You're Under Arrest!

Based on the manga by Kosuke Fujishima (who also created Oh My Goddess!), You're Under Arrest is an incredibly charming, sometimes serious, yet loads of fun police show. On one level it reminds a little of Patlabor in terms of character development, yet contains some truly amazing car chases that would put any live-action police show to shame. Probably the most noticeable feature of this series, is the superb visuals. The artwork is quite eye-pleasing, with crisp designs and vivid colors. Particular attention is paid to the rendering of vehicles, and some images look almost photo-realistic. The animation is also top-notch, coupled with some excellent cinematography. I could probably drone on forever about the rich visual experience this series provides, but I think it's best experienced for itself. Character development is paramount in this series. The rather brash Natsume joins Bakooko Precinct and is teamed up with the sweet and punctual Miyuki. They're both charming, likable, and pretty cute to boot! While they may have somewhat opposite personalities, they're both incredibly fun to watch, and it's interesting to see the friendship between the two develop. They're supported by several other characters including the resident gossip, Yoriko, the tough yet shy motorcycle cop, Nakajima, and their stoic, yet kind police chief. To be honest, the story lines are pretty irrelevant in the face of the character development, and either serve to further expand on the characters relationships or provide some truly excellent high-speed chases. Now the chase scenes in You're Under Arrest are probably some of the best I've seen, animated and otherwise. They are truly amazing. Unlike most police shows, which usually feature car chases accompanied by elaborate pyrotechnics, the drivers in this series are skilled enough to avoid getting in to accidents. That doesn't mean that the chase sequences aren't as good as their live-action counterparts; quite the opposite, in fact. The excellent animation, beautiful cinematography, and upbeat jazzy tunes, all combine to create some very breath-taking moments. You're Under Arrest is a truly superb police drama/comedy. Enjoyable on all levels, and for all ages, I only wish there were more than four episodes of this incredibly fun series. I guess I'll just have to wait until the TV series gets released. The Verdict: * * * * 1/2 (very good)

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