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

Neil.T

Time-Traveller
Forgot to mention the instrumental intro song yesterday. Is it the same in Japanese with the sound effects over the top? Reminded me of Dominion.
Yeah, I don‘t think there was ever a vocal version, in this case. I like the track though.
Thinking about the music over the end credits in this series, I take it that the tracks I'm hearing are Manga's selections rather than the original music. The song that ends episode 1 is really rather good, though; it ties in well with the episode's major theme, too.

Dezaki-ism
Can we coin this as a term for an animation movement? 😁

I'm so bad with Japanese names. I'm fine while watching a show. Context helps in that sense but almost immediately after watching I forget which name belongs to which character.
Hahh... You too, eh? 😅
I have this exact problem, too, and it was the reason I struggled to follow episode 6 of Bubblegum Crisis. (Actually, come to think about it, those names weren't even Japanese, were they?)


AD Police episode 3

Tellingly, it's this episode (the best of the three, in my opinion) that has its visuals used for Manga's disc art, as well as a clip of it being used for one of their trailers for the series.

But is some footage cut from Manga's release, does anyone know? Billy is suddenly missing his left arm in the part where he strikes Leon. That said, his right one just randomly drops off before he's killed by Gina.
 
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WMD

Stand User
AD Police episode 3

Really enjoyed this episode, it had the best structure and flow, and Gina even asked the ghost in the shell question "what happens to a soul in a mechanical body?"

I liked the use of the simple images for the opening montage that ended with the heart monitor sounds flat lining. Really set the tone for this pretty bleak episode. The opening fight was also pretty well done given the obvious budget limitations.

The descent into addiction and madness was also really well done and really sad. (Like with the struggles of women I society last episode this mini series wasnt scared to broach some serious topics that society often tries to pretend dont exist)

I'm sad there isnt more of this as it feels like the creators did try to make something as special as they could. It almost feels like a practice run for how to make a Ghost in the Shell anime.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
AD Police Episode 3

Yeah I’ll have to also agree that this is the best of the three episodes. It’s a shame they only did three OVAs, especially as this one was starting to explore further the implications of mechanical tampering. The comparisons to GITS are pretty apt as I got some of those vibes throughout this series. Not sure what I’d rate this series, 3/5 or 3.5/5, as it could have used more content to flesh out the themes further.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
AD Police Episode 3 - The Old Bill

[Exiled-Destiny]_AD_Police_Files_Ep03_(C9485117).ogm_snapshot_10.07_[2020.01.22_22.49.37].jpg

This is basically the entire show in a nutshell.

And so Another Story of Bubblegum Crisis reaches its conclusion. This episode is the one most heavily based on the 25:00 manga, but even within the short runtime, it's much more fleshed out (no pun intended), giving Billy a definite backstory that underlines his sheer ordinariness, and arguably making him a more sympathetic figure. I think this is also the most downbeat episode. Caroline at least had all her mental faculties and could still express herself as a person; Billy is like the most cautionary elements of cyberpunk transhumanism taken to their logical conclusion, so utterly divorced from his former self that he can no longer relate to being human. His plight could have been influenced in part by that one bad guy in Robocop 2, but I think the story here expands on the theme a lot more.

Most of all though, the relationship Billy Tongue Biter has with his Frankenstein-esque creator is particularly ripe. I'm not quite sure where it sprang from (it's really not in the manga at all - Billy's creator was originally a man), but so much of this series seems to be based around very specific male fears about female sexuality, and that really reaches its peak here. The veinglorious Takagi is a mother figure to Billy, having created his current shell and nursing him along while he’s away from the battlefield, but she has also made him her love doll; getting a kind of quasi-sadistic sexual gratification from grinding up against his unfeeling robot form in their private lab, before seeing fit to dispose of him when he has outlived his usefulness. Also note that Leon fails to defeat Billy in their confrontation - it falls, once again, to Jeena to put him out of his misery.

According to wiki with its usual lack of a citation, AD Police was intended to have a longer run, only to become a victim of the legal spat between ARTMIC and everyone who was not ARTMIC. I'm not sure how I feel about that one - I'd have happily watched more of Leon and Jeena's sleazy exploits, but it also feels fairly complete to me as it is. The bucolic final scene with Billy being laid to rest in the cemetary, surrounded by his friends and colleagues, perhaps suggests a degree of hope for the future, but even it is undermined with a certain irony; the cemetary is atop the AD Police tower and Billy is being buried in an artificial park high above the ground, leaving him divorced from the earth yet again.

For all the gun-rattling and sexy androids, there's a real air of melancholy all the way through the series and I think that's largely what defines it for me above anything else.

Thinking about the music over the end credits in this series, I take it that the tracks I'm hearing are Manga's selections rather than the original music. The song that ends episode 1 is really rather good, though; it ties in well with the episode's major theme, too.
I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think Manga changed any of the music for this one - pretty sure the Lou Bonnevie vocal tracks are the same in both versions.

Tellingly, it's this episode (the best of the three, in my opinion) that has its visuals used for Manga's disc art, as well as a clip of it being used for one of their trailers for the series.
If memory serves, this is the only episode where Masami Obari is credited, I'd guess he had a hand in Billy's rampage in particular.

But is some footage cut from Manga's release, does anyone know? Billy is suddenly missing his left arm in the part where he strikes Leon. That said, his right one just randomly drops off before he's killed by Gina.
Again, it's hard to tell - AD Police badly needs a new transfer, the existing ones are painfully dark - but I'm guessing the implication is that Billy discards his gun arm after it runs out of ammo? Either that or it was damaged by Dieork, as he's the last person to shoot Billy before Leon.

For anyone seeking extra credit, The Dead End City manga provides a couple of bonus adventures, including Jeena taking on a gang of terrorists in a Die Hard-style tower block firefight, but even though Takezaki's art is really quite excellent, it doesn't add a whole lot in terms of story. Wiki suggests the manga takes place between episodes 1 and 2, which might explain the change in Jeena's cyborg arm, Leon ends up having to smash it off when a computer virus tries to invade her, but the way it ends does feel like a kind of conclusion to the series overall. Then again, that in itself could have been a late-game decision to provide some closure, once they knew the anime would not continue. Dead End City was printed in English by Manga as AD Police and, while the UK edition lacks some bonus content found in the Japanese version, it can be had used for peanuts if you're interested. 25:00 is also easy to find and, unusually, was printed with English text beneath the Japanese, so just get that from wherever.

Much like BGC, in addition to the manga, there were two drama CDs which may cover story ideas not animated. To my knowledge, neither has ever been translated, but going on what little I could find out, Takoyaki Western involves a boomer entertainer and looks as if it may be a more humorous outing in the vein of 25:00, whereas Dragon Trip intriguingly seems to involve a virtual reality fantasy RPG, featuring cover art showing Leon in knight's armour and Jeena in kabuki-style face paint. Of the two, Dragon Trip is probably the one to look out for - it has music by Susumu Hirasawa!

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m90776604673_1.jpg
 

WMD

Stand User
Parasite Dolls episode 1

I know this may be hard to find but after this 1st episode I really have to recommend that people try to. I've found it in Spanish on YouTube some of the dialogue is a bit complex so I may missed some stuff but overall I was to follow it and it's great!

In terms of art it's very very good. Very much my style of cyberpunk animation. With some great scenery.
Screenshot_20200123-183629_YouTube.jpg

Theme wise it picks up threads from AD Police with drugs sending boomers insane. Here though it's a more insidious plot for others gratification. The members of AD Police we follow here all seem pretty interesting and this time include a Boomer officer which is welcome if obvious progression to make.

This makes good use of the 26ish min runtime as well being a self contained case that follows a good progression with our officers actually putting pieces together rather than it all being a coincidence which was nice.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Yeah sadly I didn’t watch Parasite Dolls yesterday as I couldn’t find a stream that was English dubbed or subbed outside of illegal sites.
 

Neil.T

Time-Traveller
Parasite Dolls episode 1

Just gonna to add to WMD's comments that the layout work is very good in this; I'd forgotten about that. There's some engaging camera work in the mix here.

But here we go: good job ADV didn't do what Manga did with Bubblegum Crash and change a main character's name to fit in with an on-screen spelling mistake:

To Bazz,

They'll make the exchage at 22:00.


Fair exchage is no robbery, right? 😛


Buzz's Boomer partner Kimball is voiced by Show Hayami (Wolfwood in Trigun). (That's how his name is romanised on MAL, anyway, and that's perhaps fitting for someone whose voice carries so much charisma.)
EDIT: Kimball's voice is in fact provided by a VA called Somei Uchida.
 
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WMD

Stand User
Just gonna to add to WMD's comments that the layout work is very good in this; I'd forgotten about that. There's some engaging camera work in the mix here.
Yeah it certainly is visually interesting. One image still in my head was during a conversation between 2 characters at one point the camera switches to behind them and discarded on the floor is an old boomer shell, tied up even though it not working. Seems to tie into the fears of "what are boomers capable of?" The paranoia of the humans in this world. The relative innocence and servitude of the boomers. That they are discarded or broken if they obtain any freedom. I feel theres a lot of meaning and interpretation one could choose to put on this show.
 
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WMD

Stand User
Parasite Dolls episode 2

What a trip that was. Parasite Dolls definitely has that early noughties anime sci fi vibe of being dark, sad, violent but also super interesting. You both are able to follow what's happening and simultaneously not have a clue what's going on. Very reminiscent of shows like Ergo Proxy, Texhnolyze, Noein, Gunslinger Girls. This is so my thing and I'm actually pretty sad it's only 3 episodes.

Again we are in the underworld of prostitution where both human and boomer women are working the streets. This time its boomers being murdered and the AD Police investigating. I feel like I definity lost some stuff watching in spanish this time and had to read a quick synopsis afterwards to fully appreciate how the pieces fit together.

What I'll say is it was dark and moody, sexually charged. Everything made sense until it didnt! Theres a moment where you are left going "what the hell has just happened?!" But it's so fast paced at that point you are just swept along for the ride. And it's a pretty great action ride!
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
I still can’t find an English friendly version of Parasite Dolls unfortunately but it sounds like an interesting series.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Yeah I don’t really want to sink that much money on 3 episodes, especially a DVD.

On a side note after Paradise Dolls do people have an idea for what they’d like to watch next?
 

Neil.T

Time-Traveller
Theres a moment where you are left going "what the hell has just happened?!"
Was that the moment that the cat showed its true identity? It was for me!


My observations for...
Parasite Dolls episode 2

Eve's "owner" is voiced by Jouji Nakata (the Count in Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo). He always lends a thespish air to proceedings and is another big favourite of mine.

There's an interesting bit of language detail in this episode. At the "murder" scene, the detective corrects himself from "roku-nin-me" to "roku-tai-me" when Michaelson asks what number victim this is. Counting in Japanese is done by counting the number of "units" of the item in question. We do it with some things (bags, slices, bundles and such), but Japanese does it with everything. Every noun must be counted by its appropriate unit type.

So nin is the unit for counting people. But, of course, a Boomer is a machine. There is actually a unit for counting statues, dolls and such, and that is tai. This unit covers "images, statues, person's remains, dolls, androids, humanoid robots":
Japanese counter word - Wikipedia
(Under the heading "Extended list of counters")

The purpose of the detective's error is to push the point that some people still sometimes count Boomers as people, even if only unintentionally or on a subconscious level.

As something perhaps in-keeping with the themes of this episode, note also the hatsu/patsu unit in the Wikipedia list. It's used for:
"Gunshots, bullets, aerial fireworks; orgasms, sex acts".
What a connection! 😅

In case you were curious about the other Japanese words in that first example, roku is the number six, and me is an ordinal counter like "-th". So, roku-nin would be "six people" and roku-nin-me is "the sixth person".


There are some further lingual subtleties in Japanese that don't fully translate into English here. Take one of Buzz's lines from just a little later in this episode. "It'd be difficult to go with this guy," he says to Michaelson, referring to his Boomer partner Kimball.

The line in Japanese refers to Kimball as koitsu. While it very often is translated as "this guy here", its actual broader meaning is "this one", as it can be used for inanimate objects, too.


Moving away from language to visuals, the climactic rooftop chase couldn't help but somewhat put me in mind of the big payoff towards the end of Perfect Blue.
 

WMD

Stand User
Was that the moment that the cat showed its true identity? It was for me!


My observations for...
Parasite Dolls episode 2

Eve's "owner" is voiced by Jouji Nakata (the Count in Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo). He always lends a thespish air to proceedings and is another big favourite of mine.

There's an interesting bit of language detail in this episode. At the "murder" scene, the detective corrects himself from "roku-nin-me" to "roku-tai-me" when Michaelson asks what number victim this is. Counting in Japanese is done by counting the number of "units" of the item in question. We do it with some things (bags, slices, bundles and such), but Japanese does it with everything. Every noun must be counted by its appropriate unit type.

So nin is the unit for counting people. But, of course, a Boomer is a machine. There is actually a unit for counting statues, dolls and such, and that is tai. This unit covers "images, statues, person's remains, dolls, androids, humanoid robots":
Japanese counter word - Wikipedia
(Under the heading "Extended list of counters")

The purpose of the detective's error is to push the point that some people still sometimes count Boomers as people, even if only unintentionally or on a subconscious level.

As something perhaps in-keeping with the themes of this episode, note also the hatsu/patsu unit in the Wikipedia list. It's used for:
"Gunshots, bullets, aerial fireworks; orgasms, sex acts".
What a connection! 😅

In case you were curious about the other Japanese words in that first example, roku is the number six, and me is an ordinal counter like "-th". So, roku-nin would be "six people" and roku-nin-me is "the sixth person".


There are some further lingual subtleties in Japanese that don't fully translate into English here. Take one of Buzz's lines from just a little later in this episode. "It'd be difficult to go with this guy," he says to Michaelson, referring to his Boomer partner Kimball.

The line in Japanese refers to Kimball as koitsu. While it very often is translated as "this guy here", its actual broader meaning is "this one", as it can be used for inanimate objects, too.


Moving away from language to visuals, the climactic rooftop chase couldn't help but somewhat put me in mind of the big payoff towards the end of Perfect Blue.
That's all really interesting. The Japanese language really has some fascinating idiosyncrasies.

A little different but going back to the themes there was a line where Michealson says "Shes just a boomer, how can she be more feminine than me?" (I'm slightly paraphrasing the Spanish back into English) it certainly ties back into the idea of the blurring line between machine and humanity. Which really this episode is about as they are investigating boomers being murdered. In fact a lot of this franchise has actually been about at what point does a machine become human or at least a life form in it's own right.

On a side note after Paradise Dolls do people have an idea for what they’d like to watch next?
Hadn't really thought about it yet to be honest. Were there any suggestions in the simulwatch organising thread?
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
Hadn't really thought about it yet to be honest. Were there any suggestions in the simulwatch organising thread?
I don’t recall offhand but I can have a think on potential candidates whilst also considering accessibility and legal availability.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Interesting to see that Parasite Dolls actually had a UK release, I didn't know that. Picked up the R1 disc a couple of years ago along with a batch of other used things from Second Spin. Got the ADV Megazone 23 set along with it, which I believe has become kinda rare, but I digress.

Actually, Megazone 23 could be a good simulwatch candidate, but I don't know how practical that would be - people want stupid money for the old discs and who knows when we'll see the BD released. If we wanted to keep the BGC theme going, Scramble Wars is a laugh, but you really need to have Gall Force under the belt as well to get the most out of it. Think Ayase also mentioned the You're Under Arrest OVAs, which might be a nice palate cleanser after all the grit.
 

WMD

Stand User
Parasite Dolls episode 3

I have loved this miniseries. Really wish it was longer! For the first half its another case of boomers getting murdered then as Buzz is closing kn on the truth all hell Breaks loose in a visually stunning piece if work as the city is sent up in flames. The story then takes a wonderful turn and becomes very personal to buzz and we learn a fair bit about him. By ending the show with its biggest case and it's most personal story the writers really pulled off a winner here.

Also visually this has been amazing. The work with light and darkness is incredible and really mesh well with the violent and sexual themes and stories.
Screenshot_20200125-111130_YouTube.jpgScreenshot_20200125-111425_YouTube.jpgScreenshot_20200125-111449_YouTube.jpg

Also the final shot was awesome. Its obviously somewhat spoilery so I've hidden it
Screenshot_20200125-112533_YouTube.jpg

Actually, Megazone 23 could be a good simulwatch candidate,
I've got the blu ray on preorder so when that finally arrives I'd be up for it but as you say who knows when that will be!
 

Neil.T

Time-Traveller
Paradise Dolls episode 3

Very reminiscent of shows like Ergo Proxy
Funnily enough, the character designer on this series is Naoyuki Onda, who also held the same role with Ergo Proxy.

Buzz's Boomer partner Kimball is voiced by Show Hayami
Well, I stand corrected on this. The three episodes are stitched together into a continuous "movie" on ADV's DVD, so there aren't any credits until the end. Kimball's voice is actually credited to a VA called Soumei Uchida. He has a scant four entries in his voice-acting credits on MAL — only three if you count Code Geass as one.

The credits also reveal that Buzz's actual name is apparently Basil. Perhaps that episode 1 on-screen spelling of "Bazz" wasn't so wrong after all.


Since I missed it first time around, I'll have a watch of Gunsmith Cats next. If there are any little details that haven't already been pointed out here, I'll drop 'em in. 🙂
 
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WMD

Stand User
Thanks everyone. As always it's been fun (its just really nice to be able to have proper discussions with people about anime as none of my mates are that into it)

Since I missed it first time around, I'll have a watch of Gunsmith Cats next. If there are any little details that haven't already been pointed out here, I'll drop 'em in.
Absolutely do that!

If anyone watches any of the shows discussed (in the thread title) or even the other associated full length series (Bubblegum Crisis 2040 or AD Police to Protect and Serve) then please also drop your thoughts in here. Incidentally it looks like the AD police one is getting a blu ray release next month in the USA.
 
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