Simulwatch - Gunsmith Cats/Riding Bean/Bubblegum Crisis/Crash/AD Police/Parasite Dolls [all complete]

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Wow, really? 😯
Even though Manga went as far as to change Leon's surname in their dub?
This is, again, something I might find myself going back on once I rewatch the show, but my memory of it is that the Manga UK version, even if it takes liberties, had some of the piss and vinegar sorely lacking in AnimEigo's dub. They also refer to the act of illegally restarting a dead boomer as 'resuscitation', which I thought was a good choice of euphemistic terminology in context - kind of harking back to the old Blade Runner schtick of 'this was not called execution, it was called retirement'.

All I can judge a Japanese VA by is whether the sound of their voice is appealing to me or not, and hers very definitely is in both singing and speaking - It's got that slightly scratchy quality to it that singers who really belt it out a lot tend to get (or people who smoke too much, possibly both).
I also agree on this and was a little sad to realise Oomori isn't in Crash.

An awful lot of Japanese VAs sound very similar to me, so I appreciate hearing someone with a distinctive voice, but (as much as I can tell) Oomori also seemed to take to VA work better than plenty of other singers shoehorned into a role like this. Case in point, I recently watched an OVA called Star Cat Full House, which seems to heavily promote a girl group of the time, and it really did feel like you were listening to non-professionals delivering their dialogue in a flat, stilted manner. Oomori at least sounded to me like she was putting some feeling into it.
 
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Neil.T

Guild Member
It's got that slightly scratchy quality to it that singers who really belt it out a lot tend to get (or people who smoke too much, possibly both)
Still nowhere near as much as the Mr. Dandy singer, though, eh? 😜

Oomori at least sounded to me like she was putting some feeling into it.
She was and... I dunno...
Maybe I'm being overly harsh but...

All things are relative, and she definitely comes out as easily the weakest voice performer in the series, for me. It just puts me in mind of someone standing in a booth, recording the lines; it doesn't integrate as well into the images. You can argue that she has a "naturalistic" kind of tone, and that's what you get from someone who's not a professional voice actor.

Hayao Miyazaki was looking for that very thing when he cast Hideaki Anno to play the lead in The Wind Rises. There are people who don't like Anno's performance in it, but personally I think it's inspired. Anno's voice just appeals to me.

Thinking about it that way, perhaps some of my issue might be down to the simple fact that Ōmori's just doesn't do anything for me.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
You can argue that she has a "naturalistic" kind of tone, and that's what you get from someone who's not a professional voice actor.
I almost said something similar, but for me that’s probably a positive. She sounds to me fairly laid back most of the time, which I’d say fits Priss as a character.

Dunno about non-pro VAs sounding natural though, I did some for a friend’s project a couple of years back and it was more like a hammed up version of my telephone voice...
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
I almost said something similar, but for me that’s probably a positive.
Oh, it's a positive for me, too. Believe me. 😯

I mean, that's one of the (many) things I like about Shunji Iwai's The Case of Hana and Alice: the naturalistic performances of the main duo.

Those meld perfectly into the film, though. 🤔
I could never envision Yuu Aoi and Anne Suzuki in the recording booth while watching that; I'm too busy being absorbed in the film.

Ōmori just seems to have the opposite effect for me: I get pulled back out of the world of BGC a bit. It's a purely personal and subjective thing, mind.
¯\(ツ)
 

zrdb

Brigade Leader
Kinda reminds me of the 1st episode of the Dirty Pair tv series-there are quite a few references to the original Star Trek tv series if you know where to pause it.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Hah! The only one that really stood out to me before was fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, but Bob Fosse? That's kind of unexpected.
Given that an awful lot of them are indeed fantasy and sf artists, I have to wonder if someone didn’t confuse him with Chris Foss, but who knows, maybe they just really liked Cabaret.

Also, status report: Are we ready to carry on?
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
I dont think @HWR Crash has arrived yet.
I sadly haven’t sourced a copy so if people want to ahead I’ll just watch the YouTube upload as I don’t wish to hold up the simulwatch again! I have a copy of AD Police now at least.
 

WMD

Thousand Master
I sadly haven’t sourced a copy so if people want to ahead I’ll just watch the YouTube upload as I don’t wish to hold up the simulwatch again! I have a copy of AD Police now at least.
Shall we call tomorrow (friday 17th) episode 1 then incase anyone wants to rewatch it? Then sat and sun for eps 2 and 3 respectively.

That would mean AD Police start on Monday.

@Neil.T @Professor Irony @ayase @HWR
Everyone ok with that?
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Bubblegum Crash ep1 - Black Monday

Fairly sure that I saw some of Crash before I ever saw Crisis (I forget the exact sequence of events there), so I do have some fond memories of it, but that aside, I find it hard not to agree with everything ayase was saying. In terms of production, this feels much more on a par with Gall Force. A more recent analogy might be One Punch Man S2 - it's fine, it's just nowhere near the level of what came before. Writing, animation, music, it‘s all okay, but having come straight off the back of watching Crisis, you really notice the drop in quality.

The flat writing is a particular disappointment. The entire run of Crash is credited to Emu Arii, who previously wrote the screenplay for Revenge Road, so would seem like a good choice on the face of it, but in practice, it feels like we're firmly in weekly super sentai territory here. Notably, Arii didn't do a lot of work after this either. You wonder what happens to people.

I did notice Tony Takezaki was credited under Production Design though - remember that name, I won't shut up about him it'll become relevant later.

Fake Edit:

Anyway, cracking on with it, we see in this series's recurring opening title sequence that the script is credited to someone called Arii Emu, but that is in fact a pseudonym. (Arii Emu = R.E.M.) I guess the intent is somewhat similar to Gundam makers Sunrise and their house pseudonym Hajime Yatate.
Holy crap, I'd completely missed that. That would explain why they never worked after the early 90s and why the quality of writing dropped so hard.

Anyway, If we assume the messy divorce from Youmex must halted production for a while, it also looks like Crash must have been produced in a far shorter space of time than a comparable span of Crisis. Scoop Chase came out in January '91, Crash began in May of that year, then ended in December, so that's three episodes in the space of a year, possibly including any time spent with legal disputes. By comparison, the episode turnarounds for the last three episodes of Crisis were 8 months, then 5, then 9, based on their release dates.

Not that there aren‘t some nice touches though. Linna's boom and bust career as a stock broker seems rather prophetic and Priss balking at the idea of joining the idol industry is cute. I particularly like the Robocop-esque TV ads for joining the AD Police and new parts for your boomer. Didn't mention that huge ADP mortality rate, huh? As ayase noted, the introduction of 'friendly' boomers in menial roles feels like a huge change compared to the previous episodes; even though Sylia describes it as a 'brief vacation' it really does feel like time has moved on.

Funnily enough, seeing the 'help point' type boomers outside the bank reminds me of a job I had once illustrating a product pitch aimed at a cruise liner company. It was for a roomba-type robot with virtual-kiosk facilities that passengers could 'speak to'. Maybe we're not so far off...

I wonder if AnimEigo will ever attempt to do a Kickstarter for Crash? Despite it not being as beloved as its predecessor, I imagine a lot of fans would still want a BD, just for the sake of completion, if nothing else. Perhaps a kind of double set with AD Police would be the way to go, assuming the materials can be secured.

80D8FE18-97B4-4431-B650-7BE09A24CE6C.jpeg

There are some song lyrics on one of the other screens as well, but they were too hard to read - all I could make out was Scarborough Fair here. Save us Bayo, you're our only hope.

the way Sonoda tells it, the two companies were co-signatories of loans during their partnership so upon ARTMIC being declared bankrupt and shuttered, the responsibility for paying that debt passed entirely to Youmex
I seem to recall Sonoda making a comment at one point that staff pay was never properly resolved and, even now, people are still owed money from ARTMIC. It's an absolute heartbreaker.

I wonder whether he had anything to do with naming this high-rise cafe:
I've been in a few pubs where it would have been accurate...

Kinda reminds me of the 1st episode of the Dirty Pair tv series-there are quite a few references to the original Star Trek tv series if you know where to pause it.
I remember that! Dirty Pair isn't as heavy on easter eggs as BGC, but I'm pretty sure some of the explosions have "BANG" written inside them, if you go through it frame by frame too.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Bubblegum Crash: Episode 2 - Haynes Manual

CRASH_0201.jpg
Too many.

This is only the second time I've watched the show, but this is probably my favourite episode of Crash. It seems to best recapture the feel of a Crisis episode with its balance of drama and fun, telling an episodic story that still contributes to the show's overall lore. It does also seem a bit better quality than the first, but it could be that I'm just getting used to it. Also how cute is Linna's outfit, seriously.

CRASH_0204.jpg

So at the start of this episode we get some Mazinger Z and Mega Man vibes as one decent and one not at all sinister looking robotics scientist have a difference of opinion over what robots should be used for. Dr. Yuri opts for the Dr. Hell method of resolving this over the Dr. Wily way. The obvious parallels to Sylia's father serve as a decent way of continuing that plot thread and making certain things about him and his work and ideals more explicit through flashbacks and Sylia's exposition (which are also quite nicely presented visually). This could all have become quite interesting but well, we only have one episode to go and I'll get to that one shortly. Sigh.

CRASH_0202.jpg
One of these doctors is evil, can you guess which?

We get another "daily life with the Sabers" segment which seems more reminiscent of Crisis too, with the girls' outing to Neo Geo City quite nicely integrated into the plot rather than being simple fan service. It was in these scenes particularly I noticed the better looking backgrounds and minor detail seem to have made a bit of a comeback in this episode too.

From there it's basically Bubblegum Short Circuit, but I don't have any real issues with that. The idea the new, more human Boomers could be a force for good and that Sylia believes in that ideal are interesting developments (though I'm less certain things would work out as rosy as Sylia, her father and Dr. Haynes imagined when they start taking everyone's jobs, which by all accounts they already have started doing). ADAMA's secondary plot purpose of getting Priss to empathise with Boomers does seem a little tacked-on in light of her previous relationships with Sylvie and Anri, but then iirc they were referred to as Cyberdroids rather than Boomers, so it's possible the technology of the two kinds of humanoid robot might not necessarily be related (though they were still created by GENOM, which you'd have thought would have been a bigger issue).

We're still missing the music and the action animation still can't live up to Crisis, but this episode is an all around decent effort in my opinion. Bye bye.

CRASH_0203.jpg

Potential spoiler for next episode: I notice the Church Sylia and Dr. Haynes talk in following her father's funeral appears to be the same one Mason (or Largo) was monologuing in at one point in Crisis... More evidence of some long term story planning?
 
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Neil.T

Guild Member
The flat writing is a particular disappointment. The entire run of Crash is credited to Emu Arii, who previously wrote the screenplay for Revenge Road, so would seem like a good choice on the face of it
You know, I could've sworn I saw the name Arii Emu in the Crisis credits somewhere, but when I went back to look for it I couldn't find it again. So it was on "Revenge Road"?

Given that that's possibly by favourite episode of the original eight, it's hard for me to imagine that it's the same writer as Crash. 🤔

The source for that pseudonym info is once again The Anime Encyclopedia. Dunno if this link will work, but here goes...

the girls' outing to Neo Geo City
Aw, man. Is that really what it was called? 😆
I missed that one.

I did notice Tony Takezaki was credited under Production Design though - remember that name, I won't shut up about him it'll become relevant later.
I have a manga in my collection called Tony Takezaki's Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's a series of short parody strips and an absolute riot to read, so I'm already on board with that.


So, onwards and downwards to...

Bubblegum Crash episode 2

😬 . . .
"Stinglay"?

Yes, merely because of an unfortunate on-screen spelling mistake in this episode, Manga's dub script feels the need to address this and CHANGES PROFESSOR STINGRAY'S NAME!!!

Ahem.

Moving on—Seriously, though?! STINGLAY???

Moving on... we discover here that, in the transition from Crisis to Crash, Priss has developed a deep-seated hatred for Boom— 😑
For Voomers. This dub! 😤

😅
Sorry.

To give credit where it's due, though, the guy who voices Doctor Yuri is really very good. 😯
Just as well someone is. 😑

ADAMA's VA is great, too, and he gets all the best lines in this episode.
"My goodness. You're such a bigot."
¯\(ツ)

However, neither of them gets a mention in Manga's generic end credits, which is really crappy. 😕

One of the classic hallmarks of an old-school Manga dubbing is present and (in)correct here, though:
Priss: [in American accent] Hey, look! It's him. The guy we saw coming out of that lift with those army guys.

Don't you mean "elevator", Priss? 😉


This new incarnation of the story of Mega-Tokyo continues to baffle with some of the text that pops up in displays and such:
IMG_20200109_132640840.jpg
It doesn't show up very well in this shot, but that's a female gender symbol to the right of the word "HUMAN" (which isn't that easy to read in that picture either, to be honest). So it's... a woman... in drag? 😅

And then almost immediately after...
IMG_20200109_132711482.jpg
"WHAT?"?! 😆
The text that reads downwards below that says MUTEKI, which is a Japanese word that translates as "invincible". Its literal meaning is "without enemy".

This episode also sees possibly my all-time favourite bit of Engrish. On the crowded back streets of Mega-Tokyo is a scrolling neon display located below a giant screen showing a music video which is not at all MC Hammer. In bright red block capitals, that display reads...

HEER COME THE CYBER FUNKER


Leaving that behind, did anyone else think that there were shades of Akira's score during the sequences where Priss and ADAMA are being shot at by the female Voomer? Akira was released in 1988 and Crash in 1991, so there was surely influence there.

And that subtle change in the aforementioned Voomer's expression after being reprogrammed was really well executed. 👌
Turns out this series can get stuff right when it focuses.
IMG_20200109_141204066.jpg
Oh f**k off.


Going back to how this episode was released in 1991, I couldn't help but notice a shot of ADAMA running like the T-1000 from that year's Terminator 2.

That and...
IMG_20200109_152453130.jpg
Hi, Guile. Shouldn't you be in your newly released Street Fighter II game? 😛
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Aw, man. Is that really what it was called? 😆
It's actually Geo City, just my little joke. I wanted to get it in there as it was an early candidate for title, along with Yuri on Ice.
HEER COME THE CYBER FUNKER
Can't believe I let that go by unmentioned after taking a screencap and everything.
CRASH_0206.jpg

I wonder if AnimEigo will ever attempt to do a Kickstarter for Crash? Despite it not being as beloved as its predecessor, I imagine a lot of fans would still want a BD, just for the sake of completion, if nothing else. Perhaps a kind of double set with AD Police would be the way to go, assuming the materials can be secured.
That would be ideal, since I'd probably balk at paying AnimEigo KS prices for Crash on its own. Don't know how realistic it would be in terms of rights to allow them to be packaged together though.
 

WMD

Thousand Master
Bubblegum Crash episode 2

Oh man this episode was so much better than the first. Leagues of difference. In much the same way as my favourite Crisis episodes lent into the cyberpunk GITS style storytelling this episodes true AI element was very appealing to me.

The odd couple pairing of Priss and Adama was also a lot of fun (even if Priss' hatred of boomers was a somewhat out of nowhere). Adama was an all round great character with some very honest K2SO style lines which I really enjoyed.

The dub was also leagues better than episode 1, again especially Adama. Incidentally is Adama a reference to Battlestar Galactica? A show about AI robots.

One of these doctors is evil, can you guess which?
Lol.

Hi, Guile. Shouldn't you be in your newly released Street Fighter II game? 😛
Also Lol.
 
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