is a 1987 to 1991 cyberpunk original video animation (OVA) series produced by Youmex and animated by AIC and Artmic. The series was planned to run for 13 episodes, but was cut short to just 8. The series involves the adventures of the Knight Sabers, an all-female group of mercenaries who don powered exoskeletons and fight numerous problems, most frequently rogue robots. The success of the series spawned several sequel series.


The series begins in late 2032, seven years after the Second Great Kanto earthquake has split Tokyo geographically and culturally in two. During the first episode, disparities in wealth are shown to be more pronounced than in previous periods in post-war Japan. The main adversary is Genom, a megacorporation with immense power and global influence. Its main product are boomers—artificial cybernetic life forms that are usually in the form of humans, with most of their bodies being machine; also known as "cyberoids". While Boomers are intended to serve mankind, they become deadly instruments in the hands of ruthless individuals. The AD Police are tasked to deal with Boomer-related crimes. One of the series' themes is the inability of the department to deal with threats due to political infighting, red tape, and an insufficient budget.


The setting displays strong influences from the movies ''Blade Runner'' and ''Streets of Fire''. The opening sequence of episode 1 is modeled on the opening sequence of ''Streets of Fire''. The humanoid robots known as "boomers" in the series also resemble Terminators cyborgs from the ''Terminator'' film. Suzuki explained in a 1993 ''Animerica'' interview the meaning behind the cryptic title: "We originally named the series 'bubblegum' to reflect a world in crisis, like a chewing-gum bubble that's about to burst."


The series started with Toshimichi Suzuki's intention to remake the 1982 film ''Techno Police 21C''. However, he met Junji Fujita and the two discussed ideas, and decided to collaborate on what later became ''Bubblegum Crisis''. Kenichi Sonoda acted as character designer, and designed the four female leads. Masami Ōbari created the mechanical designs. Obari would also go on to direct episodes 5 and 6. The OVA series is eight episodes long but was originally slated to run for 13 episodes. Due to legal problems between Artmic and Youmex, who jointly held the rights to the series, the series was discontinued prematurely.


Additional voices

English: Amanda Tancredi, Chuck Denson Jr., Chuck Kinlaw, David Kraus, Eliot Preschutti, Gray Sibley, Hadley Eure, Hank Troscianiec, J. Patrick Lawlor, Jack Bowden, Jay Bryson, Kevin Reilly, Marc Garber, Marc Matney, Michael Sinterniklaas, Scott Simpson, Sean Clay, Sophia Tolar, Steve Lalla, Steve Rassin, Steve Vernon, Zach Hanner



In North America, AnimEigo first released ''Bubblegum Crisis'' to VHS and Laserdisc in 1991 in Japanese with English subtitles. The series is notable in that it was one of the few early anime series that were brought over from Japan unedited and subtitled in English. While anime has become much more popular in the years since, in 1991, it was still mostly unknown as a storytelling medium in North America. ''Bubblegum Crisis'' was aired in the US when it first aired on PBS affiliate Superstation KTEH in the 1990s, and STARZ!'s Action Channel in 2000. An English dub of the series was produced beginning in 1994 by AnimEigo through Southwynde Studios in Wilmington, NC, and released to VHS and Laserdisc beginning that year. A digitally-remastered compilation, featuring bilingual audio tracks and production extras, was released on DVD in 2004 by AnimEigo. The company later successfully crowdfunded a collector's edition Blu-ray release through Kickstarter in November 2013. The series was released on a regular edition Blu-ray on September 25, 2018. The series is currently available for streaming on Night Flight Plus.


There are eight soundtrack releases (one per OVA), as well as numerous "vocal" albums which feature songs "inspired by" the series as well as many drawn directly from it.


Masaki Kajishima and Hiroki Hayashi, who both worked on the ''Bubblegum Crisis'' OAVs, cite the show as being the inspiration for their harem series ''Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki''. In an interview with AIC, Hayashi described ''Bubblegum Crisis'' as "a pretty gloomy anime. Serious fighting, complicated human relationships, and dark Mega Tokyo." They thought it would be fun to create some comedy episodes with ideas like the girls going to the hot springs, but it was rejected by the sponsors. He also said that there was a trend to have a bunch of characters of one gender and a single one of the other gender, and asked what if Mackey (Sylia's brother) was a main character, reversing the ''Bubblegum'' scenario. This idea then became the basis for Tenchi. Hayashi said that Mackey is "sort of" the original model for Tenchi. Kevin Siembieda's becoming aware of "Boomers" being already in use in this caused him to changed his planned name for the ''Rifts'' RPG which he had named after the "Boom Gun"–wielding power armor which was also renamed to ''Glitter Boy''.


Bubblegum Crash

The success of the series spawned several sequel series. The first of them was the three-part OVA . After the split between Artmic and Youmex, Artmic proceeded to make a sequel on their own, ''Bubblegum Crash'', which ran three OVA episodes and is conjectured that it was a shortened version of how ''Crisis'' was to end. Youmex promptly sued Artmic, cutting ''Crash'' short and tying the entire franchise up in legal issues for the next several years. It is set in 2034, and the Knight Sabers seem to be finished; each of its members—except Nene—have seemingly drifted off to pursue their own goals. But at the same time, parts of a unique artificial intelligence are stolen by several villains acting under the orders of a mysterious voice. Unexpectedly, Sylia resurfaces and prepares her teammates for battle. And as a gigantic machine drills its way to Mega Tokyo's main nuclear power plant, they meet again with an old and deadly enemy.


= Additional voices

= Japanese: Norio Tsukui, Takako Kikuchi, Toshiyuki Morikawa English (AnimEigo): Amanda Tancredi, Chuck Kinlaw, Grenoldo Frazier, Jack Bowden, Lou Criscuolo, Matthew Alexander, Michael Sinterniklaas, Scott Simpson, Sean Clay, Sophia Tolar, Steve Vernon, Zach Hanner


Other shows

* ''A.D. Police Files'' is a three-part original video animation prequel produced by Youmex and animated by Artmic and AIC, released in 1990. It takes place in the original ''Bubblegum'' universe. * ''A.D. Police: To Protect and Serve'' is 12-episode anime television series released in 1999 and is a sequel to ''A.D. Police Files''. * ''Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040'' is a 26-episode anime television series broadcast in 1998–1999. It is a reboot of the original series. * ''Parasite Dolls'' is a three-part original video animation series made in 2003 and set in the original Bubblegum universe.

Crossover appearances

In 1993, it appeared on ''Scramble Wars'', a crossover event between ''Bubblegum Crisis'', ''Gall Force'', ''Genesis Survivor Gaiarth'', ''AD Police'' and ''Riding Bean''.

Other media


* ''Bubblegum Crisis'' role-playing game produced by R. Talsorian Game

It introduces an alternate setting named "Bubblegum Crossfire", basing on a premise that data units with hardsuit blueprints have been sent to more individuals than just Sylia Stingray, resulting in that by 2033 there are numerous Knight Saber-like groups spread all over the globe. RTG's license to produce this game has expired and at present all copies of back stock have been sold. ** "Bubblegum Crisis: Before and After" (covering material from A.D. Police Files and Bubblegum Crash) ** "Bubblegum Crisis EX" which includes completely new materials (also incorporating early design concepts for BGC mecha and hardsuits as new variants)


The series' creator Toshimichi Suzuki wrote two novels: * ''Bubblegum Crisis Vol. 1: Silent Fanfare'', Fujimi Shobo * ''Bubblegum Crisis Vol. 2: Break Down-48'', Fujimi Shobo

Comic book

In Japan, a number of comic books were produced that featured characters and storylines based in the same universe. Some were very much thematically linked to the OVA series, while others were "one-shots" or comedy features. A number of artists participated in the creation of these comics, including Kenichi Sonoda, who had produced the original Knight Saber character designs. A North American comic based in the Bubblegum Crisis Universe was published in English by Dark Horse Comics. * ''Go! Go! Sabers!'', a comic by Tokio Kazuka. * ''Soldier Blue'', a comic by Toshimichi Suzuki. It serves as a prequel to Bubblegum Crash! It was also made as an audio drama. It was translated into English language in 1997 by R.Talsorian Games
A copy of the translated dialogue can be found here
* ''Bubblegum Crisis: Grand Mal'' produced by Adam Warren via Dark Horse Comics.

Video games

* ''Crime Wave'': a game for PC-88, set in Megatokyo and featuring Knight Sabers as the main characters. * ''Bubblegum Crash'': a game for TurboGrafx-16.

Live-action movie

In May 2009 it was announced that a live-action movie of "Bubblegum Crisis" was in the early stages of production. A production agreement was signed at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The film was expected to be released in late 2012 with a budget of 30 million. The production staff was said to have consulted with the original anime's staff members, Shinji Aramaki and Kenichi Sonoda, to help maintain consistency with the world of the original. However, no further developments have been announced.


External links

AnimEigo's ''Bubblegum Crisis'' website

''Bubblegum Crisis''
– AIC's official ''Bubblegum Crisis'' page * * {{Anime International Company Bubblegum Crisis Category:1987 anime OVAs Category:1991 anime OVAs Category:Alternate history anime Category:Anime International Company Category:Artificial intelligence in fiction Category:Cyberpunk anime and manga Category:Dengeki Comics Category:Girls with guns anime and manga Category:Madman Entertainment anime Category:Mecha anime and manga Category:Seinen manga Category:Television series set in the 2030s