The year is 2027 in MegaTokyo, six years before the Knight Sabers will make their debut. Boomers (artificial humans) are still a relatively new advancement, and the implementation and integration of boomers into society is still a bit buggy -- sometimes fatally so. Whenever a boomer incident occurs, though, there is the Advanced Police, a special force trained to deal with boomer crimes.
Leon McNichol is a rookie in the AD Police, and is just starting to become exposed to the horrors and tragedies one finds every day in MegaTokyo. He and his veteran partner, Gina Marceau, slowly learn about the ever-fading line that separates man from machine.
A prequel to Bubblegum Crisis, set in 2027, AD Police Files drops the light-hearted humour of the previous OVA and replaces it with noir-esque crime thrills.
Someone saw more potential in the franchise and decided to take Blade Runner and blend it with Miami Vice. Inspired? Foolhardy? Definitely worth a shot. The cyberpunk genre can be blended with anything, and Bubblegum Crisis brilliant as it was, could have been taken in another direction entirely, and AD Police Files directs it into moody fatalistically romantic territory.
Leon McNichol is almost unrecognisable, not just due to a change in character art, but he's a jittery
straight-laced rookie in the first episode. A far cry from the ladies man, with a penchant for showing up at the right time with a big gun that we saw in the previous OVA. You’d think this OVA would chart a rites of passage for this character, throwing him into the deep end of sex-crazed Boomers in a lecherous city and spitting him out a grizzled veteran, but he’s just another character in the background to the city and its blood-soaked tragedies.
Whereas Bubblegum Crisis reminds you vaguely of the style of Ghost in the Shell at times, AD Police Files strangely and for a brief moment will make you recall Ghost in the Shell: Innocence's opening assault on a building harbouring a crazed robot 'doll'. This serves as another reminder of the Bubblegum franchise's subtle impact on the cyberpunk genre within anime, very subtle indeed.
AD Police Files addresses one of the aspects of Bubblegum Crisis, that of the AD Police being completely and utterly useless at everything. This was not so much a flaw as it was a humorous running joke throughout that OVA. This time they get a lot of love and attention, turning up at crime scenes violently, intimidating 'normal police', and generally causing the same amount of destruction as the Knight Sabers except with a humorously bemused scowl upon their weathered faces.
Another aspect addressed in this OVA that was lacking in Bubblegum Crisis is more of a definition and elaboration of what Boomers actually are, and their role in society. In the previous OVA all we got was rogue Boomers, custom-made and with inconsistent personalities. There was no outline for why Boomers were made, or what they were made of exactly. The line was blurry and with the array of different personalities it wasn’t clear if they were cyborgs, robots or synthetic humans. Sure the name is a riff of baby boomers, but Bubblegum Crisis didnt really do anything else with that symbolism.
AD Police Files is more direct in its approach to everything. We're told Boomers are artificial humans made up of proteins, artificial intelligence and artificial organs. A real mash-up indeed. Future Frankenstein monsters terrorising Mega-Tokyo with random violence due to mysterious bouts of insanity. Then there is the issue of people with implants, if over 70% of their body are cybernetic then they are classed as Boomeroids. After you've stopped laughing at that name you realise you're in a perfect setting for philosophical musings.
You'd think after the previous paragraph that you'll endure endless exposition and rambling but you'd be incorrect in that assumption. One of AD Police Files' saving graces are the stylish art direction and minimal dialogue. There are many instances of wordless scenes, set to an 80's synth score, and its absolute bliss for cyberpunk lovers, and seasoned anime viewers in general. We're not getting talked down to in this OVA, and although we're also not being asked to work our brains, we're still being entertained without being insulted. Well, much. The content of the episodes is a bit on the nose at times, though the core plots for all three are still pretty good.
AD Police Files is required viewing for fans of cyberpunk and 90's anime. It hasn't got the quality of the best animes of the genre, but it has its heart in the right place. Ironic, huh?
AD Police is connected to another OVA I've reviewed. Basically, it's a prequel to Bubblegum Crisis that came out in the very early 90s when that OVA was nearing its end. Supposedly, it was intended to be longer but some legal problems between Artmic and Youmex resulted in it being cut short. But the big question for me is, is this OVA as strong as Bubblegum Crisis was?
The titular AD Police are a force that specialises in dealing with boomers, and humans with enough cybernetic parts. The story follows three different cases of theirs. The first involves them trying to find proof that
one of their own didn't commit suicide by boomer, while being stalked by a sex boomer. The second involves a woman murdering prostitutes. The final one involves a cyborg fellow who can't feel anything except his own tongue and is losing touch with his humanity. It doesn't help that he's being molested by a sex-crazed lady doctor.
You might have noticed a bit of a pattern there. This series has a weird, unhealthy fixation on sex, especially as it applies to women. In the first episode we have the crazed sex boomers and a lady who gets turned on by the sight of blood, which never comes up again even though she's in the rest of the series. In the second episode our serial killer was driven mad because (minor spoiler ahead) her husband was cheating with prostitutes because he thought their normal vaginas were better than her cybernetic one. In the third, we have the lady scientist who likes to wear lingerie under her lab coat and jump the cyborg she's in charge of. Do these guys just live in perpetual terror of the idea that a scantily clad woman is going to do terrible things to them? Because if that's the case they should see an actual psychologist and work through their issues in a constructive fashion instead of airing them in a publicly released OVA for anyone to see. Otherwise some strange person might try psychoanalysing them based on their writing and they won't actually improve.
The second major issue with the series is that there's never any sense of investment in what's happening. Not only do we know basically nothing of these characters, but the set ups largely boil down to some action sequences and fetish fuel. Take the first episode. We're supposed to care about a dude who had, maybe two lines of dialogue and got killed because his life insurance might not be paid out. Hold on, let me try to find a single fuck to give... Nope, can't find one. A non-character's woes after they die doesn't make you interested in what's going to happen. It's completely not compelling. There's also a bit of an issue with the cyborgs in this world. Our final episode cyborg can't feel anything but his tongue, but the second episode cyborg is over 70% cybernetic and can feel things fine from what we see. They couldn't have given the battle cyborg a switch so that he could turn off his sensations in battle, but so that he would still get sensations outside of it, possibly curtailing the obvious scenario that happens with him? For that matter, we see from the same comparison that they have cybernetic genitalia. Why can't he have a penis and just wear trousers? Is it solely so that the “sex scene” with the scientist rubbing herself against him doesn't actually make the OVA a hentai?
About the only thing I can say in its favour is that it's set in the same universe as Bubblegum Crisis. So, if you've seen that then you know some interesting aspects about the world. Even if this series doesn't convey them.
I briefly touched on the characters being about as interesting as a blade of grass during my analysis on what's wrong with the story. So, rather than repeat myself over much, let's try comparing them to the ladies in Bubblegum Crisis and see where this series went wrong. In BC, we get character focused episodes that develop our main cast. We see what kinds of things they do when they aren't fighting. We see them interact with one another and other people at length. In this series, we get very brief snippets, some of which are actually just sepia-toned still images. The interactions are likewise fairly flat. There's the whole scene where the sex-crazed officer tries to hurl herself at Leon because... blood. We get a scene where she asks him why he rejected her and he just kind of shrugs. Dude, you can just tell her that you're not into the blood play. It's not like it even makes you weird. There's not enough here to give you a substantial sense of character. Nothing to move them beyond generic. For that matter, the excuses behind why our antagonists go crazy are pretty poorly handled. Husband cheats? Well, that has to lead to madness. Don't pretend that you've never gone berserk and murdered a bunch of people when your significant other was unfaithful. We've all been there.
If Bubblegum Crisis had an unhealthy fixation on fan-service, this series suffers from multiple neuroses about it. There are several action sequences that get interrupted for the sake of tacky bosom or bum shots. All three episodes feature women stripping out of their clothes for unnecessary, garish reasons. To make matters even worse, the character designs shift a bit from episode to episode. You know, on account of consistency being cumbersome. The series still manages to feature some decent action sequences and some nice details concerning the advanced technology.
The performances in this are pretty weak. Which I attribute to the script not giving the cast much to work with. I know that Furukawa Toshio, Wakamoto Norio & some others can act really well. They don't in this, but I know they can. The music isn't particularly good either. Which is a bit surprising since BC had such a fantastic soundtrack. Then again, BC also had a lot of other good aspects to it that this series lacks.
There really isn't any. The closest we get to ho-yay is an inquiry about one character's sexuality.
So, that's AD Police. If you want some mindless action and tawdry sexual content, you are in luck. This OVA was made for you. For everyone else, it fails pretty badly. The story telling is just bad. The characters are awful. The music and acting are weak. The levels of fan-service detract from the action and are just in poor taste. All in all, it's terrible and I don't care for it. My final rating is going to stand at a 2/10. Next week I'm looking at Mononoke.
Definetly NOT for the lighthearted and teenagers! this is an cyberpunk cult classic prequel in the bubblegum crisis story ( though A.D police manga debuted in '89 named dead end city) its a good adaptation to it! and since this ova is from 1990 its seems that in anime at least japan has almost never left the 80's :). i saw this the 1st time back in 1996 on videotape.This 3 part storyline is damn violent as hell, dark, filthy and gruesome but cyberpunk as hell and even i REFUSE to watch the 2nd episode, just too tragic. Animation is quite mature for its
time as some of the welldone robotdesigns and cybercity like backgrounds and violent sketches. Conspiracy as hell is involved no matter what
with an special eye to episode 3, wich story and mecha design is partly inspired by robocop 2 (1990) end is damn violent!
This anime is gory and raunchy and I absolute love it for it.
This is a cyberpunk anime in it truest form with regards to its upbeat music in a dark and dreary setting, grittiness, and atmosphere.
The AD police files is three separate stories focusing around certain members of the AD police force and they're fight against boomers.
You can't go into this anime expecting a deep experience because your not going to get it. This anime is violent, sexual, and in some ways tasteless but damn is it entertaining. There are some weird scenes regarding nudity and sexuality but it doesn't deter from the overall action
packed experience. Beyond the tasteless action and nudity, there are some deep messages regarding humanity and its role in the world when the world is becoming more robotic. I just wish there were more episodes.
Overall its a wonderful anime if you like your action packed anime mindless and tasteless. I'm always been fond of (BSV rule) - (Blood, Sex, Violence) in my anime and this one certainly lives up to that rule.
The Doomsday Clock - a metaphor designed to represent how close humanity is to destruction - is at 3 minutes to midnight. To help you prepare for our rapidly approaching destruction, we've got you covered with some top-notch post-apocalyptic anime.