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Bubblegum Crisis

Episode 7: Double Vision

[ 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

In the year 2033, a strange crab-like mecha attacks a group of executives at the Gulf & Bradley building in Houston, Texas. The lone survivor of the attack is Dr. Richard McLaren, the chief project scientist for Genom's new military super-boomer project. McLaren head a team at Genom's military research labs in Tokyo, Japan. Meanwhile, after years of silence, the mysterious rock star, Vision, has come out of hiding and performing on a live tour in Japan. At the same time, the crab-like mecha once again appears, this time attacking the Genom laboratory at which McLaren is working. Shaken by the recent events, the Knight Sabers are hired as bodyguards for Dr. McLaren.

[ capsule review ]

Due to contractual problems, Omori Kinuko (Priss) was unable to sing solo for the remainder of the Bubblegum Crisis series after OAV 6. Because of this, the initial plans were to kill off Priss' character, but in the end, this was not done. Hashimoto Maiko's Vision (a.k.a. Reika Chang) was to replace Priss in the lead role. The end result could have been interesting -- Omori Kinuko has a much stronger acting voice, but a very limited singing voice, while Hashimoto Maiko's acting voice isn't as strong, but she has a much more melodic singing voice, plus her acting voice is much more versatile. I guess we'll never know...

Episode 7 ties in with Episode 2 (Born To Kill), in which Linna's friend Irene Chang was killed by one of Mason's boomers. Vision (Reika Chang) is Irene's older sister. Consequently, Linna features very prominently in this episode. This epsiode features much stronger writing than previous efforts, and touches aspects of human motivations and need -- specifically, grief, responsibility, revenge and fulfillment. Acting is also above average, though I had to take exception to the stereotyping of the Gulf & Bradley president -- not all company big-wigs from the deep south look like a throw-back from The Dukes of Hazzard. Animation quality has also improved over previous efforts, and the characters are beginning to lose their line-drawing appearance. Sonoda's mechanical designs are top-notch, and he comes up with some more unique designs for this episode. But once again, it's the music that really sets this series apart, and the opening song, Say Yes is worthy of radio airplay (except that the requisite guitar solo in the middle is rather cheesy), and the ending theme, Never the End is an absolutely wonderfully produced number. Too bad it's cut so short on the video. Luckily, it is available on the Complete Vocal Collection Vol. 2 compact disc. The episode also features a "timeline" format, in which events are presented on very specific dates, very much like a documentary. To my mind, this is one of the top two episodes in the BGC series. - AN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 4 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 5 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 4 stars N/A

[ café trivia ]

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