Anime DVD Review: Bubblegum Crash: Total Crash Collection

Bubblegum Crash: Total Crash Collection includes all three OVA episodes on one DVD. Audio is available with an English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Bubblegum Crash: Total Crash Collection
English Publisher: AnimEigo
Format: DVD
Release Date: November 20, 2001

Bubblegum Crash is set in 2034, and the Knight Sabers haven’t been seen for a while. It appears that all of the members, 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 some kind of 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 as a way to bring the property back, since this added a 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.

When it comes to the DVD itself, there are only two items in the special features menu. The first is a gallery of 26 images, and unlike the Bubblegum Crisis and A.D. Police Files releases, this was not done as a slideshow. Instead, the viewer uses their remote to flip through the images. I appreciated the fact that the viewer was given more control over when the images change, but it was at the expense of losing the music that the Bubblegum Crisis line art galleries had. The other bonus feature is “Settei,” which includes 49 pages of model sheets. The interface for this feature is exactly like what was used for the gallery. There’s also a section in the main menu to view the credits.

After seeing AnimEigo’s releases for A.D. Police Files and Bubblegum Crisis, this one was a little disappointing. But it appears that Bubblegum Crash was release three years before the other two, which might explain why it feels so bare bones when it comes to the bonus features. 2001 would still have been part of the early years of DVD, which was a time when studios didn’t put nearly as much bonus features on releases as they do now.

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’re a fan of this anime universe and haven’t added Bubblegum Crash to your anime library, this release is currently the only way of acquiring the series in North America.

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