What They Say:
From drunken karaoke binges to baseball-themed vigilantes, the Bokuto Police Station is a magnet for the weird and unusual! Fortunately, car crazy Miyuki, insanely strong Natsumi 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!
The audio presentation for this release keeps things simple as it has just the original Japanese language track in stereo encoded at 224kbps, which fairly well captures the simple design of the show. The stereo mix for the series is really very straightforward and has a full feeling to it with little in the way of directionality overall. There is some placement to be had for sound effects and dialogue at times but by and large, there isn’t a whole lot here that stands out. On the plus side, the show does sound good and it fits the material well with no problems such as dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2001, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This first half of the series has thirteen episodes spread across two discs in a seven/six format. The show looks pretty good overall though there are a few minor issues that crop up along the way that are mildly distracting at times. Colors, in general, look good but there’s a softness to a lot of scenes that seems to be in the source itself. There’s also some very mild cross coloration to be found in a few scenes, mostly of the vehicles when there’s a number of them stationary in a scene, which also leads to a bit of line noise when you pan away from it. None of these things are regular but they do crop up from time to time while not being a significant distraction overall.
The packaging design for this edition keeps to a slightly similar design to what the past seasons have been like with the colors and the logo itself which is nice. The main focus here is as it should be with the two lead characters providing close-up shots of their faces. Anyone who is buying this show has likely seen the previous seasons so it’s not exactly one that will try to woo in new viewers for the most part. It’s got a good look though with appealing character designs, good colors, and a solid layout. The back cover provides a bit more material as it clearly lists the episode and disc count along the top and has some decent taglines to it as it pushes its pedigree. The summary runs through the premise well enough and with a good sense of humor and there’re a few shots from the show along with other artwork that looks good. The discs features are clearly listed as is the production information. The technical grid is solid as well as it covers all the important elements without issue. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menus for You’re Under Arrest play to the same kind of colors and layout as the front cover with each volume featuring a small bit of character artwork alongside the menu navigation. The bulk of each menu is given over to the circles in which the individual episodes can be selected, which takes up a good amount of space overall. The layout is decent though and it feels like it’s the right kind of mildly minimal menu that works for the show. Submenus that do exist are quick and easy to load and everything works flawlessly and without any lag.
The only extras are available on the first volume with a clean version of the opening and closing sequence.
After the original OVA series, the first fifty-two episode series and then the specials, You’re Under Arrest got rolling for a second season which ran for twenty-six episodes and an OVA. Add a theatrical movie into the mix as and this franchise has certainly done well in the years since it was first introduced and even had a new series start up in 2007. Based on the manga by Kosuke Fujishima who was the man behind Oh My Goddess, You’re Under Arrest is very similar in feeling to that series. It’s all about the enjoyable characters and their interactions with simple settings and stories, albeit without the fantastical elements that populate that series.
Because of the amount of material that has come before this, there isn’t anything here that helps to set up the series for new viewers at all. In fact, the second season starts off by introducing a new character named Saori who has graduated from the academy and is now assigned to the Bokutou precinct. She was someone that the gang had come across before as a civilian and she became so inspired by the traffic police of Bokutou that she decided to become one. Saori’s got a lot of spunk and energy to her as she views the big way a police officer is supposed to impact that world. When she finds out that their job is actually pretty mundane for most of what needs to be done. She rails against it at the same time that everyone else at Bokutou comes across as very apathetic to everything.
Saori’s presence doesn’t exactly invigorate anyone when she gets on her tears and their seeming apathy doesn’t really wear her down. What seems to happen is that the show finds a balance between the two as Saori continues to try and find ways of doing right by the status of being a police officer while everyone else works through their jobs to the best of their abilities. And there’s a good deal of fun to be had along the way as well. You’re Under Arrest is mostly all about the single episode stories where simple things happen and the main characters of the station have to come together to figure out how to solve it.
The mix of stories are pretty much all over the map. There’s a fun story where technology plays a big role as various new devices and robots are placed with the precinct in order to use them as a model precinct. Another quirky episode involving robots is a two part storyline where a subway train is trapped underground and the only thing that can save everyone is a new experimental robot that Miyuki manages to get control of because of her exemplary record. Both episodes are really quite silly with what they do with various parts of the technology, but they also bring in some good human elements as well which make it work.
There’s a lot of good material as well that slowly advances things as all Fujushima material seem to do. Natsumi and Tokairin continue to get closer and closer but they have to deal with some of the problems of a relationship like this because Tokairin isn’t going to be around forever before he’s sent back to the mountains. The other main relationship of the series is between Nakajima and Miyuki and that moves at an even more glacial pace than the other two. He actually does manage to ask her out on a date in this season which is a huge moment but it’s mostly just a continuation of what we’ve seen before where Miyuki knows what Nakajima wants but is waiting for him to make the move while he simply can’t bring himself to do it because of how awed he is of her.
When it comes to the visual design of the show, it really doesn’t change from what the first season was. The series has a very clean and smooth look to it, much like the Oh My Goddess franchise does, where the characters are all appealing, there’s a fair amount of detail overall to the show and it’s very smooth when it comes to the animation itself. It doesn’t come across as a budget show and they have some wonderful real world backgrounds that are used to give it an almost ethereal feeling at times. It’s real world, but a very pretty real world for the city and its surrounding areas. The first season of the series left me quite happy with how the show is presented and the second season really sticks to the idea of having more of the same and that is certainly not a bad thing.
You’re Under Arrest is fully a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s a series that is so simple and straightforward and such a “feel good” show that it goes against what so many other shows try to do. The drama and stress here is never all that intense but they don’t exactly make it silly and childish. It’s a simple world these characters live in but each episode and each character interaction leaves you feeling good and with a smile on your face. There isn’t anything taxing here in these episodes, but it’s fun and spending time with these characters again after all this time is highly enjoyable. This set does miss out on one of the things that made the franchise so good here in the US, namely the English language adaptation, but there’s a whole lot to like here and it continues to hold up very well.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: November 3rd, 2009
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.