What They Say:
They’re tough, tenacious and would take no prisoners’ Except it’s their job! Miyuki, Natsumi and the other officers of the Bokuto police station are back on the case, although in the weird world of Japan’s most unorthodox police precinct, the exact definition as to what constitutes a ‘case’ seems to be largely up to individual officer discretion. After all, while working on the set of a documentary film could fall under the category of crowd control, how can anyone classify adventures that range from dog sitting to completing a romantic mission from beyond the grave as typical police work? And that’s to say nothing of pursuing suspects on in-line skates while wearing bikinis and wearing giant mushroom costumes? There are handcuffs; fisticuffs and high-speed chases ahead in the second and final collection of YOU’RE UNDER ARREST: FULL THROTTLE!
This audio presentation for this 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 2008, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. This first half of the series has twelve episodes spread across two discs in a six/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 and it lacks the softness we saws in the previous series as this is clearer and cleaner. There’s no cross coloration to be found of any note either though there are a few moments of noticeable line noise here and there but by and large, this is a very pleasing transfer for the show.
This release keeps to a slightly similar design to what the previous seasons have been like, whether it’s AnimEigo or ADV Films and then Sentai, with the colors and the logo itself which is nice. This one changes things up a bit by making Natsume the central focus but instead of putting Miyuki with her, we get the Chief in the background which is welcome since I do like the two as a potential couple. It’s got a good looking cover overall 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 are 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 second volume with a clean version of the opening and closing sequence.
With the second half of the season, You’re Under Arrest does slowly bring in more of the cast to play around with rather than focusing heavily on Miyuki and Natsume. And that’s definitely all well and fine as the show has a good supporting cast of characters to it. At the same time, the first half reminded me nicely of the first OVAs where the focus was more on the two of them as they grew to know each other and figured out how well they’d work together. Seeing them in this season as they came back together after an extended period away, it was like revisiting that but with differences that made it all the more poignant.
What I keep finding with You’re Under Arrest, and it’s not a problem though it could easily be seen as such, is that as the years go on and the episodes flow by, it’s all very familiar. Sometimes enough so that you wonder if you’ve seen this particular episode before because of it. It’s a testament to most police procedural shows out there that last years and years, like Law and Order, that they can keep creating stories after all that time. But what it is in the end is that the characters are engaging and how they deal with the situations. This set of episodes does a fair bit of that as it has the light and harmless as well as the more serious moments.
The fluff that’s fun is when the group gets together with Saori, the first time in quite awhile since she transferred to another station and she didn’t know that Natsume and Miyuki were back from their various postings. So to have a bit of fun together, they also grab Aoi and Yoriko and head to the beach for a day of bliss in the sun. Naturally, it won’t stay that way long as there’s a group of pervs making money by posting voyeuristic shots of everyone on the beach online and they have to spend their time tracking them down. It’s actually a nice little idea that’s made awkward by how the girls track them, but it’s entirely worthwhile for the sequence that has all of them on roller skates racing after the perps once they got discovered. The roller skates are amusing enough but they do it in bikinis as well.
The serious side comes when joyriders are taking advantage of the city more and are causing problems for the regular motorists. The Bokuto Traffic Patrol finds themselves having a problem with it as well, but it stems from a vigilante red car that arrives to throw off the joyriders. The whole situation escalates and the girls find themselves being taken out of action so that it can be handled by the more serious divisions that are involved in far more dangerous situations. This just grates against everyone and you even have Miyuki setting up her resignation because of the impact such an action will have, as well as the way she’s kept out of doing her job. It’s a strange episode in the overall mix because of its serious nature and the way some of them almost act out of character.
While one of the main themes of the franchise is the way the two leads mesh together so well and perform a great job, there is an interesting new theme that’s emerged in this set. And that’s the relationship between the police and the citizenry. Miyuki, in particular, is finding that the things they’re doing are increasingly making it harder for the general populace to approach them and to be a part of the overall process and it’s concerning her that their role will turn in a very bad way. The joyriding incident is the biggest example of this but it comes up in other areas throughout this set to different levels. As life gets more complicated and people cut corners and try to do things as quickly as possible, it makes for more confrontations which breed more resentment and in turn causes more distrust and issues along the way. I like it as an overall theme, even if it gets a little too self-preachy and self-critical, but it lacked any really serious effort. But that wasn’t expected from this series anyway.
Though this season pales for a lot of people because some of the supporting cast are either minimized or gone entirely, I appreciated the return to dealing with the core cast of characters after all this time. Watching the two have their issues, with others and with each other even, was a welcome change of pace. Miyuki and Natsume are too perfect in many ways and their pairing heightens that even more, but what we get out of this series and its predecessors is good clean fun. When the darkest moments we have involve some joyriding, well, you’re not getting anything too serious here. The relationship between the two women and the people of their area is the big highlight and it’s great to see them so personable, involved and attentive. It’s what you’d want to see around your neighborhood for the most part as well. This set brings this season to a close and it’s sad to see it go, but I’ll always hope for more stories with this cast of characters.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: May 4th, 2010
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
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.