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bgc_o005.jpg bgc_0000.gif

Bubblegum Crisis

Episode 5: Moonlight Rambler

[ production info ]

Distributed by: TOEMI (Japan), AnimEigo (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Subtitled/Dubbed (VHS/LD)

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Far above Earth, the space station Genaros is host to a secret development project, unbeknownst to either Earth nor the station's owners, the SDPC -- yet another subsidiary of GENOM. Flint, the mastermind behind the development of a new battlemover known as the "D.D." Flint plans to use Genaros as the development center for a new high-tech weapons factory, and sell the goods to the Eastern bloc nations. Unfortunately for Flint, one of the boomers who worked on the project has stolen the unit, and escapes from the station, only to crash-land her shuttle near MegaTokyo.

Mysteriously, a series of vampire-like crimes have struck the city of MegaTokyo. Several murder victims have been found, their bodies completely drained of blood. Sylia is convinced that an older type of boomer, the self-maintaining 33-S is on the loose, using the D.D. as its motive tool. This is the one type of boomer that was voluntarily banned on Earth. Leon has also discovered this information, with one more chilling piece of information: should the D.D.'s pilot become unable to function, a functional D.D. will automatically lock itself into full-auto mode. And once the unit runs out of power, the D.D. will self-destruct -- using a micro-neuton bomb!

[ capsule review ]

The first three episodes of BGC could stand alone as a trilogy, and the fourth is like an additional episode. Moonlight Rambler breaks new ground in the BGC universe with fresher animation, and better detailed mecha designs. The opening sequences are very well done for its time, and painstaking attention is paid to mechanical motion throughout. There's a lot of pseudo-technical jargon thrown in as well. So how does this episode stack up? Well, this is a case where the sum of the parts is less that the whole. There's just too much stuff thrown at you for such a short OAV episode -- all the technical mumbo-jumbo only serves to distract from the plot. The scripting was likewise overdone. Far too many over-emotional scenes, overworked dialog and impossible circumstances detracted from what could have been a great piece of work. There were some interesting animation effects thrown in -- detailed mechanical motion, especially of the D.D.'s leg mechanism when battling with Leon in his K-12 armoured suit. The opening escape sequence is likewise very well done. Even more striking were the "mood-setting" scenes. In particular, the dark, smokey bar where Sylia gets briefed on their new job by Fargo is something that might have been lifted from a Philip Marlowe story. I could almost feel the smoke irritating my throat. Some noteable music as well, including a great ending theme, Omoide Ni Dakarete sung by none other than Tsubokura Yuiko. This episode's cast list reads like a who's who in the anime world -- some very well known seiyu had roles in this one.

The personal conflict that Priss displays when faced with the choice of either killing her new-found friend, Sylvie, or allowing the city of MegaTokyo be destroyed was interesting, but melodramatic and overwraught. Like a puppeteer plying his craft, the director tries to manipulate your emotions, but the material fails him. In the end, the unlikely story-line and overuse of techo-jargon distracts from what could have otherwise been an excellent show. - AN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 2 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 3 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars N/A

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Page last modified 1999.02.27