In the mid 1990s North American anime fans got a steady diet of sci-fi action adventures and fantasy sagas. Most of these were ultra-violent and brutal. But there were plenty of other types of shows out there and some anime distributors wanted to prove it. So along came Animeigo and their release of a cop drama. It focused on high-speed chases, rescues, natural disasters and of course, cute girls. Sounded like a sure fire winner. There was just one small catch…
Natsumi Tsujimoto (Tamara Burnham Mercer) has just joined the traffic police of Bokuto Precinct in Tokyo. She’s outgoing, fun loving and has a bit of an attitude. So of course she gets paired with the quiet, focused and serious Miyuki Kobayakawa (Jo Ann Luzzatto). At first Natsumi is convinced this is match is doomed, but fate forces them to work together to thwart a mad bomber – and they make a great team.
Soon the gals find themselves in all kinds of scrapes, including bringing a critical patient to a hospital during a typhoon, attempting to quell a raging fire during a marathon and even navigating office rumors that could get them both fired. Life as a traffic cop is never dull. Even though these gals look cute, they will have no problem telling you, “You’re Under Arrest”.
- Some excellent and detailed animation for the era
- Has plenty of likable characters
- The typhoon episode balances and thrills and laughs really well
- An early dub that is really hit or miss
- Never gets too serious about anything
- Ends up being more of a light comedy than an action or drama
You may find this one entertaining, or too light and fluffy to write home about. The characters are fun, and the writers come up with some interesting situations to put them in. But the thrills are mild and the focus is on how the girls become friends and how their partnership helps them become better cops. Breezy entertainment? Sure, but the animation is solid (and impressive in the chase scenes), and the theme songs are catchy. Worth checking out for a change of pace.
Scores (out of 5)
In Depth Review
|Natsumi has her doubts about her new partner.|
This Original Animated Video (OAV) series is four episodes that focus on Natsumi and Miyuki. The first episode brings them together, the second puts them through their most challenging assignment, the third deals with their personal lives and the final one threatens to break up their partnership. Its compact arc keeps the storytelling simple, and straightforward, but it also keeps the characters fairly static as well.
|Ken says he's known as "The White Hawk of Bokuto",|
but I always suspected that he was the only one who
used that name.
That brings us to the main element of You’re Under Arrest that will end up losing some viewers. It is cute. For a series about cops, high speed chases and natural disasters, the overall tone is one of breezy fun. The most dangerous villain turns out to be a typhoon or a fire. Drama comes from getting a pregnant cat to a vet so she can deliver kittens, or making sure the local marathon goes smoothly by diverting traffic. There are no gunfights, no death of any kind. Instead, bad guys are arrested, people are saved and dates are enjoyed.
|A great example of the lighting used in this series.|
But the Typhoon in episode two does a great job of building tension, and testing the characters to their limits. In addition to the deadly storm, there is a crazy driver who enjoys racing around in the downpour and running other cars off the road. He’s appeared during the last few typhoons and Ken vows to catch and arrest him this time. But with Natsumi and Miyuki trying to transport the pregnant kitten to a vet (and having to navigate flooded roads and other perils), Ken has to make sure the girls don’t run into crazed motorist first. It’s all handled well, with great pacing and some excellent animation.
|Natsumi and Yuriko stakeout Ken and Miyuki's|
date. Great use of tax payer funds.
|Cars and movement are realistically drawn and|
animated, especially in the typhoon episode.
Sound and music both fit the series. The score is a bit over the top at times, but it works well enough. The opening and ending J-pop songs are a lot of fun and catchy as hell.
|"Shaa, I'm totally part of the biker brigade now. Most|
But one of the main complaints with the You’re Under Arrest dub script is the way Natsumi is portrayed. For some reason she talks like a California surfer girl. She doesn’t sound like an airhead, but she got that So-cal twang that drives some folks up the wall. It’s a bit exaggerated at times, and she even uses some dated 90s slang like Wayne’s (of Wayne’s World fame) exclamation of “Shaa!” I think this was done to contrast her with Miyuki and her very straight speaking style. The result is that Nastumi has some of the funniest lines in the show, but I know some folks can’t stand the dub because of this dialogue choice.
Each episode moves at a good pace, with only the third episode feeling a bit on the slow side. For the most part all the characters get some time to shine, and the animation gets some nice moments to show off. It’s put together pretty well and remains entertaining throughout.
|The final episode turns the tables on the first, with|
Miyuki wondering about their partnership.