What They Say:
The girls in blue are back, and if you’re a bad guy the safest place to be is in a nice warm cell! Autophile Miyuki and her overly endowed (muscularly, that is) partner in anti-crime Natsumi lead the charge as the Bokuto Police Station’s roster of lady (and lady-ish) officers take to the streets in an all out assault on Tokyo’s underworld AND the senses!
This audio presentation release has only the original Japanese language mix 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 second 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 is 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.
This packaging design for this release 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 back to back almost while other members of the main cast are arrayed around them. 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.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Fast & Furious collection of You’re Under Arrest is a surprisingly good progression of lives of the characters of this series in a way I didn’t expect. Like a lot of shows of this nature, you pretty much figure you’re going to get a lot of static lives for the most part as they focus on the smaller elements, the way the characters live and connect with each other and the things they experience during their lives. Including the occasional incursion by Strike Man, unfortunately. With this second half of the season, there’s a bit more tension and drama introduced to it that helps to make it a bit more engaging and certainly more enjoyable as a bit of realism is added.
A lot of what makes up You’re Under Arrest is in this set as well so there’s plenty to like there. One of the storylines that really is quite good here involves a slow but certain increase in recent months with accidents in the area where there shouldn’t even be cars. Since so many neighborhoods have streets that are meant mostly for foot traffic, the recent appearance of cars making their way through there is causing a lot of problems. As it turns out, there was a recent book produced, presumably on the sly, that shows all manner of shortcuts through the area and various truckers and motorists who pass through have picked up on it and discovered these new routes. But since it makes business difficult and makes it dangerous for kids, the Bokotu department has to crack down on it. There’s a lot to like with their methodical approach and the way they deal with it through an educational aspect as well.
Another amusing story that goes back a ways involves a situation where the Chief (whose name is revealed in this collection!) informs Natsumi that he wants to talk to her about something important. The callback moment on this is from quite early into the show when it was revealed that Natsumi had a bit of interest in the Chief of a romantic nature as she liked older men. Tokairin kind of changed that but there’s still some lingering interest there and his wanting to talk to her out of the office ignites that possibility. And with Tokairin having gone back to his posting out of the city, she’s feeling that she can actually explore it. It’s a nice episode that plays with her interests and how they’re not weird but they’re not exactly normal for a girl her age.
Where the real drama and tension of this set comes from is the revelation that Natsumi is being scouted for the Special assault Team. The group is essentially the best of the best and Natsumi certainly has a lot of what they’re looking for, though there is definitely a lot involved in actually going that route should she decide to. Natsumi’s highly interested in it and her pursuit of it, while not a foregone conclusion, is something that has her more excited than she’s been in some time. Natsumi’s not necessarily had a solid career path ahead of her, but staying in the position she’s in now wasn’t something that was a given either.
And that’s something that’s not often covered in a series like this. The nature of the show is that we watch the life and adventures of Natsumi and Miyuki together as patrol officers. But they are officers and they want to advance and move on, even if they don’t state these goals. The two have become quite good friends since Natsumi came there though that Miyuki, who has always looked out for Natsumi, has a hard time realizing that her friend doesn’t need to be looked out for anymore and is indeed ready to move on to other things. With her own life seeming static and her potential relationship with Ken still very shallow in truth, the thought of losing someone close and really has a huge impact on her and turns her very out of character, which is to be expected in this kind of situation. All in all, as it plays out over several episodes, it’s a very good story that adds more depth than I expected from this series.
After all the material that has come before, I really was fairly surprised by how this set eventually turned out. The drama didn’t feel forced, the out of character nature for Miyuki really worked well and it gave us something different over several episodes to think about as everyone reacts in different ways to a truth of life and work. The small stories work well here, though I could have done without more Strike Man, and I liked that they did give Saori the option to step up to the plate even more now with the way things change in the second half of this set. You’re Under Arrest is a show that still makes me smile throughout the majority of the episodes with how everyone acts and works together, even if it does get frustrating at times with how static some situations can be.
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: January 5th, 2010
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.