In 1987, there was an OVA called Bubblegum Crisis; a cyberpunk anime with heavy influence from films such as Bladerunner. Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 is not a sequel - but a remake of that OVA, released in 1998. Rather than being an OVA 2040 is a 26 episode anime. The collection in particular being reviewed is the Anime Classics box set released by Funimation. The set is 4 discs long, costs around $30 (unless you get ripped off like I did) and has very attractive packaging in my opinion. The only bad thing I have to say about this particular set is that the extra features menu consists of nothing but a clean opening and closing.
BGC2040 as I shall call it from here on out is, as I previously stated, cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is a genre of fiction taking place in the future where advanced technology is extremely prevalent and integrated, and artificial life or robots are common place. Some other good examples of cyberpunk anime are Akira and Ghost in the Shell. In the world of BGC2040, robots called Boomers take care of most hard and dirty work for humans. They do road work, and clean sewers and do all toher sorts of tasks that we don't like to mess with. There are also several boomers that are receptionists and hold other more important positions as well. The Boomers are produced by a megacorporation called Genum. Occasionally, somethign strange happens and a Boomer goes "rogue". It begins to fuse all technology around it, sometimes forming much more monstrous "life form" that it once was and aggressively attacks people and attempts to fuse with as many other Boomers and technologies as it can. The phenomenon of rogue Boomers is on a steady rise - but there's a problem. Genum is talking about shutting down the AD Police, a special Police department dedicated to dealing with rogue Boomers. Genum claims to have solved the rogue Boomer problem - the issue is that rogue Boomers are obviously becoming more and more common. Genum obviously has something up their sleeve. Who will save Tokyo from these technological monstrosities? Cute chicks in metal suits. Duh!
The Knight Sabers are a vigilante group created by Sylia Stingray (in the picture above, she is the one with long, silver hair on the far right). Sylia is actually the daughter of Dr.Stingray, the man who created the Boomers in the first place. She sees it as her own personal mission to stop rogue Boomers. In the begining of the Anime, there are only 2 active Knight Saber; Priscilla Asagiri (Priss), who is the Knight Saber in the blue suit in the above picture, and Nene Romanova, the one in pink. Sylia has retired temporarily, and the 3 before Priss and Nene are, at that time, deceased. they are soon joined by Linna Yamazaki, the one in green. They are quite the colorful cast, pun unintended. Priss is the lead singer of a rock band, and has more than enough attitude and angst for the whole team. Nene is a hacker extraordinaire, but is an operator for the AD Police by day. Nene is also very peppy and a bit immature. Linna is, in my opinion, the most interesting. She is a farm girl who moved to Tokyo specifically to seek the Knight Sabers after reading rumors about them on the internet as an urban legend. It's very enjoyable to watch the characters banter, and their personalities often clash quite harshly - but that's part of the fun. The Knight Sabers aren't the only characters of course. There are many other characters, such as Leon, an AD Policemen who has the hots for Priss. Too bad Priss despises the Ad Police. I could reveal more characters, but I cannot do so without risk of spoilers.
About half of each episode consists of the Knight Sabers' daily lives, and their social situations. there is plenty of comedy, drama and romance so there's a little something for everyone. Action fans won't feel left out either- that other half of the episode usually involves violent robot death! The fights in BGC2040 are quite varied. Some of them are very fast paced while others, because the foe is more dangerous, are slower paced battles of wit and strategy. Most of the major fights are quite long and take up at least 2 episodes. Some of these fights are very entertaining, and you really don't mind but a couple of the battles seem to drag on, and leave you saying "they're still fighting this thing?!"
BGC2040 has a plot that is much more complex than I have explained - it takes a few twists along the way. There was no way for me elaborate beyond the very basics without spoiling something. This was my first anime that didn't air on Cartoon Network/Toonami. I was 12 then (and frankly had no business watching a MA rated anime) and a lot of the plot left me a little confused. I didn't fully understand it until I was about 16. The ending to this anime is somewhat open - this is a mixed bag. while it leaves plenty of room for fan speculation, fan fiction and the like, it leaves you with only a mild sense of clossure. This anime left itself open for a sequel, but it doesn't seem likely. That's alright though, because this one stands strongly on its own, and has a dedicated cult fan base. Comedy, romance, action, robots, girls, and explosions...what's not the recommend?