6 August 2005 | zillion29
Not up to snuff for 2002
I was really interested to see AIC produce another anime that takes place in the Bubblegum Crisis universe. They tried to tout this as a taking place in the Bubblegum Crisis/Bubblegum Crash/A.D. Police Files universe, but it really has very little to do with those OVAs. I didn't actually know that this was produced in 2002. Looking at the quality of the animation and the character designs, you'd be hard pressed to not think that it was churned out in 1997 or so. It's lackluster in almost every conceivable way.
I will say that there are some really artful and stylistic moments, particularly in the last 15 minutes (dominos falling, certain death sequences, neat placement of characters), but Naoyuki Onda's character designs (which are hideous and simplistic in the "Kite" vein) make this a mostly painful viewing experience. Even the lowest budget video games and straight-to-video anime boast better computer effects than this did - the ubiquitous heads-up-display and thermal imaging graphics are so crappy for a 21st century production.
Maybe anime has gone down this road too many times before. Cyberpunk has become so banal that visiting this Blade Runner/BGC universe is just a rehash of the same stale concepts: what does it mean to be alive vs. synthetic, how do you maintain justice in a world of corrupt corporations, blah blah blah. There wasn't really anything fresh or groundbreaking through all three episodes.
In the original BGC, Boomers were mostly human beings who had received cybernetic upgrades. There were more simplistic all-synthetic boomers that served coffee, did manufacturing, etc, but they didn't really possess any ability to function on their own (until A.D.A.M. in Bubblegum Crash). Parasite Dolls deviates from this story arc completely - we've got fully factory built AI Boomers that radio show producers and A.D. Police detectives of all things!!!! That was hard to swallow and it showed that the material wasn't really as faithful to the original as it tries to make itself sound.