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"Burn-Up W": Burn Little Cash, Get Big Fun

Team Warrior is Neo-Tokyo’s first line of covert anti-terrorism defense. The team’s main agent is the busty, ditzy, blonde Rio, capable of turning heads with her looks and slapping cuffs on the criminals. Under the guidance of their boss, Maki, the team also includes computer whiz-kid Lilica, mad mech designer Nambel (or Nanvel, it’s never actually spelled), girl-crazy Yugi, and gun-toting Osakan Maya. Will this “Essential Animé Collection” rerelease burn up your DVD rack?

ImageEpisodes included on this disc (the complete series):
Episode 1: “Skin Dive”
Episode 2: “Search for the Virtual Idol”
Episode 3: “Policetown Assault- Act 1″
Episode 4: “Policetown Assault- Act 2″

I’m a sucker for ADV’s “Essential Animé Collection” run; I already have five of the releases. Among them is Burn-Up W, a rerelease of a four-episode series (thus, one of the few “Essential Animé” releases that is purely a rerelease, not a combination of two discs, like Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Goldenboy, and the like). Still, the low price tag makes it attractive.

Also, I can’t turn down a cover that has two babes in spandex, ready to kick butt. You know me, Mr. Horn Dog. [Oh man, you did not just say that. -Ed]

Team Warrior, Neo-Tokyo’s counter-terrorism division, is only called in for the big cases. Otherwise, the members are just regular messed up police women and men… er… man. Rio, the heroine of the show, gets in constant cash crunches, and even resorts to attempting to sell her panties to a specialty shop. Don’t worry, she’s repulsed when she finds out they’d be headed to “Slap Happy’s Big Bargain Bin.” At the same specialty shop is her coworker, Yugi, the “everyman” of the group.

Well, the “everyman who is surrounded by hot babes, yet resorts to playing computer dating sims and tracking down elusive Olympic swimmer outfits for a good time.”

Maya’s the trained markswoman, dying to unleash some pent-up frustration in the form of bullets, missiles, and what-have-you. Lilica’s the apparently-mature-yet-looks-like-Sasami-from-Tenchi computer brains of the operation, cracking codes and what have you. Despite being on the cover in uniform, you never see that in the show. Nambel’s the creator of all the wonderful toys, including a mech that looks disturbingly like those from another, more legendary series from the late ’90s. Maki’s their boss. Yeah, that’s about it. We really don’t get much play from her.

Like I said, Team Warrior only assembles for the big cases. When a bunch of goofball terrorists kidnap a building with outrageous demands (rename a video game, get a baseball coach to apologize, have a pop idol akin to Britney Spears jump out a of a helicopter naked), when a dating sim AI program escapes into the real world, and when terrorists sneak past their first line of defense and get into Policetown, Rio suits up in her spandex, whips out a gun, and starts kicking butt.

Sounds like your typical ’90s flashy animé series? It might just be the pinnacle of ‘em. With lines such as “Payback’s a bitch, and so am I!”, horrible Engrish signs such as “Alart!” and “A Reference Room,” and enough fanservice to please even the most discriminating horn dog. [He said it again! Mommy! -Ed] The action is plentiful, the comedy is classic (I’m sorry, but I just have to say it again: Slap Happy’s Big Bargain Bin), and the plot?

Well… it seems like the plot was building up to something they never resolved. The entire “Virtual Drug” storyline gets started, referenced… and never has a fitting wrap-up.

That’s not to say the plot that’s actually there is bad. Despite the comedy and silly humor at points, the last two episodes get rather serious. People die, blood is shed, anger is unleashed…

The extras don’t burn up the disc space, considering it’s trailers and the original intro. Barely worth a mention.

Final verdict? For the cheap price, you can’t go wrong with this disc. As long as you’re not offended by gals with guns, go for it.

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