|Created by||Toshimichi Suzuki|
|Original video animation|
|Produced by||Junji Fujita|
|Written by||Toshimichi Suzuki|
|Music by||Kōji Makaino|
|Released||February 25, 1987 – January 30, 1991|
330 minutes (total)
|Original video animation|
|Produced by||Toshimichi Suzuki|
|Written by||Emu Arii|
|Released||May 25, 1991 – December 21, 1991|
140 minutes (total)
Bubblegum Crisis (Japanese: バブルガムクライシス, Hepburn: Baburugamu Kuraishisu) is a 1987 to 1991 cyberpunk original video animation (OVA) series produced by Youmex and animated by AIC and Artmic. The series was planned to run for 13 episodes, but was cut short to just 8.
The series involves the adventures of the Knight Sabers, an all-female group of mercenaries who don powered exoskeletons and fight numerous problems, most frequently rogue robots. The success of the series spawned several sequel series.
The series begins in late 2032, seven years after the Second Great Kanto earthquake has split Tokyo geographically and culturally in two. During the first episode, disparities in wealth are shown to be more pronounced than in previous periods in post-war Japan. The main adversary is Genom, a megacorporation with immense power and global influence. Its main product are boomers—artificial cybernetic life forms that are usually in the form of humans, with most of their bodies being machine; also known as "cyberoids". While Boomers are intended to serve mankind, they become deadly instruments in the hands of ruthless individuals. The AD Police (Advanced Police) are tasked to deal with Boomer-related crimes. One of the series' themes is the inability of the department to deal with threats due to political infighting, red tape, and an insufficient budget.
The setting displays strong influences from the movies Blade Runner and Streets of Fire .The opening sequence of episode 1 is even modeled on that of the latter film. The humanoid robots known as "boomers" in the series were inspired by several movies, including Replicants from the aforementioned Blade Runner, the titular cyborgs of the Terminator film franchise, and the Beast from the film Krull.
Suzuki explained in a 1993 Animerica interview the meaning behind the cryptic title: "We originally named the series 'bubblegum' to reflect a world in crisis, like a chewing-gum bubble that's about to burst."
The series started with Toshimichi Suzuki's intention to remake the 1982 film Techno Police 21C .However, he met Junji Fujita and the two discussed ideas, and decided to collaborate on what later became Bubblegum Crisis. Kenichi Sonoda acted as character designer, and designed the four female leads. Masami Ōbari created the mechanical designs. Obari would also go on to direct episodes 5 and 6.
The OVA series is eight episodes long but was originally slated to run for 13 episodes.Due to legal problems between Artmic and Youmex, who jointly held the rights to the series, the series was discontinued prematurely.
|AnimEigo/ Southwynde Studios|
|Sylia Stingray||Yoshiko Sakakibara||Jemila Ericson|
|Priscilla "Priss" Asagiri||Kinuko Oomori||Sinda Nichols|
|Linna Yamazaki||Michie Tomizawa||Elizabeth Becka|
|Nene Romanova||Akiko Hiramatsu||Susan Grillo|
|Mackie Stingray||Nozomu Sasaki||Frank Trimble|
|Daley Wong||Kenyu Horiuchi||Marshall Caroll|
|Leon McNichol||Toshio Furukawa||Brad Moranz|
|Brian J. Mason||Shuuichi Ikeda||Eric Paisley|
|Largo||Kazuyuki Sogabe||Pierre Brulatour|
|Quincy Rosenkreutz||Kiyoshi Kawakubo||J. David Arnold|
|Chief Todo||Masaharu Satou||David Kraus|
|Fargo||Kouichi Yamadera||Geoffrey Honaker|
|AnimEigo/ Southwynde Studios|
|1||Chopper 3 Pilot||David Kraus|
|AD Police Communicator||Barbara Lewis|
|Commander Swarz||Teiji Oomiya||Michael S. Way|
|Sylia Stingray (young)||Loren Mash|
|Mackie Stingray (young)||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Katsuhito Stingray||Hiroya Ishimaru||Kevin Dowling|
|Bogey||Yusaku Yara||Marc Matney|
|Retort||Keiichi Nanba||Marc Garber|
|F.G. Frederick||Juurouta Kosugi||Clifton Daniel|
|Deputy Commander||Shinya Ootaki||Patt Noday|
|Checkpoint Guard||Michitaka Kobayashi||Steve Rassin|
|Cynthia||Hiroko Kasahara||Maryann Webb|
|Female Boomer||Urara Takano||Belinda Bizic-Keller|
|2||Irene Chang||Miki Itou||Jean Hrdlicka|
|Company Man 1||Matt Sullivan|
|Company Man 2||Sean Clay|
|AD Police Officer||Masaaki Okamura||Michael Sinterniklaas|
|Female Boomer vocals||Urara Takano||n/a|
|3||Manager||Ikuya Sawaki||Mick McGovern|
|Shou||Kyouko Hamura||Ted Davis|
|Shou's Mother||Minori Matsushima||Amy Parrish|
|Funk||Daisuke Gouri||Marc Matney|
|4||Dr. Raven||Kenichi Ogata||Michael Titterton|
|J.B. Gibson||Kaneto Shiozawa||Mindi L. Lyons|
|Naomi Anderson||Mayumi Shou||Zach Hanner|
|Outrider||Michitaka Kobayashi||Patt Noday|
|5||Anri||Yuko Mizutani||Katherine Kopec-Burton|
|Sylvie||Yoshino Takamori||Martha Ellen Senseney|
|Kaufman||Ikuya Sawaki||Chuck Kinlaw|
|Flint||Shin'ya Ootaki||Jon Guttman|
|Captain||Michitaka Kobayashi||Jay Bryson|
|Lou||Yumi Touma||Tammy Starling|
|Meg||Tomoko Maruo||Hadley Eure|
|Nam||Megumi Hayashibara||Belinda Bizic-Keller|
|Captain||Michitaka Kobayashi||Jay Bryson|
|Doctor||Motomu Kiyokawa||Tom Holmes|
|6||Kate||Urara Takano||Emily Young-Keeley|
|Callahan||Shin'ya Ootaki||Steve Vernon|
|Executive 1||Ikuya Sawaki||Sean Clay|
|Executive 2||Kouzou Shioya||Nicolas Bottom|
|Boomer||Michitaka Kobayashi||Zach Hanner|
|7||Reika Chang||Maiko Hashimoto||Mindi L. Lyons|
|Kou||Yasunori Matsumoto||Zach Hanner|
|Richard McLaren||Ikuya Sawaki||Eddie Harrell|
|Gulf and Bradley Chairman||Masashi Hirose||Timothy J. Walsh|
|Yamada||Michitaka Kobayashi||Gray Sibley|
|Staffer||Katsumi Suzuki||Kevin Reilly|
|Interviewer||Yumi Touma||Joyce Leigh Bowden|
|Mr. Chang||Eken Mine||Mark Fincannon|
|8||Lisa Vanetta||Aya Hisakawa||Amy Parrish|
|Naoko||Junko Asami||Belinda Bizic-Keller|
|Miriam Yoshida||Issei Futamata||Dick Bunting|
|Ebisu Operator||Kenichi Ono||Eliot Preschutti|
|Ebisu President||Hideyuki Umezu||David Long|
|Ebisu Worker||Michitaka Kobayashi||Jay Bryson|
|AD Police Receptionist||Chisa Yokoyama||Amanda Tancredi|
English:Amanda Tancredi, Chuck Denson Jr., Chuck Kinlaw, David Kraus, Eliot Preschutti, Gray Sibley, Hadley Eure, Hank Troscianiec, J. Patrick Lawlor, Jack Bowden, Jay Bryson, Kevin Reilly, Marc Garber, Marc Matney, Michael Sinterniklaas, Scott Simpson, Sean Clay, Sophia Tolar, Steve Lalla, Steve Rassin, Steve Vernon, Zach Hanner
|No.||Title||Runtime||Japan first release dates||English first release dates|
|1||"Tinsel City"||45 minutes||February 25, 1987||August 30, 1991|
|The Knight Sabers are hired to rescue a little girl from a group of kidnappers, but the girl is far more than she seems...|
|2||"Born to Kill"||28 minutes||September 5, 1987||September 27, 1991|
|A friend of Linna's threatens to expose Genom secrets that led to the death of her fiancé, but Genom plans to silence her, first.|
|3||"Blow Up"||26 minutes||December 5, 1987||October 10, 1991|
|The Knight Sabers attack Genom Tower to put an end to the machinations of Genom executive Brian J. Mason.|
|4||"Revenge Road"||38 minutes||July 24, 1988||December 19, 1991|
|A racer modifies his car into a weapon of vengeance against the biker gangs of Megatokyo, but the car soon develops a mind of its own.|
|5||"Moonlight Rambler"||43 minutes||December 25, 1988||January 23, 1992|
|A killer is draining victims of their blood, but this is no vampire. And what do a pair of escaped love-doll androids, Priss's new friend Sylvie and the D.D. super-weapon have to do with it?|
|6||"Red Eyes"||49 minutes||August 30, 1989||February 27, 1992|
|A group of fake Knight Sabers are ruining the group's reputation, leading to a fight against a returning foe.|
|7||"Double Vision"||49 minutes||March 14, 1990||March 19, 1992|
|A singer with a vendetta comes to Megatokyo, and brings some heavy firepower with her.|
|8||"Scoop Chase"||52 minutes||January 30, 1991||April 2, 1992|
|An ambitious technical scientist and an aspiring reporter both plan to make their names at the expense of the Knight Sabers, and of all people, Nene is caught right in the middle.|
In North America, AnimEigo first released Bubblegum Crisis to VHS and Laserdisc in 1991 in Japanese with English subtitles. The series is notable in that it was one of the few early anime series that were brought over from Japan unedited and subtitled in English. While anime has become much more popular in the years since, in 1991, it was still mostly unknown as a storytelling medium in North America. Bubblegum Crisis was aired in the US when it first aired on PBS affiliate Superstation KTEH in the 1990s, and STARZ!'s Action Channel in 2000. [ citation needed ]
An English dub of the series was produced beginning in 1994 by AnimEigo through Southwynde Studios in Wilmington, NC, and released to VHS and Laserdisc beginning that year. A digitally-remastered compilation, featuring bilingual audio tracks and production extras, was released on DVD in 2004 by AnimEigo. The company later successfully crowdfunded a collector's edition Blu-ray release through Kickstarter in November 2013.The series was released on a regular edition Blu-ray on September 25, 2018. The series is currently available for streaming on Night Flight Plus.
There are eight soundtrack releases (one per OVA), as well as numerous "vocal" albums which feature songs "inspired by" the series as well as many drawn directly from it.
THEM Anime Reviews gave the series a rating of four stars, praising the quality of the animation, the soundtrack, and the series' sense of humor. However, they suggested it was held back by a low quality dub, a lack of character development, and an inconsistent plot, saying that while some episodes were "really solid", others would leave out many major details, forcing the viewer to make their own assumptions: "Overall, not a bad watch. In fact, at times, Bubblegum Crisis can be really good. Unfortunately, oversights and carelessness here and there keep this series from being all it can be."
Masaki Kajishima and Hiroki Hayashi, who both worked on the Bubblegum Crisis OAVs, cite the show as being the inspiration for their harem series Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki . In an interview with AIC, Hayashi described Bubblegum Crisis as "a pretty gloomy anime. Serious fighting, complicated human relationships, and dark Mega Tokyo." They thought it would be fun to create some comedy episodes with ideas like the girls going to the hot springs, but it was rejected by the sponsors. He also said that there was a trend to have a bunch of characters of one gender and a single one of the other gender, and asked what if Mackey (Sylia's brother) was a main character, reversing the Bubblegum scenario. This idea then became the basis for Tenchi. Hayashi said that Mackey is "sort of" the original model for Tenchi.
Kevin Siembieda's becoming aware of "Boomers" being already in use in this caused him to changed his planned name for the Rifts RPG which he had named after the "Boom Gun"–wielding power armor which was also renamed to Glitter Boy.
The success of the series spawned several sequel series. The first of them was the three-part OVA Bubblegum Crash (バブルガムクラッシュ!, Baburugamu Kurasshu!). After the split between Artmic and Youmex, Artmic proceeded to make a sequel on their own, Bubblegum Crash, which ran three OVA episodes and is conjectured that it was a shortened version of how Crisis was to end. Youmex promptly sued Artmic, cutting Crash short and tying the entire franchise up in legal issues for the next several years.[ citation needed ]
It is set in 2034, and the Knight Sabers seem to be finished; each of its members—except Nene—have seemingly drifted off to pursue their own goals. But at the same time, parts of a unique artificial intelligence are stolen by several villains acting under the orders of a mysterious voice. Unexpectedly, Sylia resurfaces and prepares her teammates for battle. And as a gigantic machine drills its way to Mega Tokyo's main nuclear power plant, they meet again with an old and deadly enemy.
|Sylia Stingray||Yoshiko Sakakibara||Jemila Ericson||Tamsin Hollo (asLouise Russell)|
|Priscilla "Priss" Asagiri||Ryouko Tachikawa||Sinda Nichols||Julia Brahms|
|Linna Yamazaki||Michie Tomizawa||Elizabeth Becka||Stacey Gregg|
|Nene Romanova||Akiko Hiramatsu||Susan Grillo||Barbara Barnes|
|Leon McNichol||Toshio Furukawa||Brad Moranz||Matthew Sharp|
|Daley Wong||Ken'yuu Horiuchi||Marshall Carroll||Michael Magee|
|Largo||Kazuyuki Sogabe||Pierre Brulatour||Stuart Milligan|
|1||Bogarde||Kiyoyuki Yanada||Scott Simpson||Colin Bruce|
|Waitress Boomer||Takako Kikuchi||Jenny Moranz||Barbara Barnes|
|A.D. Police Chief||Akira Murayama||Matt Sullivan|
|Manager (1)||Kiyonobu Suzuki||Marc Garber||Stuart Milligan|
|DJ Tommy||Kiyonobu Suzuki||Stan Norman|
|Colonel Lando||Tarou Arakawa||Phil Loch||Douglas Blackwell|
|2||Dr. Haynes||Tomomichi Nishimura||Sam Burke||William Roberts|
|Dr. Yuri||Hideyuki Umezu||Gray Sibley|
|Detective||Wataru Takagi||Grenoldo Frazier|
|Soldier||Takkou Ishimori||Basile Katsikis|
|Adama||Minami Takayama||Loren Mash||John Stefaniuk|
|Street Kid||Takkou Ishimori||Noah Shane||Colin Bruce|
|3||Foreman||Nobuaki Sekine||Basile Katsikis|
|Mackie Stingray||Nozomu Sasaki||Frank Trimble||Adam Henderson|
|Youth||Wataru Takagi||Nicholas Michaels|
|A.D. Police Officer||Toshiyuki Morikawa||Noah Shane|
|Boomer||Norio Tsuboi||Zaharoula Katsikis|
|Power Plant Chief||Ichirou Murakoshi||Chuck Kinlaw|
|Manager (2)||Colin Bruce|
Japanese:Norio Tsukui, Takako Kikuchi, Toshiyuki Morikawa
English (AnimEigo):Amanda Tancredi, Chuck Kinlaw, Grenoldo Frazier, Jack Bowden, Lou Criscuolo, Matthew Alexander, Michael Sinterniklaas, Scott Simpson, Sean Clay, Sophia Tolar, Steve Vernon, Zach Hanner
|#||Title||Japanese release date||English release date|
|1||"Illegal Army"||May 25, 1991||November 14, 1991|
|The Knight Sabers re-unite after a period of absence to handle the emergence of a mysterious group of former soldiers with mecha suits.|
|2||"Geo Climbers"||July 25, 1991||February 15, 1992|
|Dr. Yuri, Dr. Stingray's former colleague, seizes a 2nd generation boomer named Adama that Dr. Stingray's successor, Dr. Haynes, created.|
|3||"Melt Down"||December 21, 1991||April 15, 1992|
|A virus mysteriously infects all boomers, making them go rogue. Who is behind all of it? The final episode of the Crash OAV series.|
In 1993, it appeared on Scramble Wars , a crossover event between Bubblegum Crisis, Gall Force , Genesis Survivor Gaiarth , AD Police and Riding Bean .
The series' creator Toshimichi Suzuki wrote two novels:
In Japan, a number of comic books were produced that featured characters and storylines based in the same universe. Some were very much thematically linked to the OVA series, while others were "one-shots" or comedy features. A number of artists participated in the creation of these comics, including Kenichi Sonoda, who had produced the original Knight Saber character designs. A North American comic based in the Bubblegum Crisis Universe was published in English by Dark Horse Comics.
In May 2009 it was announced that a live-action movie of "Bubblegum Crisis" was in the early stages of production. A production agreement was signed at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.The film was expected to be released in late 2012 with a budget of 30 million. The production staff was said to have consulted with the original anime's staff members, Shinji Aramaki and Kenichi Sonoda, to help maintain consistency with the world of the original. However, no further developments have been announced.
Tenchi Muyo! is a Japanese anime, light novel and manga franchise. The original series began with a six-episode OVA called Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki created by Masaki Kajishima and directed by Hiroki Hayashi, and released in Japan on September 25, 1992. The series was released by Pioneer LDC in the United Kingdom in 1994. As its popularity grew, it spurred a seventh episode titled Tenchi Muyo! Special: The Night Before the Carnival and a stand-alone Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special. A second OVA series was directed by Kenichi Yatagai that was released in 1994, and a third OVA series, also directed by Yatagai, was released in 2003.
Original video animation, abbreviated as OVA and sometimes as OAV, are Japanese animated films and series made specially for release in home video formats without prior showings on television or in theaters, though the first part of an OVA series may be broadcast for promotional purposes. OVA titles were originally made available on VHS, later becoming more popular on LaserDisc and eventually DVD. Starting in 2008, the term OAD began to refer to DVD releases published bundled with their source-material manga.
Oh My Goddess!, or Ah! My Goddess! in some releases, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kōsuke Fujishima. It was serialized in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon from September 1988 to April 2014, with its chapters collected in 48 tankōbon volumes. The series follows college sophomore Keiichi Morisato and the goddess Belldandy who moves in with him in a Buddhist temple; after Belldandy's sisters Urd and Skuld move in with them, they encounter gods, demons and other supernatural entities as Keiichi develops his relationship with Belldandy. The manga series has been licensed for English-language release by Dark Horse Comics.
Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi and serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1978 to 1987. Its 374 individual chapters were published in 34 tankōbon volumes. It tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi, and the alien Lum, who believes she is Ataru's wife after he accidentally proposes to her. The series makes heavy use of Japanese mythology, culture and puns. It was adapted into an anime television series produced by Kitty Films and broadcast on Fuji Television affiliates from 1981 to 1986 with 195 episodes. Twelve OVAs and six theatrical films followed, and the series was released on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray Disc in Japan.
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is a Japanese original video animation (OVA) series produced by AIC and Pioneer LDC, and released from 1995 to 1997 as three videos. It features character Sasami from the Tenchi Muyo! series as a magical girl, and is noted for recasting the Tenchi Muyo! characters in new roles. It has been dubbed into English by Pioneer USA. It also spawned two television series - Magical Project S, and Sasami: Magical Girls Club.
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 is a Japanese anime series produced by Anime International Company (AIC). A retelling of the 1987 original video animation Bubblegum Crisis, the series premiered on TV Tokyo on October 8, 1998 where it ran for 26 episodes until its conclusion on March 31, 1999. Toshiba EMI released the episodes on both VHS and Laserdisc across 13 volumes, each containing two episodes. The first volume was released on January 21, 1999; the final volume was released July 26, 2000. The series was later released on DVD, however the Japanese versions were simply the American DVD releases encoded to play for Region 2.
Gall Force is a metaseries of science fiction anime OVAs by the studios Artmic and AIC, with production by Youmex. The original character designs were by Kenichi Sonoda, though these were dropped for the Gall Force: The Revolution remake. Central Park Media has licensed most of the films and OVAs with the exceptions of Ten Little Gall Force, Scramble Wars, and The Revolution.
AnimEigo is an American entertainment company that licenses and distributes anime, samurai films and Japanese cinema. Founded in 1988 by Robert Woodhead and Roe R. Adams III, the company was one of the first in North America dedicated to licensing anime and helped give anime a noticeable following in the region. Over its history, the company has released many anime titles, such as Urusei Yatsura, Vampire Princess Miyu, Otaku no Video, the original Bubblegum Crisis OVA series, and Kimagure Orange Road.
Megazone 23 is a four-part Japanese cyberpunk original video animation created by Noboru Ishiguro, written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama and Emu Arii, and directed by Ishiguro, Ichiro Itano, Kenichi Yatagai, and Shinji Aramaki. The series debuted in 1985. It was originally titled Omega Zone 23 but the title was changed just before release.
AD Police Files is a three-part original video animation produced by Youmex and animated by Artmic and AIC. It is a spin-off of the Bubblegum Crisis series. Due to the legal conflict between Artmic and Youmex, the production of the series was stopped with only three complete episodes made.
Arcadia of My Youth is an anime film depicting the origin of Leiji Matsumoto's seminal character Captain Harlock. At one time, it was considered to be the central hub of the so-called Leijiverse with the events depicted in other works such as Galaxy Express 999 and 1978's Space Pirate Captain Harlock television series occurring sometime after. It is directed by Tomoharu Katsumata, with Kazuo Komatsubara as animation director.
Techno Police 21C or Techno Police is a 1982 Japanese mecha police anime film made by Toho Productions and released on 7 August 1982. It was dubbed into English by Hong Kong voice actors.
Urusei Yatsura, a Japanese anime and manga series, has six films and twelve OVA releases. During the television run of the series, four theatrical films were produced. Urusei Yatsura: Only You was directed by Mamoru Oshii and began showing in Japanese cinemas on February 11, 1983. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer was also directed by Mamoru Oshii and was released on February 11, 1984. Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love was directed by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on January 26, 1985. Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever was directed again by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on February 22, 1986.
Riding Bean (ライディング・ビーン) is an anime original video animation following the exploits of courier-for-hire Bean Bandit and his partner, gunwoman Rally Vincent.
Youmex was an anime production company and record label established in 1985 as a subsidiary of Toshiba EMI and founded by Junji Fujita. The company was absorbed back into Toshiba EMI in 1998, after taking on debt defaulted on by Artmic.
Artmic Co., Ltd., was a Japanese animation design studio formed in 1978. It went bankrupt and was liquidated in 1997. AIC RIGHTS now holds the intellectual property of most of Artmic's titles. The studio was founded by Toshimitsu Suzuki after he left Tatsunoko Productions in 1978. The company's name is short for "Art and Modern Ideology for Creation".
Kimitoshi Yamane is a Japanese mecha designer. Yamane began his career and honed his skills at noted studio Artmic in the 1980s, beginning with Bubblegum Crisis, A.D. Police: Dead End City, Gall Force and Megazone 23. After the studio was disbanded, he started his career as a freelancer and worked on numerous series as mecha designer, including The Vision of Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team and Mobile Fighter G Gundam. He worked for the first time with Shinichirō Watanabe on Cowboy Bebop. His work on non-robot productions such as The Silent Service, Gatchaman (OVA) and numerous Artmic works have also been lauded.
Hiroki Hayashi is a Japanese animator and director associated with AIC. He is best known as the director of the first Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA series and co-creator of El-Hazard.
Straight-up action cyberpunk helmed by a group of hard-suit wearing female vigilantes known as the Knight Sabres, Bubblegum Crisis has aged amazingly well, and it's been aging for a while now as its first chapter dates back a full twenty years to 1987.
Bubblegum Crisis is, quite simply, an institution to the anime world. Probably the best-known Girls-With-Guns anime