by David Andrews

It's been a while since I've seen this one. Perhaps one of the first dubs I had ever seen, early on in the 90s, at a point which I can't seem to remember. What I do remember, however, is being presented with this movie in a place I'd have thought unlikely: Lake Matthews, California. Pepsi and Mac N' Cheese are quite appropriate when one is expecting cheese to appear on the screen. After all, I'd been watching Urusei Yatsura and other such titles where silliness is expected. It was nice to see that anime had a rougher side to it. And Burn Up was my first exposure to it. Much more followed, but Burn Up was very memorable. I have to thank the folks at ADV for putting this out on DVD, especially since I know a lot of the people involved in it now in a more personal way.

Burn Up is a wonderful anime in an older style that makes old farts like myself sigh and think "Why don't they make shows like this anymore?" when we know the answer. Different times, different shows, and we get to feel old and jaded at younger anime fans. Not that we'd ever really treat a fan that way, we're here to guide the younger generation in the ways of anime now that it is mainstream and no longer a closet religion that requires hunting across many planets to find the right crystal for your lightsaber that allign-- *ahem*

A police action drama with the right amount of comedy isn't something you saw as often on TV when Burn Up came out, and certainly not something that people were used to seeing in cartoons at the time unless you had been an anime fan prior to this and are familiar with Bubblegum Crisis, Patlabor or some of the older series like that. Burn Up is a great mix of mecha designs and female police officers tied to a storyline revolving around the female white slave trade. The main characters are a trio of well built (of course) female cops: Reimi, Maki, and Yuka who in the opening scene are chasing down a suspected kidnapper, only to find out that the kidnapper is tied to the largest white slave trade kingpin in the city.

The adventures in attempting to put an end to his crime ring is escalated when the girls go undercover in an attempt to find leads at the local hotspots where they suspect many girls are being “recruited” for this prestigious line of work, only to end up with Yuka kidnapped as well. A foiled rescue attempt outside the bars as well as the political delays in mounting a second rescue attempt pushes Remi and Maki to take matters into their own hands.

The wild chases, gunfire, bombs, busts, and boisterous bombshells make Burn Up a very worthwhile addition to anyone who loves “gals with guns” style anime, or just likes police dramas or senseless violence with cute girls. Be sure to keep an eye open for Banba popping up in places no one would expect, as well as a number of scenes typical of this generation of anime; the sort that are prerequisites and that a show like this wouldn’t be complete without. A very fun and riotous ride, and a great way to look back on what early anime dubs in the US were like “back in the day”. Don’t worry: for you purists out there, there is a Japanese track with English subtitles, too. And to add to the classic anime experience, we’re blessed with a closing theme with classic anime English lyrics, such as “I make up for the deficiencies in my poor marksmanship by turning on my personality.” This is really something that all you older anime fans will enjoy, and get to gloat about to younger fans. ^^ Enjoy!

Burn Up!
Distributed by
ADV Films
Release Info
Volume 1
Bilingual DVD
Dolby Digital 2.0
Run Time: 50 min

MSRP: $24.98
Street Date: January 11, 2005