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AD Police Files

Entry updated 17 April 2023. Tagged: TV.

Japanese Original Video Animation (1990). Artmic, AIC. Directed by Takamasa Ikegami and Akira Nishimori. Written by Takehito Nakazawa and Kaoru Mizutani. Voice cast includes Toshio Furukawa, Youko Matsuoka, Miina Tominaga and Norio Wakamoto. Three 27-minute episodes. Colour.

This was a spin-off from Bubblegum Crisis (1987-1991), set a few years earlier in 2027 (see Near Future). It shows the early career of a secondary character from that series, police officer Leon McNichol (Furukawa), when he was a rookie in the AD Police and working alongside the seasoned officer Gina Malso (Matsuoka). The AD Police deal with Boomer crime in Mega Tokyo (see Crime and Punishment): Boomers are Androids used to rebuild the City, but can be programmed to break the law and are also quite capable of going rogue of their own accord. A Manga by Toshimichi Suzuki (who wrote Bubblegum Crisis) and Tony Takezaki called AD Police: Dead End City (1989-1990) created the setting. Only three episodes of the planned five episodes were completed before legal disputes between the production companies brought the series to a premature end.

The first story, "The Phantom Woman", involves an accusation that a policeman in Mega Tokyo tampered with a Boomer to make it run amok and kill him, enabling his family to collect on his sizeable insurance policy: ex-colleagues Gina and Leon are given six hours to prove his innocence. Their investigations reveal that still operational older Boomer models are liable to be unstable, as their maintenance relies on illegally recycled parts. Furthermore, many tend to work as prostitutes – and during Sex hormonal signals occasionally distort their biochips and they go berserk. Their case is bolstered when a Boomer with the recycled brain of one killed a few years previously by Leon remembers him, strips to her underwear (see Fan Service) and demands he once again penetrates her with his bullets.

Next is "The Ripper". Though the Paradise Loop subway line was closed down years ago, some trains still run as the power was never turned off and it is now favoured by the dark underbelly of society. Six prostitutes have been murdered whilst travelling on the Loop and – as it is assumed the killer is a Boomer – the AD Police are called in; but Iris Cara (Tominaga), a regular policewomen, believes the savagery of the crimes means the culprit is human. She is correct: years ago a CEO had the organs performing her "womanly functions" replaced with cybernetic ones to counter accusations that her menstrual cycle was affecting her efficiency – but her husband started sleeping with Loop prostitutes, arguing real organs are best. She killed her husband and then took her revenge on prostitutes: when asked why she felt compelled to target the latter she responds "a change inside the body brings about a change in consciousness" (see Identity).

The final episode is "The Man Who Bites His Tongue". After sustaining massive injuries fighting a Boomer, Billy Fanword (Wakamoto) is turned into an experimental anti-Boomer battle android for the AD Police, having had virtually all his body replaced with cybernetics: RoboCop (1987) was presumably an inspiration. However, as he no longer feels pain, his detachment leads to a loss of combat ability: the female Scientist who created him tries to counter this with Drugs and Sex. Gina, who knew Fanword before, notices the effects of the drugs and a decline in his humanity; eventually despair and drugs cause Billy to go on a rampage, killing the scientist, but – on recognizing Gina – begging her to kill him: she does.

This Anime depicts a society where virtually everybody has some kind of prosthetic implant (see Cyborgs) and the difference between human and android has become blurred (see Cyberpunk): indeed, any person who becomes more than 70% cybernetic is reclassified as a Boomer. The series has exciting action and some good animation; however, enjoyment is hindered by the ridiculous elements. Part of this is due to cramming too much into 27-minute episodes, resulting in over-simplification of the plot (which also damages the attempt to explore serious themes) – though this does not explain away the at times cringe-inducing depiction of women (see Women in SF). Matters are not helped by the supposedly main character, Leon, being an unsympathetic nonentity – though the hard-bitten Gina is fairly good. [SP]


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