Wednesday, February 4, 2015

28 Day Bubblegum Crisis Challenge, Day 4: Favorite Episode

Yes, there is a difference between "best" and "favorite." Back when I did the Buffy challenge - God, that was three years ago - I said that "Restless" was my favorite episode, and I maintain that assertion, even though "The Body" is probably the best episode that was ever done for the series. And likewise, while I do consider "Midnight Rambler" to be the ultimate Bubblegum Crisis experience, I am going to have to go with the inaugural episode, "Tinsel City," as my absolute favorite.

Via MiniTokyo
The entire episode is basically just setting the stage for the rest of the series, but there is practically no exposition. We're just thrown into this universe, where the Knight Sabers, four women wearing hardsuits, are fighting Genom Industries, the main baddie, for reasons that amount to just because. It's cyberpunk, so obviously the true evil is going to be a corporation, which is not really something with which I really disagree.The characters are subtly introduced, not enough to detract from the somewhat convoluted story, but enough to get you interested in getting to know them further. Priss is the badass rocker chick who is the blunt force object of the team; Nene is the Donatello of the group, with enough technical knowledge to make up for her lack of fighting skills; Linna is the athlete who arguably has the coolest hardsuit design; and Sylia is the mysterious head Knight Saber and owns and lingerie shop as cover, like you do. Oh, and she's also independently wealthy, natch*.

Then there's the boomers, robots created for the purpose of repairing Tokyo after an earthquake. The city has mostly been fixed up, but the boomers occasionally go berserk or are used for nefarious purposes by shady people, usually associated with Genom, who, coincidentally, is the largest producer of boomers. Although this is a big part of the story, particularly in "Tinsel City" and the following episode, "Born to Kill," it's never actually dealt with directly or given what I call Turning Peter Jackson disease**. Like I said on Day 2, a lot of anime tends to approach specifics like that by alluding to them or simply assuming that you, the viewer, is going to be able to put the pieces together, and Bubblegum Crisis is no different. We know what we need to and can just sit back and enjoy.

A lot of what I like about this episode is going to be discussed more fully later on, and I don't really enjoy repeating myself, but I do encourage you to watch this episode if you aren't sure if Bubblegum Crisis is for you. If I find any links to sites that can be viewed out of the United States, I'll post it below, but for now, all I know of is Hulu. :(

< Day 3: Worst Episode        Day 5: Least Favorite Episode >


* We also have the supporting characters, Leon and Daley, two cops within the AD Police that are responsible for boomer-related crimes, and they play second fiddle to the Knight Sabers, but I'll get to them, particularly Daley, later on in the challenge.
** Don't get me wrong; I absolutely love the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I fast forward through the opening battle sequence in Fellowship of the Ring because OMG, there are way more creative ways to explain why the world is the way it is without delving into CGI masturbation. Mostly, I'm with the Cinema Sins guy, who hates narration just slightly more than I do.
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