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Reviewby Allen Divers, Feb 11th 2003
Burn Up Excess
DVD 1: To Serve And Protect
When Tokyo calls for help, Team Warrior answers, but only if the price is right! Rio, the ultimate material girl, along with her friends, show the bad guys they mean business. From terrorists to panty thieves, Team Warrior fights them all. When it comes to justice, Rio proves that money can buy anything!
"To Serve and Protect," volume one of Burn Up Excess, brings Team Warrior back as the chaos increases from this series' first run. Pushing the limits of comedy, violence and good taste, Burn Up Excess takes a cliché plot and group of characters throwing them into a set of mindless adventures. To cash in on the campiness of this series, ADV even resurrected a few useless extras sure to make the fanboys howl. "To Serve and Protect" presents a flashy, senseless set of stories that will leave most fans ogling and others asking the question, where's the plot?
For a standard ADV release, this disk has all the basics. Included are production sketches, the standard array of previews, textless versions of the opening and closing, and the "Jiggle Counter™." For ADV, this is the second series to feature the jiggle counter and simply overplays the fan service of this show. The jiggle counter has been upgraded for Burn Up Excess, with four separate counters for each of the girls on Team Warrior.
For soundtracks, ADV included the original Japanese, ADV's English dub, as well as the Spanish dub for the first four episodes. For a release of this caliber, ADV's scriptwriter pulled out all the stops by adding as many bawdy jokes as possible, going far beyond the original perverted nature of the Japanese script. Expect quite a few American pop culture references that don't exist in the original version. The Spanish soundtrack does a good job of keeping up with the original Japanese version. The only subtitles included on the DVD are for the original Japanese track. Each soundtrack pulls from the same music and sound effects, allowing for a nice consistency between versions.
Animation production for Burn Up Excess was handled by Magic Bus for AIC. The animation and artwork are well done for a TV series, with a strong consistent look between episodes. Character designs are typical for a fan service show, with big bosomed girls and tight fitting clothes. Scenes are quite often laid out with highly suggestive action as well as blatant fan service shots. Just to keep things interested are well-planned action sequences, with a lot of attention to detail. Despite its weak plot, Burn Up Excess is visually impressive.
It all comes down to the story. Rio, the lead heroine, is your typical down-on-her-luck junior police officer. Basically, she's a desk sergeant that does all the office chores for her division. So there's some sort of story; Rio moonlights with a secret division within the department, code-named Team Warrior. Basically mercenaries for hire, they do the really tough jobs the normal cops can't handle. Rio's motivation is very easy to sum up: money. Don't expect any major character development, as each of the other characters fit into pretty standard stereotypes: the gun freak, the cute girl, the mechanic, the pervert male. Comedy and fan service run high through each episode, with the creators taking every opportunity to show how campy one show can be.
There is a shot at credibility with this show as hints are dropped in each episode, pointing to some actual purpose of the show. So far, these hints merely tie each silly adventure into a single larger story that more than likely will be the final confrontation in this series. There is a lot of potential for Burn Up Excess, with a Japanese script that is quite witty at times. There is quite a lot going on, and some moments of brilliance are currently being covered up by the heavy fan service. Burn Up Excess comes across as one person's vision of strong police story covered up by another's need to satisfy the legions of fanboys.
Burn Up Excess is a visually well thought out show, punctuated with humor and fan service. "To Serve and Protect" collects the first four episodes of the series. While serving as an introduction to the characters and hinting at the underlying back-story, the first four episodes come across as a random set of adventures packing in as much fan service as possible. The humor is quite high, often times covering up the fact that there is a serious story hidden underneath. As an alternative to some of the heavy tales out there, Burn Up Excess may just be the mindless adventure to check out.
Overall (dub) : C
Overall (sub) : B
Story : C
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : B
+ Flashy animation and a strong comic flair
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