Anime Spotlight: A.D. Police Files

A.D. Police Files is a three-part OVA that is seen as a prequel to Bubblegum Crisis. The three episodes were produced by Youmex and animated by Artmic and AIC. Takamasa Ikegami directed the first episode, Hidehito Ueda directed the second episode, and Akira Nishimori directed the third episode. The three episodes of A.D. Police Files were released in 1990.

As of this writing, AnimEigo holds the North American distribution license for A.D. Police Files.

A.D. Police Files focuses on police inspector Leon McNichol’s early days in the A.D. Police, back when he was just an officer. A female officer named Jeena is also an integral part of all three episodes.

The first episode establishes the Boomers, which are robots manufactured by the Genom Corporation that take care of most of the manual labor in the city. They have started to malfunction and commit crimes and create violence. After one of Jeena’s co-workers is killed by a Boomer, it’s theorized the officer was part of an insurance scam. Jeena, along with Leon, work to prove the fallen officer’s innocence.

In the second episode, the A.D. Police must work at solving a string of murders in an area called Paradise Loop after its suspected that a Boomer is behind them. It turns out that when a normal police officer goes to an organ bank to replace her eye with a cybernetic one, she discovers the truth about who’s behind all the murders.

The final episode focuses on Billy Fanword, the captain of the A.D. Police Special Mobile Squad. He sustained massive injuries from a rogue Boomer and nearly died. His brain and tongue are his only viable organs, and they are transplanted into an experimental cyborg body. During the episode, Billy starts losing touch with his humanity. Jeena plays an important role in the story, because she is Billy’s ex-lover.

The writers and directors for this OVA series seemed to go into this production with the idea that viewers would have already seen Bubblegum Crisis. No time is spent on explaining the Boomers or what they are, and the first episode just jumps immediately into the action. Fortunately, I had already seen the Bubblegum Crisis remake series, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, so I already had that knowledge. A viewer going into this OVA without any prior knowledge of Bubblegum Crisis will be confused about what’s going on.

After watching all three episodes, it felt as if these stories weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been. It seemed like the production team went into this deciding they couldn’t go any longer than 28 minutes for any of the episodes. Since the stories weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been, it made it harder for me to remain interested in what I was seeing or really caring about what was happening.

The animation for the first OVA episode utilized the “hyper-realistic” feel that anime seemed to be going for in the late 1980s into the early 1990s. It reminded me a lot of the look and feel of the animation in Akira and the third part of Megazone 23. However, the remaining two episodes of A.D. Police Files relies on a more traditional look and feel for its animation. While this does create a noticeable shift in the feel of the episodes, I was able to adjust to the different style by the time I made it through the second episode.

If you’re a fan of the Bubblegum Crisis franchise and want to see everything that’s associated with it, then you’ll want to find a way to watch A.D. Police Files. Also, I would recommend that any viewers who are potentially interested in watching this OVA should make sure to watch the Bubblegum Crisis OVA episodes before diving in.

However, it should be noted that A.D. Police Files is violent and gritty, and that the DVD box shows that the content is rated “18+.”

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