Meeting Date: 12/8/2018
Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows in-depth. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given title. You have been warned!
Samantha Ferreira: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club! I’m Samantha, and I’m here with Matt Brown, Lydia Rivers, and L.B. Bryant
L.B. Bryant: Hello!
Matt Brown: I. Am. Hello.
Lydia Rivers: Hiiii everyone!!!
Matt Brown: I’ll use this time to note that my butcher did not have any marrow bones, and he apologized for it. What a classy dude.
I was like, the risotto would be better with marrow, but it’s not a deal breaker, and not to worry about it.
Samantha Ferreira: Tonight, we’re talking up Karakuri Circus episode 9: The one where we decided that this show turned into a dumpster fire and decided to talk up Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 instead! <3
Lydia Rivers: It was one of my favorite 90s shows!
Samantha Ferreira: Same!
Matt Brown: Samu, dumpsters serve a vital role. How else would the NYC rats reproduce?
L.B. Bryant: It was the first BGC series that I really enjoyed (I wasn’t a fan of the earlier iterations)
Samantha Ferreira: Point taken, Matt.
Lydia Rivers: I did not see the original, myself.
Samantha Ferreira: I love the original so much
L.B. Bryant: Earlier versions have some awesome 80’s butt rock, but that’s besides the point
Matt Brown: I can’t recall if I watched the 2040 series or the OVA first. So I’ll just say the OVA had amazing music, and that particular quality did not translate into the 90s.
Samantha Ferreira: But 2040 is a stellar series, which is lacking in terms of soundtrack
It was basically the last great TV series (Ah! My Goddess excluded) that AIC made
L.B. Bryant: I dunno, I still really enjoy “Y’Know” as an OP
Lydia Rivers: It had awesome female leads that were sexy without being hypersexualized, which I really appreciated. Like, a lot.
Matt Brown: Let us not forget that Vampire Miyu TV was 90s. And Black Heaven
They were on fire that decade
Samantha Ferreira: True.
I’m being glib, here
Matt Brown: And actually, Now and Then, Here and There was in the 90s :)
Samantha Ferreira: I retract my throwaway, exaggerated snark. :P
Lydia Rivers: Being that these episodes finished in 1999, it probably WAS one of the last ones AIC made. So you were technically correct. Don’t take any crap from Matt-senpai!
Matt Brown: So, I’ll say what I love about BGC 2040. I love how it started with Linna on the outside. She’s a character the OVA largely painted over. She was a serial first-dater in the OVA, and joked about it. The TV show puts her in a position of admiring the Knight Sabers and wanting in. I loved that.
Lydia Rivers: She was my favorite character.
L.B. Bryant: Sylia Stingray = best girl
Followed by Priss
Followed by Nene
Samantha Ferreira: I really do like Linna and Nene – they’re the most fun of the bunch.
Lydia Rivers: Sylia is best girl, and she managed to grab the best boy, too.
Samantha Ferreira: That said I think Priss is best girl
Matt Brown: Sorry, but Linna’s suit is green, so she’s just better than the others. I’m sorry that you all are wrong.
Lydia Rivers: Well, Linna is just the best. There is no gender attached.
Samantha Ferreira: I see a lot of myself in Nene.
Like, I’d totally do what she did with the scare viruses in episode 2 (also, hilarious that their vision for the future was tiny floppy discs)
Lydia Rivers: I see myself in Linna! She started out idealistic and got disillusioned, but kept her values anyway.
Matt Brown: So, this show has Linna entering the world of Tokyo in 2040, not to be confused with Megatokyo in 2032. It’s a softer Tokyo. She enters orientation at a megacorp in an obviously dead-end job, but not before being literally tripped up by a biker chick on the way to her first day at work.
Samantha Ferreira: It was her decision to throw her shoe, though.
Lydia Rivers: And let’s not forget that thrown shoes are often a prelude to an excellent friendship, apparently.
Matt Brown: Her new boss is a robot, and the upper management is a lech, who takes her out for a good time in the red light district the first night.
But then, Deus Ex Accessorizor appears!
A mad boomer, and then, her object of adoration — the Knight Sabers!
I don’t know for sure, but most likely “Boomer” came from Battlestar Galactica, which precedes BGC.
Samantha Ferreira: I’m not too sure about that, myself…
Lydia Rivers: Yeah, the term boomer is used in a lot of fiction, everywhere.
Matt Brown: But was it before the late 70s? That’ I’m not sure :)
Samantha Ferreira: I wonder if it’s a bastardization of “VOOMER”, the name used in some of the side media?
“VOodoo Organic Metal Extension Resource”
Matt Brown: At any rate, the literal word “boomer” appears in Battlestar :P
Samantha Ferreira: True.
Lydia Rivers: So back to the show, the premise wasn’t entirely original but they handled it really well via the characters IMO. Evil corporations and government corruption after a natural disaster reshapes both society and the landscape…
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. I really like how they took the swerve from the OVA, using Galatea instead of Largo
Lydia Rivers: Yeah.
Matt Brown: They still hit all the cyberpunk notes. The media is controlled by the corporation (there’s only one, really). The opposition is a daughter of the original sin, as it were.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed
And it’s about as subtle as a brick through a window.
Lydia Rivers: With the horrifying victim being innocent as a lamb, even.
Matt Brown: The OVA series thrived on the strength of the soundtrack. It was a literal sense of “as long as the music is playing, you are still alive and have agency”
The show has that in its recesses, but it does a good job about being subtle about it. as long as the 4 women are alive, the Knight Sabers are vibrant and effective.
Sylia is a more complicated character this time around. She’s not just the boss. She has her vulnerable moments, but she still strives to elevate these other women and make a difference in the world
Lydia Rivers: But I like how hard they have to work for it. A lot of heroes get the shounen treatment, where they just plow through their problems with a bit of grit and hard work. Not these. We see them strive and suffer and get setbacks, so it makes their victories all the sweeter.
And we even see Sylia’s problems, too. That is especially good.
Samantha Ferreira: Well said. There’s a real sense of something gained whenever they finally make a new development, or take out a massive threat. They don’t come out unscathed, and there are always repercussions
Lydia Rivers: Most leaders in anime get the “mysterious” treatment, but I personally love seeing them agonize over their roles and looking human.
Samantha Ferreira: In Sylia’s case, feeling real anger and guilt over being the daughter of the proverbial father of the Boomers
Lydia Rivers: it comes out when she does happen to put on her hardsuit lmao.
She might look human, but she is the baddest ass.
Matt Brown: One assumption of ensembles does not get tossed here, though. Sylia has not just the knowledge to counter the problem, but the wealth. Wealth or the presence of a sugar daddy alternatively, is ever present in shows like this.
Lydia Rivers: Because wealth is power, and wealth is always needed to combat wealth. Unless you happen to be French and have 100 years.
Samantha Ferreira: Wealth and connections – Nigel isn’t getting that stuff from Pep Boys
Lydia Rivers: Nigel is best boy and I love him. I’ll fight anyone who says he doesn’t belong with Sylia!
Matt Brown: Not disagreeing, but taking a moment to acknowledge. Part of what makes these stories compelling is seeing a social or political underdog able to battle the elites with wealth as their ally.
Lydia Rivers: Agreed. And seeing the frustration of characters with no wealth at their disposal, like Leon.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. You need that juxtaposition, or it just doesn’t work.
Rather, it doesn’t work as well
Matt Brown: So, Bubblegum Crisis is really all about Priss — her talent, both on the stage and in the field, and she is the cornerstone of everything the Knight Sabers are. The show doesn’t deny that, but it’s interesting how the opening removes her from consideration, as though she’s a mainstay that won’t get in the way or fail. I go back to my point earlier about how sentiment about the lack of development for Linna and Sylia and Nene might have been a motivation for the writing as 2040 got going.
Lydia Rivers: I liked how they went about that. Priss still gets the “big love story,” too, but we learn about them all as a team and get more than a glimpse of their dynamics.
Samantha Ferreira: I can see that.
To be honest, though, I hated Priss’s love story
Lydia Rivers: I was, ehhhh. I don’t know. Leon isn’t my favorite character, so I didn’t really get invested in it.
Samantha Ferreira: For me, it felt pretty shoehorned in as a romance of convenience
Like… from the get-go, Priss is coded pretty gay
Lydia Rivers: Was that an addition just for 2040?
Samantha Ferreira: Nope. She had a girlfriend in 2032 – Sylvie
Lydia Rivers: I would have written it as cop falls in love with hacker. So I probably would have shipped him with Nene.
Samantha Ferreira: Likewise
Matt Brown: I dunno. I have a soft spot for Leon, especially as someone who’s seen the AD Police Files OVA. Whether or not Priss is interested is debatable, but I think Leon in the BGC canon does prove his worthiness as someone to love.
Samantha Ferreira: Nene felt more logical here, from their interactions
Lydia Rivers: Oh, all the characters in this show are loveable!
Except for the villains of course
Matt Brown: The thing is, Nene is cute, but Leon doesn’t see her as somebody to share danger with.
I mean, that much is obvious :P
Lydia Rivers: Matt-senpai obviously has an understanding of Leon that we do not, Sam! It’s great.
Samantha Ferreira: Clearly.
Matt Brown: If either of you can name one instance in which Leon expresses romantic interest in Nene in any of the properties, I’ll concede
Lydia Rivers: No, that’s the problem. There weren’t, and there should have been. :P
Samantha Ferreira: Exactly
I mean, they were the natural fit, given that, I dunno, they see each other every single day
And they know each other pretty intimately
Given their interactions
Lydia Rivers: And cop vs hacker has good tension!
Matt Brown: Well that’s just silly. There is what is, and there is what isn’t. Both of you are capable of writing your own versions where the opposite happened, but we’re not talking about what’s in your minds ;)
Lydia Rivers: Um, we were just saying what we would have liked to see. That is part of the discussion, you know?
Fortunately, love wasn’t the main focus of the series! It was way more gritty than that.
What did you guys think about Quincy, who wanted to reconcile everything together?
Samantha Ferreira: Funny enough, I thought that his character was surprisingly prescient
Matt Brown: It was kind of designed to be that way. In the end, it’s all about the Sabers’ relationships with each other.
Lydia Rivers: I thought it was especially poignant, since IRL people who say things like “Let’s all live together!” often get assassinated. Not that he was innocent or anything, but…
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. I mean, he did control the media and stifle the messaging that the Mad Bumas and the Knight Sabers existed. His hands are pretty bloody
Lydia Rivers: And he’s not just a little patronizing! But his goal was pretty worthy, even if his methods were disgusting.
I liked him as an antagonist while he was around
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed.
He was a great villain – one who didn’t see himself as evil, and was sure in his motivations
Lydia Rivers: I’m honestly surprised that Kusui got what was coming to a double agent. He was smart all that time, but didn’t recognize when it was time to disappear.
Samantha Ferreira: Same! He seemed to be the one who would squirm out at some point.
Lydia Rivers: I mean, right after he was ordered to tell Sylvia about Galatea seemed like a good time, right?!
Doesn’t that scream “FINAL TASK” to you?!
Samantha Ferreira: It really does!
Like… That’s the “I take my money and we never see each other” warning
Anyway! We’ve been chatting for close to three hours now, so I think we’re reaching our time for the night. Any final thoughts?
Lydia Rivers: Watch Bubblegum Crisis 2040! It’s super worth it, especially in the vast cyberpunk desert of the current decade.
Matt Brown: It’s maybe a disappointment musically for fans of the original OVA, but it makes up for it in the writing. Every major character gets their due, and it’s a richer experience as a result.
Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. It’s an amazing series, that still warrants a watch to this day.
Anyway, thanks for joining, everyone! Til next time, remember: your Roomba MAY be plotting to kill you! Have a great night.
Lydia Rivers: Stay shiny everyone! I’ll take your roombas if you’re suddenly afraid of them, ok?