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You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious Collection 1 (A J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

November 14, 2009 by  



The popular anime series “You’re Under Arrest” returns to the US with a series that continues with all the fun, action, crazy hijinks and more!

 

Image courtesy of © Kosuke Fujishima.  All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious Collection 1

DURATION: Episodes 1-13 (325 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Japanese 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: TBS Animation/Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV PG V

Released on November 3, 2009

Originally created by Kosuke Fujishima

Directed by Shougo Kawamoto

Character Design by Atsuko Nakajima

Art Director: Michiyo Akutsu

Mecha Design: Shunji Murata

Director of Photography: Shinyo Kondo

Featuring the following voice talent:

Akiko Hiramatsu as Miyuki Kobayakawa

Sakiko Tamagawa as Natsumi Tsujimoto

Ayako Saito as Megumi Honda

Bin Shimada as Ken Nakajima

Etsuko Kozakura as Yoriko Nikaido

Fumiko Orikasa as Sena Nakajima

Issei Masamune as Chief

Mayumi Iizuka as Saori Saga

Rica Matsumoto as Futaba Aoi

Tomokazu Seki as Shouji Toukarin

Animation Production by Studio DEEN

Bad boys, bad girls and generally arresting behavior!

From drunken karaoke binges to the bizarre activities of baseball-themed vigilante and all around nuisance Strikeman, the Bokuto Police station seems to be a magnet for the weird and unusual! Fortunately, car crazy Miyuki, insanely strong Natsumi, sexually ambiguous Aoi and the rest of the station’s enforces of justice are always ready to place their well-drawn bodies between the public and the line of fire!

It’s not just a job for veterans though, and no prior experience is required as the thin and svelte blue line is joined by new Junior Officer Saori, earnestly attempting to make the transition from being a student to walking the streets! (As a COP, we mean, walking the streets as a Cop!) Get ready for non-stop, pedal-to-the-metal action and hilarity as Japan’s most irregular team of police officers hits the streets for a new tour of duty in the You’re Under Arrest Fast & Furious – Collection 1!

I can easily remember watching the early “You’re Under Arrest” (Taiho Shichauzo) OVA’s when they were released on LaserDisc back in 1994.  It was a special time as fans gravitated towards the animated series which was created by Kosuke Fujishima, know for creating the anime series “Ah! My Goddess”. Because of the popularity of “Ah! My Goddess”, people were excited for his latest series which is based on a manga that he released earlier in his career.

The series has always been a humorous take on two police officers:  The action-driven, very strong and easy to anger Natsumi Tsujimoto (short hair) and the very polite and very smart Miyuki Kobayakawa (long black hair) and their adventures of wanting to take on criminals on the roads and not just being female officers issuing tickets.

Throughout the last decade, “You’re Under Arrest” fans have been treated with several OVA’s, specials, a movie and television series, and watch as these two complete opposites become the best of friends through their teamwork.

In 2001, “You’re Under Arrest” was given a second season (the last season finished in 1997) and would continue the adventure of Natsumi and Miyuki, but also focusing on the other characters in the animated series as they continue to take down crime but also showing the group work together as a team and try to have fun, the best they can.  The series was 26-episodes long and have never been released in the US until now through Sentai Filmworks.

The first volume of “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” features the first 13-episodes and focuses on the officers who work at the traffic division of the Bokutou Police Department.  The series is directed by Shougo Kawamoto  who was the series director for “Princes Tutu” and did the storyboards for the “Visions of Escaflowne” TV series.  Character designs are by Atsuko Nakajima (known for her work on “Ursei Yatsura” “Ranma 1/2” and “Getbackers”) and  mechanical designs by Shunji Murata (“Mouse”, “Kimagure Orange Road”, “Ex-Driver”).

The main characters of “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” are:

Natsumi Tsujimoto – The protagonist of the story.  Natsumi is the vocal, athletic and outspoken person of the series.  She always wants to become part of the action and at times this puts her in odds with her partner and friend Miyuki.  When traffic is congested, she is known to take her moped, a Honda Motocompo out of Miyuki’s Honda Today squad car in order to catch the bad guys on the road.

Miyuki Kobayakawa – The protagonist of the story.  Known for her brains and politeness, Miyuki is the driver of the Honda Today squad car.  She likes fellow police officer Ken Nakajima but both have a problem communicating their feelings to each other.

Ken Nakajima – The motorcycle police officer station at Bokuto Police Department.  A strong and determined police officer but when it comes to Miyuki, a woman that he really likes…he turns to mush and becomes very shy.

Saori Saga – A familiar character that Natsumi and Miyuki helped in the past, Saori was influenced by the two to become a police officer.  She joins the force and ready to take on crime but she is shocked to see the women at the department always wanting to have fun, while she has a strong ethic in her duty  as a police officer.  And because of that, she tends to get in the face of Natsumi and Miyuki and other police officers and telling them why they are not focusing on their work and always wanting to have fun.

Yoriko Nikaido – Aoi’s partner and always wanting to have parties with her co-workers.  Seen at times in the middle of Natsumi and Miyuki’s arguments.

Aoi Futaba – Aoi is the most beautiful of the female police officers at Bokuto, but in actuality Aoi is a “he”.  Aoi’s job is to use the disguise to catch perverts but enjoyed being in disguise so much that he lives his life as a woman.  Because Aoi gets all the attention of the men, it drives the female officers crazy at times.

Shoji Tokarin – A character who is very strong (like Natsumi) and in fact, he and Natsumi like each other but like Ken Nakajima, very shy to tell Natsumi how he really feels.

The following 13-episodes are featured on two DVD’s. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode of “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious”:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1 – FILE 1: Saori Saga joins the Bokuto Police Department and experiences her first day as a traffic cop and goes on a ride along with Natsumi and Miyuki.
  • EPISODE 2 “FILE 2: The Formula for a Successful Social”– Saori doesn’t understand why the officers are involved in non-related work while on the job and is getting upset that her peers don’t take their jobs as seriously as she does.
  • EPISODE 3 “FILE 3: Dragnet for the Beast of Tokyo”– Shoji must say goodbye to Natsumi.
  • EPISODE 4 – “FILE 4: 24 Hour Cyber Police”– A robot is sent to Bokuto Police department and takes over the cafeteria and the officers are not too thrilled about it.
  • EPISODE 5 – “FILE 5: Chase the Ghost Thief Gang” – The officers go after a ghost thief who has alluded Officer Nakajima too many times.
  • EPISODE 6 “FILE 6: Scoop! Beg Escape of Love” – A story about love and the introduction to young Megumi and her father.
  • EPISODE 7 “FILE 7: The Return of Strike Man” -The officers go after a masked villain known as “Strike Man”.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 8 – “FILE 8: Spin! Coffee Cup for Two”-Miyuki and Ken go on a date but their friends ask Ken to watch over Megumi that same day.  But can Miyuki and Ken watch over a child?
  • EPISODE 9 “FILE 9: Women at War! Return of the Arch-Rival!”-It’s time for the traffic section to take part in a Color Guard competition and Yoriko’s friend/rival challenges her once again and thus Yoriko tries to get the other ladies to compete.
  • EPISODE 10 “FILE 10: For Their Bond”-It’s parent visitation day at the school of Megumi but for some reason, Megumi never told her father about it.  Can Miyuki get her father to Megumi’s presentation in time?
  • EPISODE 11 – “FILE 11: Big Panic on the Bokuto Line! Part 1”– A subway on Bokutou Line has derailed and all traffic officers must work overtime.
  • EPISODE 12 – “FILE 12: Big Panic on the Bokuto Line! Part 2” – The officers continue their search and rescue underground.
  • EPISODE 13 “FILE 13: Fake Officer vs. Actor Cop” – An actress wants to research the traffic division and learn how life is for traffic officers.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” is a television series that features pretty solid animation, especially for being an older anime series that was released back in 2001.  The series has mostly been about the characters, their vehicles and racing through the various streets around the city.  Art backgrounds are well-done and the animation has that hilarious style to it as well.  But I’m definitely a big fan of Atsuko Nakajima’s character designs and always loved what she brought to the “Ranma 1/2” OVA series and what she brought to “You’re Under Arrest”.    Colors are nice and vibrant and are well-done.

Audio is Japanese only and in stereo while subtitles are in English.  So, it’s a front channel driven soundtrack but I preferred to watch the series with my receiver set with stereo on all channels for a more immersive soundscape.  Voice acting is well done and it helps when you have seiyuu veterans Akiko Hiramatsu (she did the voice of Nene Romanova for “Bubblegum Crisis”, Miyabi in “Ai Yori Aoshi”, Haruko in “Slam Dunk”) and Sakiko Tamagawa (Sophia Belin in “Aquarion”, Tachikoma of “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” and Kazuma-Kun’s mother of “Crayon Shin Chan”).

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” comes with the clean opening and closing themes on disc 1 and Sentai Filmworks trailers on disc 2.

“You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” is a fun series and for the most part, most of the episodes are stand alone episodes and is leans more towards comedy but is known to get serious once in awhile.  If anything, for those who grew up with the series, I suppose you can say that these characters are close to our heart.  “You’re Under Arrest” is one of the earlier anime that people had a chance to watch with a Japanese and English voice dub, so many anime fans from the 90’s are familiar to the series.

The series is more or less a happy, uplifting anime series with a lot of hijinks and for the most part, it’s quite fun.  You get the occasional love stories with Miyuki and Ken, Natsumi and Shoji but the series never gets too serious and if anything the relationship storylines are always incorporated primarily for humor.

If anything, if you have never watched the series before, you can easily pickup the series without having too much knowledge about the characters.  But it does help to have some background by catching original four OAV’s, especially the first season.  Because the series are stand alone episodes, for those who are wanting something quite deep ala police investigative anime series such as “Death Note”, “You’re Under Arrest” is not that type of anime series.  It’s pretty much for those who want a lighthearted, comedy driven anime series.   So, it’s a long awaited series that many American fans have hoped would come to America, so it’s great to see Sentai Filmworks bring the second season and hopefully we will see “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle”, “You’re Under Arrest: No Mercy!” OVA distributed in the U.S. someday.

Overall, for those who enjoyed the original OVA’s, the film, the manga series and even the original television series, you can expect the same amount of fun and crazy hijinks in “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious”.

 






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