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You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle – Collection 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

March 31, 2010 by  



“You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle” returns with a more action, more hijinks but also an interesting tease during the ending closing theme that shows that these two officers might be more than just partners?  If you enjoyed previous seasons of “You’re Under Arrest”, definitely give “Full Throttle” a try!

Image courtesy of © Kosuke Fujishima. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle Collection 1

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: Japanese 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: TBS Animation/Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV PG V

Released on March 9, 2010

Originally created by Kosuke Fujishima

Directed by oichi Ohata

Series Composition by Natsuko Takahashi

Music by Hideyuki Fukasawa, Masara Nishida

Art Director: Shigemi Murata

Character Design by Atsuko Nakajima

Mechanical Design: Shunji Murata

Anime Production by STUDIO DEEN

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

The ladies of Bokuto Police Station are back, but there have been some big changes! Miyuki’s been in the U.S., studying American police techniques, while Natsumi’s actually been serving in the military! So have these world-changing experiences had any effect on how everyone’s favorite girls in blue carry out their duties protecting the Japanese public? Have they gained a more “mature” perspective? Well, let’s just say that, if anything, they may be even wilder and less cautious than before! (Except for that blossoming “relationship” between Miyuki and Nakajima, where things are getting decidedly delicate.)

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) titled “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” and was released in 2009/2010 in the U.S. by Sentai Filmworks and now the latest season titled “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle” which aired in Japan in 2007/2008 gets its release in the US from Sentai Filmworks.

The first volume of “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” features the first 12-episodes and focuses on the officers who work at the traffic division of the Bokutou Police Department. The series is directed by Koichi Ohata  (“Burst Angel: Infinity”, “Genocyber”, “Ikkitousen”) and series composition by Natsuko Takahashi (“Aquarion”, “Bleach”, “Romeo x Juliet”).  Character designs are by Atsuko Nakajima (“Ranma 1/2”, “Ah! My Goddess”, “Fatal Fury”), art direction by Shigemi Ikeda (“Black Cat”, “El Hazard: The Wanderers”, “Inuyasha”, “Bubblegum Crisis”) and mechanical design by Shunji Murata (“You’re Under Arrest”, “Kimagure Orange Road”, “Mouse”).

In “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle”, things have changed a little since the last series of “You’re Under Arrest”.  Miyuki has been undergoing profile training, Natsumi has been going through ranger training with the Self Defense Force, Saori has transferred to a new job and everyone else is doing fine at their job.  But with Miyuki returning back home after being gone after training, more adventures are in store for Miyuki, Natsumi and the police officers of the Bokuto Police Department.

The main characters of “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle” 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.

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.

The following 12-episodes are featured on two DVD’s. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode of “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle”:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1 – “Reunion” – Miyuki befriends a young boy on the plane but when he screams for her help, Miyuki must protect the boy from danger.
  • EPISODE 2 – “The Blue Eyed Samurai” – Continuing after the last episode, Miyuki has brought the boy to Bokutou Police Department and the boy wants to learn to become a samurai and learn from the chief.
  • EPISODE 3 – “The Powerful No Parking Stranger” – Miyuki and Natsumi come across a wrestler who is known for illegal parking.
  • EPISODE 4 – “Snake Panic at Bokutou Police Station” – A snake is loose in the station and Natsumi intends to catch it!
  • EPISODE 5 – “There’s a Baby Locked in the Car” – A woman leaves her baby behind in her car while she shops and the car is stolen by a car thief.
  • EPISODE 6 – “Aoi Becomes a Man” – A retired police officer has returned to the force and having discovered Aoi is actually a man, he aims to make sure he can make Aoi more manly.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 7 – “The Taxi Robber” – Women are being robbed and assaulted by a taxi driver and an accomplice.
  • EPISODE 8 – “Chief has an Illegitimate Child?! A Dangerous Picnic” – Does the chief have an illegitimate child?
  • EPISODE 9 – “Yoriko Nikaidou, Bachelorette” – Yoriko has to attend a many weddings for friends but when will Yoriko find love?
  • EPISODE 10 – “A Sudden Outbreak of Robots” – Natsumi and Miyuki must take on robots that have gone wild!
  • EPISODE 11 – “To the Most Important Person in the World” – Miyuki gets invited to a date but how will officer Ken respond?
  • EPISODE 12 – “Finally a Reality! A Dream Match” – Natsumi takes on her rival in a baseball match!

VIDEO:

If you have been following “You’re Under Arrest” for a long time, you’ll notice that “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle” has gone through a little upgrade.  For the part, a new series featuring better and vibrant animation but most importantly, it appears Atsuko Nakajima’s character designs have changed to show how much Miyuki, Natsumi and the others have matured.  I am a big fan of Nakajima’s work but for “You’re Under Arrest”, her character designs are probably the best I have seen of this series.  Actually, the animation and artistic backgrounds for “Full Throttle” is better than any of the previous seasons.

The series is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen and for the most part, the series is vibrant with a lot of colors and like the previous seasons, a good amount of detail in the neighborhoods and areas where the ladies patrol.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

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: Full Throttle – Collection 1” comes with the clean opening and closing themes on disc 2.

“You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle” is a fun and enjoyable series.  For those who have watched the previous seasons, the first question that many will ask is if the series has changed or has anything progressed since the first OVA series over 15-years-ago and the answer is not much.  The main storyline is pretty much the ladies going after criminals and doesn’t really deviate from that storyline.

Since the last season which introduced more characters and involved storylines involving those characters, “Full Throttle” does the same in introducing storylines that revolve around Yoriko and Aoi.  Unfortunately, with Saori Saga now in the Cyber Crimes Division, she no longer has a presence in this series and it seems that the direction is to bring things back to storylines that focus on Miyuki and Natsumi and the two being partners.

I will say that I was a bit surprised by the closing theme  which was very “yuri-like” as if Miyuki and Natsumi featured as if they were much closer than partners.   Could it be a hint for the future for these two women?  Hmm…

Overall, “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle” is a fun and enjoyable series.  There were some episodes that were quite serious in tone as Miyuki protecting a young boy to a storyline about a woman leaving her kid in the car (in Japan, there are constant news stories of young parents leaving their children inside the cars or leaving them alone at home while they went shopping, pachinko playing or Internet cafes).  But for the most part, the episodes were more of Miyuki and Natsumi taking on the criminals or rivals and the first 12-episodes remained faithful to the usual YUA storyline.

But I hope to see the second part of the season deviate and show a more serious tone.  Similar to “You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious” when Miyuki and Natsumi’s friendship were tested, one can only think what the writer has in store for these ladies (and again, if the ending theme is a hint… perhaps we will see these two protagonists because a loving couple or just partner) in future episodes.  A good start for the season and I look forward to the second and final part of “You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle”.






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