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.
AD Police is a spin-off OVA of the Bubblegum Crisis OVA. Though Bubblegum Crisis was ostensibly a cyberpunk work it stayed true to the first half of its name by always wearing a smile that still showed joy in a dystopian future. That balance of playfulness with grit is all but gone in AD Police, a prequel chronicle of the Neo Tokyo Metropolitan Police force before Bubblegum Crisis's Knight Sabers hit the scene.
This is perhaps a suitable tonal shift, as the Knight Sabers were shown to be just about the only force that could surpass Boomers, cyborgs that can occasionally go berserk and threaten the
human populace. The AD Police are fighting the newest evolution in combat technology with outdated means, and this means a lot more gore is shed, the death count goes up, and pessimism is palpable in the environment.
By all means, this is a sensible spin-off. It's extremely loosely connected to the events of Bubblegum Crisis because of some returning names, and the only name of those belonging to a human is Leon McNichol. Leon's professional inexperience and new character design make him nigh unrecognizable compared to what he'd become (or was) in Bubblegum Crisis. That this OVA doesn't introduce anything that contradicts the world of characters of Bubblegum Crisis is both its greatest strength and greatest weakness. By taking almost no risk in mixing these OVAs, AD Police sets up no expectations of it being the same as Bubblegum Crisis, and its tonal shift doesn't conflict with Bubblegum Crisis because the two are so easily compartmentalized when seen side by side. In other words, AD Police clearly doesn't possess the same appeal as Bubblegum Crisis and doesn't try to. The two OVAs are so aesthetically far apart and unrelated in story and characters that neither weaken or strengthen each other.
Even the potential insight into Bubblegum Crisis's setting has little to offer here. This isn't to say AD Police's world is dull, but that it once again focuses on highly specific elements of that world that go further to make it unique while also not filling in anything Bubblegum Crisis put forth. For instance, though both possess Boomers as primary antagonists they're utilized very differently. Bubblegum Crisis practically treated the Boomers as monsters; not the merging of humans and machines they're meant to be, but rather machines only built to visually resemble humans. Bubblegum Crisis deals with the morality of the people taking advantage of Boomer technology and not the Boomers themselves. They are essentially automatons in the skin of humans despite being called cyborgs.
AD Police focuses entirely on the characters within the Boomers themselves. Here they have individuality and every episode posits what separates a machine from a human being, this being the source of the Boomers' new emotional struggle. It's an ancient science fiction topic and AD Police doesn't add anything striking or fresh to the discussion, but you can see that while both OVAs share cyborgs with the same name, you are immediately taught to see them differently. The contrast with Bubblegum Crisis isn’t off-putting to either precisely because they’re just so hard to see in the same world, but that also means this spin-off doesn’t really feel like it adds anything.
So, if this likely isn’t of particular interest to someone looking for more of the Bubblegum Crisis world, does AD Police hold up on its own? That debate is probably less ambiguous. As a science fiction and cyberpunk fan, nothing about AD Police stands out to me. It’s not completely brainless but it’s hardly high concept either. The atmosphere and animation quality could freshen up its worn ideas with striking presentation, but those run cold as well, and not for the good reasons you’d hope from a dystopian work. While it’s not easy to completely judge this compared to Bubblegum Crisis as that had a Blu-ray release while AD Police is stuck on DVD, this series in general just feels a hell of a lot cheaper. Maybe it’s a difference of talent, but character designs are frequently off-model, shortcuts are taken during action scenes like painted stills, and there’s even the rare flub like completely inaccurate lip syncing. The painted backgrounds are quite nice, but you get repetitive glances of the always green-toned city that quickly cease to impress. When the characters are drawn on-model they possess a simple digital coloring job that has little on the detailed textures of Bubblegum Crisis that popped out at you.
As for the writing, well, AD Police is greatly disadvantaged there. Because this was based on the Bubblegum Crisis IP, the same copyright dispute that ended that OVA prematurely did the same thing here. AD Police wasn’t meant to end at three episodes, and with that in mind it makes its weaknesses more forgivable, but they don’t go away. Even the main characters Leon and Gina don’t get enough attention to flourish as the episodic stories feature new supporting casts each time that are used intensively to set up an entirely new storyline based on nothing before it. Leon has no character arc – he even barely gets to use any of his signature humor. We don’t get to see him grow into one of the most respected policemen in his force, and we hardly even get to see him so much as struggle. His superior, Gina, is meant to contrast with his inexperience and lack of confidence, but she’s only slightly better. Gina at least has a conflict with how she feels her artificial arm makes her less human, something brought up multiple times. But this conflict is difficult to feel the drama of, as she’s dramatizing over what essentially, to the audience, is just a movable prosthetic arm. She never has to consider the ramifications of becoming more of a cyborg since she’s never injured again, and a single replaced arm is hardly robbing you of entire human sensations. Hell, it doesn’t even rob you of having an arm – she has another one. Naturally, it’s possible this was intended to go somewhere but this is as far as it’s taken, so conflating this conflict with full cyberization is hyperbolic at best.
Like I mentioned earlier, the individual stories largely deal with Boomers struggling with their emotions and going berserk. For the first two episodes the structure is largely procedural, with the antagonist’s background story and motivations only becoming clear after the problem’s already been dealt with. This robs the development of the stories of a lot of tension, especially since we aren’t set up to really care about Leon or Gina as we watch them put their lives on the line during the investigations. By far the best episode of the lot is the final one, “The Man Who Bites His Tongue”, turning Robocop into a horror story as a police member loses his body in a fight and has his brain planted in a robotic body. The first minute or two sets up more empathy for this character than anything else in the entire OVA, showing pictures of his time as a human on the force to get a view of the amount of life he had to give when he was still able to. The preceding themes of humanity persisting in machines via the senses and emotions are a more constant focus because the lens is constantly on the character having to deal with them rather than tossing it all on us in the last three minutes. In other words, this character, Billy Fanword, is the only one in the OVA with a complete character development arc where you can understand all of his motivations and ways of thinking, which garners enough empathy to actually motivate the ambiguous philosophical discussions the OVA is always going for. It’s still not too nuanced, but it’s something. The OVA also has a bit of a misogynistic streak. Nothing too awful, but eyerolling nonetheless. Every single female character is very willing to throw themselves at a male and I wouldn’t be surprised if I went back and saw that not a single female character didn’t get nude at some point for no reason. Even if it’s trying to appear more adult, it’s doing so in a biased way. And even if I were to give it the benefit of the doubt for the objectification of women being common in cyberpunk and noir (though usually as the result of other characters or their environment), that still means it’s indulging in a stock trope for the benefit of nothing other than tits since there's no subtext about women as a minority in this setting.
So, I’m at a loss. I don’t feel like this is a “proper” expansion of Bubblegum Crisis since it succeeds (or fails) entirely by its unique metrics, so I can’t recommend this to someone based on them loving that setting. For sci-fi fans this can’t hold an electronic candle to Ghost in the Shell’s pontificating, and as far as I can tell it fails to present ideas that aren’t done elsewhere better. As a gluttonous OVA consumer myself, this is a bit lacking in the things I’ve come to love from that generation. The animation quality doesn’t stand out and the cheesy synth score is too bland to have the kitschy charm of other contemporaries. It does have that attitude though. You can see it done with more panache in many other OVAs, but if you can’t get enough of that gutsy unrestrained spirit of the era then AD Police should offer enough guts, sex, and general pulp to mildly satisfy you.
This is a prequel of Bubblegum Crisis and is set in Megatokyo year 2027.
In AD Police Files, we have a younger Leon McNichol when he was a newbie at the AD Police force and way before Knight Sabers came to be.
This is a lot more darker than Bublegum Crisis and carries the Blade Runner banner more properly than Bubblegum could ever carry with it’s comedy and Female cast. The animation gives a little help at turning the thing darker and it was made in a proper way. The music was just awesome and the ending music of the final episode made me want to
look for it in the web (still hadn’t had any luck yet).
The story of its episodes, though not spectacular, can fit very well the dark atmosphere generated and it isn’t decidedly your light everyday story.
Definitely a must watch for cyber puk fans.
The only flaw that I find here is the number of episodes, they could have exchanged this one with Bubblegum.
I decided to watch this series after Finishing the A D Police main series, which I rated and wrote a review on it as well.
This series in particular was a 3 episode short OVA and I will go with a 7 rating
These 3 episodes are all different stories that involve the same main characters.
All three episodes were a little twisted and had a lot of moments when you will be like "WHAT??" because some of the scenes are very ridiculous , and personally i found it funny; however I'm not sure if they were intended to be funny.
nonetheless every episode its
entertaining, and they all have some kind of a sick sexual twist to them, but nothing extreme. music was good for the anime and blended right with the setting.
before you watch this anime I recommend watching another Anime in relation to Boomers or the Bubblegum crisis, ( I watched the Original A D Police which wasn't a bad option yet this ova can be more entertaining)
Recommend: YES (to mature Audiences) and audiences who already watch a Bubblegum crisis or A D police anime before
Pros: Short Anime, easy to finish, entertaining episodes, twisted humor(if you are into it)
Cons: No background on any of the characters.
not a lot of background on the setting or on whats going on
will have to watch any of the Bubblegum crisis anime before watching this before making any sense of it.