What They Say:
Get ready for non-stop, pedal to the metal action and hijinks galore as Japan’s most irregular team of police officers hits the streets again on an all new tour of duty! As usual, the Bokuto Police station is a magnet for the weird and UN-usual, and that’s about the only rule this duty shift isn’t going to break! Fortunately, car crazy Miyuki, insanely strong Natsumi, sexually ambiguous Aoi and the rest of the station’s enforcers of justice are always ready to place their well-drawn bodies between the public and the line of fire, and now new Junior Officer Saori has also joined the thin and svelte blue line! From drunken karaoke binges to the bizarre activities of a baseball-themed vigilante and the general nuisance of Strikeman, there are plenty of bad boys, naughtier girls and all around arresting behavior ahead in YOU’RE UNDER ARREST: Fast & Furious Complete Collection!
This release only offers a Japanese 2.0 track, which saddened me as I really enjoyed the dubs for the first season. The mix is basic, but fine for the nature of the show. There is a little directionality offered along the two channels, but nothing that will blow anybody away. Most importantly, the tracks stay clear and have no distortion or dropout even when the action ramps up. My only (minor) complaint is the occasional typo in the subtitles. The one I saw quite a few times was Megumi referring to Miyuki as “Auntie Megumi” instead of “Auntie Miyuki,” and that threw me for a while before I realized it was just an error.
Originally airing in 2001, this series holds up fairly well for one released prior to the digital conversion. Colors experience some occasional fading but are mostly bright and bold. The lining is clear and distinct. The one area of concern is that there is some cross coloring and noise in the backgrounds at times, especially when the action is moving quickly. That said, it is not too noticeable if you are not looking for it, and it could be worse for its age.
This set has fairly basic packaging, but I was happy to see it does not have the dreaded STACKpack. The case is a double-wide amaray, with overlapping clips on each side for the four discs. The design does make me wonder why they could not have done it with a single-wide case, but I am just quibbling. The front cover has a picture of Miyuki and Natsume dressed up and standing back to back with the series logo above. The back has an ensemble picture of the other four main girls looking like they are getting ready for a sleepover. There are also some screen shots and a series summary. I do like the art choices for the discs, which are all various images of the girls. In particular, I like the action pose of Miyuki controlling the T-5 on the second disc. Really nice.
The menus are also pretty basic. There is a shot of a couple of the girls to the right with a selection for each episode on the left. There is no “Play All” button, but episodes do loop to the next automatically. The only other selection offered is for the special features on the first disc. The other three discs just have selections for the episodes. It all stands out well and is easy to follow. My only complaint is that the music loop is less than 30 seconds. So it gets old, quickly.
Not a lot to show for this release. The only special feature is clean versions of the opening and closing, which is on the first disc.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
You’re Under Arrest is a property that I have seen and read bits and pieces of over the years and really wanted to see more, but never got around to it. I finally just recently took in the first season and really enjoyed it. So I jumped at the chance to check this one out. And I am glad that I did, as these twenty-six episodes are just as entertaining as the first fifty-two.
Miyuki Kobayakawa and Natsumi Tsujimoto are well established as Bokoto Stations best traffic cops. They jump into their duties with vigor and never let a criminal escape for long. They are the perfect team, with Miyuki’s talents at driving and maintaining automobiles and Natsumi’s single-minded goal to make sure she gets the job done; the level-headed Miyuki reigning in the rambunctious Natsumi until the right time to unleash her own brand of terror on would-be criminals. There is never a crime they cannot solve.
But their jobs are made all the more interesting by all the people around them. Natsumi is seeing her relationship with Senior Officer Tokairin progress well when he is not out-of-town as part of the mountain patrol. And Miyuki has the never-ending saga of her mutual love with Officer Nakajima, though neither is out-going enough to do anything about it. And with the nosy Yoriko always lurking around, the entire office is usually dragged into their love affairs.
And then there the new recruit, Junior Officer Saori. When we last saw Saori, she was an ambitious high school student who looked up to Miyuki and Natsumi, and that respect led her to join the police force and Bokuto’s traffic unit. Her rookie’s pride and sense of duty often threatens to ruin Miyuki and Natsumi’s fun, Saori gains whole new levels of respect when she sees their devotion to their duty when it matters most.
For Miyuki and Natsumi, daily life cannot get much more fun or interesting. They are best friends doing a job they love. But when Natsumi is offered the opportunity to transfer to headquarters and join the Special Assault Team, their friendship is put to the ultimate test.
I do not really have a whole lot to say about You’re Under Arrest except to say that it is exceptionally fun. For the most part, there is no real overarching storyline, at least not one that you would expect for a cop show. Instead, it tends to be more concerned with the day-to-day lives of Miyuki and Natsumi, with little-to-no connection between episodes besides a common theme.
What this means is that the show often falls into the trap of being formulaic and predictable, but as it is really more about the characters than the plot, that really does not matter. Until the storyline of Natsumi’s potential promotion starts up, the first somewhat lengthy plot arc in the entire seventy-eight episode run of the first two seasons, the only things that carried over from one episode to the next are just character developments, such as the advancing of the Miyuki/Nakajima and Natsumi/Tokairin relationships.
Otherwise, You’re Under Arrest is a purely episodic experience. But that is part of what makes it so much fun, as rather than focusing on the plot, we learn more about the characters instead. Miyuki and Natsumi are great protagonists, and they have a great supporting cast. Yoriko is wonderfully meddlesome, Saori’s youthful professionalism provides a nice counter to Natsumi’s casualness, and Nakajima is great as the timid, love-struck, toweringly noble motorcycle cop. And that is nothing to mention of the terrific cast of occasional characters such as Moped Mama and Natsumi’s sometime antagonist, the brilliant Strike Man.
You’re Under Arrest: Fast & Furious continues the great tradition of the You’re Under Arrest franchise. It is action-packed, humorous, and touching, sometimes all at once. It is not a series that will make you think hard, but as something to just sit back and enjoy, it is absolutely brilliant. Highly recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Running Time: 650 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEg-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Sony BDP-S360 BluRay Player w/HDMI Connection upconverted to 1080i, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System