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[Bubblegum Crisis box art]
AKA: バブルガムクライシス
Genre: Cyberpunk science fiction
Length: OAV series, 8 episodes, 30-60 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by AnimEigo, available streaming on
Content Rating: Somewhere between PG-13 and R. (violence, language, adult situations)
Related Series: AD Police, AD Police TV, Bubblegum Crash, Bubblegum Crisis 2040
Also Recommended: Armitage III, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Ghost in the Shell

Bubblegum Crisis


The year is 2033, and Mega-Tokyo is just beginning to finish recovering from a HUGE earthquake that completely rearranged the face of Tokyo. Part of the recovery is due to the recent advancement of Boomer technology. Boomers (or Bumas, if you're watching the subbed version) are androids that look, think, and act just like human beings. They can be put to work, perform in the military, or, um, go berserk and terrorize the population.

The corporation responsible for all the major Boomer advancements is a monolithic company called GENOM, whose power seems to grow with every passing moment. GENOM seems to have a rather underhanded secret agenda (to take over the world, of course). With the world dependant on Boomer technology, there doesn't seem to be much that can resist its power.

Enter the Knight Sabers. This mercenary team of four young women equipped with hardsuits has the firepower and the courage to stand up to rampaging Boomers and the company behind them. Knight Sabers, sanjo!


Bubblegum Crisis is one of the most popular anime series there is. One of the main reasons for this is that Bubblegum Crisis features many of the most popular elements in anime. You've got your cool mecha, you've got big ol' ugly androids to slay, and you've got cute females in hardsuits...what else could you ask for? A plot? What're you, spoiled?

Well, the plot isn't quite THAT nonexistent. In fact, a lot of the episodes are really solid in their plots. Unfortunately, there are a few episodes that seem to leave out details that would have been really nice to know about. You have to do quite a bit of guesswork and extrapolation on your own at times, which can become a bit tiresome after a while.

As for the characters, well... they'd be really interesting if I could know more about them. Details as to how the four women met each other and became Knight Sabers are far and few in between, as well as serious character development. (Except for Nene, that is ... [dreamy sigh]) Apparently, there is a separate music video that explains the origin of each Knight Saber, but it's not part of the actual series. It would have been nice, though.

Animation is generally pretty good, especially in the action scenes, but the soundtrack is what most fans of this series love most about Bubblegum. If you like Japanese pop at all, you'll love the soundtrack and themes to this series. One warning, though: the dubbed version of Crisis is not quite up to par. Voices are usually quite mismatched, and the voice acting falls flat precisely in the scenes where convincing acting is most important for credibility. If you can, get the subtitled version, but the store I rent from only carries the dubs. :-(

The feel is heavily reminiscent of Blade Runner, and the creators of Crisis cleverly intersperse references to Blade Runner throughout the series (one of the less subtle references is how Priss's rock band is named The Replicants). It's not all gritty, though, and the occasional humorous touch adds a nice light feel to the series.

Overall, not a bad watch. In fact, at times, Bubblegum Crisis can be really good. Unfortunately, oversights and carelessness here and there keep this series from being all it can be.

Nene alone gave this series another star. ;-)Raphael See

Recommended Audience: Bubblegum has the occasional casual nude flash. Also, Priss (the rock star Knight Saber) has quite a mouth on her, and I'm not talking singing here. Brief semi-graphic to graphic scenes of violence happen about once each episode, too (usually when the #$@=& AD Police try to take on a combat Boomer with standard artillery fire. Don't those morons ever learn?). Not for the Bambi crowd.

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (8/8)
Bubblegum Crisis © 1987 Artmic / Youmex
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