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ADV Films presents
Burn Up Excess #1: To Serve and Protect (1997)

"Stop! I won't be able to get married!"
- Rio (Yuka Imai)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: December 12, 2002

Stars: Yuka Imai, Maya Okamoto, Sakura Tange, Mami Kingetsu, Ryutaro Okiaya, Yuri Amano, Amanda Win Lee, Lani Minella, Jason Lee, Beth Wernick, Allison Kieth, Kimberly Yates
Other Stars: Toshihiko Seki, Paula Tiso, Jim Gallant, Mike Ross
Director: Shinichiro Kimura

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (15+ for nudity, mature situations)
Run Time: 01h:40m:03s
Release Date: August 20, 2002
UPC: 702727015021
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- BB+B+ C+

DVD Review

The third title in the Burn Up series, Burn Up Excess, expands the concepts launched in the original 1991 and follow up Burn Up W OVAs into a 13-part TV series. The characters from Burn Up Ware back as the members of the elite Team Warrior, a secret crime-fighting squad based in Policetown. Assigned to less than glamorous jobs within the police force, these buxom babes take on the underworld with their unique specialties.

Maki is in charge of the operation, seeking out missions that the police simply can't handle, but the Warriors don't come cheap. Central to most of these episodes is Rio, a bubbly blonde whose addiction to shopping has her under siege from her creditors, a situation which drives her desire for the more lucrative assignments Team Warrior offers. Maya, obsessed by weaponry, is the team's sharpshooter, always itching to let off more rounds than are actually necessary. Lilica provides the intelligence sector, as an expert on computer systems and Nanvel is mechanical ops, always ready to devise custom hardware to get the job done. The only male on the team is Yuji who, aside from being a pervert with a fixation on Rio, provides material support.

The action starts off when terrorists capture a building and take hostages, among them a prominent politician. They employ a high tech defense shield consisting of insect-like robots armed with explosives, which secure the perimeter, and handcuff the police. It's up to the Warrior team to diffuse the situation, but a twist is added when Lilica's surefire offensive has some serious side effects. Reminiscent of the Burn Up W OVAs the terrorists don't seem to have their plan completely together, and their technology doesn't match their objectives, indicating that they are pawns in a bigger scenario. We don't get much of an idea what this entails yet, but it is clear that something nefarious is going on in the background.

The two middle installments are pretty self-contained, though still have a thread going for an overall arc, with more bizarre crime fighting going on. First is a series of robberies with an unexpected twist, then a mission to guard the son of an oil sheik. Has Rio's prince come in?

The closer shifts the focus to Maya, the machine gun maniac, who returns to her family home to discover a turf war underway. Having not seen her family for some time, they are surprised to see how much she has developed in the intervening years.

The expanded nature of the TV format is allowing for much more background and character development. The character design is great, and the stories each have their own unique bent, while playing into the overall theme. The Japanese voice acting suits the personalities, and the dub, while not quite as effective, is well cast. The ecchi humor is abundant, making sure to focus on the cast's ample assets whenever possible. This is a fun fluff series, packed with action and eye candy—not exactly rocket science, but a blast none the less.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is solid with good saturation and solid blacks. This isn't as vibrant as some newer shows, but comes across cleanly with little in the way of noise in the coloring. There is some minor cross-coloration in fine line work, and typical amounts of aliasing and interlacing.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio is available in original Japanese along with English and Spanish dubs. The forward soundstage is well utilized with appropriate directionality. Dialogue is clear and except for a couple of places, free of any distortion. There is little in the bottom end, but that is not unusual, and the rest of the frequency spectrum comes across naturally. The dub tracks are similar in quality with minor variations in the tone of voices.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Princess Nine, Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water, A.D.Police, Plastic Little, Robotech: Robotech Masters, Soul Hunter
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Jiggle counter™
  2. Production sketches
  3. Clean opening and closing animation
Extras Review: The Jiggle Counter™ introduced on Plastic Little returns, but here it's working overtime with a seperate counter for each of the Team Warrior girls.

A production sketch gallery is included, which also translates the designer's notes—a nice touch.

Clean versions of the show's catchy opening and end themes are also available, along with a Burn Up Excess trailer.The preview vault contains Princess Nine, Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water, A.D.Police, Plastic Little, Robotech: Robotech Masters, and Soul Hunter.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

ADV launches the first of four discs in the Burn Up Excess series. With a great collection of characters, it combines a lot of action, plenty of humor and copious amounts of bouncing fanservice—let the jiggle-mania begin!


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