a.k.a. Taiho Shichauzo! The Movie
Tokyo police officers Miyuki and Natumi have returned to the Traffic Control Department after a year of training. Their welcome back reception will have to be placed on hold, however, because of a growing problem in their own backyard. Terrorists are planting bombs and leaving odd messages behind for the police to find. Miyuki and Natumi will have to use their experience as investigators to track down the syndicate responsible for all these misdeeds.
summary by Kain
Highs: Crisp action animation; above average seiyuu work
Lows: Odd use of still cels; will cure insomnia
Manga-ka Fujishima Kosuke, known for his beautiful character designs, was made famous for two manga (and their subsequent anime counterparts): Ah! My Goddess and You’re Under Arrest!. Both are renowned for their feel-good, bright dispositions with a flair for the carefree. That’s not the case at all with this movie.
You’re Under Arrest! The Movie is set a year following the last episode of the first You’re Under Arrest! season. Despite sharing the same characters, there are no similarities. It works as a dark cop drama with just a sprinkle of humor thrown in at sometimes awkward and inappropriate moments. So much for comedic timing! I think its real problem is that there is barely any letup from the stoic expressions and deadpan dialogue delivery. To be blunt, I was bored out of my mind; there isn’t even one scene that grabbed my attention, and most of the characters were completely devoid of engaging personalities.
I will never be one to complain about Fujishima’s artwork; I believe he has some of the best character designs in the business, and the attention to detail (geography, weaponry, police vehicles) pays off in spades. The animation is well executed for a modern-day feature film, but I was disappointed that amidst all the eye candy there was an alarming use of stills and freeze frames in lieu of actual animation. This was particularly noticeable towards the end and just appeared very odd.
This anime would have been much better off had it stayed true to the jovial nature of You’re Under Arrest!, a trait that made the series so popular in Japan. It tries much too hard to be brooding and melancholic, and by doing so it alienates those of us who want to be entertained.