This is a Cyberpunk anime story, set in the future years of 2032-2033 in Tokyo, Japan (renamed as MegaTokyo after a devastating earthquake).
Bubblegum Crisis features skirmishes between the Knight Sabers and the Genom corporation, with itís artificial beings, the Boomers. The basic storyline is one of "Boomers gone bad", very similar to "Blade Runner", and how the Knight Sabers, led by Sylia Stingray who happens to be the daughter of the creator of the Boomers, battle to counter the influence of Genom and other malcontents.
While there is some exploration into the lives of the Knight Sabers (an all female group of heroes - Sylia, Priss, Nene and Linn), the storyline in each episode is basically just a means to showcase the mecha, the fights and cool females wearing some neat body armor. For the safety of the city, Knight Sabers battle the Genom boomers and criminals throughout the series.
Graphics and Sound
When you compare it with today's anime stories, the animation and graphics might seem nothing unusual, but Bubblegum Crisis was a path-breaking series for more than one reason. First up, it kicked off the Original Animated Video (OAV) trend, and secondly, the rock soundtracks for each of the eight episodes have become classics in their own right.
The first three episodes have plenty of flaws and have a decidedly amateurish look. But starting from the 4th episode, the series takes a sharp turn for the better, with improved graphics, a coherent storyline and subtle changes in the looks of the female warriors. It makes each episode much more entertaining and the mecha, the exploding action and the soundtracks come together to take you by the scruff of your neck and haul you into the next episode.
For anime fans, and thereís plenty of dedicated Bubblegum Crisis fans out there, this series is an example of the freshness and innovation which a lot of anime stories today sorely lack. The DVD is a must-have for any classic anime fan, and coupled with the sequel, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, games and soundtracks, makes for a collectors' item.
Worth watching more than once, not only to get an eyeful of biker chick rock star Priss, but also to delight in the small details which you probably missed in the first viewing. Itís more enjoyable if you watch the sub-titled version, rather than the dubbed one, which takes a lot away from the original.
Over time, the series has become one of the most popular classics in the anime cyber-punk, OAV genre. It has also had its sequels and spin-offs including new series and manga's based off characters of Bubblegum Crisis. Its popularity all over the world, especially in the West, is note-worthy, when compared to its relatively poor reception in Japan.