English: A.D. Police: To Protect and Serve
Synonyms: Advanced Police, AD Police
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 8, 1999 to Jun 30, 1999
24 min. per episode
L represents licensing company
Score: 6.301 (scored by 1282 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisSet a few years before Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, A.D. Police chronicles the tales of Mega-Tokyo's special police division designed to control rogue Boomers in the city. A.D. Police Officer Kenji Sasaki faces a major dilemna: he loses another partner to a rabid boomer. A day after he's sent off-duty, he receives a new partner in the form of German cop Hans Kleif. Funny thing is that Kenji sucker-punched Hans at a bar the night before. Not only does Kenji face the everyday task of controlling Boomers, he has to learn to adjust with his new partner.
Related AnimeCharacter: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
Prequel: AD Police Files
Side story: Parasite Dolls
Characters & Voice Actors
AD Police is the kind of show that would really benefit from being condensed into a movie or an OVA. If you stripped out about half of the dragged out scenes and needless exposition you'd have an accidentally entertaining piece. There is no denying that AD Police is bad, the only question with these kinds of shows is "can you squeeze any kind of amusement out of it?" Or as the show itself likes to phrase it, "Just how bad can things get?" Indeed, an astute observation on the part of the creators of this show. That is the question you will find yourself asking after every installment. This show gets pretty ridiculous and there are a handful of scenes that are unintentionally funny. Unfortunately there are also a lot of scenes that are definitely not funny (read: stupid and/or boring.)
AD Police is based on the universe of Bubblegum Crisis. There's the AD Police (not to be confused with "the normal police"), there are Boomers, and the comparisons pretty much end there. Other than that AD Police tries to be a relatively serious show about "life on the force" and uncovering some kind of crazy conspiracy (of course). Robots have gone bad and someone has to stop them, unfortunately it's the AD Police!
Right from the beginning you are introduced to two things: cheap animation and Kenji in his bad-ass shades. Let's start with Kenji. The show tries to make one thing unmistakeably clear, and that is that Kenji is a jerk. Now he's not a disgustingly unrespectable jerk like Kei from Gantz, but clearly he is portrayed as a jerk nonetheless. The show makes you aware of this in two ways: 1) his reputation and 2) his actions. His reputation is that of a hotshot loner who seems to always get his partners injured/killed. As for his actions, well, he likes to put people in danger so he can use them as distractions as well refusing to visit his grandfather (which the cast goes through great lengths to give him a hard time about later).
To drive home the point about what a loose cannon Kenji is, and to show how tragic life on the force can be, his partner Paul gets injured (or killed? Who knows!). There's this big dramatic remorse scene afterwards and Paul becomes a big deal like "poor Paul" and "let's do this for Paul!" and so on. But don't worry, this isn't a spoiler because after the second episode Paul never shows up again! This kind of absent minded narrative is really at the heart of AD Police. Nothing really matters and there's all sorts of throwaway philosophical mumbo jumbo and nonsense metaphors. And ice melting in glasses. Can't forget that; lots of that. Deep stuff.
Now for the animation. It seems most of the budget was spent on the CG that randomly makes sparse appearances throughout the show, because the rest of the animation is definitely bottom of the barrel nineties quality. I will say there is sort of a nostalgic appreciation for the hand drawn look, but just because I like home-cooked meals doesn't mean I want one prepared by hobos. Character proportions fluctuate unreliably and you often get scenes where they'll be standing still (and maybe their mouths will move) or the animation will just be looped for prolonged periods of time. There are other shoddy giveaways like "running in place" animation or like when Kenji gives his "we're cool" introduction and as the camera pans away you see a colored overlay on his shades jerking about that just can't align with the image properly. The ending theme is just a slow pan of like four still images. This is not to say that the animation here is so horrid that it is unwatchable, but there's no way to describe it other than "cheap."
The cheapness doesn't stop with just the visuals though. If you listen to the opening sequence, you'll notice that behind the dubbing you can still hear the Japanese audio except it's turned down really low. I mean, come on, what the hell guys? The voice acting is the bad kind of dubbing you expect from these kind of shows and perhaps even necessary to lighten the mood. If you try to take this show seriously at all you will probably find yourself getting bored pretty quickly. Even then it's hard to watch more than a few episodes of AD Police at a time. Like partner Paul in the first episode, he speaks so out of rhythm it's like he's being metered by a retarded metronome. The choices in music are questionable as well. Brace yourself for drowsy violins. There's also a lot of weird jazz going on and eerily erotic saxophones at the most inappropriate times. It's like an ambiguously gay Cowboy Bebop.
Although there is some humor to be taken away from this travesty it is important to remember that this is a show that is practically schizophrenic and only loosely makes sense. Minor things like why would A.D. be an abbreviation for advanced? And more significant things like why is the overarching plot threat of secret cyborgs so controversial but everyone's fine with the mass production of worker androids that frequently go on homicidal rampages?
Seriously, it's like everyday a boomer is going bad somewhere and wildly flailing it's tentacles around. Why would you keep making these things? Other than as an excuse to insert tentacle rape jokes of course. They surely destroy just as much stuff as they help make. The boomers sometimes take over vehicles or are given guns, but they can't drive or shoot worth a damn. And this is what keeps the AD Police busy (and somehow dying). The most unsettling part about the boomers is that they make this weird ass squealing noise whenever they get killed. It's like they are being operated by ferrets on hamster wheels. It almost feels like you are watching animal cruelty. I want to throw in a joke about how it's more like human cruelty but that's reserved for Spriggan or Psychic Wars.
Anyway, this show is really deceptive. In the opening theme, aside from colorfully parading the characters, nothing you see in it actually ever happens in the show. If the show were anything like what you see in the opening it would probably have been a lot cooler. The intro makes it look like you are about to watch a show with bad-ass cyber detectives fighting all sorts of mechanical mayhem. There are no humanoid power robots leaping through the air however. No one bursts through the streets on their cyber bikes armored up as cyber beasts explode either. The only robots they ever fight are the same bare and dull doll type "boomers" with only some slight occasional variations. If you watch the show you will find what you are actually treated to instead is mostly a mediocre cop drama with an anime twist. It's not even as futuristic as you might be led to believe. In fact the most advanced technology they have are their nifty visors.
Mind you a lot of the stuff I'm mentioning are all within just the first episode, but a lot of the stuff I'm leaving out is how mind numbingly dull this show gets when it's not being absolutely ridiculous. Everything goes at the speed of snail, including the stiff dialogue, so it all develops much slower than I might make it seem. So now let's talk about just how crazy and droll the story/plot is. Paul is not the only person who dies and then everyone forgets about. For being a special force against rogue boomers, they sure don't seem to be very good at it. They have all sorts of equipment and vehicles and even though you clearly see other people on base the AD Police is apparently really only six guys. Or at least they seem to be the only ones ever actually doing anything. Of course "doing anything" should be taken lightly as they are always getting jerked around and made to look like idiots by the main antagonist Liam Fletcher.
Speaking of which, there's this awkward confrontation between the AD Police and some Genom workers that's supposed to be an intense and dramatic twist (I assume because it's in slow motion and has a piano accompaniment) but it just comes off as really retarded and overdone. At least it's kind of funny though. On top of that it seems any progress they try to make is immediately defeated by their employer the Genom Corporation. The gist seems to be that they are simultaneously working for and fighting against their boss. Crazy.
Add to this that half the show takes place in this bar that almost no one seems to go to other than the AD Police. Like I mentioned earlier there's one episode where nothing goes on other than all the character's giving Kenji crap about his grandpa and relaying inane stories of their own. This is also where the majority of the intense ice melting action goes down. There's also the awesome side plot of Kenji and his girlfriend and her violin. This is where you get to see... Kenji's girlfriend? I'm not really sure what the point of including her at all was, but have some caffeine handy.
The world of AD Police is definitely crazy, but it is also one where things happen overnight. Partners come and go, dispositions change and people fall for or fight with each other in the blink of an eye. It's also a world of remarkable coincidences. The setup is almost like one of those double take comedy gags. Kenji beats on some random bar dude only to partner up with him. That same partner hits on a nurse who turns out to also be a Genom employee? Also he has amnesia. So you know this writing is pure gold.
The craziest part is that despite their love of slacking off and all their incompetence, the AD Police apparently possesses a crack squad of scientists and technicians that put CSI to shame. From a simple video-camera image they are able to pick out four lights located in a tiny corner, determine that they belong to an airplane, what type of aircraft it was and its landing site. But wait, there's more. Not only could they figure this out from some dots on a screen but they were also able to tell its angle and speed and then extrapolate where it would be visible from the ground and at what time of day. After determining the distance the video-camera was from the lights, they were then able to approximate the location of the hostages. Simple. WOW. Screw the AD Police. Just get more of those guys. They would've single-handedly solved the whole boomer nonsense while eating lunch.
The shows ending is probably the most generic part of it. I won't spoil it for you, but if you don't see it coming, you have not watched enough of... anything in the past 20 years, at least. Let's just say that with the kind of laughable security Genom maintains at their headquarters it's no wonder their robots have a failure rate comparable to that of Microsoft.
Finally, there are some truly great/awful lines in this show. Lines such as:
"And unless I miss my guess, this is what the AD Police call a firing range am I right?"
Yes, you are, it is also what EVERYONE calls a firing range.
"They've finally figured out how to fuse living tissue with cyborg technology."
Yes, living tissue is also kind of a crucial part of CYBernetic-ORGanism technology. read more
Bubblegum Crisis was somewhat cool as a silly sci-fi of the 80’s, and A.D. Police Files were somewhat decent as a few extra well made side missions in the same universe. A.D. Police on the other hand is a ridiculous spin-off that not only makes the franchise look bad but also came out in a time where sci-fi had evolved by miles and thus felt completely retarded.
- Studio AIC tried to milk the basic idea by dumbing it down and offering it to little kids and the result was of course not good.
- They even let Ueda Hidehito to direct it, a man who never produced a single good show in his career. The fail was easy to spot from miles away.
If you know of Bublegum Crisis, you know the drill of the series. Cyborgs named Boomers go crazy, police team goes to stop them. This series alters this formula by having corrupt politicians and businessmen taking advantage of the situation and creating or even becoming Boomers. Unfortunately, the main idea gets boring quite soon as the series is more about shallow politics and pointless violence, rather than the moral and philosophical debate of the original.
-The 12 episode series could easily be summed up in less than half the episodes.
-The plot isn’t anything special. Just avoid incoming fire, find an opening, hit the bad robot’s core, and chase the crooked villain is all there is to that.
-Boomers are no longer cyborgs with human intellect that go haywire under psychological pressure. They are faceless, tentacle sprouting drones, used as cannon fodder in battles to drag the story on forever.
In all, the series could easily be summed up into a movie, which would still be inferior to the original. The whole conspiracy thing wasn’t anything new and was even predictable from miles away.
-The series fails completely to present a dystopian world, gone amok on technology. It’s just your average-looking futuristic city with its crooked politicians and cool-looking cops. They could easily dub the series Future Lethal Weapon and you wouldn’t notice the difference.
-The general artwork is plain and doesn’t give off the feeling of technological fear. It’s just pretty cops, busty chicks and dumb-looking faceless robots to shoot at for fun.
-The character figures are generic and forgettable.
-All transformations made by nanomachines look so fake that you could easily think it’s some curse or black magic rather than technology on the work.
-The action scenes are boring most of the time. No real strategy or cool explosions to look around.
-Music themes and voice acting are average at best. Nothing that you will hymn or sing when you are bored.
“Who are these guys? Do I even give a damn about them?” That’s what I was thinking from the very first episode. Suppose we have this edgy male youth, teaming with a pretty boy and going out there to save the day with their acrobats and charming smiles. Suppose we have this uninteresting villain, creating Boomers for a rich and crooked politician. And suppose we have a drama hovering somewhere around them. Do you think it’s enough for a story?
Nope! They are stereotypical, undeveloped, boring and forgettable. The ending of the series was the only part that tried to give them some depth. Some, I say. It is still nothing compared to the snoring dialogues and boring gimmicks of theirs we had to endure for 10 whole episodes. Just imagine that there were 20 more characters there, none of which offered anything important or interesting to the story.
How can I give value and enjoyment to a series that doesn’t have any? Inferior to the original, boring, uninteresting and forgettable are the only words for it. More of a spin-off than a prequel, this series is nothing much to bother with. Just stick to your good old Bublegum Crisis.
Movies With Real Actors: Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic, Blade Runner, Tron, The 13th Floor, eXistenZ.
Books: Neuromancer, Do Machines Dream Of Electronic Sheep?
Anime: Ghost In The Shell, Zegapain, .hack//SIGN, Animatrix.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (dull)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 0/2 (lame)
SOUND SECTION: 4/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (dull)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 1/3 (poor)
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 1/2 (simple)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 0/2 (none)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 0/2 (none)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (none)
Memorability 1/4 (generic and stupid)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks dull)
Sound 0/2 (sounds stupid)
Story 1/3 (feels generic)
Characters 0/4 (they are forgettable)
VERDICT: 3/10 read more
Opening Theme"Imaginary Girl" by Infix
Ending Theme"Toki no Naka de" by Masha
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Related ClubsVic Mignogna: The Club, Machines and Cyborgs, AIC - Anime International Company, -Anime Realm-, Anime Dimenzija, OPs that Rock! [And EDs too]
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