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ADV Films presents

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 #6: For All Mankind (1998)

"Is this to be the end of us?"- Linna (Rio Natsuki)

Stars: Yu Asakawa, Satsuki Yukino, Rio Natsuki, Hiroko Konishi, Christine M. Auten, Laura Chapman, Kelly Manison, Hilary Haig
Other Stars: Tomonori Miyata, Kiyoyuki Yanada, Yuji Ueda, Joji Nakata, Spike Spencer, Jason Douglas, Chris Patton, Andy McAvin, Phil Ross
Director: Hiroki Hayashi

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (15+ for violence, brief nudity)
Run Time: 02h:01m:36s
Release Date: 2001-06-05
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer


DVD Review

With the final disc in the series in hand, all of my ravings about it has been well justified. Having also had the opportunity recently to finally make some headway in the original Bubblegum Crisis series, the difference between the two I found surprising. Not only are the character designs completely different, but the characters, despite existing in both versions, have different personalities as well, and the level of violence was considerably higher in the original. Once again, ADV has upped the episode count to five, and this disc includes the final three television episodes, plus the two OVAs which followed the completed the series.

When we last saw the Night Sabers, they and a few others were deep in Sylia's complex with boomers infiltrating the premises through the swimming pools on the roof, which reach deep into the heart of the tower. Facing an all-out attack, the girls don their new hardsuits once more in an effort to fight their way out of the complex, only to discover that Tokyo is now completely absorbed by boomers, their root-like presence covering everything. With Leon, Henderson, Nigel and Mackey in tow, the girls make their way out of the city, finally finding refuge in a park within sight of the Genom tower. Here, they are confronted by a group of displaced humans who, seeing their hardsuits, peg them for boomers and it looks like they are about to attack. Once everyone gets comfortable with the girls' presence, their team aids in the collection of goods, though Leon is in a bit of a conflict, as a police officer, going on looting sprees. As Galatea (Yui Horie) expands her ever-widening sphere of influence, she ascends to the heavens to take her place as a God, something the Night Sabers simply can't allow, especially as she begins to manifest her presence in Mackey. As we gear up for the final showdown between boomer and man, a great deal gets exposed about the origins of the machines, and the girls have to fight fire with fire.

All I will say about the ending to the series is that I felt it served as great closure to what has been an amazing viewing experience, and these final episodes continue the quality established throughout the show. The content is also a bit more on the adult side of things, with the first real appearance of nudity in the series, and some more metaphysical concepts being explored. It has been a great ride, and one that can now be revisited as the series completes itself. For high action, cute girls in hardsuits, a well-developed storyline and an exciting finale Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 is not to be missed. This one is on my essentials list for sure, it's an anime-zing series.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: A bit of interlacing is about the only real flaw I can find, and the look of these final episodes is very much up to the standards set on the earlier discs in the series. Black levels are solid, colors are strong, and only brief aliasing issues stand out from an otherwise perfect transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Once again the original Japanese audio sounds great, with nice sound design giving decent spatiality to select sequences in the otherwise center focused soundtrack. No distortion was observed, and dialogue was clear. English and Spanish dubs are available.

Audio Transfer Grade: A- 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Farscape, A.D. Police, Gasaraki, Spriggan, Shadow Raiders, Arc The Lad
Packaging: other
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Character/voice actor bios
Extras Review: As with the rest of the set, we get more front end trailers, this time for Farscape, A.D. Police, Gasaraki, Spriggan, Shadow Raiders and Arc The Lad. These can be either title skipped through or bypassed completely using the menu button on your remote. The inset card once again incorrectly lists the trailers, and also adds an extra preview chapter to the final episode, which of course does not exist.

Extras are once again pretty slim, though I do like the four character profiles, which this time feature pictures, vital statistics and filmographies for the English voice actors and a couple of the Japanese cast along with hardsuit artwork. This disc has the same menu theme as the last disc.

Now that the series is complete, I'll note that the spine art consists of three groups of two matching spines, which while I personally feel this is pretty lame from a design perspective, at least has some consistency. The cover features a pretty cool shot of the four girls spiralling up from Earth, though without helmets, they must be having a hard time breathing!

Extras Grade: C

Final Comments

You can read my rantings in previous reviews about why this is a great series. Having experienced the whole set, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 easily makes my essentials list. Just go buy it, you'll be glad you did.

Jeff Ulmer 2001-06-06