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Cyberpunk anime OVA about an ex-cop turned private eye who uses his bionic eye that can hack into any computer system in the world and his mechanical quarterstaff that also serves as a laser weapon to take on crime.
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In the future, many difficult and undesirable jobs are handled by specially designed androids called BUMAs or boomers. Unfortunately, many of them have a danger to going beserk and when that happens, only the AD Police are equipped and trained to deal with them. When one AD cop is killed in one of these missions, his life insurance may be cancelled due to some unanswered questions. To clear that up, two cops decided to investigate the target android's background on their free time. Unknown to them, another android is following them with her own agenda...Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
Sophisticated, hard-edged anime prequel to BUBBLEGUM CRISIS
A.D. POLICE FILES (1990) is a three-part Japanese OAV (Original Animation Video) prequel to BUBBLEGUM CRISIS (1987), an eight-part series set in Mega-Tokyo of 2032 about battles waged with "Boomers," androids run amok, by police and the costumed crime-fighters, the Knight Sabers. A.D. POLICE is set a few years earlier and focuses on members of the title unit whose job is to combat Boomer crimes at a time when humans and Boomers have become mutually interdependent. Unlike the earlier series, this one spotlights the issue of humans trading organs for cybernetic parts, a theme more fully explored in the later anime classic, GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995).
This series is much harder-edged than BUBBLEGUM CRISIS, with far greater amounts of bloodshed, dismemberment, and violent death. It's also more sexually fetishistic, with ample shots of beautiful, lingerie-clad women (always with garters), both human and Boomer, stalking the streets of Mega-Tokyo. In one jaw-dropping scene, a woman scientist strips down and straddles a hulking cyborg. Unfortunately, the beautiful women invariably suffer violent, bloody deaths. On the other hand, the main police protagonists in each episode are women. Gina Marceau, as tough and hard-as-nails a lady cop as you're likely to see in anime, is the lead officer in the first and third episodes, while the young and naïve Iris Cara, a member of the regular police, is the lead investigator in the second. (Interestingly, Gina's partner is rookie cop Leon Nichols, who figures prominently in CRISIS and its sequel, BUBBLEGUM CRASH.)
The first episode, "The Phantom Woman," is pretty complicated and has Gina investigating the illegal recycling of Boomer parts while partner Leon is stalked by a beautiful female Boomer who retains the memory of another female Boomer who'd once gone berserk and been shot by Leon. The second episode, "The Ripper," finds Iris investigating a series of Jack-the-Ripper-style murders of women, a case which takes her to the abandoned no-man's-land subway station where junkies, hookers and human dregs congregate. This episode has a quasi-feminist twist in its focus on a female chief executive who'd found biology getting in the way of her career so had cybernetic surgery to enable her to compete more effectively with male rivals, to disastrous results. The third episode, "The Man Who Bites His Tongue," focuses on Captain Billy, a member of the A.D. Police who is all cybernetic but for his tongue. When he becomes addicted to drugs and comes under the sway of a female scientist with surprising appetites, he starts to become unhinged and arouses the concern of Gina and the other members of her squad. Both "The Phantom Woman" and "The Ripper" were written by celebrated anime screenwriter Noboru Aikawa (PEACOCK KING, VAMPIRE PRINCESS MIYU, THE HAKKENDEN).
The animation style of these episodes is a far cry from the simpler, less detailed, and bolder graphics of the 1980s-style BUBBLEGUM CRISIS. There's far greater attention to detail, not only in the settings and cityscapes, but in the character design and animation. There's also more experimentation with style, from the use of single color schemes for some shots to the use of montage and the reliance on pen-and-ink illustrations in the place of flashbacks in one episode. While the action is expertly animated, there are far fewer of the intricate mecha battles that distinguished BUBBLEGUM CRISIS and more of the direct, one-on-one confrontations that mark a good police thriller. Even though the setting is the same as BGC, the whole style and overall tone are different, closer to the sci-fi noir of Yoshiaki Kawajiri (WICKED CITY, MIDNIGHT EYE GOKU, CYBER CITY OEDO 808) and looking forward to such similarly themed works as ARMITAGE III and GHOST IN THE SHELL.
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