You're Under Arrest!
(aka Taiho Shichau Zo!)

no, not THAT Miyuki-chan... Hey, she can arrest me anytime!

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Synopsis:
Natsumi is riding on her scooter...late for an appointment. She decides to take a short cut, breaking several traffic laws on the way. A patrol car spots her and the chase is on! Natsumi has the advantage, but somehow the policewoman manages to keep up. In the end, the policewoman is writing Natsumi's ticket and hands it to her...addressing her by name. The befuddled Natsumi makes it to her appointment anyway -- her new assignment at a small police station. There she finds herself assigned as a partner to Miyuki...the ticket-writing officer! The two patrol officers are very different..Miyuki is a quiet woman who is good with computers and tinkers as the department's mechanic. Natsumi is a more aggressive woman who exhibits incredible strength and is a great motorcyclist. Despite the rocky start, the two learn how to work together as a team and are becoming friends. That's fortunate, since they're also going to be living together as roommates (:-)). Created by Kosuke Fujishima before his hit Aa! Megami-sama, this comedy-drama follows life at a small police department and of the officers within. Now, just how long WILL it be before Miyuki and Nakajima get together?

Review:
Itís a nice change to see an entertaining series about normal people with no magic, no ghosts, no mecha, no androids..just a scooter, a pint-sized police car and two women willing to face anything life throws at them and do it with a smile! Done in the same great art style as Ah! My Goddess, this four-part OVA series is chock-full of action, laughter and great human stories. A classic that deserves to find its place in many an otakuís library.

Availability:
Available subtitled or dubbed through AnimEigo.


The cast of the TV series.

You're Under Arrest TV Series

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Review:
Picking up right where the OVA left off, this one does not slow the laughs down even for a second. Same fantastic art, same silly characters, and same fun-factor. The first episode introduces a new officer to the team; heís smart, heís well mannered, heís disciplined, heís...WEARING A SKIRT AND BRA!?!? And if THAT isnít a good enough reason to go bug your local subber to add this to their list, I donít know what is. If you liked the original, you wonít be even remotely disappointed with this continuation. Highly recommended.

Courage at 100mph
Taiho Shichau Zo! and the modern Japanese Police Force


You're Under Arrest: The Movie

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Synopsis:Natsumi and Miyuki.
Maintaining the chronological integrity of the series, Taiho the Movie, which features all the original voice actors from the TV series, picks up a year and a half after the TV series ended. After undergoing training at Police General Headquarters, Miyuki and Natsumi are back in the Bokutou precinct office in Sumida Ward, Tokyo and they're having a bad day. The street light systems and other fairly important elements of the traffic control infrastructure are down, creating chaos on the streets of Tokyo. Not a pretty picture for a couple of traffic cops. Of course, things get worse.
A bomb is found inside an abandoned factory in Sumida Ward, requiring the surrounding area to be sealed off. In a seemingly unrelated event, a small armory of illegal, high powered rifles is found in the trunk of an abandoned car elsewhere in the Sumida Ward. All this activity eventually grabs the attention of General Headquarters, which sends a team to investigate, creating a turf war with the Bokutou precinct. One of the results of this tension is the arrest of Kachou, Natsumi and Miyuki's boss.
On top of all of this, the Bokutou precinct office gets an anonymous phone call warning that all 19 bridges spanning the Sumida River are going to be blown to bits. While having 19 bridges blown up doesn't sound good, it sounds even worse when you realise that without the Sumida River bridges, the entire transportation system of this metropolis of 20 million people, in the second biggest economy in the world, would be completely fragmented and come to a screeching halt. (Note: One of the 19 bridges targeted is the Kachidoki Bridge, once triumphantly destroyed by the big guy himself, Godzilla.)
In their attempt to save the day, the entire precinct force, save for a few desk bound types and the recently detained Kachou, head out toward the bridges. While away, a gang of thugs attacks the precinct office, forcing the few remaining police staff to call up all the valor they can in defense. While this battle ensues, one of the bridges does indeed get blown up. How many more will follow? Will our heroines be able to save Tokyo from whatever evil forces lurking behind these seemingly disparate events?

Review:
this was rather a strange film...it couldn't really decide if it wanted to be a serious cop drama a la the Patlabor movies, or more like the lighthearted and occasionally goofy sort of thing we'd expect from Kosuke Fujishima. It starts out slow paced, and very serious, reminding me a great deal of the second Patlabor feature; plenty of tension, lots of questions and few answers, strange conspiracies, big on plot and light on big action. The excellent use of tension in both Patlabor films was what made them such fantastic works, and when it's used here it is used rather well. What screws it up, however, is the fact that the characters are still acting the same way they always do, in that serious-but-not-really sort of way that made the silly antics of the cast so much fun to watch. Unfortunately, it contrasts rather sharply with the serious tense scenes and leave one wondering what exactly they were trying to do here. The real blow comes in the finale when we finally face the real villain of the story, and find it pretty impossible to find him the least bit threatening. when the whole plot is finally revealed and the villain explains his motives, we realize how contrived the whole thing is. This coupled with a gunfight where a number of the policewomen bring down several terrorists with guns that either shoot paint or strange balloons, kills the hopes of this being more than a 3 star movie. Someone should have sat the writers down in front of a TV and showed them Patlabor 2 a few times so they'd understand how to take a bunch of rather comedic characters, and put them in a serious suspenseful cop drama. All in all, the whole thing felt rather flat at the end. While the tension was built up in the beginning, it fizzled out by the second half and never really recovered. While it was fairly enjoyable, It's primarily due to my love for the original series. I was rather disappointed with this film, as it had a lot of potential. Sadly, I can only recommend this to big fans of the OVA and TV series, otherwise I suggest you pass this one up.