Bubblegum Crisis Review
Bubblegum Crisis is a perfect example of an anime that had all the potential and yet fell short of reaching it. The music is superb, the story incredible, the characters memorable, and animation and art spectacular. So, then, what kept this series from being as perfect as it should have been?
BGC is a show that relied from the start on popularity. Not brains, not intelligence, not insight, not vision. Popularity. It had all the intelligence and insight, but it placed those things in inaccessible places. The most intelligent, insightful character is also the least popular of the four feminine protagonists from the series. The other characters that show there is more to them than stereotypes are shot down by people not liking them for foolish reasons.
The major problem with the series is that it put more thought into its music than its plot. The basic story, as stated, was wonderful. The challenge of bringing man and machine together without destroying one or the other was perfect. BGC derived influences from many other movies and series, and it kept only the best of these. Sadly, it also forfeited some in an attempt to make the world appreciate just how well Priss rides those nifty motorcycles other people are making and repairing for her.
The most unfortunate thing about BGC is that whenever it hinted at being something other than a 'babes in battlesuits' venture, it was insulted. For instance, Sylia and her relationship with the Boomers is more or less the example of what the show was supposed to be. Priss punching at said Boomers because she did not like what they had to say is what the show really ended up being. More time was wasted on Priss than anything else in the series. Too bad.
Priss gets her share of crap from reviewers for this, but the fact is that we can all blame Kenichi Sonoda and the studios for putting her on all the art in the first place. Sylia actually had more screentime than Priss in at least four episodes, and certainly was the main character in all of them, but Priss is given credit for being the main character. This all leads back to how shallow people are and what they look for. A stereotype rather than something new, fresh, and hard to welcome with open arms.
All the best characters from the series are the characters that do not have outlandish fan following. Sylia Stingray, Linna Yamazaki, Mason/Largo, Quincy, and Reika Chang/Vision all give truly in-depth looks at humanity versus machine and the state of both of these forces. The others all serve for reasons for most fans to watch the show. Who would rather hear about Sylia's relationship with Boomers when we can see Nene butt naked in the shower? Quite a few people, in fact. But we're never given the chance to hear about Sylia, so many people honestly don't care.
However, BGC is still excellent, particularly for introducing someone to anime. Everything we've come to expect is here, plus the occassional visionary insight into the truth behind the series. A long-time fan will soon begin finding problems with the scripts and characters, but a new fan will love them and embrace them.
Overall, anyone should watch this series. It has a little bit of everything for everyone, and when all's said and done, BGC is one of the finest anime series ever created.