Tales of Mechanical Flesh
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 03/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Parasite Dolls is a set of three episodes set in the same Mega-Tokyo that has played home for Bubblegum Crisis and the AD Police. There 'boomers,' humanoid robots, are much of the workforce, driving the trucks, doing the hard word, and even being surrogate partners and playthings. It is a divided world, some becoming dependent on the robots and some hating them for their imitation of life.
Boomers don't always stick to their original programming. The first episode tells of several that came from the Genom Corporation robot plants with a deadly flaw. And an effort to correct them that is just as deadly. The second is about a monster set loose among the sex dolls to work revenge. Once again the cure is worse than the crime.
This imbalance comes to a head in the final episode, where crazed politicians play on the fears of the anti-robot fashion to trigger and apocalyptic ending. While the other episodes are cynical, this story is genuinely nourish, leaving the viewer unsure if there is any hope for the future.
Mega-Tokyo stories, which are often bleak, focus more on violence and action rather than narrative. As such the atmosphere is often seems as artificial as the boomers. Sort of a mechanical version of the 30's, set 100 or so years in the future. This goes for artwork as well as acting. This has become a style of its own, and Parasite Dolls is a perfect example of this eerie anime noir."
A Dark Diversion in the Bubblegum Crisis World
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 03/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bubblegum Crisis and its many spin-offs has long ago become one of cyberpunk's leading anime. It has everything that most fans of this genre enjoy, including a dark metropolitan world heavily influenced by science, techno-music, and generally mature themes. Parasite Dolls is just that, a spin-off of a cyberpunk classic. Though in this, the ladies of Bubblegum Crisis do not make an appearance, it does follow the other important rogue boomer fighters, which are the AD Police.
The story in Parasite Dolls follows a small group of secret AD Police officers known as the Branch, who investigate the more mysterious aspects of rogue boomer crimes. Leading this group is Buzz Nikvest, a man with a haunted past but with obvious talent. With his boomer partner Kimball, the head-strong Reiko Michaelson, the Genom spy Angel, and the computer specialist Bill Myers, Buzz does everything in his power to solve boomer crimes.
Parasite Dolls is an OVA separated into three stories, and though they all follow the branch, none of the cases they solve in each episode is ever the same. It makes it a bit jarring, but not overly so. You just have to adjust to the new time frame and the new mysteries. In episode one they must stop rogue boomers that rise up during a radio show on Friday nights; episode two they must stop a boomer crusher that targets prostitute boomers, despite the fact that using boomers for prostitution is illegal; and in episode three, they must attempt to stop a powerful leader as he tries to destroy all the boomers in Genom City.
Unlike the much lighter Bubblegum Crisis 2032-33, and the teen-aimed Tokyo 2040, Parasite Dolls is not for children. It deals with some dark things, including prostitution, murder, and terrorism. Nudity and blood and gore are mainstays in every episode, and there are some soft-core sex scenes that add to the maturity of this anime. The DVD recommends 17+, and I must agree. But, if you're of age and love the BG world, then this is a solid addition to that line. Maybe a little empty without Priss and the girls, but fun nonetheless."
Boomer's Gone Wild
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 08/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the coolest anime series ever created was "Bubblegum Crisis", which depicted a society that was dependent on androids a.k.a. "boomers".
Created by the Genom Corporation, these boomers look and function like humans with jobs as waitresses, construction workers, policeman and many other type of jobs that also extends to the dark underground of city life such as prostitution.
We know through anime series such as "Bubblegum Crisis" and "AD Police" that more and more boomers have gone out of control and some have gone on killing rampages. So, a special military-like police division called the AD Police was created to stop these renegade boomers.
We also know that the Genom Corporation, the creator of the boomers, may be responsible for creating these renegade boomers.
"Parasite Dolls" is a fantastic anime series which is a side story that takes place in that "Bubblegum Crisis" universe and focuses on "The Branch", a small (and secretive) division within the AD Police that is more or less an investigative division. which operates with no rules.
The anime focuses on Branch member Buzz, the lead detective who worked for the AD Police but through unfortunate circumstances, lost his wife due to a boomer attack. With his feelings towards boomers, he accidentally killed a young girl who he thought was a boomer and since then, has never used firearms.
Other team members include Reiko Michaelson, the tomboyish/gun crazy member who has an interest in Buzz. Kimball, the partner of Buzz who happens to be a boomer. Myers, the computer hacker and other supporting characters like their mysterious division chief, Takahashi and Eliza "Angel" Lynch who helps the team out with important information.
As for the storyline, originally released in Japan as three OAV's, the series has been spliced together as a feature film and has been entered at several film festivals.
The first storyline arc focuses on "Day One", which is more or less an introductory episode to the characters and showing the beginning of renegade boomers.
The second arc takes place a year later in which the team are trying to go after a renegade boomer that is killing prostitute boomers. This arc introduces the viewer to a notion that perhaps there are boomers out there that have emotions.
The third and final arc takes place five years later and is where "Parasite Dolls" truly shines. With beautiful animation and storyline that sets up an explosive finale. A finale that I best not explain but just recommend for you to see. It's that impressive!
One thing that really stood out is how unique and different this anime series was compared to the other BGC/ADP storylines.
Although the previous series had the longevity for character development, "Parasite Dolls" shines on its own because although you learn little of the characters, the storyline shows a side towards the boomers that the other series really hasn't focused on.
How people in society feel towards boomers. From hatred, to understanding and perhaps even love.
It was quite a sight to see how perceptions change with certain characters and how they are all faced wondering if boomers are just androids? Are they just tools for society? Are they more than that?
As for the DVD, I watched it in Japanese dialogue and switched from time-to-time on certain scenes to see how the English dubbed dialogue was. I was definitely please by both dialogue and the voice acting is well done.
As for the audio, there was use with the surround sound and for certain scenes, the sound effects were very good with sound coming from different speaker positions.
As for the video, the all, the video transfer from OAV to feature film looks great! Especially when you get to the third arc of the series.
As for special features, there is a music video for the theme song "Get on the Beat". Also, an exclusive promo shown at anime fair 2002, the original Japanese video promo and production sketches. Included are the character profiles, previews. Also, a mini poster is included in the DVD case.
All in all, there is not much to dislike about "Paraside Dolls".
Anime purists may be disappointed that the DVD is presented not as three OAV episodes but were spliced (only one opening/ending theme) to create one movie and it is understandable if they are wanting a non-modified version of the series.
Personally, I actually liked it as a film version.
This anime is a definite must watch for fans of the Bubblegum Crisis/AD Police series. With a solid storyline and great animation, "Parasite Dolls" is definitely one of the best anime titles I have seen all year."