You're Under Arrest: The Mini-Specials Review
Following a four-part OVA, two television series totalling 77 episodes and a feature-length movie the adventures of Natsumi Tsujimoto and Miyuki Kobayakawa, two lady traffic cops at Bokoto Police Station, were far from over. In 2001 this 20 episode series of 6-minute mini-adventures aired with the sole intention of having fun with the characters that were now fully established in Japanese viewer’s minds.
Compiled onto one value packed disc here in the UK by ADV Films
the obvious question is, given how little exposure the series has received in the past, are they worth a look? The simple answer is a resounding yes. With a firm emphasis on action based thrills, simple comedy and a huge increase in fan-service this series of mini episodes requires literally zero knowledge of the series earlier incarnations. Better still character introductions and common traits are laid out in the very first episode, with an efficiently crafted meeting between the two leads and their fellow lady officers who are by and large the sole focus of this project. The male characters and inevitable love interests from the previous series are pushed into the background, with the station Chief and biker cop Nakajima only making the occasional appearance, always to comic effect.
The mismatched duo of Natsumi Tsujimoto, a feisty young lady fully aware of her sexuality and ability to mix it with the men if necessary, and Miyuki Kobayakawa, a more traditional female officer with an unusual affinity for all things mechanical is as much a joy here as it was in the more rounded television series offering. The two offset each other perfectly, with Miyuki providing the fine tuning Natsumi's police methods require and Natsumi bringing out the daredevil in Miyuki while the two both have a love for their respective vehicles and excitable driving tactics that endear all walks of life to their endeavours. Unfortunately the latter 'gearhead' aspects of their characters are mostly shunned in these mini episodes, with favour going to their understanding of men and how to twist them around their fingers. This results in plenty of fan service with the number of 'stolen panty' cases featured throughout almost requiring two hands to count!
The spoilt daughter of a famous society figure believes her father’s money gives her the right to drive like a maniac, and although the police chiefs would agree and orders from the top mean Natsumi and Miyuki must apologise, they do so with gusto and a little twist that puts a smile on the male passers by.
Natsumi has long been smitten by the Chief and fails to see through his ploy which lands her and Miyuki on bike safety duty in the local high school. With twenty drooling teens at their feet the girls employ their own brand of tough schooling that endears them to the boys for all the wrong reasons.
Returning home late from a day at the office Miyuki is shocked to find her master security system has been breached, and worse still the thief is of the panty variety and still in the apartment. Seeking a brand of electrifying justice Natsumi puts on a show the perverted gent cannot resist and subsequently discovers that raiding a police woman’s panty drawer is not a wise move in life.
Natsumi, Miyuki, Aoi-chan and Yoriko have been elected to hold a water safety school for women at the local gym. The panty thief season is still active however and this time women's locker rooms are on the agenda, but instead of finding heaven this panty thief enters into his own personal hell when Natsumi turns him into the CPR dummy in a room full of ageing woman.
Panties truly are the order of the day as yet another underwear thief is on the loose, this time both Aoi-chan and Yoriko have suffered at his/her dastardly hands! Maybe Najica is running low? But wait, the pattern indicates this panty thief goes strictly for the silk variety, but why?
After saving a man from a gang of youths the girls land themselves with an admirer who wants to make their smiles his one more time. Unfortunately for the fearless chap he soon finds their attentions aren't the easiest to obtain and the harder he tries the more painful it all becomes. Maybe he should have stolen some panties?
Miyuki reveals one of her few weaknesses as she screams Bokuto police station down to the ground at the very thought of the monster reportedly terrorising the local neighbourhood, preying on young women walking through the park at night. Natsumi volunteers them for bait on a sting mission on the condition the station pays for their clothes, but a new outfit may not be enough to prevent Miyuki from breaking out into hysteria with lethal rockets at her disposal for protection purposes.
For those of you who missed the lack of titillation in the previous two minis then here we get to witness the exploits of a peeping tom who goes to extreme lengths to catch the ladies of Bokuto police station in the changing rooms.
Suggesting the activity of the peeping tom is a popular pastime in Japan yet another one surfaces, only this time in the toilets of a local gym. On the case Miyuki brings in the easily deluded Nakajima to unwittingly help locate the perverted mastermind by putting his manhood on display and homing in on the screams from a nearby car.
Lunchtime has arrived at Bokuto station but the girls favourite haunt, the resident cafeteria, has seen a staggering drop in cliental thanks to a local sandwich bar. Miyuki's idea to regain interest doesn't quite hit the spot but Yoriko knows the way to the majorities hearts and only requires some willing volunteers and a pair of scissors to succeed.
A street performer is pulling in the crowds but doing so at the expense of a public walkway. Dispatched to the scene our favourite traffic cops find themselves unappreciated and initially humiliated, but Natsumi's impressive strength soon wins the audience over and the girls find themselves caught up in the festival spirit.
Off duty the girls are wandering around the local mall, but Miyuki seems preoccupied. It turns out a purse snatcher has been on the prowl lately yet when her bag is stolen she doesn't seem too worried. As Natsumi proclaims, "you're more evil than the thief" to Miyuki and her bag of tricks...
Natsumi's attempts to borrow more money from her partner are interrupted when a jumper is spotted on the roof of their apartment building. Inadvertently talking him down by accusing him of stealing her hard earned borrowed cash Natsumi is heralded a hero by the audience below.
Reports of a beautiful female siren haunting a busy car tunnel has brought traffic to a grinding halt and indirectly affecting Bokuto station via the resulting screams from Miyuki as her workmates tease her insecurity regarding all things supernatural. Setting up an undercover mission the women of Bokuto station plan to dress Aoi-chan up as the ghost and have him reveal all to the enchanted men, but in the midst of the operation it would appear that not all is as it seems...
A female flagman overseeing a busy road construction project is finding the abuse from the public a little too much to handle. Helping out, Miyuki and Natsumi teach a group of brutish oafs in a Mercedes Benz not to mess with women in the workplace.
At a Bokuto police station party everyone has had a little too much to drink, and when the Pizza arrives no one can find their wallet to pay. An inside job is the deduction; someone is using the merriments as a cover to make away with a healthy sum of money, but why? Accusations are hurled and more drink is consumed...
Kicking off with a tale of female understanding through all walks of life an unfortunate thief decides to hit the local Bokuto Police Station convenience store, where the patrons simply won't stand for his kind of behaviour.
An elderly gentlemen is causing frequent traffic delays due to his ignorance of the updated road and safety laws. Miyuki and Natsumi catch up with him at the front of a massive traffic jam when a speeding Ferrari whizzes by, and end up commandeering his vehicle when their own refuses to start. Much to her delight Miyuki discovers the old man is a gear head like herself and the stunt she and Natsumi pulls is enough to put them in the old guys favour till the day he dies.
The male officers of Bokuto Police Station find themselves a case they really want a feel of when a woman with "heavenly" breasts is reported to be enticing men into her bosom, only to knock them out and steal their wallets. Miyuki and Natsumi must deal with the hormone overload within their own walls before solving the case for themselves, and asking the question of who has the better pair (an answer to which the criminal will wish they never gave).
The final mini is another action packed car chase affair that begins with a duo of camera men following the exploits of the Bokuto Station female officers, as they compile footage for a PR video. Unfortunately for the Chief their budget only allowed them to hire some AV (Adult Video) specialists, and their focus on the officer’s bodies rather than actions aren't quite what he was looking for. Throw in the elaborate chase the two capture on video when in the back of Miyuki and Natsumi's mini patrol car and the video paints the Bokuto station officers in a light the chief would rather the public didn't see (no matter how much they enjoy it).
With a colourful choice of front cover artwork and a slick postcard style insert fans of the series are unlikely to complain at the choice of packaging art from the folk at ADV Films.
Picture and Sound
Presented in the original Full Screen aspect ratio the transfer here would get a solid recommendation were it not for the amount of edge enhancement applied throughout. This really is a shame and quite distracting at times, as apart from this drawback and occasional signs of pixellation the transfer impresses with solid colours and as much detail as the original animation will allow.
In terms of audio you will find a serviceable Japanese DD2.0 Stereo mix and optional English dub, once again in DD2.0 Stereo. Both tracks suffice and match the TV series production quality, while the optional English subtitles are always easy to read and show no signs of spelling or grammatical errors.
Some ADV Previews and wait, that's it! Not a clean opening or close in sight...
If you love You're Under Arrest then you must pick this up. The comedy antics on offer are top notch, and even if you've never seen the series before then you could do worse than check this out for some hilarious and disposable entertainment. But that is also the problem here, for the episodes offer nothing more than throwaway laughs to both the newcomer and seasoned You're Under Arrest fan alike, causing disappointment to the latter with selected characters completely ignored and others long running plot histories barely advanced.