So, about 15 years after a generation of bottom-feeding otaku who wear t-shirts a size or three too small grew up on fantasizing about big-hair Priss and her sexy Pat Benatar-like tunes, a whole new iteration of the Knights Saber was thrown at us…and thank god for that!I just had to do this, and make you all face the horribleness of the old-school hair. ^_^ I defy anyone who says the OVA’s music was better, too. But more on that later.
In this TV series version, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, all of the Knights Sabers have significantly less 80’s hair and some of them have even have real jobs. Sylia still lounges around alot in slinky clothes, but Nene is no longer 12 and Linna has shed her idiotic non-job as an aerobics instructor. Priss is still a bad-ass angsty loner rock star, but this time she sings actual rock! Whee!
(The album of Akira Sudou as Priss for this anime was the very first anime music I ever bought and I don’t regret it, even now. I think Akira Sudou rocks. ROCKS. Every damn song on the album kicks butt. For the music alone, this anime beats the old OVA flat.)
In the beginning of the TV series, there’s a definite Linna x Priss vibe, but it really can’t go anywhere. Leon, who has been significantly de-Chelsea-ed for the 2040 series, and Priss, end up together. I’d like to be pissed off, but it actually makes more sense than Priss and Linna…I mean really. Linna does grow a pair from watching Priss, so there’s something to be said for grown-up akogare/admiration/desire.
I could, if I cared, see this Sylia with Priss more than the old one – there’s something blatantly sensual about new Sylia, but of course, she’s completely cracked and I wouldn’t wish her on an enemy.
Which leaves us with Nene and Sylia’s “cute” little brother, Mackey. He’s so “cute” as he accidentally sees the girls in various states of undress 182,298 times. Ha. Ha. Adorable.
There were a couple of things (other than the hair and music) that are significantly better than the original OVA. There were more men who were not bad guys or boomers, for one thing. And pretty much every character was openly dysfunctional, which fits the dystopian setting and tone of the story. The exception to this is Linna, who basically serves as the protagonist, so we can see it all through her eyes, from a relatively “normal” perspective. It makes everything in the Knights Sabers’ cyberpunk world look that much darker and skewed…something that really worked for me.
Downsides to 2040? The utterly dreadful non-ending. I wanted to slap the writers for creating yet another self-fulfilling prophecy which did nothing and went nowhere. And the bad guy, who had had 15 years to get a clue, was worse than ever. I just don’t see the appeal in world domination. I mean, think of the paperwork!
Despite the lower yuri level and the lame-ass ending, 2040 was good – if only for the hair and music. Probably only for the hair and music. It’s an interesting study in what 15 years does to audience expectations, anway.
While you’re digging out the old OVAs…get a hold of this series, too, and listen to some decent music for a change. ^_^