Maki, Reimi, and Yuka are three policewomen who have a lead that may help them topple one of the city's biggest crime syndicates, an organization with dealings with slavery and drugs. Unfortunately, they're three not particularly good policewomen ... but that won't stop them from trying!
Burn Up! is entertaining, breezy, and cute, but it's also not that big of a deal. I'm frankly surprised that this single-shot started a franchise, though I guess the folks at AIC will try to market *anything*. Then again, Police Academy did end up with a half-dozen sequels, didn't it?
And you wouldn't be terribly amiss in calling this an anime Police Academy - these policewomen have got to be the most inept cops on the force. Granted, we've all seen the (*cough*) stressful situations normal Japanese police have to deal with on a daily basis (You're Under Arrest, anyone?), but this anime seems to have transplanted Japanese traffic maidens into a rather violent plot not too far removed from the scads of 1980s bad-cop/worse-criminal movies, which is a very hard concept to reconcile. (Like the YUA cast in a respray of Dirty Harry.) And not only are they inept, but they're incredibly naive as well - I'm hard-pressed to believe sweet pink-haired Yuka as a cop, when she can't even navigate a nightclub safely without looking like a lost, innocent, prepubescent schoolgirl.
And yet, I can't be too harsh on this title because, despite the glaring problems with the plot and characters, it's really not bad at all. While they're not particularly smart, the girls are very cute, and the storyline is simple enough that it's quickly resolved without undue pain to your senses. And while the animation and music are dated, it's reasonably effective given the technological and temporal constraints of being an early 1990s one-shot video. Burn Up! does deliver on most accounts in the action department as well, with lots of guns blazing and effective combat sequences, though watching the girly traffic cops suddenly become expert marksmen is a bit less believable than laughable. Granted, at least these three are more serious than their successors in Team WARRIOR!
My biggest problem with Burn Up! is that it's just too damn short. The runtime quoted on the video case includes character sketches and portfolios - the real show is barely over a half hour. But it is a half hour's worth of cute girls with guns, and while it may be incredibly corny and cheesy, it's also a whole lot of fun.
Too short and lightweight for excellence, Burn Up! settles comfortably with a cute, fun, but dumb average. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: The storyline deals with crime, notably sexual slavery. Some scenes of torture and character deaths make this a teens-and-up watch. Otherwise, the usual rogue's gallery of titillating fan service scenes, not-quite sex scenes, and, of course, the guns-blazing, stuff-exploding, people-dying sort of violence that police action series must have to qualify for the category.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Burn Up! © 1991 NCS / AIC
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