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Changes, changes, changes

How does one go about modernizing a classic? Well, let's find out. With all the updating and tweaks that have been made between 2033 and 2040, there's some things that have been made more for the 90's and some things that stayed the same. Let's begin our random thoughts comparison. Here, we'll take a look at our main cast of characters. It's Mega Tokyo 2033 verses Neo Tokyo 2040. (Editor's Note: The comparisons are between BGC OAV 1-8 and BGC: Tokyo 2040 episodes 1-6)


Cool, calm and collected. Sylia is the heart of the Knight Sabers. Early on in the series, Sylia is somewhat of a mystery. There are several times when flashbacks will give you a glimpse of something in the past or create a link to something that had happened. The daughter of the late Dr. Stingray, Sylia has taken what her father had developed and created the specialized hardsuits that are used by the Sabers. As part of her day job, she runs a small longiere shop called "Silky Doll" which is used as a front for the secret base of the Knight Sabers. She's a great team player as well as the manager for the team. She's always there in the thick of things when a threat is loose on the streets. Sylia is also the most emotionally stable member of the Sabers, never one to show too much of her emotional side.
Now 2040 Sylia on the other hand... Here we have a behind-the-scenes woman. Always there to give a guiding suggestion, but rarely seen in action. Sylia still has her "day job" where she exhibits an overly enthusiastic demeanor. This, however, is just another front, put up to shelter... something. As was true in 2033, Sylia is still a mystery. What drives her to do what she does? Is it revenge against Genom for the death of her father? Is it a notion to help the people of Neo Tokyo? There is plenty of room for speculation. Sylia is also more emotional and overbearing in 2040. She's highly prone to anger and will often be found yelling at something or someone when she's not dealing with customers. Of course, there are also the physical changes. Sylia's hair color changed from black to a very Rei Ayanami-esque look. Her hair is longer and she also has a good, 90s updated wardrobe. It's quite a change from the classic image of Sylia.

It's Ms. Bad-To-The-Bone herself. Priss is the ultimate image of anime rock music, no matter what decade you look at. She is the lead singer in a rock band called The Replicants. When she's not pumping out tunes and rocking Mega Tokyo, she's out kicking some Boomer behind. Priss adds the action and recklessness to the Knight Sabers. If there's trouble in the city, you can be sure that Priss is close behind. She has no love for the Genom Corporation or for the A.D. Police, a good sign of defiance of authority. She is also the usually unwilling love interest of Leon McNichol, a detective for the A.D. Police.
Not much changed with Priss in the new time zone. She still sings. She still has the ultimate attitude for being bad. She still kicks Boomer butt. One notable change in 2040 is that Priss is much more quiet than her 2033 counterpart. She usually lets her actions speak for themselves. There were also some changes related to the band. The Replicants are history and a new, ultra 90s grunge sound has taken over with most of the music. The band also has a new name, Sekiria. Priss has taken a special interest in Linna as well. As the official "B-club" magazine stated, she has "no social graces or delicacy, but just because of that she holds an interest in her polar opposite, Linna." Oh and what an opposite she is.


...And one and stretch and two and... well, you get the picture. Linna is the Knight Saber's resident athlete. She is an aerobics instructor at a local gym and is always in tip-top shape. It is pretty evident that Linna like working with the Knight Sabers for the... well, for the money. Linna is that character least focused on in the OAV series. She is more of a background character for most of the episodes. Linna is usually found with Nene when she's relaxing.
It's the star of the show. Linna first enters the world of 2040 as a normal, country girl who just moved to Tokyo. She's rather enthusiastic about finally making it to the big city. Her life changes however when she's almost run down by a reckless speed-demon on a red motorcycle... Linna chases her down and begins her way to joining the ranks of the Knight Sabers. Linna is much more outgoing in the 2040 universe. She's always ready to speak her mind concerning anything, from Priss's attitude to punks mistreating Voomers. She still hangs out with Nene, but for more obvious reasons than in 2033. Nene is the only one of the Sabers with a relatively good grasp on life. Linna still has ties to the athletic side of life as well. Instead of being an aerobics instructor, she's a track star that's slacked off a bit. Yes, time for some exercise. In the early episodes, it seems that Linna looks up to Priss as a role model for her training as a Saber. Linna uses that to gauge herself and her progression. Her goal: to pass up Priss and become the top member of the team. Rather ambitious for a country hick.


Everyone needs an inside source. Pink bubblegum colored hair and all, Nene is the eyes and ears for the Knight Sabers. As a member of the A.D. Police specializing in communications, Nene is in the perfect position to inform her teammates when a Boomer is running amok. Sometimes she has a tendency to be a bit self-conscience. She can usually be found talking about or partaking of food in all it's forms. Nene is usually the target of the other Sabers in a younger sister type situation. Being the youngest of the Sabers, she seems to fit the bill. Someone can usually find a way to throw a little jab her way using things like her weight or the fact that she works for the police. It's tough being the young'un.
Yes, this is one of the other notable physical changes to the Sabers. Gone is the look of the 80s. Nene's long pink hair has been traded in for a more 90s, shorter and slightly sandy colored hairstyle. Everything else is basically still the same as her 2033 counterpart. Nene still loves food. She still get teased by the other Sabers. And she's still the young one on the block. She was recruited when Sylia had been caught by Nene as she attempted to break into a high security computer system. A welcome change comes in the form of Leon. Nene has an enjoyable time torturing poor Leon with some teasing of her own. "Leon-poooooo" as she says in the dubbed version. (Leon-chan for all you sub fans. Either way, a very annoying thing for a big tough guy like Leon.) Nene goes into battle as a support mechanism. Only if things get really nasty does she have to go into action. And we all know how often things go according to plan, don't we?



They're the premiere members of the A.D. Police. Leon and Daley are ADP detectives that are always just barely missing the mark. It's not by any fault of their own really. The Knight Sabers just do a better job at taking down the Boomers. Leon is the typical hot shot, slicker-than-slick police officer that thinks he's God's gift to the world. From the first time he meets Priss, he's dead set at getting a date with her. Of course, he's denied repeatedly by Priss. Then there's Leon's partner, Daley. Daley is a flamboyant individual with a very "coming out of the closet" attitude. A great example of how a partner should be, Daley supports Leon in everything. They both have a great resolve to fight against Genom and rid the world of the rogue Boomers that cause so much death and destruction on the streets. Leon does have his moments throughout the series. Usually in calvary fashion, he shows up to add his $0.02 to the efforts of the Knight Sabers. One caution: Stay away from his guns. His weapons seem to do more to the Boomers than an entire police squad. Can we say knight on a white horse? Yes, I thought so.
They're the premiere members of the A.D. Police. Hmmm... That didn't change. Leon and Daley are still the top of the top. Unfortunately, they can't seem to find the mark in this time either. The Knight Sabers still manage to beat them to the punch and take out the Boomers before they can get a decent shot in. Leon is a bit older in the 2040 time and as such, has more opportunity to be heckled by the younger generation, specifically Nene. Yes, he is affectionately known as Leon-pooooo (or -chan) by Nene and just to be fair, Leon's partner helps with Nene's cause. Daley is a refreshing change from the Daley in 2033. He's actually more like a real detective than his 2033 counterpart. He's more subtle in his humor toward Leon and will usually help Nene get out of the sticky situations when she uses Leon's cute nickname. Daley is more down to earth and really wants to get rid of the rogue boomers. He also seems to have a certain reverence for the Knight Sabers. He's the voice of reason when Leon is about to do something stupid and can take control of a sticky situation when he needs to. Will they actually get to nab themselves a Boomer in this time period? Only time and more video tapes will tell.


Well, there are the main characters in a head to head with their former selves. There are lots of other things that can be compared, but that could go on for pages. We leave it up to you to make your own comparisons with the rest of the cast.


The Conclusion

This is definitely one of the best series updates in anime history. The original Bubblegum Crisis OAV series was revolutionary in its original release because of its new, groundbreaking themes. The elements weren't new, but the way the series captured the attention of the fans created an instant classic. The music factor alone made its mark on the anime world and things haven't been the same since. Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 is the great "what if" for the BGC world. We get a chance to see how things might have been had the OAV been able to complete itself. With all the action, suspense, music and, of course, Boomers, Boomers and more Boomers, BGC 2040 will prove to be a great journey through a place all too familiar to a majority of anime fans. If you are a fan of the original OAV series, 2040 won't disappoint. Give yourself a reason to re-watch the original and then grab a tape or two of 2040. Take a chance to see what's changed and what has stayed the same. Maybe you'll see something there that you've never noticed before. Or maybe you'll just get a good chuckle out of "Leon-pooooo". But no matter which you prefer, the Knight Sabers rule the streets. Keep your eyes peeled. Maybe you'll see one.

Just watch your back for Boomers.

Bubblegum Crisis
Released by AnimEigo
Available on Hybrid DVD

For more information Bubblegum Crisis, see the AnimEigo website at www.animeigo.com.

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040
Released by ADV Films
Available subtitled and dubbed on VHS

For more information on Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, check out the ADV Films website at www.advfilms.com.



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