Time to dust off the VCR and take a trip back to 1990, 'cause today I'm talking about that glorious ultraviolent cheese called Mad Bull 34! Break out the Nike Cortez, Power Shoulders, and the grunge flannel- frost your tips, mute Will Smith and eject your Lion King VHS... we've got some 90s to cover.
For the uninitiated: Mad Bull 34 was made by a company called Magic Bus... who've done *checks* literally nothing else of note. They even made some hentai once, it looks like. Amazingly, this studio has been around since the early 80s, and somehow has generated enough revenue off their titles to continue to exist in 2015.
In 1996, Manga Entertainment took it upon themselves to make a gag dub for this ridiculously ultraviolent and unapologetically profane show- and created perhaps the ultimate cult classic, because the finished product is absolutely hilarious for more reasons than I can count. One of these reasons is insane, over the top violence. Another one is crazy dubs.
Artwork and Animation: 2
Mad Bull is old, hand drawn, and absolute garbage. The majority of it is on par with Violence Jack level badness, but occasionally it looks decent. The first two episodes looked okay, but the quality descended for the second half. If you like action lines, blood fountains, and super gore, Mad Bull will scratch your itch for the sick. In multiple standoffs with even minor criminals, Sleepy will just straight up murder them. Shotgun to the head, decapitations, held out onto an oncoming train, you name it, Mad Bull's got it.
If I were rating it for blood, gore, and violence, this would be a straight 10/10.
Sound and Voice Acting: 9
If I were grating cheese, this would be Kraft- the cheesiest. If I'm grading their performances, oh my buddha, this takes the cake. While Daizaburo's got one of the New Yoik-iest fake New Yoik accents I've ever heard, the rest of the cast is so varied, I have no clue what they wanted to be. Perrine flip flops between a generic English accent and Chicago, and the episodic cast's voices are so freakin' awful that I could have rounded up some drunk hicks and gotten better performances out of them than this.
Manga Entertainment probably went around the office after they got this license and asked who wanted to be in it. (they're also based in Chicago, which would explain the Chicago sounding accents... hmmm)
But- this is the charm of Mad Bull. It's not meant to be taken seriously. This is high action cheese at its absolute best.
Story and Characters: 4, 7
Mad Bull pulls from a lot of pop culture for its stories. It straight up rips off the movie "The French Connection" in episode 2, titled "The Manhattan Connection". It also borrows the Predator monster for episode 4. Generally speaking, the four stories go like this: Sleepy and Daizaburo go on patrol for Sleepy to bang some prostitutes, pay off an informant, or just generally cause mayhem- then they happen upon a crime in progress that leads to the discovery of a larger ring of criminal activity. Storywise, it's very functional- because it just plays off the Buddy Cop movies of the 80s tropes: one character that's a completely lawless ruffian and somehow manages to be a cop (Sleepy), and the stick-up-his-ass, by the book stiff (Daizaburo).
In typical cop show fashion, Sleepy is the kind of cop that always gets the job done, no matter what. This includes murdering every criminal in his path, and using his superhuman strength and penchant for violence to cause a lot of cost for the state of New York. His straight man Daizaburo is the guy that plays everything by the rules, and is stunned alongside the audience at the antics his partner pulls.
And he pulls crotch grenades, as well.
You've gotta see some of this to believe it. WTF factor: 9.5/10
Enjoyment and Overall: 9, 6
I can't exactly rate Mad Bull a 9/10 just because it's a lot of fun to watch... except that I can. It's funny as heck, and really over the top with the violence in creative and disgusting ways, and the fact that it has this incredibly bad, but cheesetastic dub really puts the icing on top. If you're a fan of so bad it's good or cult classics, this one has its picture right next to those terms in the dictionary.
You can't go wrong with a bit of the old ultraviolence, and Mad Bull delivers.
As always, come rage at me. Or leave nice comments, I don't care- feedback's appreciated.