Burn Up!

I've got a great idea for an anime! Let's take a bunch of airhead bimbos, give 'em some really big guns to play with, and place them in a story that could have been ripped from any number of cheesy cop shows. Oops. It's been done. Burn Up! is a classic example of anime gone bad. Any minutely redeeming features are immediately glossed over by the hideous character designs, tepid and tedious plot, and extremely uninspired action sequences. First of all, the three main characters, Maki, Reimi and Yuka, are incredibly *painful* to both watch and listen to. Apparently, one airhead just wasn't enough, so we get treated to three irritating wastes of cel space. There is some variety in the form of Maki, the wanna-be Kei 'n Yuri with a voice squeaky enough to drive a mouse to suicide. Then there's Reimi, the airhead with some semblance of intelligence, and finally Yuka, who's charming personality is carefully masked by her incessant stupidity. The end result is a cast of characters best suited for the trash bin. As for the plot, it's tedious from start to finish. Maki, Reimi and Yuka are investigating a powerful crime lord responsible for kidnapping young women and brainwashing them into love slaves (bleh!). However, things go horribly wrong when Yuka is accidentally kidnapped, and the police are powerless to get her back. So Maki and Reimi take the law into their own hands as they launch a vigilante-style assault to rescue Yuka and wipe out the criminal responsible. It's basically a silly rehashing of the old "police versus the evil criminal genius" formula, with absolutely no suspense, plot twists, or anything else noteworthy at all. Mind you, with a plot like this there's bound to be a fair amount of action, but unfortunately this is another let-down. For some reason the sound effects were at about half the volume level of the dialog. Machine guns tended to sound like clogged vacuum cleaners rather than weapons of destruction. I found it rather difficult to get excited while straining to hear every "bang" and "boom". Of course, glancing at the box cover you might think that this anime would at least serve up a good dose of fan-service. But it's even weak in that department (and surprisingly so, too). Oh sure, there's a little titillation early on, but if you're looking for some eye-candy, there's little reason to watch this video. Anyone wanting a "girls with guns" anime should just rent themselves a Dirty Pair video, instead. Burn Up! just isn't worth the time nor money. The Verdict: * 1/2 (very poor)

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