Anime Spotlight: Bubblegum Crash

Bubblegum Crash is a three episode OVA sequel series to Bubblegum Crisis that was produced by Artmic. The episodes were directed by Hiroshi Ishiodori and Hiroyuki Fukushima. The episodes were released between May 25 and December 21, 1991. As of this writing, AnimEigo holds the North American distribution license for Bubblegum Crash.

It’s now 2034, and the Knight Sabers haven’t been seen for a while. It appears that everyone, except for Nene, have drifted off to pursue their own goals and dreams. Priss is poised to make her debut as a professional singer, while Linna becomes active in the financial markets. Sylia and Mackie seem to have disappeared. Nene still works for the A.D. Police, and is the only one who seems to want the Knight Sabers to continue.

As the story opens, pieces of a unique artificial intelligence are stolen by several villains who act on orders from a mysterious voice. With the Knight Sabers gone, the A.D. Police are having problems apprehending the villains. But things change when Sylia resurfaces unexpectedly and brings the Knight Sabers back together in order to stop the thefts.

It was evident right away that a timeskip had occurred between the end of Bubblegum Crisis and Bubblegum Crash. Admittedly, this took a little getting used to during the first episode of Bubblegum Crash. But I think the idea of the Knight Sabers drifting apart before the start of this series made sense when bringing the property back, since this added new tensions and a new dimension to it. Obviously, I knew the four of them would have to get back together somehow in order to continue the story, but I wanted to know how exactly this happened.

It was a little disappointing to see that Mackie’s role was so diminished in Bubblegum Crash. All I could figure is that the directors and writers wanted to make the girls seem like they had more “girl power” by handling things on their own without any real assistance from Mackie.

In the end, Bubblegum Crash isn’t a bad OVA series, but I didn’t think it was quite as strong as Bubblegum Crisis. I can’t really place my finger on it, but something seemed to be missing in Bubblegum Crash, and that it was something that made Bubblegum Crisis work as well as it did. However, I will say that I think Bubblegum Crash is a stronger addition to the Bubblegum Crisis universe than A.D. Police Files.

Since Bubblegum Crash is a sequel series, I can only truly recommend it to viewers who have already seen or have familiarity with Bubblegum Crisis. If you do decide to watch this series, I will say that I thought that the first two episodes of Bubblegum Crash are more memorable than the third one is.

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