Burn Up

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“Burn-Up” is a one-shot OVA from 1991 (Art Director, Kenji Kamiyama-Asst. Art Director “Roujin Z”, Art Director “Hakkenden”, and Original Creator/Director “Eden of the East”), which was followed by a 4-volume OVA in 1996 titled, “Burn-Up: W” (Director, Hiroshi Negishi - Director “Le Deus/Ladius”, “Borgman”, “Tekkaman Blade”); a 13-episode TV series in 1997-98 titled, “Burn-Up: Excess” (Character Designer, Yuji Ikeda - Character Designer “Dragon Ball Z”, Art Director “Fushigi Yuugi”, “Arslan”, “Monster”); and a 12-episode TV series in 2004 titled, “Burn Up: Scramble”. I’ve seen “Burn-Up”, “Burn-Up: W”, and a few odd episodes of “Burn-Up: Excess”.

In the mid-21st century (as envisioned in the toggle-switch filled, green CRT screened, cyber-punk world of 1980s-early ’90s anime) crime in Tokyo is controlled by the almighty Paulo Family. And their female kidnapping/slavery branch of operations is headed by sleazy night club owner, Samuel McCoy. After thwarting one of McCoy’s “merchandise” shipments, standby Police SWAT Officer, Maki, learns from her fellow SWAT Officer boyfriend, Kenji, that vile, malicious McCoy has been kidnapping girls around his night club, the Safari Seven. The police don’t have enough evidence to take scumbag Samuel in; so Kenji warns Maki to stay away from Safari Seven. However, headstrong Maki has other plans. She convinces her friends, fellow policewomen Remi and Yuka, to go undercover and scope out the joint with her. They’re discovered, and Yuka is taken captive. Stripped to her underwear, strung up from the ceiling, she is beaten for the enjoyment of McCoy and his underage lover, Sayaka. To save Yuka, Maki and Remi raid the SWAT armory, and launch their own personal attack against McCoy.

“Burn-Up: W” and “Burn-Up: Excess” follow the exploits of team “Warrior”, which exists within the Japanese police force as a secret, government funded, organization. When the mysterious, “Harry” and shadowy, “Ruby” start to launch terrorist attacks on Tokyo, this team is called into action. The ditzy, double-D plus endowed team is headed by the tough, flirtatious, manipulative, Maki; who, with the help of expert computer hacker, Lilicia; gives orders to gun-crazed, Maya; and badass cock-tease, Rio; as they fight off the baddies with super high-tech gadgetry provided by the eccentric robot nerd, Nanvel… all of whom are perpetually ogled by pervy policeman, Yuji.

While a lot of the Anime in-jokes are funny, the character designs are frequently pretty, and the action segments (especially the opening chase from the original) are almost always kick-ass, all of the installments of “Burn-Up” are, at their core: sleazy, fetishistic, and weird. In the best one, the original, it’s hard to find the jokes and fast paced action enjoyable after you’ve seen one of the major characters broken, stripped, and beaten (even if she seems OK and energetic at the end, it’s excessively dark and jarring for this type of show). In the sequels, whole sections of the show are nothing but T ’n A, and creepy jokes about selling used schoolgirl underwear to salarymen. It slips past lightly perverted humor; and sometimes winds up stuck uncomfortably close to feeling like depraved sickness.

 Burn Up 01

 Burn Up 02

 Burn Up 03

 Burn Up 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.65/10   Collection 9.12/10   Overall 8.70/10   Votes 65 votes
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