BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 8:
As the year 2033 draws to a close, for once the Knight Sabers seem to have things well in hand; only a few rogue Boomers here and there, all easily destroyed. But, as usual, it's too good to last. It starts out innocently enough, when Priss catches a girl photographing her in action, and trashes her camera.
Unfortunately, the girl is the niece of Nene's boss. The bad news is that aspiring reporter Lisa Vanette is going to be hanging around AD Police over her Winter Break from high school. The worse news is that Nene has been given the job of keeping an eye on her, and helping her get a big scoop. But the worst news of all is Lisa's intended exclusive: exposing the true identities of the Knight Sabers. ("They oppose Genom, shake down the weak for huge amounts of money, and even destroy helpless girls' cameras.")
And then Nene finds that there's something worse than the worst when, because Lisa is with her, she has to give Priss a speeding ticket!
Meanwhile, Dr. Miriam, a genius at Boomer development, has brought his employer, Ebisu Corporation, to the top of the Genom's subsidiaries. He has great personal ambitions too, and is secretly developing some special Boomers with a specific purpose in mind.
At AD Police Headquarters, Lisa and Nene sit down for a snack, but are interrupted when Nene receives a pager signal. She leaves suddenly, telling Lisa that she forgot she was supposed to work first shift that day. Left to herself, Lisa is bored until a Boomer-alert sounds. To Daley Wong's dismay, Lisa hops into his car and radios to her uncle that she wants to go out on the alert with Daley. By the time Daley and his unit arrive at the scene the Knight Sabers are already battling three Boomers on the roof of a building. Despite warnings from Daley to stay in the car, Lisa makes her way to the roof of another building so she can take photos of the Knight Sabers in action.
As Sylia, Linna, and Priss take on the three Boomers, Nene calls out encouragement from the sidelines. Priss abandons her Boomer to help Sylia, and, without an opponent, it takes notice of Nene and advances on her. Although she tries to defend herself, it hits her in the head, stunning the hapless Knight Saber and shattering the faceplate of her helmet. Priss returns in time to rescue Nene, and destroys that Boomer too.
Later, Lisa views her photos from the battle. One has a very interesting image: a Knight Saber with a broken faceplate. Lisa zooms in on that part of the image and is surprised to see a very familiar face....
That same night, Sylia meets with Fargo at a drive-in theater. (The star of the movie is a hardsuit-clad Vision (BGC 7).) Fargo tells her that none of the recent Boomer incidents have anything to do with Genom. Instead, they all appear to be the work of a private individual, but he can't find out who. Sylia tells him to keep checking.
The next day, while spying on Nene at work, Lisa hears her tell her friend Naoko that the bandage on her face is because she fell while riding her scooter without a helmet. Lisa calls the ADP station schedule up on the computer, and sees Nene's scheduled shift for the day before being changed as she watches. Lisa then questions Nene's friends. Among other things, Leon McNichol tells her that Nene often disappears during Boomer incidents.
The following day is Nene's day off, and Lisa follows her all over the city. They eventually end up at Raven's Garage, where the Knight Sabers are having a training session. Nene is impressed to see Linna training with the simulator set to Level 8, as she can't seem to clear Level 5 herself. Priss tells Nene that she's too weak, which is why she keeps getting beat up, but Nene fires back that she "contributes to the Knight Sabers with her good looks and amazing brain." ("I wouldn't want to be an apewoman like you.")
After Linna successfully clears Level 8, it's Nene's turn, but she doesn't want to try it. Sylia tells her she has to -- she needs the data for programs for the new hardsuits she's developing. But Nene literally takes one in the head again, to the great amusement of Linna and Priss, and once more fails at Level 5. And Nene's training scores are down, and she's put on a little weight (even though she claims to have been on a diet). Sylia watches while Priss and Linna tease Nene unmercifully until Mackie calls. There's a strange girl wandering around outside the garage.
As Lisa's image comes on the monitor, Nene gasps but it is Priss who identifies her -- as the girl whose camera she trashed. Sylia decides to leave Lisa alone, and asks Nene what she knows of her. Nene fills them in about Lisa and her plan to expose the Knight Sabers. Later, the others help Nene get away without being seen by Lisa.
The next day at ADP HQ, Nene tells Lisa she's too busy to do anything with her that day, but promises to take her to dinner that night. Lisa agrees to go away, but drops something on Nene's desk as a 'parting gift' -- the enlarged picture of Nene's face in a Knight Saber helmet. After Lisa leaves, Nene sits at her desk in shock, then finally decides to try to brazen things out.
Later, Miriam decides that since he has 80% of the data he needs one more data collection will give him enough information to surpass the Knight Sabers' capabilities. He wonders who built the Knight Sabers' hardsuits -- they have defeated the newest Genom Boomers after all. But he's confident that his genius will overcome anything, even Genom or the Knight Sabers.
At dinner that night, Nene's pager once again interrupts things. Nene leaves, telling Lisa that she's sorry, but she just remembered an important appointment. Lisa is muttering to herself about how dinner isn't as good when she's eating alone when she suddenly realizes what's happened....
One AM finds Lisa sitting outside Raven's Garage, waiting for the Knight Sabers to return. A well dressed woman steps out of the darkness, and asks what Lisa's doing out so late. Lisa tells her she's heard there are ghosts in the area and wants to take a photo of one. The woman (Sylia), who introduces herself as the owner of a lingerie shop who lives in the area, decides to join Lisa in her wait. After a while, Lisa asks the woman if she knows about the Knight Sabers, and the two discuss why the Knight Sabers do the things they do.
The next night, as Nene apologizes to Lisa for leaving her at dinner, Dr. Miriam finally completes his four anti-Knight Sabers Boomers. If they work as expected, he can finally get away from Ebisu. As a test, he decides on a target to that will bring the Knight Sabers running: AD Police Headquarters.
Meanwhile, at ADP HQ, Lisa tells Nene that tomorrow will be her last day, and that she still needs definite proof to get her scoop. While they discuss this, Miriam's Boomers attack and the "S" alarm sounds. Nene goes off to find out what's happened and orders Lisa to stay where she is.
Daley pulls up outside, and is told that someone is taking over HQ using Boomers. Most of the people got out, but there are still a few trapped inside. Daley gives orders for Leon, working on another incident, to be called back. Miriam contacts Daley to taunt him -- he has no objectives or demands, he just wants to demonstrate his power and destroy the building. He then orders his Boomers to destroy anything in their way.
With explosions shaking the building, Nene, who has managed to get a pistol and ammunition from an arms locker, is trapped on the 19th floor when one of the Boomers comes through the ceiling. She empties three clips into it, with no result. Out of ammunition and cornered, Nene is saved when Priss blasts her way in and pins the Boomer against the wall. Mackie, wearing a hardsuit of his own, appears and tells Nene he brought her suit too. Leaving the Boomer to Priss, Mackie carries Nene to another floor where she changes into her new hardsuit.
Convinced that there's a Boomer in the Main Computer Room, Nene and Mackie head for a nearby computer subcontrol room while the other Knight Sabers tend to the more conventional Boomers. While attempting to block the computer room Boomer from the system, Nene suddenly remembers she left Lisa alone on the 28th floor. Talking over the building's intercom system, Nene gives Lisa directions for getting to the emergency stairs.
Miriam notices Nene's work in the computer, and orders the computer room Boomer to take her on directly. Lisa contacts Nene -- the emergency stairs have been blown out and she can't go down any further. Nene directs her to the elevator shaft ladder, but the elevator suddenly comes back on-line and Nene and Mackie can't stop it. Lisa barely escapes into a ventilation duct. She then begins to make her way through the building, with much help from Nene, who counters the HQ's defensive systems, including nerve gas, that the Boomer brings to bear against Lisa.
Miriam orders his Boomers to finish off the Knight Sabers, and Lisa too. According to his data, the hardsuits have reached their performance limits. But, to his astonishment, Priss destroys her Boomer ("It can't be! Have they been upgraded?")
Yelling for Nene, Lisa finally arrives at the subcontrol room and finds two hardsuited figures working inside. As the other Knight Sabers and Mackie look on, Lisa, finally faced with her definite proof, walks up to the smaller of the two and says "Nene... you really are one of the Knight Sabers, after all..."
Miriam orders his sole remaining Boomer, the one in the computer room, to overload the building's electrical system and blow up the Knight Sabers along with the AD Police. More alarms sound as the building is bathed in an eerie orange glow. Nene tells the other Knight Sabers to get out and take Lisa with them. She's going to stay behind and try to stop the explosion. The others reluctantly leave, not without some argument, but Mackie stays behind too. He says what Nene's going to try is too much to handle alone.
As the returning Leon captures Miriam, who was trying to escape by helicopter, the three Knight Sabers and Lisa watch events from a nearby roof. There is a final explosion from ADP HQ, then the orange glow fades away. Inside, a relieved Nene explains to Mackie that she made the building's power circuits feed back on the Boomer, causing it to self-destruct. She hears Sylia's voice congratulating her, and turns, stunned, to see Sylia, Priss, and Linna standing in the doorway. They all came back to wait for her.
The next day, as Nene and Naoko watch repairs begin on ADP HQ, Lisa comes up to make her farewells. Nene congratulates her on finally getting her scoop: her photo of Daley and Leon bringing in Miriam is on the front page of the newspaper. Lisa gives Nene an envelope as a parting gift and leaves. Nene opens it enough to see that it contains the photo of her in her in her old hardsuit and the media containing all the other photos of the Knight Sabers in action.
Leaning over Nene's shoulder, Naoko wants to see what the photo is, but when Nene won't let her look she's convinced -- it's photos of a man!
(Japanese names in Japanese order, family name first)
Original Cast English Cast Sylia Stingray Sakakibara Yoshiko Jemila Ericson Priss Asagiri Oomori Kinuko Sinda Nichols Linna Yamazaki Tomizawa Michie Elizabeth Becka Nene Romanova Hiramatsu Akiko Susan Grillo Leon McNichol Furukawa Toshio Brad Moranz Daley Wong Horiuchi Kenyuu Marshall Carroll Chief Satoo Shooji David Kraus Fargo Yamadera Kooichi Geoffrey Honaker Mackie Stingray Sasaki Nozomu Frank Trimble Lisa Vanette Hisakawa Aya Amy Parrish Dr. Miriam Futamata Kazunari Dick Bunting Ebisu President Umezu Hideyuki David Long Ebisu Worker Kobayashi Michitaka J. Bryson Ebisu Operator Ono Kenichi Elliott Preschutti Naoko Asami Junko Belinda Bizic ADP Receptionist Yokoyama Chisa Amanda Tancredi with Zack Hanner Steve Lalla Kevin Reilly Gray Sibley Michael Sinterniklaas
(Original Japanese songs reinterpreted into English by The Replicants)
BGCrisis 8 Trivia: This OAV is one of only two OAVs in Bubblegum Crisis that is a stand-alone story. The other is BGC 4.
Attentive fans will note that Oomori Kinuko had not performed any solo vocals after BGC 3. This was because she had landed a singing contract with, to quote Fujita Junji, President of Youmex, and Executive and Music Producer for BGC, "a certain record company," and her contractual obligations effectively prevented her from singing solo in the series. As discussed in these notes for BGC 6 and BGC 7, this led to serious consideration of killing the character Priss and creating a new Knight Saber.
These same fans will note that Oomori did perform a solo vocal in this episode, the ending theme "Chase the Dream." According to Mr. Fujita, around the time this episode was originally in production (mid-to-late 1990), Oomori was forming a new band, SILK. When the video was originally released in Japan (January 1991), SILK also released its first album. The connection is that "Chase the Dream" was originally recorded by SILK for its debut album, and borrowed afterward by Youmex for use in this episode. A similar thing happened with "Mr. Dandy," the ending theme to the original "Bubblegum Crisis" (now officially "Tinsel City"), which was originally recorded by a band named "Bluew" for their debut album, before being included in the OAV.
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Bubblegum Crisis 8
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Bubblegum Crisis 8 Synopsis, created 2 March 1996; last revised 19 August 2005