During the 1990’s anime home market boom, one retailer came into the competition in Europe to make sure that all of these “Japanimation toons” would get bought up by a demographic consisting of those who were into sex, violence and creative swearing. And that’s what Manga Entertainment did with their anime titles, which was to license the top tier forms of anime they could buy that contained sex, violence and swearing all in one package. Well, the last part had a helping hand in making sure the dubbing department did their job in making the creative swearing happen.
Anime not related to the Real Life song…
I want to introduce you to a sweetie named Angel, but don’t that name fool ya’, because she can be a bitch when she wants too. And buddy, if she’s a feisty one, then I’m a banana. Let’s go back to the end of the 1980’s OVA boom with a title called Angel Cop which came out in 1989, and was directed by Ichiro “circus-missiles-and-the-guy-who-directed-Violence-Jack-Evil-Town-OVA” Itano. There is also a manga about Angel Cop written by Taku Kitazaki, which tells a much different story than how the anime did. Now, you would figure the manga and the anime might be one in the same, but they couldn’t but totally apart from each other. And if they weren’t apart enough as it is, Manga Ent. made sure the line to connect the two would remained severed for many years.
See, Angel Cop was a product of Manga “fifteening,” which meant that they will market ultra-violent cartoons to the European (and American) masses by appealing that the only people who should watch Angel Cop, and could handle the sheer brutality that it has to offer, were people above the age of 15. It was a standards and practices thing in Europe at the time when it came to home distribution from what I gather, and by taking out the dub from Angel Cop would actually lessen mature impact. However, I will say if the dub was never done, the Angel Cop anime fans in the west know it would be a totally different beast, as in it wouldn’t be all that cool to watch and enjoy.
To sum up Angel Cop, it’s about a special police force within the Japanese government called the Special Security Force, which consists of our “ice bitch” named Angel, and her partner for all of 20 minutes in the beginning named Raiden, who must stop the communist regime residing in Japan called the Red May. The SSF also consist of the forces computer expert named Hacker (I kid you not, that is his name), and his book nerd, glasses wearing, partner named Peace. The two people in charge of the SSF is five-o’clock-shadow-wearing Taki and his right-hand man Kuwata, who are in charge of managing their team in stopping the Red May leader Tachihara. Both Taki and Kuwata take orders from the Governor of Tokyo, Maisaka, who is there to make sure the team is able to restore order to Japan from the communists. There is also another faction into play in stopping the Red May, and that is a special group of counter-terrorists whose weapons are those of telekinesis. These three individuals are known as Hunters, and include 80’s hair-metal-band-member-look Asura, the Firestarter Freya, and anime Bridget-Neilson-fill-in-character Lucifer. Later, a scientist named Ichihara joins forces with the SSF in order to stop the real menace that they face in the last couple of episodes.
Angel Cop story and plot may not be all that deep, but there is enough there to keep the viewer interested for all 6 half-hour OVA’s episodes. As simple as I made the character introduction sound, it gets a tad complicated into keeping the viewer interested. The good guys don’t seem to be as good as they appear, and the bad guys aren’t that bad either, but they also get worse. Each episode builds upon more and more corruption, which involves a plot consisting of “those American’s are dumping toxic waste onto Japan and the government’s covering it up.” That really isn’t the reason you get in the English dub release, because thanks to the efforts of the internet a few years ago from people who know Japanese, it’s about those dirty Jews and how wars are about weapons testing. Is Itano secretly an anti-Semitic individual? That is something you would have to ask him yourself at an anime convention.
To some, Angel Cop English release might be offensive, but to others, it’s a B-movie fun-fest for an evening. I remember a friend and I went through all 6 episodes in one night recently, and I didn’t have the will to stop re-watching it, and he didn’t wanna stop for his first viewing. If anything, Angel Cop is there to serve as a cheap evening’s entertainment that is fun to watch, and may cause you to lose hearing in your virgin ears from the adolescent swearing that is to behold. My first viewing of Angel Cop was some 2 dollar VHS tapes at a local comic book store on sale that I took home about a decade ago when I was dog sitting for a family, and after watching the end of Angel Cop on a random whim, I had to know what the beginning was like. My only knowledge of Angel Cop at that time was a small ad in the back of one of the old Bubblegum Crisis RPG books, which to paraphrase how they sold it, it was along the lines of “If Priss was a police officer, this would be that anime.” There is a lot more to that, but it’s in the right direction.
The dub is full of one-liners that would make the rational viewer kind of yell things outloud such as “WHAT THAT HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?” From what I had heard on an Anime World Order channel stream one night, one of the lines mentioned in the anime stated by Angel went like “If this is Justice, then I’m a Banana!” From what I heard, this was a British term used by someone in a paper that the script writers thought it would be cool to use in the dub, which professional translator Neil Nadelman tried to incline that it was too silly to use and should be left out. Well, Manga didn’t listen and threw that in there as an official dub line, and the rest is history. Angel Cop seems to try its hardest to be on the side of creative swearing, where using swearing is more of an elegant insult to say to someone while pointing your gun boldly at their temple stating “…unless you want a 45. Caliber lobotomy real bad, I suggest you tell your friend over there to put that fucking knife down!” You can never be as classy as Angel Cop, and there is so much more where that came from.
So yea, if you got a free weekend evening, YouTube ready to go on your TV with some drinking buddies, then make it an Angel Cop night. And if your crazy girlfriend is against you playing such an anime on your flat screen Toshiba for date night, just look into her eyes and whisper, “Never underestimate the power of Japanese technology, you evil bitch.” Actually, don’t tell her that, just stick to watching the Divergent series or something.
I freaking LOVE Angel Cop…. like…. a lot!!!