Bubblegum Crisis

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Bubblegum Crisis
Original title バ ブ ル ガ ム ク ラ イ シ ス
transcription Baburugamu Kuraishisu
genre Science fiction , cyberpunk
Original video animation
Country of production JapanJapan Japan
original language Japanese
Year (s) 1987-1991
Studio Artmic , AIC
length 30-50 minutes
Episodes 8th
Director Hiroaki Gohda , Katsuhito Akiyama , Masami Obari
music Kōji Makaino
Original video animation
title Bubblegum crash
Original title バ ブ ル ガ ム ・ ク ラ ッ シ ュ!
transcription Baburugamu Kurasshu!
Country of production JapanJapan Japan
original language Japanese
year 1991
Studio Artmic , JVC
length 45 minutes
Episodes 3
Director Hiroshi Ishiodori , Hiroyuki Fukushima
music Michihiko Ōta , Takehito Nakazawa
AD. Policy (1988)
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (1998)
AD Police (1999)
Parasite Dolls (2003)

Bubblegum Crisis ( Jap. バブルガムクライシス, Baburugamu Kuraishisu ) is the name of an eight-part original video animation from the years 1987 to 1991. The story is the Cyberpunk - Genre assigned.

The follow-up series Bubblegum Crash and the TV series Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 appeared , which retold the plot. As a spin-off , AD Police appeared with a manga and two OVAs. In addition, a pen and paper role-playing game based on the original series was published in the USA , as well as a comic book for the series by the American Adam Warren .


The Tokyo the years 2032 and 2033 is under the substantial control of the Group genome . He had rebuilt the city after a severe earthquake with the help of the boomers , androids . These were made by Dr. Katsuhito Stingray, who, however, was murdered by Genom's agents shortly after the development and its developments were stolen. Since that event, Genom has emerged as the leader in the global economy, but the corporation has far darker ambitions that amount to domination of the world. Much of Genome's success can be attributed to the boomers, cybernetic entities that Genome also markets as weapons and slave laborers.

Stingray's daughter Silia is against the domination of genome and founded the Knight Sabers , a team of four mercenaries , with other young women . They often fight against boomers running amok , against whom even the upgraded AD Police cannot do anything. The Knight Sabers have self-made mechas , the hardsuits , with which they fight the boomers .

The robots owe the designation boomer to the fact that their introduction led to an economic upswing (boom).


Tinsel City (approx. 45 min., Japanese publication February 1987)
The Knight Sabers are hired by the space defense USSD to free the kidnapped Cynthia. However, in doing so, they draw the attention of a powerful enemy, and the little girl is nowhere near as harmless as they were originally led to believe.
Born to Kill (approx. 30 min., Japanese publication September 1987)
After an explosion in a genome research lab, Irene Chang is killed by boomers while trying to find out more about the death of her fiancé, who worked in the lab. Genom continues its research on a new boomer model in a new laboratory. The Knight Sabers want to avenge Irene, but meet the new super boomer in the new research laboratory.
Blow Up (approx. 30 min., Japanese publication December 1987)
Little Cho's mother, a boy from Priss' neighborhood, dies when Genom demolishes houses for a new factory. The Knight Sabers then set out to take revenge on Brian J. Mason.
Revenge Road (approx. 40 min., Japanese publication July 1988)
JB Gibson and his fiancée Naomi Anderso were brutally attacked by Outlaws , a rocker gang . Gibson then upgraded his car and used it to hunt the outlaws. When Dr. Raven, the mechanic of the Knight Sabers and also a friend of Gibson, learns that Gibson has converted his car into a weapon, he assigns the Knight Sabers to stop Gibson.
Moonlight Rambler (approx. 45 min., Japanese release December 1988)
Sylvie and Anri flee from a space station to Earth. Both are illegal boomer types on Earth, and Anri, who was injured while trying to escape, needs human blood to survive. Sylvie gets the blood for Anri in her Mech DD by ambushing drivers and sucking off their blood. However, the DD has a deadly surprise ready, the use of which could mean the end of all of mega Tokyo.
Red Eyes (approx. 45 min., Japanese publication August 1989)
The Knight Sabers allegedly carry out brutal raids on various genome branches and challenge the AD police to fight. In reality, these Knight Sabers are boomers under Largo's control ... and not only the Knight Sabers, but also Genome and Quincy are on his death list.
Double Vision (approx. 45 min., Japanese publication March 1990)
The rock singer Vision suddenly returns to business after a year break - but not to sing or because of her fans, but to take revenge for her family. One of their victims is said to be the boss of Genome, Quincy. Again the Knight Sabers intervene to prevent tragedy.
Scoop Chase (approx. 50 min., Japanese release January 1991)
The ambitious genome technician Dr. Miriam Yoshida wants to destroy the Knight Sabers in order to advance in Genome. At the same time, the young reporter Lisa Vanette, niece of Nene's boss, wants to take revenge on the Knight Sabers for the destruction of their camera by trying to uncover their identity ... and in this story, Nene in particular stands helplessly between the two fronts.
Bubblegum crash
The Illegal Army (approx. 45 min, Japanese publication May 1992)
It's the year 2034 and the Knight Sabers appear to have dispersed to the four winds. Linna speculates on the stock market, Priss tries a professional career as a singer, and Silia has disappeared. You still help the AD Police when they fail to cope with a series of armed robberies carried out by a mercenary force believed to be dead.
Geo Climbers (approx. 45 min, Japanese publication July 1992)
Boomer researcher Dr. Haynes, an old friend and colleague of Silia's father, was murdered and his prototype ADAMA, a boomer of a completely new generation, has disappeared. Now the Knight Sabers must do everything possible to find ADAMA and his kidnapper, the real murderer of Haynes.
Meltdown (approx. 45 min, Japanese publication December 1992)
More and more boomers are spiraling out of control in Tokyo as a result of a boomer "revolution". The Knight Sabers find out that their old enemy Largo is behind it, but this one has a far more dangerous goal in view than this instigated revolt.


The Knight Sabers:

Silia Stingray (also Sylia )
The founder of the Knight Sabers runs a women's underwear shop called Silky Doll . She is the daughter of Dr. Katsuhito Stingray, received his construction plans for the hard suits after his death and continued his research. Silia is very reserved, but she commands the team when the Knight Sabers are on the scene.
Prisilla S. Asagiri
The singer of the rock band Priss and the Replicants is an avid motorcyclist. Priss is an anti-authoritarian and rather aggressive person who willingly sacrifices himself for her friends. For the Knight Sabers operations, she specializes in assaulting with heavy weapons. In the course of the series, she slowly developed feelings for the AD Police inspector Leon McNichol.
Nene Romanova
The Knight Sabers hacker works in the AD Police radio center. She is rather unsportsmanlike, a little naive, dreamy and a little carefree. During the operations of the Knight Sabers, she is responsible for communication, sensor monitoring and ECM measures.
Linna Yamazaki
The aerobic trainer actually wanted to be a dancer. She is passionate about money and their partnerships change very often. During the missions she is mainly responsible for close combat.
Mackie Stingray
The younger brother of Silia Stingray supports the Knight Sabers in technical terms by maintaining their suits.

AD Police Personnel:

Leon McNichol
In the AD Police he has the rank of inspector. He has a crush on Priss, and as the series progresses he finds out she is a Knight Sabers, but keeps her secret.
Daley Wong
Leon McNichol's colleague is open to his homosexuality and even jokingly flirts with Leon when his nerves run wild.
Chief Todo
He is the manager of Leon McNichol and Daley Wong. Slightly quick-tempered, but also the helping father figure in critical situations.
The office worker at the AD Police is friends with Nene Romanova and constantly chats with her about pop music and prospective bachelors.

Genome :

The CEO of the Genom Group is surrounded by an aura of mystery, which he also nourishes by never actually appearing personally and instead being represented by boomer doppelgangers. Almost nothing is known of his pre-Genome life.
Brian J. Mason / Largo
Quincy's deputy, the Dr. Katsuhito killed Stingray and repeatedly plots to take over Quincy's post. He later transfers his consciousness and personality into a boomer body and becomes Largo, a self-proclaimed boomer messiah who tries to destroy humanity.
Kate Madigan
After Mason's death, she becomes Quincy's deputy. She is efficient, cold and genome loyal.

Other characters:

He gets assignments and information for the Knight Sabers. He tries repeatedly and in vain to start a romance with Silia.

Production and publication

Bubblegum Crisis

The anime was produced by the Artmic and AIC studios. Directed by Hiroaki Gohda , Katsuhito Akiyama and Masami Obari ; the character design was created by Kenichi Sonoda . Kōji Makaino composed the music. Kazuhiro Arai, Norihiro Hiraki, Shigemi Ikeda and Yooichi Nangoo were the artistic directors. During the production there was no concept for the entire series, and the number of episodes was still unclear. Therefore, the concept was developed with each episode, so that Priss finally moved to the center of the story. Since her spokeswoman Kinuko Ōmori , who is also a singer, initially wanted to quit, the character's death was planned for the sixth episode. But she wanted to continue her engagement and the plot was rescheduled. Because of this conflict, the collaboration between the two studios involved suffered, so that production was canceled after the eighth episode was over.

According to producer Toshimichi Suzuki, the idea of Original Video Animation (OVA) is to express the fear of people being careless about fast-moving technology. Blade Runner had a strong influence on the design and plot of Bubblegum Crisis , as is the main character Priss .

The episodes were released in Japan from 1987 to 1991 as OVA on VHS and DVD . In the United States, the OVA was first published in 1991, as well as a remaster on DVD in 2005 by AnimEigo, in Germany VHS cassettes and DVDs were released in 1995. From October 9, 1999 to November 21, 2000, the anime was shown on six dates on German television by VOX .

AnimEigo had a Blu-ray version of their remaster called Bubblegum Crisis Ultimate Edition funded by Kickstarter.com , which also contains the music videos Hurricane Live 2032 , Hurricane Live 2033 and Holiday in Bali and with German, English, French, Italian, Japanese and Finnish Is subtitled. This has been distributed as a limited edition by AnimEigo since December 12, 2014.

Voice actor

role Japanese voice
Silia Stingray Yoshiko Sakakibara
Prisilla Asagiri Kinuko Ōmori
Linna Yamazaki Michie Tomizawa
Nene Romanova Akiko Hiramatsu
Mackie Stingray Nozomu Sasaki
Chief Masaharu Satō
Leon McNichol Toshio Furukawa
Daley Wong Kenyu Horiuchi
Naoko Junko Asami
Fargo Kōichi Yamadera

Bubblegum crash

In 1992 the three-part OVA Bubblegum Crash came out, which contains a summary of the planned end of Bubblegum Crisis . The anime produced by Artmic Studios was directed by Hiroshi Ishiodori and Hiroyuki Fukushima, and Hiroaki Gohda and Kenichi Sonoda designed the characters. The music comes from Michihiko Ōta and Takehito Nakazawa.

Voice actor

role Japanese voice
Silia Stingray Yoshiko Sakakibara
Prisilla Asagiri Ryōko Tachikawa
Linna Yamazaki Michie Tomizawa
Nene Romanova Akiko Hiramatsu
Mackie Stingray Nozomu Sasaki
Chief Akira Murayama
Leon McNichol Toshio Furukawa
Daley Wong Kenyu Horiuchi
Dr. Haynes Tomomichi Nishimura
ADAMA Minami Takayama
largo Kazuyuki Sogabe

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

After Studio AIC had taken over the rights to Bubblegum Crisis , a 24-part television series was produced in 1998 in cooperation with the US distributor ADV Films and two subsequent OVAs in 1999 . The characters, basic elements of the plot and settings have been adopted, the character design of the individual figures has been revised. In the USA, the television series and the OVAs were released on six DVDs from 1999 by ADV Films .


Special offers

In 1988 a recording of a concert by the voice actors was released under the titles Hurricane Live 2032 and Hurricane Live 2033 , along with some anime scenes to the music. This was followed by the video Bye2 Knight Sabers: Holiday in Bali , which contains scenes with the speakers, interviews and several music videos.

AD Police

Suzuki Toshimichi drew the manga AD. Police , which revolves around Leon McNichol and plays five years before Bubblegum Crisis . The manga was published from 1988. In 1990 a three-part OVA produced by AIC followed, directed by Takamasa Ikegami and Akira Nishimori.

In 1999, the twelve-part television series AD Police was finally released.


The comic book Bubblegum Crisis: Grand Mal , a single volume, was released in 1995 by Dark Horse Comics in the USA. It revolves around Adam Warren's idea that Silia has a nanotechnology- enhanced brain. Robert DeJesus worked on the drawings, Joe Rosas was responsible for the coloring. In 1996 it was published in German by Carlsen Verlag , the translation is by Jens R. Nielsen.

role playing game

The role-playing game published by R. Talsorian uses the Fuzion rules system. In addition to the basic rules Bubblegum Crisis - the role-playing game , two extensions Bubblegum Crisis Before and After and Bubblegum Crisis EX have been released. It is particularly noteworthy that the role-playing game books, in addition to information about the characteristics of the characters and opponents that appear in the episodes, also contain a complete episode guide for the anime series covered.

Analysis and reception

The OVA was a commercial success in Japan and one of the most popular OVAs of its time, which is why several successors were produced. It was also one of the first anime to be published on commercial media in the USA, was very popular there and remains a “cult anime” in parts of fandom to this day. He also played an important role in creating a market for consumer media anime. Fred Patten names her as the first in his 13 most notable OVAs from 1985 to 1999.

The soundtrack, carefully produced in the style of a rock opera of the 1980s, the different characters of the four heroines, and a rock singer as speaker and main character, was praised in the USA as an innovation that had a strong impact on music in anime and a break with which was previously the constant gentleness of this music. For Antonia Levi, it's the characters, their development and relationships that made the series so successful. The close human ties between the Knight Sabers are the main theme of the work. Due to the stronger identification with the people involved, the viewers experience the violence more directly than with American television programs. Otherwise, the series is more likely to rely on everyday plot elements, such as the purely artificial boomers depicted as unreliable and the combat suits, which are a small variant of the mechas often found in science fiction anime . The portrayed role of women, accepted only in subordinate roles in male-dominated police institutions, hardly shows any progress on the situation in Japanese society at that time. This is also typical of many science fiction animes of the time. Instead, like the Knight Sabers here, the women sought the opportunity to become active outside the institutions. According Anime Encyclopedia OVA has from today's perspective but also some flaws, so does the animation only fluctuating quality, rock music was cheesy ( "cheesy" ) and not a few elements of the plot from western films like Blade Runner and Robocop taken. The popularity can mainly be explained by the fact that there were only a few animes in North America at the time and the OVA has not lost the popularity it had acquired at the time, especially with older fans. The sequel Bubblegum Crash seems worn out despite some interesting ideas and is mostly boring.

Susan J. Napier mentions the conservative and technophobic aspect as well as the fight of mecha against mecha as essential basic elements of the plot, in this case the Knight Sabers in their combat suits against the boomers. She compares the OVA with the science fiction anime Guyver: Out of Control and Neon Genesis Evangelion and finds that all three main characters (in this case Priss) have relatively complex characters. In addition to the many scenes of violence and fights, the Bubblegum Crisis and Bubblegum Crash also contain a psychological depth in the development of the characters. In addition, there are some swipes against the materialistic Japanese society. Despite some obvious emancipatory elements such as the constant victory of women over their opponents, against which the AD Police cannot do anything, the OVA is dominated by conservative and anti-technology aspects. Fulfillment in selfless struggle in the group is contrasted with the short-term joys of the materialistic world. The technology, left to its own devices, is always a danger, just like the large modern corporation.

The German magazine Funime writes that the series offers “a good mix of action-packed and beautifully drawn plot.” The “sexy-style combat suits” and the impressive soundtrack are also praised. Bubblegum Crisis helped shape the image of anime at the time: “The futuristic ambience, the explosions, so-called“ strong women ”[…] and pleasing JPop .” Young people in particular would enjoy this series. In Bubblegum Crash , the attempt to bring the plot to an end was not really successful. The plot seems pieced together, the new voice of Priss doesn't fit and the soundtrack has also deteriorated.


  • Antonia Levi: Samurai from Outer Space - Understanding Japanese Animation . Carus Publishing, 1996.
  • Susan J. Napier : Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. Palgrave 2001.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Levi, 1996, p86 f.
  2. a b c d e Funime 41, p. 18 ff.
  3. a b c Trish Ledoux and Doug Ranney: The Complete Anime Guide , pp. 44, 54. Tiger Mountain Press, Issaquah (Washington), 1995
  4. Bubblegum Crisis Ultimate Edition Blu-Ray Set. AnimEigo, accessed January 23, 2015 .
  5. a b c Jonathan Clements, Helen McCarthy: The Anime Encyclopedia. Revised & Expanded Edition , p. 78 f. Berkeley 2006, Stone Bridge Press
  6. Patten, 2004, p. 129
  7. Fred Patten: Watching Anime, Reading Manga - 25 Years of Essays and Reviews , p. 125. Stone Bridge Press, 2004.
  8. Patrick Drazen: Anime Explosion! - The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation , p. 171. Stone Bridge Press, 2003.
  9. Levi, 1996, description penultimate sheet
  10. Levi, 1996, p. 29
  11. ^ Levi, 1996, p. 122
  12. ^ Napier, 2001, p. 88
  13. ^ Napier, 2001, p. 90
  14. Napier, pp. 94-96.
  15. Funime 19/2001, p. 23