Sunday, February 22, 2015

28 Day Bubblegum Crisis Challenge, Day 22: Something That Happened I Wish Didn't

While I usually make myself focus on plot to this question, I'm going behind the scenes for today's challenge. Like I have said previously this month, Bubblegum Crisis was plagued with a lot of legal issues that truncated the original run length of thirteen episodes into eight, but I've been pretty vague so far.

Well, that, my friends, is about to change. Kind of.

Via Download OST
There's not a ton of information available, at least in terms of the actual series, but from what I can gather, here's what actually happened: Youmex, a subsidiary of Toshiba EMI, and ARTMIC, a rapidly spiraling animation production company, merged in the early 80s to bolster each other's businesses and created Bubblegum Crisis. While the series found popularity in the West - in the United States, in particular - it was never that successful in its home country, and so in effort to cut costs, they ended the series prematurely and split in the mid-80s, with both holding the rights to it.

All of that would have been fine - other than having a half-assed anime series hanging out there with little to no resolution, of course - but then a few years later, ARTMIC was all, "Hey, we wanna continue Bubblegum Crisis, but Youmex also owns the title. I KNOW! We will rename it Bubblegum Crash and no one will be the wiser!" Well, Youmex promptly sued the shit out of ARTMIC, which ultimately sent the latter into bankruptcy (AIC now owns the majority of their properties, according to Wikipedia), and Youmex was brought back into Toshiba EMI in the late 90s, so all their bickering was essentially pointless.

Now, all of that is to say that I wish that, at the beginning, the creators of Bubblegum Crisis had been able to jump forward in time and see how Orphan Black used ten episodes to tell a cohesive story that kept people coming back for more. I don't necessarily have a problem with monster- or situation-of-the-week series - I mean, X-Files and Friends are still two of my favorite shows - but when there is a noticeable lack of cohesion or obviously dangling threads that aren't being resolved for any understandable reasons, people tend to lose interest. Basically, I wish that they had limited it to one of the many stories that they were trying to tell, like Genom's complicity in the development of dangerous weapons (ending with the resignation of the head of the defense department, naturally) or Mason's/Largo's desire to become an immortal boomer. That might have brought more viewers and provided an opportunity for Youmex and ARTMIC to do other short series involving the Knight Sabers.

But instead, we get the reimagined mess that is AIC's Tokyo 2040* and rumors of a live-action version that ended in 2009. Oh, well. I can at least watch "Tinsel City" and "Scoop Chase" and think about what might have been.

* I enjoyed the first part of Tokyo 2040 before Galatea got involved. Once that happened, I nearly refused to watch it through to the end. It was kind of like The Matrix sequels, to be honest, and we're still talking about how shitty those movies were years after their releases.
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