Burn Up

The idea of having scantily clad women frolicking onscreen is one possibly as old as film itself. The earliest reels of black and white cinemascope feature burlesque and more. I suppose that looking at women with as little clothing as possible is an urge of all men, regardless of time or place. In the modern century, however, we clean up this fantasy by trying to pretend that there's some semblance of plot that makes watching the aforementioned somehow more socially redeeming. It is that kind of thinking that brings around shows like Burn Up.

It seems that, if you give girls in form-fitting uniforms some big guns, all of a sudden things are somehow justifiable. "It's not just skin, it's action and adventure!" Burn Up's a 30-minute tease of blazing weapons and lecherous viewpoints. It's actually kind of cute in a mind-numbing way, and there's very little actual nudity on display, but the constant attention to the female anatomy gets in the way of something that could have become more worthwhile.

Maki, Reimi, and Yuka are three cute young police officers investigating the disappearance of other cute young women from their city. Turns out there's a kidnapping ring with all sorts of nefarious plans that these three have to stop. Problem is, they are all just one step away from completely incompetent. But will that stop them? Of course not! Watch as our main characters light up the screen! Thrill to the sight of policewomen in underwear shooting their way out of the kidnapper's base!

Burn Up is actually not a slouch, for the grief that I give it. The action sequences are actually quite exciting and certainly well executed. The animation isn't great and the character designs are a little old now, but they still work. Though the plot is hard to believe, it's also vaguely serious considering the nature of the other shenanigans going on. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a good production.

The thing that just stands in my way of giving Burn Up a reasonable rating is that it's too lecherous for its own good. Burn Up is intending to be a comedy as well as an action flick, so I can't expect it to be realistic. I can even appreciate the female form on its own merits. However, the show is lecherous at its core; you can't get into the comedy or the action either one without the spectre of a derriere shot or flirtatious tease being around the corner. Although nowhere near as bad as the completely debased spectacle Agent Aika, this OVA still has plenty of dirty old man syndrome to go around.

Burn Up is not a title for the kids and not one I can really recommend from my own personal viewpoint. I do give it a low B because what it does is competent, and the elements that bother me are in far bigger display elsewhere. I can't say I disliked the show per se, but I did dislike that the story couldn't be told with a little more class.

Burn Up -- violence, lotsa lechery, adult themes -- B-