Burn Up W

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“T & A = terrorists and armaments…as well as what you’d expect.”

This teeters infuriatingly close to greatness, but eventually succumbs to mediocrity because of a tendency to juvenile smuttiness, that fatally weakens what is, at heart, an intriguing story and setting. The Warriors are a special police group – mostly female, with one token (lecherous) man – sent in to sort out nasty cases. The main thread in the four episodes here, is a virtual drug which can turn the consumer into a mind-controlled killer – or, presumably, anything else desired.

Each episode has largely the same strengths and weaknesses. For example, one part builds to a gripping finale with the team trapped in their own station, but starts with a scene where heroine Rio is selling her used underwear, to a shop specialising in such stuff. Then her male colleague enters, trying to buy it direct from her. This is played for cheap laughs, but comes across as downright creepy to these (admittedly Western) eyes. Same with the last episode, which ends with an unarmed Rio facing a terrorist…who orders her to strip naked. And did I mention the nude bungee-jumping?

I, of all people, have few problems with gratuitous nudity, but when it brings an interesting storyline to a grinding halt and stops the action, even I have to draw the line. If I wanted to watch animated soft-porn, there’s plenty of it out there, and the creators here obviously have enough imagination that they don’t need to ramp up the jiggle factor – Rio is a character in herself, and I especially liked mad sniper Maya. Presumably aimed at the acned teenage boy market, anyone else will likely find themselves intrigued and irritated in equal measure.

Dir: Hiroshi Negishi
Star (voice): Yuka Imai, Maya Okamoto, Ryutarou Okiayu, Sakaru Tange

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