series is directed by Hiroki Hayashi and features character designs by Hidenori Matsubara and Masaki Yamada. It premiered in Japan on October 7, 1998 and aired weekly until December 23, 1998. The remaining thirteen episodes premiered on January 13, 1999, with twelve new episodes airing weekly until the series concluded on March 31, 1999. The original video animations (OVAs), were released directly to VHS and laserdisk. The series was licensed for English-language broadcast and distribution in English by AD Vision [1] and premiered their English dubbed version of the series on May 19, 2001.

As of November 3, 2010, the series has been re-licensed by Funimation Entertainment.[3]

No. Title Original airdate English airdate
01 "Can't Buy a Thrill"   October 7, 1998 May 19, 2001
02 "Fragile"   October 14, 1998
03 "Keep Me Hanging On"   October 21, 1998
04 "Machine Head"   October 28, 1998
05 "Rough and Ready"   November 4, 1998
06 "Get It On"   November 11, 1998
07 "Look at Yourself"   November 18, 1998
08 "Fire Ball"   November 25, 1998
09 "My Nation Underground"   December 2, 1998
10 "Woke up with a Monster"   December 9, 1998
11 "Sheer Heart Attack"   December 16, 1998
12 "Made In Japan"   December 23, 1998
13 "Atom Heart Mother"   January 13, 1999
14 "Shock Treatment"   January 20, 1999
15 "Minute by Minute"   January 27, 1999
16 "I Surrender"   February 3, 1999
17 "Moving Waves"   February 10, 1999
18 "We Built This City"   February 17, 1999
19 "Are You Experienced?"   February 24, 1999
20 "One of These Nights"   March 3, 1999
21 "Close to the Edge"   March 10, 1999
22 "Physical Graffiti"   March 17, 1999
23 "Hydra"   March 24, 1999
24 "Light My Fire"   March 31, 1999
25 "Walking on the Moon"   Unaired
26 "Still Alive and Well"   Unaired

Episode title references[edit]

  1. Can't Buy a Thrill (album by Steely Dan)
  2. Fragile (album by Yes and the name of a song by Sting, and an album by Dead or Alive)
  3. Keep Me Hanging On (song by The Supremes from the album The Supremes Sing Motown; covered by Vanilla Fudge and Kim Wilde, among others)
  4. Machine Head (album by Deep Purple, also the name of a thrash metal band and a song by the band Bush)
  5. Rough and Ready (album by Jeff Beck)
  6. Get It On (song by T.Rex; covered by Power Station, various bands have also released songs with the same title)
  7. Look at Yourself (album by Uriah Heep, also the title track of the same album)
  8. Fire Ball (album by Deep Purple, also the title track of the same album)
  9. My Nation Underground (album by Julian Cope)
  10. Woke up with a Monster (album by Cheap Trick, also the title track of the same album)
  11. Sheer Heart Attack (album by Queen, also the name of a song from the Queen album News of the World)
  12. Made In Japan (album by Deep Purple)
  13. Atom Heart Mother (album by Pink Floyd; also the title track of the same album, a six-part suite)
  14. Shock Treatment (song by The Ramones from the album It's Alive)
  15. Minute by Minute (album by The Doobie Brothers, also the title track of the same album)
  16. I Surrender (song by Cheap Trick from the album Heaven Tonight)
  17. Moving Waves (album by Focus, also the title track of the same album)
  18. We Built This City (song by Jefferson Starship from the album Knee Deep in the Hoopla)
  19. Are You Experienced? (album by Jimi Hendrix, also the title track of the same album)
  20. One of These Nights (album by The Eagles, also the title track of the same album)
  21. Close to the Edge (album by Yes, also the title track of the same album)
  22. Physical Graffiti (album by Led Zeppelin)
  23. Hydra (album by Toto, also the title track of the same album and the name of a southern rock band)
  24. Light My Fire (song by The Doors from the album The Doors)
  25. Walking on the Moon (song by The Police, from the album Reggatta de Blanc)
  26. Still Alive and Well (album by Johnny Winter)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Releases" (in Japanese). Anime International Company. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  2. ^ "Releases" (in Japanese). Anime International Company. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Funimation Adds Excel Saga, Noir, Bubblegum Crisis". Anime News Network. 2010-11-03. 

External links[edit]