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.
Review 23.11.2018: Taihou Shichau Zo OVA
Written by SMGJohn
"Every review is subjective, art is subjective your opinion may differ, never trust reviews to make the opinion for you, use them as a guide and make your own journey."
Taihou Shichauzo is one of those amazingly underrated gems of the 90s that you stumble upon by pure luck, and shamelessly I came to stumble upon it too late but better late than never as they ironically say.
The 4 OVA episode series is the beginning of a franchise that is not much known to the English viewers of anime and restrains more popularity with the Spanish and
Japanese communities, however to my surprise Taihou Shichauzo is an amazing short series that proves the super-giant in the industry Studio Deen’s unlimited talent pool once more.
With amazingly funny cast of characters and well written adaptation of the original manga, Taihou Shichauzo proves to be a comically funny anime with silly features but also serious parts mixed together with a production quality typically very average but masterfully well executed thanks to the talented pool of people at Deen who worked with what they had.
While the main characters in Taihou Shichauzo finds themselves in all kinds of silly situations from stupidly over escalated car chases to helping out kids the OVA’s actually do a good job of presenting a lovable cast of characters to the audience and also builds the foundation of an anime franchise that would see three TV series, one movie and multiple short OVA’s. The main characters very large contrast in personality also helps its comical value but with the seriousness also presented reinforces how real the people in Taihou Shichauzo feels like.
Production wise, Taihou Shichauzo is in another league while the animation fluidity can be comparable average for the era it is masterfully handled by talented art directors and planners, it is truly a long time since I have had the pleasure to witness such a masterfully done production as this short OVA series. No shot goes unused, everything makes sense, it has an astonishingly smooth flow to it and scenes that require good animation have good animation while more static scenes have less because they need less but there times when static scenes are made very lively by adding exaggerated movement to the characters themselves often seen in comedies.
The background art of Taihou Shichauzo strike me the most, we are presented a contemporary early 90s Japan, with thanks to the outstanding sound work of Deen gives an absurdly satisfying atmosphere.
With the help of the extremely 90s sounding soundtrack we are reminded every minute of it that we truly are in the 90s now, the flow, the music and the art pulls you in like a magnet and before you know it you almost feel like you are there.
With sound work like this I can claim I have only witnessed in not just few anime but even few movies and TV series by big giants such as America, China or even Britain. This general fluidity really helps these silly story telling feel amazing, with what could easily be explained as a mediocre story becomes a very well mastered anime thanks to its well executed production quality and variation in showcase that does not make it feel too similar to one another episodes.
For summary, Taihou Shichauzo is something that must be experienced to be understood, it is by no means a bad anime, but it is not a masterpiece, it is best explained as a timeless work of art that tries to tell an otherwise dull drama story but masterfully crafts it into an entertaining contemporary showcase of nostalgic nuclear explosion, mixed with action, drama, comedy, romantic elements and much much more.
With the amazing art, the amazing sound of Japan in the 90s, the people, the cars, all the noises the characters make such as just walking or writing on paper makes it all feel alive, real and as if you are there.
The outrageously beautiful artwork helps to reinforce the series as a whole and it makes you miss a city that you never even visited in the first place, and truly only the most talented people can make you feel like that, and this time around they worked at Studio Deen.
"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.
This anime absolutely blew me away. Coming into "You're Under Arrest" I just expected some standard buddy cop cliches, mixed in with some anime ones. And boy does it deliver that and so much more. There's car chases taking you through beautifully animated scenery, there's romance arcs that actually keep you interested even though they only have 4 episodes to work with, and there's even character development that's realistic but still draws you in.
As a huge fan of 70s and 80s cop shows, the cliches in this don't bother me one bit and are perfectly executed. There's a car chase at least every episode, there's
your standard partner drama between the two main protagonists, they even have a fan club of small children to cheer them on. If you like car chases and you like anime, this is THE OVA for you.