Burn Up Excess
Rio and Team Warrior reprise their roles from Burn Up W in this TV series, which basically begins by continuing where the OAVs left off. In the first episode, the terrorist drug syndicate uses mechanical locusts to attack a convention of international delegates, while covering up its operations by setting up puppet wannabe terrorists, just like last time.
If this episode is any indication of where the TV series is going, then we know what to expect: more of the same Burn Up! action we've gotten used to. You know what? I don't mind that at all, because though the characters can be as over-the-top and silly as they get, they retain enough seriousness that they can deal with the toughest of criminals on their own terms. That's good, because the bad guys have stepped up from asking for naked bungee jumping to outright wanting people dead. This time, there's no escape for the bungling wannabe terrorists in episode one - when their plan goes awry, the real bad guys off their lackeys, right in front of the horrified members of Team Warrior.
So the ante has been raised, and the action just got a little hotter. Is the series up to the task? So far...a tentative yes. Everyone's just a bit more realistically acted this time around, and there's a lot less fan service than before (though I still don't think police uniforms wear quite like that). In fact, the entire storytelling aspect of the series seems raised a notch or two up from the initial episodes of the OAVs, which is a good sign. And finally, we get to see the villains of the series do some actual damage for a change, like we started to see towards the end of the OAVs.
As far as art and animation, it's about par with what a TV series should look like, if not a bit brighter than average. The action sequences are particularly well done, too.
While the Burn Up! franchise will never be as popular or respected as, say, Bubblegum Crisis, it's certainly come a long way since Rio put her leg up on the chief's desk and talked about her "needs", and even further along than the original Burn Up! with its ridiculous take on the white slavery plotline. Perhaps it'll never be completely serious, but that's fine - but with everything just a bit better than the OAVs, The ironic part of it all is that while "Excess" implies something unnecessary, this TV series has to be potential to be far better than its predecessors.
A tad better than the OAVs, but still about par for the course. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: Some bloodless onscreen deaths, and miscellaneous gun and mecha violence prompt a teens-and-up precaution. Also the ever-present fan service may be distracting to those wanting a serious story. The T&A is milder than that in the OAVs, though.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Partial (1/13)
Burn Up Excess © 1997 AIC
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