Anime DVD Review: A.D. Police Files 1-3

A.D. Police Files 1-3 includes all three OVAs on one disc. Audio options include an English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

A.D. Police Files 1-3
English Publisher: AnimEigo
Format: DVD
Release Date: October 5, 2004

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 seem 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.

When it comes to the DVD release itself, there are four bonus features included. The first is labeled as “Videos,” and this includes music videos (which only have English audio), Japanese commercials for the first two OVAs, as well as a trailer for a Japanese A.D. Police manga. When it comes to the music videos, there was one labeled as “Mega-Tokyo Mix,” which included videos for three songs and ran for almost 11 minutes long. The striking thing about this video is that is used footage from Bubblegum Crisis rather than from the A.D. Police Files OVA series. The other three music videos, however, did use footage from this OVA series. I was rather frustrated with the fact that audio was only available in English, because I much prefer the Japanese vocals. Honestly, I thought the woman singing the English versions was trying too hard to sound like Bonnie Tyler in “Holding Out for a Hero.”

There’s a gallery that’s done in a slideshow style that runs for almost four minutes. It includes around 23 images, with each image being up on the screen for about 10 seconds. The gallery includes production sketches, model sheets, and promotional art. Unfortunately, the slideshow was completely silent, so this made this gallery hard to watch. At least having music in the background would have helped to keep my interest.

Program Notes is done in a slideshow format, and all it includes are 14 slides of the English lyrics for the songs. But since the slides are only up for about 10 seconds each, this makes it hard to actually read the lyrics unless you pause each slide. This release also includes trailers for other releases from AnimEigo.

When all is said and done, I can only truly recommend this release to die-hard fans of the Bubblegum Crisis franchise who want to own every series related to it. 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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