Burn Up W
When the Tokyo City Police are unable to deal with a potential disaster, they know who to call: Team WARRIOR. A secret organization made up of the best the police has to offer, WARRIOR is called to deal with what at first seem to be a bunch of bungling terrorists who have kidnapped officials from the major governments of the world. However, they uncover a far more sinister plot involving electronic drugs, mind control, and a dangerous organization bent on creating chaos out of the governments of the world...beginning with controlling the police itself. Can a master strategist, a sultry, enthusiastic mecha fanatic, a diminutive hacker, a trigger-happy sniper, a mildly perverted driver, and an overemotional bombshell hope to win out in a battle against crazed madmen and scheming criminals? Or will WARRIOR turn out to be nothing more than so many misfits vainly trying to save the day?
When I got the first tape at a used bookstore, it looked like any other big-busted fan-service ridden ADV title out there. Indeed, the first two tapes have Fan Service with capital letters pasted on them. Gratuitous fan service shots abound (enough for a drinking game with Rio alone!), though actual nudity is limited (well, not THAT limited). Once you get past that, you actually have a rather enjoyable little police action comedy for the first two tapes. Nothing too memorable, but a fun hour or so. But tape three has a tone far darker, far more serious than I really expected. Suddenly, characters are dying, or in true mortal danger. Instead of being all blithe and bonny fan service targets, these characters (Rio in particular) start to actually gain multi-faceted personalities...they actually start to mean something. As in real life, not everything falls neatly into place for our heroes, and unlike many a cop drama, the heroes *don't* apprehend the big bad guy. For all their heroics, they've only won minor battles yet. That's not something you normally see at all, even for anime. Burn Up W, considering its rather fluffy appearances, is in fact more than the jaded anime veteran would expect, though not by too much.
Technically, Burn Up W is well done, with all the gloss and polish you'd expect from a fairly big-budget OAV series by AIC. Character designs are distinctive enough (with hair flying all about), though Yuuji reminds me a little too much of a blonde version of Golden Boy. (I wonder if that's intentional.)
Overall, Burn Up W is a fun ride for those willing to forgive a little fan service along the way...though the best part, by far, is the two-tape conclusion, which raises the stakes of the characters and adds badly needed suspense and seriousness to something seemingly destined for fluffdom, even with a plot hook that is more than a little reminiscent of the William Shatner miniseries TekWar.
Add one star if you *like* fan service, just don't bother me about it. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Probably stick to older teens with this one, since there's oodles of fan service and a bit of nudity in the first two tapes, and a surprising amount of bloodshed in the later two tapes.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (4/4)
Burn Up W © 1995 AIC / MRC
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