You're Under Arrest - Taiho Shichauzo

In You're Under Arrest, two policewomen return to their home precinct after time training in other areas. Their lives are immediate disrupted by a series of bizarre events.

The original manga for this story was done by Kousuke Fujishima, and tells of the two young women - Miyuki Kobayakawa and Natsumi Tsujimoto. As in many partnerships, one is serious and hard working, while the other is frivolous and fun loving. Both want to do the best they can to fulfill their duty.

Just as they start their jobs, traffic lights go out, and then their beloved chief is thrown into jail for apparently refusing to share information about an old friend of his. The next thing you know, there are terrorists planting bombs on bridges and launching assaults. The two friends have to draw from all of their strength to try to get the bad guys and save the town.

I enjoyed the plot in this a lot - there were many twists and turns that all made logical sense. The movie was not 'fantastical' in any way - this could be a very real situation. Some have said the movie was too depressing. Compared to movies like Akira and X, this is totally cheerful! Yes, there are threats and the characters have moments of weakness. But they pull through with their own focus and strength, and find a solution. It isn't a "birds fly out of the sky and save them" deus ex machina - it's a real solution that makes sense within the story.

That's not to say that the entire story was 100% realistic. There are classic anime-style excesses that would make James Bond blush. A car is lowered from a helicopter and then drives down the highway. One of the policewomen leaps out of the back of the police-van and starts driving her motorcycle. There are lots of slow-mo and frozen frames during these events so you REALLY ... NOTICE ... IT'S ... COOL. Sometimes this technique was effective, while sometimes it just slowed the action down.

The movie did take a while to get you drawn in, but by the time the car races and helicopter races and such are going on, you really are rooting for the good guys. We saw this in a theater setting and some of the James Bond moments were greeted with laughter at just how outrageous they were, but it's generally a fun movie that's worth seeing.

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