ADV Films // 1996 // 30 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // March 31st, 2005
"Now you shall behold my maidenly wrath!"
If you like your anime silly, fast, and sexy, then Debutante Detective Corps might fit the bill. The story is about five girls who are all daughters of very rich and powerful men. On their first day of high school, a mysterious threat is delivered, saying they are targets of revolutionary terrorists who want them to die. What the terrorists don't know is the five girls all have superpowers and James Bond-style gadgets that could quickly turn the tables on them, and make them the targets of a girl power assault. Let the games begin, as the campus becomes a war zone between the babes and the bombs in this quick moving thirty-minute anime.
Debutante Detective Corps looks like the first episode of a much longer television series from 1996. This episode introduces the main characters, Kimiko, Miyuki, Reika, Youko, and Nina. One crashes in to orientation on a motorcycle, one parachutes from a military helicopter, and the last actually arrives as part of a police motorcade. The other two just arrive by bike and car. Each girl's stats and history are briefly flashed on the screen, which sort of describes their powers. Youko, the brains of the outfit, is noted as being a descendant of Adolf Hitler (okay...) in an example of typical anime World War Two weirdness. Kimiko is a psychic. Miyuki (Kimiko's twin) is a mechanical genius. Reika is a martial arts expert. And Nina carries guns in her clothes. They are drawn as all breasts and eyes, and are always scantily clad. It's kind of icky to think these girls are freshmen in high school, but anime directors have a thing for schoolgirls, so here we are.
This title doesn't seem available on Amazon, and it doesn't pop up on IMDb. It's probable that the only places you will find it will be anime specialty shops, or you can order it rather cheaply through ADV's website (see the link under "Accomplices"). ADV does a fine job with the transfer, and the soundtracks are fine in stereo. Colors and explosions were impressive on my home theater system. The transfer is sharp. This is all cel animation, with quite a few still shots to save money here and there. The English dub is a little bit grating, especially the actress voicing Kimiko, who decided to use a Southern drawl. The Japanese track is just as grating, thanks to some extremely high-pitched voice talent for the girls. I noticed the English track is punched up a couple of notches with louder explosions and more ambient noises added to the mix. One thing I didn't like about the ADV transfer is how they chose to superimpose English words on Kanji signs. It sticks out, and you can't read the original writing. The English dub is also problematic because it makes the girls more flirty than they really were in the original Japanese track. For example, in the English version Nina pulls out a gun and pronounces that she uses it to hunt boys. Flip over to the Japanese track, and Nina claims the firearm is used to hunt birds. Go figure! Guess ADV wanted to up the "ick" factor by making the girls even more tartish.
The whole disc lasts for thirty minutes, and ends abruptly. It had to be a pilot for the series, and there isn't much character development or back story. Debutante Detective Corps seems happy to put young girls in danger and then watch them fight their way out. It has silly moments, and really could be considered more of an action comedy than anything else. The girls and the terrorists both seem klutzy and prone to pratfalls. Despite all the cleavage shots, there really isn't anything in it with nudity or sexuality. Even the gore is non-existent. So it's just cute school girls with huge racks firing guns at terrorists and giggling. If that's your bag, baby...go for it. Exploding cleavage and bombs bursting in the air is always a good time. Reminds me of my high school!
Review content copyright © 2005 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 30 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* ADV Previews
* ADV information page