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Animation and Anime


Hey folks, Dave with just a reminder here, in case you're not aware, tomorrow evening on Encore Action, a pretty darn good anime series will be showing. It's called BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 2040.

I've mentioned the DVDs here before, they're well done, and available from ADV Films, and I'm pleased to own them all. Still, there's something special about seeing a really good anime title like this broadcast on television.

I'm sure they'll be showing the English dub, which actually isn't that bad at all. It's got some problems, and Japanese is better, but the English dub is very watchable.

Anyway, BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 2040 is essentially a re-done, expanded version of the original Bubblegum Crisis series, released in the 80s, and available on DVD from AnimEigo. The original series is regarded as an essential and excellent work of anime from the period before computer aided animation took hold. To this day, it's my third favourite anime series, right behind Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion, which are one and two respectively.

BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 2040 re-does the character and environmental designs, modernizes them, throws in the help of computers, and in doing so, is a really slick and cool series in and of itself. It takes the story line of the original series, makes it more linear, and makes it longer and more complete. At least, in terms of story arc. In other ways, it's not as good as the original, which to me, in providing numerous, if non-linear snapshots of the characters and action, is more compelling and just generally cooler. Also, the 2040 series gets a bit slow about halfway through, I think, and the original NEVER got slow. Of course, it was also much shorter.

There's no Largo in 2040 either, for those of you who have seen the original. Too bad, in my opinion, because that was my favourite episode. In any case, I think BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 2040 is worth catching, whether you're an anime fan or not, and whether you've seen the original or not. It's well-done anime, albeit with some problems and trade-offs, and I think a lot of you will find it engaging and interesting.

Here's the word from ADV's website:


Get ready for some of the most explosive, groundbreaking Japanese animation to ever appear on television! Starting on August 4th, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 will be making its North American broadcast debut on Encore Action! BGC 2040 joins the ranks of Blue Seed, Gunsmith Cats, Queen Emeraldas, Sol Bianca, Blood Reign, Tekken and Sonic on what is considered the hottest anime-sporting Premium Network on television!

However Encore Action isn't the only place where you can catch some of ADV's finest on television, KTEH in the San-Franciso/Bay Area showcases Sakura Wars, Ruin Explorers, Dirty Pair Flash and the mega-hit Neon Genesis Evangelion! These widely renowned anime titles are hot commodities on the KTEH PBS station, and with a little effort, maybe a few more PBS stations will pick up on this growing-trend.

Indeed. So, do right by yourself and tune in tomorrow. Or, at least have your TV-saving robot do it for you.

Oh, and what's it about, you ask? Sexy women in mecha-suits fighting runaway mad robots.

-Dave Alvarado, El Cosmico

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 3, 2001, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I miss the good old days of Tank Police on Showtime...

    by Dlhstar

    ...And Wicked City showing on PPV... 1995, a magical time to be alive. True, I didn't have Showtime, and didn't get PPV, either (but it gave me some scrambled programming other than Playboy to watch at 2am).

  • Aug. 3, 2001, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Story time!

    by user id indeed!

    Once I saw an anime called "Urotsudoji", and I had some Masterpiece-flavored tater chips when I was watching it, and nobody told me what happened in it, and it burned itself into the back of my EYES!!! AND I CAN STILL SEE IT WHEN I CLOSE THEM!!! MY WAKING HOURS ARE HELL, AND MY DREAMS ARE OBLIVION!!! WAAAAIIGGHGH!!! The End. This has been a Moment with User ID Indeed! YOU'RE A SPACE MAN WHO CHOKED ON A MUFFIN!!!

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Dominion Tank Police vs. NEW DTP

    by Dlhstar

    I haven't seen BGC 2040, but it will take a lot to out do New Dominion Tank Police. Now that was total crap... I remember a couple of years ago getting tape one of New Dominion Tank Police, watching it once, and trying to block from my mind for the rest of my days. Recently I watched another tape of and all I can say is that I longed for the original series, once more.

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 2:01 a.m. CST

    God I need cable...

    by TruPhan


  • Aug. 4, 2001, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Talkbackers, I need your help.

    by Grimace

    I've been trying to get into the whole anime thing and need a good starting-off point. I've seen 'Ghost in the Shell' and 'Akira', but was somewhat underwhelmed. I need some recommendations. Thanks.

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 10:22 a.m. CST


    by Darth Ewok

    I agree with Confort Girl. I will never buy ANYTHING from any company that has pop-under ads. I was actually considering one of those X10 cameras, but now, I'm looking for other options. Boycot pop-unders!

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Anime recommendations

    by Nadir

    If you want the best (english) review site on the net go to the Anime Cafe at: and also their afilliate T.H.E.M. Reviews at I hope that link wasn't too mangled. Some of my personal favourites in no particular order: Cowboy Bebop, Kiki's Delivery Service, Ghost in the Shell, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Golden Boy, DNA^2, Kimagure Orange Road, The Vision of Escaflowne, Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water, Macross Plus (basically introduced me to the whole anime world), Ninja Scroll, Porco Rosso, Ranma 1/2, Slayers, Grave of the Fireflies. Grave of the Fireflies is not only a great work of anime but also a great film period. It is a WWII film, from the Japanese point of view, about two children trying to make a living after their village is burned to the ground. The story is based on the writers experiences during that time. Roger Ebert gives an excellent review on his web page. I think most people are underwhelmed by anime because simply because of the poor access to decent titles and releases in North America. Luckily I live in Vancouver which happens to have a large fanbase. Good luck!

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 12:40 p.m. CST

    What the hell! BGC 2040 is fantastic!

    by JarJar25

    To the guy who says it sucks, well he is full of shit coming out of his mouth. Bubblegum Crisis 2040 is good anime done right. Great story and animation. A cast of characters that you love to root for and a storyline that builds to a cosmic conclusion.Again, don't listen to that other guy. Other great anime titles: Vampire Miyu, Akira, Lain, Moldiver, Patlabor films and Macross the movie(import) to name a few!

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 1:04 p.m. CST

    To Nadir...

    by MCVamp

    Actually, the reason most Americans are underwhelmed by anime is because, to them, hey, it's still a cartoon. It will be at least ten years, if not longer, before anime truly finds its mass appeal. Reasoning? Kids are now being raised on the stuff. It's everywhere. And when they're adults, they'll respect the medium (in addition to being evolved versions of us; i.e.: the most immature generations of adults this planet has yet produced.) Anime will rise up, like skateboarding and toy/sports collectibles, to become an example of things once considered "just for kids" that have crept into "adult" consciousness to stay. Also, when that happens, all of the whiners on this site will still find something to complain about. And believe me, they'll still be coming here. Signed, a semi-proud member of Generation Huh?

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Thanks, everybody.

    by Grimace

    Hey, thanks for the recommendations. I'll definitely check some of this stuff out.

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 8:14 p.m. CST

    No, BGC 2040 does NOT suck...

    by DensityDuck

    It's just different from the original. And the people who claim that "it sucks" were expecting BGC 2040 to be just like the original BGC down to every last line of the character designs, only "better" (somehow). BGC 2040 is the same idea (women in power armor fight robot monsters) taken in a different direction--and THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

  • Aug. 4, 2001, 9:05 p.m. CST

    BGC 2040 - One of the best!

    by asb

    Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 is one of the best anime series out there. It is in my top 10 list, and is far better than the original (I have both on DVD). The characters are also far better - I really cannot think of any of the original characters that I like better. And their characters are given much more depth in the new series. The original spent too much time on Priss, and very little on the other characters. And the original's Priss never was convincing as a rock singer.

  • Aug. 6, 2001, 1:20 a.m. CST


    by Payndz

    Funnily enough, I just watched the entire run of 2040 over the weekend on DVD. As a long-time fan of the original, I was *very* dubious about it at first ("Oh my god, they changed Nene! You bastards!"), but actually ended up really enjoying it. It did have some loose ends and slow spots, but the Die Hard/Night of the Living Dead arc in the ADP building was a lot of fun, and as another poster pointed out, this time *all* the characters got developed and not just Priss (Linna was completely shafted in the original, and not in the way she'd like). Hell, even Mason turned out to have a motivation beyond just "Because I'm an eeeeeeevil businessman". The last few episodes were nicely apocalyptic in a Greg Bear-ian kind of way as well. And 2040, unlike the original, not only explained *why* the boomers can change shape like that, but made it key to the plot! Only one question: how the hell do they get back now?

  • Aug. 6, 2001, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Start with the best...

    by Chiisusan

    My Favorites are: 1. Cowboy Bebop, this is easily the easiest series for anime virgins to get into. Fun, fast paced, great sound and visuals. It has what is arguably the best English dub of any series todate. 2. Macross Plus, a previous work form the same creative team that made Cowboy Bebop. This is a great starting point to see if you are into Giant Robot/Mecha/Transformer type anime. 3. Gasaraki - Corporate/Political intrigue, Interdimensional scifi, Mecha and a Desert Storm setting for the first battle.