I know Burn Up has been in extreme focus lately and I apologize in advance if you're getting sick of it but I promise you that this is the last review on this franchise for a while, I'll drop off some new anime to review in return later on but for now we have Burn Up Scramble to review.
Burn Up Scramble is a complete reboot of it's predecessors W & Excess, the characters Rio, Maya, Lilica & Yuji remain in the show but each sport new looks and art design either closely resembling their previous designs or going completely left field with new looks; I won't bore you with the details of the story because nothing in regards to the story is really any different from it's predecessors apart from the endings of course, so instead I'll go through the things it does right and the stuff it does wrong.
If you've never seen the previous incarnations of the Burn Up franchise then you won't feel betrayed by the decision to make this series to begin with. The show is still fun to watch and the action scenes keep to the franchise's theme of police action series.
The characters are atrocious, even if you didn't know about the previous series; the main three girls while perfectly okay action wise, their personalities really don't match the setting, in fact they look like they belong in different anime all together. Rio is too American which is a strange phrase to use but she reminds me of a character from Sex in the City, made more obvious in the dub and not helped by the fact that she's obsessed with romance which really cheapens her character. Maya looks like she belongs in School Days which if you've seen you'll understand what I'm talking about, this isn't even a violent anime and Maya looks like she would cause more blood to squirt than a standard Elfen Lied episode, made worst by the fact that her quiet, soft spoken personality makes her look more psychotic than sympathetic and finally Lilica looks like the character in a school anime who you hate the most because she's so annoying.
Overall that's kind of a sad thing. The Burn Up franchise is many things, cheesy, ecchi, action packed and silly but overall enjoyable, and what made it work was it's cast of characters with their colorful personalities and striking designs made even the most negative viewer happy. Scramble sucked up everything that made it stand out, played a few characters out of their comfort zone and overall made a forgettable show that never really felt comfortable in it's own skin.
Final Verdict: It saddens me to end my run of the Burn Up franchise on a low but Scramble really took away everything I loved about this franchise and ruined the whole experience. There's barely anything to salvage from this train wreck of an anime.
Remember I said I'd review this at a later date? Well here's your later date as I review it right now. Lets Review Burn Up Excess.
In a slight mirror image of the Burn Up W story, a number of crimes take place that hide a much deeper underlying plot only this time more episodes are given to flesh out the plot better and make the payoff from the final episode a much more rewarding experience than the climax Burn Up W offers.
The cast is exactly the same as before so I need not repeat what they do but there are now more episodes to offer and more opportunities to expand on the character's personalities and dive into their backgrounds a bit, which works well with the likes of Maya, Rio, Nanvel and Maki but Yuji and Lilica stay grounded as a result but then again Yuji being the only guy in a group of sexy policewomen you're never going to be anything other than a pervert which is flanderized to it's maximum in this show, in fact flanderization is the perfect way to sum up the experience as many of the character's already unique traits get maxed up even more, I suppose this was inevitable anyway being a longer series than Burn Up W and already gaining a reputation for obvious fan service which led to the creation of the legendary jiggle counter but at least they could've done was have a little restraint.
Overall Burn Up Excess still maintains the fun Burn Up W was trying to accomplish with it's tiny episode count and succeeds in telling the story it wanted to tell by expanding and fine tuning the details that Burn Up W used in their own storyline. It's living proof that you can make an OVA series into a decent TV Series and while Excess does push flanderization to it's limits it never goes too far that the quality suffers for it.
Dub is similar to Burn Up W but voice cast changes have improved the quality of their performances.
Final Verdict: This is the anime that Burn Up wanted to be in the first place and succeeds in all areas, while it's hard to over look the flanderization of the characters, it doesn't spoil the experience on offer.
Sometimes I need to be reminded of why I watch anime so I dived into my retro collection and dug out an old police anime from the 90s, this review is Burn Up W.
First a history lesson, in the past the Burn Up franchise started as a one off OVA that rounded off the ultra violent era of anime perfectly, this then became the four episode ova were reviewing today followed by a 13 episode TV series and an alternate universe TV series also 13 episodes.
Burn Up W is about a specialist police task force called Warrior consisting of Busty Martial Arts Master Rio, Gun Crazed Lunatic Maya, Perverted Pilot Yuji, Perky Little Hacker Lilica and Genki Tech Scientist (who probably has several law suits from Studio Gainax) Nanval; all of whom are led by the deviously cruel Maki who is apparently the same Maki from the very first Burn Up which is odd because that Maki is blonde and looks suspiciously like Rio.
Anyway the first mission is a hostage situation but the four guys doing it are only after weird requests like demanding a Baseball Manager to publicly castrate himself or asking an Idol Singer to bungee jump naked, in the meantime the proper terrorists who setup the whole hostage situation attempt to try and market a so called Virtual Drug by testing it on certain hostages behind the scenes.
Team Warrior go into action and deliberately mess around with the terrorists demands with Rio pretending to be the naked Idol Singer to grab the Terrorists attention and take them out, that's just episode one.
Being honest episode two is the worst, the quality is dire, the story barely makes any sense and the sound quality in the dub is awful, and how a Virtual Idol is significant to the whole Virtual Drug thing is not explained and the attack android the enemies have, comes out of no where, not to mention Nanvel building a cheap knock off of EVA Unit 01 which explains the early joke on lawsuits.
The final two part episode takes things in a more serious approach as a traitor within the Police Ranks stages a terrorist attack in the Police Building killing Rio's best friend along with many other officers. Warrior are deployed to take out the terrorists and win but a curious epilogue left more questions as the villains use their influence over the President to disband everyone investigating the Virtual Drug and it kind of leaves it on that cliff hanger.
It's clear from the epilogue that this was meant to last longer than it did but thankfully Burn Up Excess manages to satisfy the fans hunger for this series which will be reviewed at a later date.
Burn Up W is just plain fun, the first episode alone is my favorite first episode of any anime, it knew it had to grab attention and grab attention it did, while episode two is horrible the final two episodes that round this off deliver an episode that perfectly balances drama, action and comedy and knows not to over do it on all ends.
With only one duff episode out of four, Burn Up W was onto something special which is why a new series was green lit with the same cast of characters. The dub is great, the art style really shows great detail at times and the overall run of the story is very entertaining to watch.
Final Verdict: Burn Up W is plain fun and is the diamond polished from the rock of it's older sister the original Burn Up. While the second episode is very much a miss and the epilogue adds more questions, the other episodes more than make up for it.
With the appearance of Project X Zone the possibilities for huge character lineups was endless, I doubt there would be a sequel (Hush my mouth there is now a Sequel!!!!) unless you judge this game as a sequel to Namco X Capcom, but nevertheless, the addition of Sega created more mouthwatering prospects but there were still some characters & franchises missing from the lineup which would've suited the game perfectly so here are the top 10 characters needed for this game.
Rules are very strict with this one, I will be grouping each entry by franchise and character so some entries may have more than one character in them, also strictly human or human looking characters so don't expect me to name Sonic the Hedgehog and finally, and this rule is important, NO OTHER GAME COMPANIES!
Were sticking to Sega, Capcom & Namco. I've seen how much speculation Smash Brothers gets before releases, this is not one of those lists, so no Nintendo, no Konami and no Final Fantasy. With that out the way lets begin.
Bionic Commander: Lacks a decent move set.
Nights: Just missed the list.
Other Tales of Characters: I wouldn't want to spoil it for the Vesperia team they're pretty good.
Bayonetta: Too powerful.
Sengoku Basara: As awesome as it sounds, they might break the game.
Ryo Hazuki: Not powerful enough.
Phoenix Wright: No. Just no. (Confirmed for Number 2, God Damn it!)
Viewtiful Joe: Art Design doesn't work with the game.
Updated 15/5/15 with Information on who's appearing in Project X Zone 2, also this post will continue to update with new information as and when they come
10. Wonder Momo
Classic arcade heroine Momo made an appearance in Namco X Capcom, and would be well suited as a single unit character in Project X Zone, especially with the amount of fanservice characters around, and if you think that's too obscure remember that a Yumeria character made it into the roster.
The Powerstone cast have a very diverse range of abilities and with the likes of Edward Falcon & Rouge as a Pair Unit, we've got a decent package as well. It also helps that the Powerstone universe also has good levels.
8. Final Fight
You could argue that there are too many martial art pairs in this game but if they were willing to stop adding Street Fighter characters for a second then Final Fight makes for a great alternative, you have a pair unit in Guy & Cody, with a single unit in Hagger, failing that Hagger fits nicely with another Capcom character.
7. Breath of Fire
Fantasy characters fit just as well and reoccurring protagonists Ryu & Nina would fit nicely in the cast, as to which version, that will be left up to designers but Capcom couldn't do any harm in putting them in.
6. Jin Saotome
The Cyberbots protagonists machine Blodia is already in this game under Devilotte's control so why not add him as a solo unit or part of another team, better yet he could try and work with Devilotte.
5. Joe Musashi
Ninjas didn't get much coverage in this game, with Kogoro Tenzai filling in for the whole Ninja role in the game so a couple of others wouldn't hurt, Mr Shinobi himself, is a great solo unit choice or could easily fit with number four.
(A Character from Shinobi has been confirmed for Number 2)
4. Strider Hiryu
The other ninja Strider is making a comeback and would do his reputation good to see him in a high profile crossover, again as either a solo unit or part of a pair.
(Strider confirmed for Number 2)
3. Golden Axe
Between this one and one other franchise, Sega missed two major tricks as both of these have great characters and great levels, and even great enemies to fight. Gilius Thunderhead & Tyris Flare would certainly be welcome to this game along with Death Adder as a boss.
2. Soul Edge
They appeared in Namco X Capcom and were suspiciously missing from this game, Mitsurugi & Taki wouldn't need much explanation to return and the likes of Sophitia & Yoshimitsu are nice considerations as well. Voldo, Cervantes & Nightmare would make great enemy units.
(Natsu from Soul Calibur V has been confirmed for Number 2 but no other Soul Characters have been confirmed at this time)
1. Skies of Arcadia
But top of the tree is Skies of Arcadia, with the three main characters absolutely perfect for a pair unit & single unit, along with a great move range to exploit and equally powerful villain for an enemy unit and one of the best level designs from a Sega franchise, Sega were mad not to use Vyse, Aika & Fina, especially when Vyse was gaining momentum from two guest appearances in Valkyria Chronicles & Sega Allstars Racing Transformed. If a sequel was made then Skies of Arcadia needs to be in it before any other franchise.
First Impressions are important and the best chance of doing so is with a good opening theme.
Warning, big list on it's way as we count down the best 25 Anime Openings, a good opening sequence has to be three things.
1. The music has t...
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