Running late on her first day as a patrol woman for the Bokuto Police Department, spunky moped rider Natsumi Tsujimoto decides to take several shortcuts, only to be chased down and cited by mechanical genius and expert police driver Miyuki Kobayakawa. Upon arrival at the precinct, Natsumi finds out that her new partner is the same woman who ticketed her earlier. At first, she doesn't trust Miyuki, but in a short period of time, they develop an unbreakable friendship that overcomes traffic accidents, reckless drivers and even the strongest typhoons to hit Tokyo.
You're Under Arrest follows the happenings of a police station and in particular those officers of the Traffic division. Aired as an OVA, this later came to be the first 4 episodes of the TV series bearing the same name. However, this review will assess it's performance as a stand-alone.
- ANIMATION -
As expected from an OVA the animation quality is superb; with great detail taken in facial expression and general movement fluidity. The backgrounds are also of high detail and do not have that colour tone difference otherwise common to most televised series. Fujishima Kousuke being an avid motorsports enthusiast, made sure that You're Under
Arrest featured excellent animated footage of cars, motorbikes and other mechanicals. It was an obvious match for his love of cars and anime that brought us this series.
- SOUND -
The soundtrack is mellow most of the time, but with a gripping 'suspense/action' theme used during the chase sequences, you soon find your own heart beating with expectation! In terms of effects, this is mostly focused on traffic/vehical related sounds (drifts, revs, gear changes etc.). Do not expect to see/hear any firearms - disappointing, seeing as this is a police anime. The dub version is well directed despite some dialogue adaptation.
- CHARACTERS -
The story revolves around a partner relationship so you should expect a lot of time dedicated to the two leads. Although only 4 episodes, you get a flare for the cast's own personalities, which are very distinct to the point of perhaps being stereotypical. Eitherway, the designs show a unique style characteristic of this mangaka, but tend to inevitably resemble characters from his other titles (Ah My Goddess!).
- VALUE & ENJOYMENT -
As mentioned, You're Under Arrest tries to showcase the human drama of police officers and their daily relationships. With this in mind, it does not boast of much action apart from car chasing so hardcore police-drama viewers might be disappointed. The storyline although split into 4 episodes, should be viewed as 2 plots each coming to a conclusion by the end of the OVA.
Personally, I consider this an 'all-rounder' because it manages to fit various elements (romance, comedy, drama, action) into a light-hearted, realistic storyline. Because of that, I would not be surprised if you would still enjoy a rewatch of this come a few years time... I know I did.
Finally, the excellent animation alone makes for a worthwhile watch, so its short duration becomes a bonus.
"This police station has been running a lot more like a soap opera," - Chief Kachou (Episode 3)
1994 was a pretty good year for anime titles. There was the Studio Ghibi film Pom Poko, a story centered around environmental issues. The Street Fighter movie, based on a wildly popular videogame series, briefly fumbled its way into the spotlight. 1994 also introduced the anime world to Marmalade Boy, a well-known school-oriented series. Finally, `94 was the year in which television networks came across a mini-series, a hidden gem if you will, titled You're Under Arrest (YUA). When people think of police shows, they conjure mental images
of good-cop/bad-cop roles, of homicides and kidnappings, and of undercover officers raiding a criminal hideout. You're Under Arrest doesn't conjure these images in viewers because it's the complete opposite of the typical cop series; this is a show where comedy is at the forefront instead of action, where the only serious crime that people commit is reckless speeding, and where the officers are more concerned with maintaining friendships than anything else (and please don't mention anything to do with romance to these people. They're really serious about that). With these factors inserted into the plot, this anime explores the adventures of police officers Natsumi and Miyuki for four enjoyable episodes.
While You're Under Arrest is certainly an enjoyable OVA, it is not without its flaws. The acting in the series isn't the best, the supporting characters are relegated to a couple of unimportant lines, and (if you want to be really critical) the animation looks a little dated to me, even for an anime from the early `90s. However, I can brush past those flaws thanks to the five main characters. Miyuki is a gentle officer/driver with good looks and a hobby as a mechanic (Basically, she's Winry Rockbell before Winry Rockbell). Yoriko, a goofy gossiper who proves to be the series' best voice actress, is that one bespectacled female that you seemingly must have in order for an anime to be called an anime. Ken is my favorite character, a sunglasses-wearing tough-guy/motorcyclist who really loves Miyuki and is affectionately nicknamed "Kenny" by the other officers. Chief Kachou doesn't really do much besides giving out orders and pondering over situations (I just act like the guy's not there). By far the most interesting character of the bunch has to be Natsumi, the protagonist. She's a hotheaded slacker with purple eyes, impulsive tendencies, an infamous reputation for oversleeping, a habit for getting drunk, and impeccable skills as a motorcyclist. The other main characters are appealing, besides the Chief, but Natsumi is simply beyond that.
I don't know exactly where I would place You're Under Arrest on my anime list (pun intended). I don't speak of this series with the mystified reverence that I do for Monster not with the unbridled hatred that I have for Inuyasha. You're Under Arrest instead settles in a special category for me, one without severe criticism or deep analysis. Here's the best way I can explain my appreciation for YUA. For me, this anime induces a wave of nostalgia, even though it's my first time finishing this. Maybe it's the beautiful theme song which really grew on me or the show's lively soundtrack with a hint of jazz that does it for me. Maybe it's You're Under Arrest's lighthearted atmosphere sprinkled by some truly touching moments that hypnotizes me. Maybe it's the excellent episode 4 (titled "On the Road... again") or the amazing sequence that occurred in the episode, where Ken rides his motorcycle out from the raging flames that causes me to write so passionately about this. Maybe it's the fact that YUA is completely appropriate for children (believe it or not, this doesn't occur often in anime), besides the cursing that pops up once-in-a-blue-moon that makes me love it so much. Regardless, You're Under Arrest is the perfect title for this OVA. It captures you, alternately thrilling you and pulling your heartstrings along the way.
Studio Deen sure does make a wide range of anime and seems to take chances on their directors. For You’re Under Arrest, the previous animation director of Urusei Yatsura, Kazuhiro Furuhashi got his real first chance in the role.
This anime is, to put it simply, a cop drama about officers in the traffic division. With many similarities to Patlabor, being about the daily lives of police officers in a somewhat quirky division has surprisingly a good amount of action and humour. Due to it only being a four episode OVA series, the animation and sound quality are superb, just like the Patlabor OVA series. Everything
has so much detail ranging from the artistic backdrops to the speedometers on motor bikes. The mechanical detail is simply amazing, showing how much love of vehicles there are in the anime relating well to how much the main characters love them as well.
Unfortunately, because the anime is so short, the action chase scenes and the humour fades fairly quickly. Relationships are not really built other than short introductions, development is non-existent, and dialogue is rather simplistic. Most of which, it cannot be totally faulted for, but more of an issue with the length of the show. This is a shame considering You’re Under Arrest is so strong and had the potential to be something bigger than what it was.
Excellent art, animation, mechanical detail, and the lovely traffic cop duo do make it a nice afternoon watch none the less. Luckily, in the end, this show got picked up and went on to cross the eventual 100 plus episode mark. If anything, this OVA is a gateway to something special.
1994 was a much simpler time for anime and a lot of this stemmed from the fact anime was treated as cartoons back then rather than fantasy simulators. In today’s market, a show like You’re Under Arrest wouldn’t work. It’s rife with too much silliness and not enough cohesion, as well as a lack of the appropriate amount of fan service to appease modern anime fans. As you may remember from my Hyper Police review, I am a sucker for 90’s anime. The style, the sound, the pervasive silliness. It was a time of cute girls doing cute things while also being completely badass
at the same time. And that’s where You’re Under Arrest comes in, a four episode OVA that would turn into a hundred-some episode behemoth.
Natsumi Tsujimoto is joining up with a division of the Tokyo police. She’s wild and carefree, a stark contrast with the woman she’s partnered with, Miyuki, whose more by the books and grounded in reality. Nonetheless, the four episodes show the two garner a friendship and follows their exploits as they stop fast and dangerous criminals. Along the way there is a hint of romance and a lot of misuse of taxpayer dollars.
There’s no real plot here, just cops chasing down bad guys. No guns either, the OVA’s stick to an occasional car chase. These are usually pretty exciting, though generally get super dumb at some point (Natsumi can stop a car with her feet somehow). There’s no consistency between the episodes and in four episodes we’re expected to believe a year has passed, despite absolutely nothing significant being shown happening in that year. No real character development or story progress. It’s all just stagnant, episodic kind of stuff.
That said, it has the cartoonish charm I mentioned earlier. It’s a very silly show that isn’t rooted in reality at all and knows that. Thus you get a lot of fun out of that. The characters are all hot females in police uniforms. They all exhibit typical characteristics of a 90’s anime babe, from serious to silly to OTPing other characters because she’s got nothing better to do.
There’s not much I can say about the four episodes presented. They’re fun distractions, though nothing memorable or in any way great. It’s a nice escape to a different time that is sure to please people like me. But for others, it may not be worth watching. It just depends how comfortable you are with cartoonish anime.