I remember when I was going to see The Phantom Menace in theaters with my dad. We were both so excited to go back into the world of Star Wars that it seemed like nothing could dim our spirits. And then we walked out of the movie basically like this:
All credit goes to Kevin Sorbo for this excellent acting.
Anyway, as you might have guessed, that’s how I feel about Bubblegum Crash.
First off, let’s go with the positive. I can see how much the reboot lifted off of Crash, which … honestly, design-wise and quality-wise, Crash was an improvement on the original. So I can’t really fault the new show from cribbing off of it. There was also a much more cohesive storyline, which I appreciated, and an actual ending that didn’t include an annoying reporter. Both Leon and Daley – although not as much Daley as I would like – play a much larger role, and the existence of the AD Police makes way more sense than it did in the original. Oh, and Nene is not a useless member of the team! She still has her same skill set which is used frequently in the show, but she doesn’t whine and cry and fall down all the time. It’s refreshing.
And now on to the bad. Of which there is plenty.
I know that I said I wanted to learn more about the characters, but like … not this. First, Priss starts singing Vision-like shit, which is a complete 180 for her, and she doesn’t even have her band? She even becomes obsessed with being a hit artist (but scoffs when her manager, who is creepy as fuck and just reminds me so heavily of Perfect Blue that it’s a little scary, mentions that he could make her an idol). Second, Linna becomes a successful-ish stock broker despite only working as an aerobics instructor? Somehow? And when she has one bad day, she quits. What job does she get afterward? Who knows! Sylia has disappeared, and Nene is the only one of the other two women who I actively don’t loathe by the middle of the first episode (of three). Third, when Sylia finally does resurface, of which there is minimal explanation, there’s this super awkward conversation where Nene’s like “I don’t want the Knight Sabers to end!” while Linna and Priss don’t seem to give a shit, and Sylia just sits there, confused because she apparently doesn’t understand that people can’t read her mind. I got very frustrated watching this scene; like … I might have been overreacting, but I didn’t buy anything that was going on, except for maybe Nene being outraged that her friend group might get dissolved.
There is a lot of reused animation, which isn’t a necessarily bad thing in a lot of anime where they have to push out 26 episodes fairly quickly and have regular transformation scenes or whatever (like Sailor Moon or Slayers), but this was a 3-episode OAV (original animation video) that didn’t require it. Did they have to show the women suiting up in every episode? No, they did not. They even added a bland opening sequence (with a bit of CGI, too) unlike the original series that played like each episode was a mini-movie. Basically, they were pretending like this was a full season of a show instead of a fitting ending for the series.
Finally, Largo was the Big Bad instead of Genom, which … I get, I suppose, but Genom is basically absent in Crash without much of a reason as to why. Also, I find Largo fairly bland and uninteresting; please give me a villain who isn’t just like WORLD DOMINATION FOR NO REASON (and also I hate those bitches who keep giving me trouble, so LET’S KILL THEM TOO). I like nuance in my bad guys, please.
If it sounds like I hated Crash, I didn’t … not really. If I hadn’t watched any of the original, I might have ended up loving it or, at the very least, appreciating it for what it was: four badass women blowing up robots. And for other people, it might be more their speed than the original is, so if you want, have at it. I can’t say that it’s the best way to spend nearly three hours of your life, but hey, at least you’re not attempting to overtake a sovereign country.