I’ve reviewed two instalments in this franchise. The first being Bubblegum Crisis and the second being the AD Police spin-off, which was garbage. Now it’s time to look at the sequel that came out from mid to late ’91, Bubblegum Crash. Let’s hope it’s more like Crisis and doesn’t resemble AD.
We open with an armoured vehicle full of mech suits committing a robbery. The AD Police are called to the scene, but since the culprit isn’t an over-sexed, creepy woman, they’re useless. The mech suits escape. We soon join the Knight Sabers, Nene, Linna & Priss. Nene wants the three of them to get their suits and do something about the robberies since the AD Police are useless but Linna is making a fortune with stocks and Priss is about to get a record deal and the pair talk about the Sabers like a thing of the past. Sylia soon returns and the fire gets lit under both Priss and Linna. But there’s more to these robberies than meets the eye and the Sabers quickly find themselves embroiled in a major plot.
The biggest story issue with this is that the OVA wastes far too much time with the AD Police. And their contribution is pretty much sitting on their asses and otherwise being ineffectual. Very few of their scenes actually do anything for the narrative. They’re mostly just boring. It feels like the OVA only included them to advertise that shit spin off. Another issue I have is that the climactic reveal of the antagonist could have been foreshadowed and generally handled better. It ends up being a bit weak.
With that out of the way, the narrative does a good job of building things up. The situations the Sabers face are developed well and they have a good amount of tension behind them. The OVA also does a good job of tying all the scenarios together in a way that gives every episode a satisfying conclusion while also seguing into the next. It’s also good at balancing triumph, tragedy & bitter-sweet moments. It’s just, overall, highly entertaining and compelling.
The best character moments we get involve the Sabers themselves. Their interactions are very strong and we get a good sense of their personalities. I also appreciate that the antagonist does have a pretty well defined motivation. There are some great side characters as well, notably Adama. The AD Police are the weakest part but even then Leon & Daley are pretty well fleshed out characters. They’re far better in this than they were in that OVA where Leon was the main character. And yes, I do have to keep taking jabs at AD Police.
The series looks quite good. It’s well animated, the backgrounds are nicely done, the general aesthetic is strong and the action scenes are damn good. The designs remain a very strong element. Seeing the Sabers go into action against various threats is a treat. I will also give this OVA some credit over even Crisis, it has a lot less fan-service.
Hiramatsu Akiko, Sakakibara Yoshiko & Tomizawa Michie all reprise their roles and do fantastically. Oomori Kinuko quit voice acting work to be a full time singer, unless my information on that is wrong & Priss does get a new actress with Tachikawa Ryoko. Tachikawa does a good job, maybe not quite as good but it’s a strong performance. Crash also brings back the amazing soundtrack with some great songs being used during the action sequences.
There isn’t really any. The OVA doesn’t really have romance period. Which is fine because not everything needs to have it.
Areas of Improvement:
- Take out the bulk of the AD Police scenes. While there are a few that actually serve a purpose, most of them just come across as pointless.
- Use some of that extra time to give some more hints about the identity of the big bad. Like I said, the OVA would have benefited from foreshadowing that better.
- Use the rest of that time for some more interactions amongst the Sabers. Because the scenes where Nene, Priss, Linna & sometimes Sylia are just spending time together are really good.
Crash is exactly what you would want from a follow up to Crisis. It features strong action, great interactions and an interesting narrative that keeps your attention. If you’re even somewhat a fan of Bubblegum Crisis I would highly recommend checking it out. If you haven’t seen Crisis but the idea of super heroines in robotic suits appeals to you, I would watch that first since this OVA definitely builds off of it. I’ll give Crash an 8/10. Same as Crisis.