Honestly, every single episode of Bubblegum Crisis is a essentially a mini-movie, shrinkie-dinked down to an average of about 40 minutes, and several of them, with a bit of tweaking could be excellent stand-alone movies. However, out of the eight, “Revenge Road” is just a bit more perfect than the other ones; yes, even more than my favorite episode, “Tinsel City.”
For this post, I’m going to go spoiler-y, so don’t be offended if you choose to continue. If you want to watch it for yourself, just come back later and let me know if you agree.
The story centers around JB Gibson, a guy with a vendetta against a motorcycle gang that beat him up pretty badly and traumatized his girlfriend, Naomi (she has a PTSD episode on screen). How does he deal with this, you ask? Well, he buys a car that he soups up to be the ultimate murder machine, even syncing it with his body (how? I don’t know **science fiction**). Eventually, the car – having been augmented with Boomer technology – takes over and goes on a spree with JB and Naomi inside, and it’s up to the Knight Sabers to save them from the car and possibly being killed by the AD Police*.
There are so many themes that could be explored here: first, JB and the Knight Sabers could be shown to be mirrors of each other; Sylia has her own vendetta against Genom, bringing the girls – Priss, Linna, and Nene – along for the ride. Without the support of the other Sabers, Sylia might just become exactly like JB, unable to control what she has created. Second, both scenarios were caused by corruption and a lack of funding for community services. Had Genom not been given the opportunity to just create combat Boomers all willy-nilly, perhaps the Knight Sabers wouldn’t be needed, and the creation of the AD Police – with their giant budget that still doesn’t manage to create armored suits that come close to being efficient against the increasingly advanced Boomers – would not have been necessary. Therefore, money could be sent toward programs that might have prevented the attack on JB and Naomi. Hell, that might have even prevented the gang from being formed in the first place.
I think the reason this story would be better suited to a movie is because it’s a lot less connected to the overall story of Bubblegum Crisis, almost like a one-shot comic. Even though other episodes contain one-episode characters, their stories are tied to one of the Sabers and always seem to indicate that the story continues with them. With “Revenge Road,” it very much has a “well, that is done now” feel to it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though; it doesn’t end on that belief that a sequel is going to happen, but it does leave people wanting more. Of course, a lot would have to be done to expand on the 38-minute run-time of the episode, but that could easily be accomplished by inserting further characterization scenes, maybe a few flashbacks with Sylia and/or JB, etc. And I would 100% watch this movie.
Hell, I might write this movie. I dunno. That’s gonna have to come after nursing school, though. I barely have enough time as it is!
Art Credit: FanPop
* The AD Police are the segment of the police force that deal specifically with Boomer crimes. Granted, it does make me wonder why Genom would be allowed to continue making things that cause so much damage time and time again, but like … look at the world we live in?