28 day bubblegum crisis challenge, day 13: in which I compare the original to the reboot …

Like I said back on Day 1, I was actually introduced to Bubblegum Crisis via its remake, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, and I have to say, it’s difficult to compare the two. The original has similar styling to Miami Vice: colorful and candy-coated exterior with a pessimistic center, almost like a game of whack-a-mole. No matter how hard you fight the Big Bad, it’s always bigger than you and cannot be defeated. But listen to the kickass music! By contrast, 2040 has the 2006 Miami Vice movie feel to it: its pessimism is worn … well, everywhere. And Priss has a fucking mullet for some reason.

Now, I love both of these series for different reasons. The original has that glorious 80s feel, inspired by Blade Runner more than they might like to admit (although they do have a rock group called the Replicants, so subtlety may not be their strong suit), and all of the Boomers seem to be these sentient beings, created to allow Genom to dominate the world. On the other hand, the reboot has the time to flesh out the characters and story a bit more than its predecessor, and the way they portray the Boomers is to make Genom seem a lot sneakier (the Boomers are given a faulty chip that makes them go berserk instead of them being these sadistic murderers) and therefore more sinister than its 80s counterpart.

The music is pretty starkly different, with which I have no problem. As much as I love the music from the original series, having an 80s rock band in a late-90s cyberpunk series would have sounded pretty weird, and the styling of the score and Sekira’s (Priss’ band, which is sadly no longer the Replicants … oh, well) songs match really well with the feel of the reboot.

I highly recommend this soundtrack – it’s so badass and is great to work out to.

Despite the gravelly sound of the soundtrack, the original show was so much grittier; while you see phone booths with broken windows in the original, everything is so … shiny in the reboot, which I believe is more of a reflection of the times. The 80s was not necessarily the cleanest decade (better than the 70s, but not by much), and by the time 2040 came around, the environmentalists had convinced people to be a wee bit cleaner. God, I remember people talking about acid rain back when I was a kid, but that wasn’t as much of a concern when the reboot came out. Granted, now we’re all concerned about climate change, so I’m not sure it’s much better now than it was thirty some-odd years ago.

I know that 2040 wasn’t necessarily the most popular reboot in the world, I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if the landing was a little off. The fact that it had an ending – the original just kind of ended with little to no resolution – was an improvement, I suppose. A bit of an overwrought yet somehow underwhelming end, but still. I’m going to leave the details of the ending out of this post, though, because at some point, I want to do a challenge on 2040 … maybe next year?

And now I’m off to finish helping out with my loathed group project. Why does academia refuse to let us just do projects on our own??

Art Credit: FanPop, IMDb

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