Tokyo Highway Patrolwomen Natsumi and Miyuki get off to a bad start when Miyuki busts Natsumi for reckless moped driving on her way to work. Things get worse when they find out they're going to be partners!
A continuation of the OVA series, the adventures of Tokyo policewomen Natsumi and Miyuki continue in the You're Under Arrest TV series. It's back to Bokuto Precinct, where demented felons and bashful (but hunky) policemen abound, and where the cutest girl in the office... isn't a girl.
Hokey smokes, that was awesome. Only in the world of anime can policewomen beat out goddesses
You're Under Arrest! Its been one anime that I've been meaning to watch for years and years and have simply ignored for one reason or another. I knew all about it being the first child of Kosuke Fujishima (who also fathered another of my favorite all time franchises, Ah! My Goddess), and I had heard good things, but I just never ever bothered.
For the past week, I bothered.
Fourty-seven episodes never went by so quick. I was simply blown away at the sheer "goodness" of this series. From amazingly well developed characters to the quirk 90s fusion jazz soundtrack, there wasn't a single bad thing I could find here. Granted, there were leaps of logic at times, and a few episodes were just way too corny, but none of that really detracted from what proved to be a truly enjoyable series.
Onto the synopsis.
If you've never heard of the basic story, then you're either young or living under a rock. Tsujimoto Natsumi, on her way to her first day at work, is flagged down for violating several traffic laws by a beautiful policewoman named Kobayawa Miyuki. She then discovers that Miyuki is her new patrol partner at the Bokuto Station; Traffic section. The two start out rocky, but develop into one of the most impressive crime fighting duos ever seen.
Sorry Batman & Robin, but you need to step aside.
They unlikely pair are surrounded by a bevy of personalities including a timid mountain man (Nakajima Ken), a happy, gossipy, busybody (Nikaidou, Yoriko), and a stoic enigma of a section chief (Kachou). Throw in a draq queen and an archetype detective and you got yourself a decent supportive cast.
But it doesn't end there! Through their misadventures, Natsumi and Miyuki constantly encounter one of the most bizzare "superheroes" in anime history. Strike Man, the masked vigilante, while proving to be ultimately harmless, bungles his way through the series as a friendly pseudo-antagonist while providing some hilarious JUSTICE monologues. His deadly mega-ultimate-meteor-fireball-crusher-strike-ball-of-justice is a thing of deadly beauty...though Natsumi has never once failed to hit it out of the proverbial park and send him packing.
Another interesting character is one of the least seen but most explored. Tokairin Shoji makes his first appearance, unannounced and unheralded, late into the series but slowly develops as something very special. For someone like me who has never once touched this franchise, it was incredibly awesome to watch this guy interact with the existing characters, so I won't spoil anything, but I can guarantee you that his presence "makes" the series.
Of course the cast doesn't end there, but I got to cut it off at some point right? Shout outs go to the old man/young girl couple, the intense teenage policewoman wanna be, the kindergarten kids, and Beach Volley Ball Man.
Yes, Beach Volley Ball Man.
With all these interesting characters, its easy to think only a few of them matter. That simply isn't the case. While everyone does have their part to play, their path to that part is well explained and shown. It seemed as though for each character, even the most minor of them, the viewer is given a history and a reason to not only care for them, but also grow attached.
In other words, the characters are the story. Their actions, their relationships with one another, and the blossoming romances and admiration are the selling points, and with as uplifting as they prove to be, I'd be hard pressed not to buy!
Love, Friendship, and ACTION! Simple, heartwarming, and honest. Everything about this series gave off those feelings, and the soundtrack champions those themes.
Now, jazz certainly isn't the most popular music genres, and even less so is fusion jazz, but considering the setting and date of the series (1996 Japan), the music fits perfectly and adds a little something extra to every scene...smooth when it needs to be and fast paced fusion-action during the more volatile scenarios. The two opening songs were excellent and addictive while the endings did a nice job wrapping things up. As always, music is a matter of personal taste, so perhaps being a fan of jazz AND fusion jazz jades me, but I would think most anyone would agree that this was a decent OST.
Ultimately You're Under Arrest! was one of the most entertaining anime I have ever seen. I full expect to immerse myself in the franchise as a result, and I have to say, I'd expect the same from anyone else who gives this a try. There is a prequel four episode OVA, but they don't pack the same punch. If you're interested in the franchise, THIS is the installment you'll want to use as your barometer.
I HIGHLY recommend this. It doesn't matter whether you prefer new school or old school, action or romance, policewomen or goddess...this is something you'll want to check out for sure.
As you can see, my scores for each category are very high, and I haven't even watched the whole series yet, but being able to do this should really give you an idea on the quality of this series *oh, and of course, MINOR SPOILERS!*:
Story:- The story revolves around new police recruit Natsumi Tsujimoto, who arrives on her moped (this is a really personal awesome moment for me, as I want to join the police and also my only method of transport, as I live in the country, is a moped.) She gets chased by her yet-to-be-known future partner, Miyuki Kobayakawa, and they are also part of an amazing cast including an intelligence officer, a police motorcyclist, a shinto priest and a chief officer, to name a few. I won't spoil it, but each episode revolves around something you'd see in a police drama, so it's 30 minutes of awesome police action!
Art - the art is pretty awesome. It's an older anime (airing in 1998) so CGI wasn't in use so much, so the hand-drawn style is unique, as every artist is different. It works well even in a pseudo-reality anime, which is nice, as you can see how it would work well in a fictional anime, but to know that it also works in the complete opposite is interesting.
Sound - the sound is what you'd expect from a action police drama-esque show, with no wierd sound additions that could've been implemented, which is really awesome. The intro theme is pretty cool too.
Character - now this anime has bags of charm. Each character feels like a different person, and aren't too odd like anime characters can be, even in a pseudo-realistic anime like this. With these separate characters come connections that different people will have. Having recentley grown up around bikes, I really relate to Ken Nakajima, the police motorcyclist. Others will relate to the stern, but kind-hearted chief officer, while others to all-round nice guy and secret cop, the shinto priest. It really fleshes these characters out, and it works really well!
Enjoyment/Overall - overall, this has become one of my favourite animes. It would be litreally my all-time favourite, but Love Live! School Idol Project takes that spot, but that's for another review. So, taking everything into account, I think this anime is oustanding, I cannot wait to watch the father behind this animes other creation, Oh my Goddess!, and it deserves it's 10, out of 10!read more
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