Natsumi, Miyuki and the others are back in this feature adventure as terrorists sow fear and confusion throughout Tokyo, and they have their sights on Bokuto Station itself.
Back from a test training assignment Miyuki returns to find the others at Bokuto dealing with a consignment of illegal weapons to deal with, and then inspectors Arizuka and Kinoshita turn up to and the chief in hot water. It seems he knows something about the contents of the disk that was found with the weapons, going back to an old acquaintance of his on the force. Then the bombings start, but for what purpose, and can the girls and guys at Bokuto figure out and foil the plot before they fall prey to it?
This film is to the Youíre Under Arrest OAV/TV seriesí what Ah! My Goddess! The movie was to the Oh My Goddess OAVs. Not surprising considering the similarities and the shared creator. For those who donít understand that comparison it basically means that this film is the darker, more serious older brother to the earlier material. All the characters are that bit more believable and rooted in reality, even though there are still some OTT moments, mostly courtesy of Natsumi. The comedy that the previous shows relied on had been for the most part replaced with drama and a level of deepness to the characters and situation that havenít been seen before. The story itself however is fairly simple with managing to seem complex and convoluted thanks to the way it is told. This isnít really a bad thing, but it does mean that by the end youíll come away impressed, but that feeling will wane more quickly than it should. Some of the storytelling just seems lazy with some of the sudden expositions. Where it does win is the set pieces, which are well put together, totally engaging and show of the cast very well.
This is darker and more serious than the other YUA material and kids will find most of the story goes over their heads. Add to that the fact that action isnít constant and the film has some long moments of setup and plot unraveling and itís not something theyíd likely be interested in from beginning to end, whether or not it was deemed suitable for them. Thereís not much to complain about though, and for all the gunfights and explosions thereís little real or heavy violence and no sexual material whatsoever. If you havnít seen YUA before you could come out of this thinking Aoi really was a woman unless someone was there to tell you differently.
And as with the previous comparison again this movie looks stunning. The fluidity might not always be there, but only when the scenes are themselves slow. The visual budget is spent carefully to make the most of it in every situation, and some of the colour work in particular is remarkable, especially early on. Great character designs, wonderful visual continuity and flair and everything that is supposed to be spectacular is spectacular. What this film lacks in real narrative substance it more than makes up for in looks.
The Dub is thankfully the same cast as will that the other Youíre Under arrest Anime, and they all do their jobs well. Very watchable.
I think it would be safe to say that if you liked the Ah! My Goddess! Movie youíll like this. They are very much in the same mould, albeit with no supernatural stuff in this one. I actually prefer this one myself, and give it a much less cautious recommendation. If youíve seen the OAV/TVís of Youíre Under Arrest then this is an essential purchase. If not then this isnít a bad one to pick up, even if you wonít be getting the backgrounds that all these characters have. This is flawed gem, but it still looks just as pretty.