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A.D. Police Vol.1: Bad Blood
3 episodes
74 minutes
Beam Entertainment
For the person who wants everything related to Bubblegum Crisis.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
A.D. Police Vol.1: Bad Blood
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

"If we don't put a stop to these VOOMERs the city will be a sitting duck for these techno thugs" - Chief

Meet Kenji Sasaki, a brash young man who doesn't like to follow the rules, and his new partner, Hans Klief, a cool guy who just wants to make the ladies happy. Together with a squad of men and woman they are just one aspect of the special crimes organization known as A.D. Police who must lay their lives on the line each day to keep their city from being destroyed by an increasing wave of robots going rouge.

Occurring before the events presented in Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, A.D. Police takes a more personal touch to the future that's presented. We get to see more of the everyday people that populate Genom City after the great earthquake. In a way this series is the brightest representation of the future which is why this series should be interesting to see how it progresses and ties into the darker future that the Night Sabers inhabit. But, the strange thing about this series is it strives to be different than the series is spun-off from. Sure it has the A.D. Police, VOOMERs, and Genom Corporation, but the series makes a lot of headway and sets itself apart from even the original A.D. Police OVA series which took a very dark look at the BGC Universe.

For episodic purist this release will come as a definite shock because the episodes have had their openings, endings, and next episode trailers cut off so that the volume plays without interruption. So the only opening animation you get to see is at the beginning of the first episode and the only credits are at the end of the third episode. All the mid-episode commercial breaks are luckily left intact though. This may explain why the episode titles were not listed on the box. But, this may prove to be a problem because the boxes are not numbered which leaves me to wonder how anyone will be able figure out what the volume numbers are if the stores don't have tags on them.

With each release that ADV does I can't help but believe that their voice talent get's better. In fact since this is a dub only release this dub rivals even that of the Bubblegum Crisis dub. I don't have a problem with hearing the Evangelion dub voices in a release, but when I pick up two different shows, I don't want to hear the same voices all the time. With A.D. Police the dub does tread some new ground. Some of the lesser voices from the Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 dub take a more active role and really get to test themselves in a more drama driven series.

In the forefront of the dub are the main characters voice actors Randy Sparks and Jason Douglas who voice Kenji Sasaki and Hans Kleif respectively. Right from the start Randy voices Sasaki with a loner attitude which really shins through and helps bring the original intent to the scenes he appears in. And Jason brings a charismatic approach to the suave ladies man that he portrays in Kleif. The only problem that I find in Jason's acting is Hans was transferred from the German police department to be Sasaki's new partner, yet he doesn't sound in the least bit German.

My main gripe with the A.D. Police TV Series steams from the actual animation style used. The shows are animated using a very limited color palette and the character designs are very limited for every character except Sasaki and Klief. This is especially apparent in the third episode when the hair styles and clothing for the villains look a lot like they were drawn in the 80s. In fact when I started looking closely at the animation, the show is very sparse when it comes to colors. As a result, the animation ends up being very blocky and stiff.

This being a VHS release I wasn't expecting a crispness but what I got were below my initial expectations. The actual video tape quality ends up being grainy and at several places there were apparent horizontal lines running through the picture. This was very distracting for me during the first episode because it was hard to follow the plot when my mind was concerned with blurry lines. I was just grateful that the sound didn't suffer at any point due to the VHS quality.

All in all, A.D. Police is a nice series to sit back with an watch. But, if you've seen the OVAs then you may be a bit disappointed in the bright outlook of the series. Yet, where police dramas are concerned this is a definite winner.

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