by Timothy Georgi
Darkness. A giant tower looms over the city. The faint sound of rock-and-roll music can be heard from the streets. To the right and left of you, the tall gray landscape of the city surrounds you. Behind you there is a noise. You turn in time to see a flash of color and a brilliant explosion. . . And then it's gone.
Ok everyone. It's time to jump into the time machine and take a trip back to the late 1980's. It was at this time that the Japanese animation world was about to change forever. One of the most influential anime series ever produced took us to a time of fast-paced action, major mechanical menaces, and a hard core music. It was a time when the entire world was held by the iron fist of a single or major corporate entity. It was a time when robots ruled the streets. It was a truly dark time.
Now, let's hop back into the time machine and head to the late 1990's. You look around and you see that the surroundings have changed. The location is the same. The problems are the same. But you have to step back, scratch your head, and think to yourself, " Something is different."
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. This holds true with this subject for this issues' feature, a look into the cyber punk world that is Bubblegum Crisis. It's been over 10 years since we were first introduced to the world of Mega Tokyo. Bubblegum Crisis hit the anime world as one of the first major original animation videos of the 1980's. What we were presented with was a big action music video with mecha gone awry, sexy female heroines and more rock music than we knew what to do with. But not all things had gone the way they had been planned. The project had been plagued by budget and personnel problems, but despite that Bubblegum Crisis had attracted a large and extremely faithful fan base. That caused seven follow-up episodes to be produced, each of which expanded on the original concept. Seeing of the success of the series, the production crew developed a 13 episode story arc which was intended to bringing this series to a very climatic conclusion. What happened then is ancient history. The production companies ran into financial problems and the series was never finished. Later, a three episode of follow-up series entitled Bubblegum Crash was produced by a different production team to try to tie up some of the loose ends left with Crisis. What resulted was a follow-up that had failed to find acceptance with fans. Despite all the attempts to continue where Crisis left off, the anime community was left with one of the biggest series of all time and no real conclusion.
The year is 2040 A.D. A massive earthquake has destroyed the old city of Tokyo and a new, ultramodern megalopolis, Neo Tokyo, has risen to take its place. A new kind of robot, commonly called a " boomer ", was created and used to do much of the heavy labor for the reconstruction of the city. The mysterious Genom Corporation, the supposed inventors of the Boomer technology, became extraordinarily wealthy and powerful due to the success and demand of new, more specialized boomers designed to free humanity from many menial labor jobs.
But as with every technological advance, there is always a dark side. Periodically a boomer will mysteriously transform into a rogue monster, causing all sorts of damage, death and destruction until it can be caught and destroyed. Because of all of the rouge Boomer incidents, Neo Tokyo has created a special branch of the police department called the A.D. Police. Unfortunately the A.D.P. has neither sufficient manpower nor resources to keep up with a the escalating advances in Boomer technology. Are all these boomers gone bad just a coincidence? Well, it sure isn't an accident. Secret manipulations. Government cover-ups. Plots for world domination. It's all part of the formula and Genom lies at the center. And, as always, there's only one thing that can stop them.
Eternally in the shadows, a small secret organization of high-tech vigilantes has appeared to strike at the heart of the escalating Boomer problem. These lone warriors fight a deadly war, a war in which the enemy can strike at any time, from any direction. Death can lurk around any corner. Alone and unaided, this small group of freedom fighters must find a way to defeat the most powerful organization in the history of the planet. It's a seemingly impossible task, yet Genom fears them.
They are the Knight Sabers.
Next: The changes...