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"Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040" Vol. 3: Robopocalypse Now!

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Essential Animé Collection Volume 3

Episodes included in this set
Disc One:
Episode 19: Are You Experienced?
Episode 20: One of These Nights
Episode 21: Close to the Edge
Episode 22: Physical Graffiti
Disc Two:
Episode 23: Hydra
Episode 24: Lighty My Fire
Episode 25: Walking on the Moon
Episode 26: Still Alive And Well

Tokyo is a lost cause. Rogue androids called Boomers have ripped it to shreds. The defenses are gone, the Advanced Police have disbanded, and the Knight Saber suits have been destroyed. Let’s just give up all hope and accept the fact that Galatea, the freaky little Knight Saber clone and the apparent ruler of all Boomers, will soon infect every machine on the planet and acheive world dominance. You won’t even be able to make toast in this new world order.

But I like toast. And I was glad to see that a new force rise out of the wreckage. With the destruction of their previous power suits, the Knight Sabers had to up their game, with more powerful pieces of armor. Assisting them is former A.D. Policeman Leon, who either teams up with the Knight Sabers because…

A) He truly believes in the good fight.
B) He couldn’t get a job after A.D. Police broke up.
C) He’s got the hots for Priss.
D) Off-screen, his former partner was so out there that he had to revalidate his masculinity by hanging out with four women in a lingerie shop. Given that his competition was an old butler and a young android child, he considered the odds to be in his favor until he met the mechanic.

The last volume in the second full-blown 26 episodes series I’ve finished thanks to ADV’s budget-priced Essential Anime Collection (after Martian Successor Nadesico), this collection contains the final third of the series. I honestly have enjoyed this series more than Nadesico, despite the greater prestige of the latter (and its Toonami airing). Pierre Bernard had to like this show, given his mention in the Conan O’Brien Recliner of Rage segment, and how can I argue with a show that brought us the glory of the “Walker, Texas Ranger Lever”?

The finale definitely does not disappoint, but it does take the series in a different direction from the previous batches, more consistent with the last few episodes of the second volume. The show that was once a formulaic “Fight the Boomer of the week” has evolved into a Gundam-esque series with over-reaching, intertwining story arcs.

The show attempts to go into “What really makes a human human, can we really own androids, etc.” metaphysical stuff, but none of that really matters. It’s psychological gloss for what we really want to see: babes in mech suits facing off the automated human apocalypse. Not that it’s an unwelcome facet, but as the accursed “freaky zombie porn bot” reviewer, you can tell I’m not into all of that (Eva‘s an exception).

For a nice change of scenery, we get out of the (now decrepit) city of Tokyo into such locales as the woods and space, the final frontier for the gals. In a different kind of scenery change, the last few episodes include much more nudity than the entire series up to this point (not that it’s particularly graphic).

For the final set of extras, there’s a video interview with the voices of the Knight Sabers, two commentaries for the final episodes with the Knight Sabers and Matt Greenfield (Ha ha! Greenfield, you can’t ruin anything! Final episodes! Take that!), trailers, clean opening and closing, and credits. Like all the other two-disc Essential collections, it comes in a clear case with a reversible cover.

I like this series a lot. You can’t really go wrong when you can get eight episodes for 13 bucks, and this series has definitely been a good deal. Decent extras, great show. Come and get it.

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