Burn Up Excess series overview
But let's not judge this before we've even started. After all, Tenchi gave us much more than fanservice.
This being a sequel of sorts, we're dropped right in the middle of the action from episode one. Team Warrior, a special forces outfit of 'policetown' are called in for jobs that are simply too dangerous or too difficult for the regular cops. Each Warrior member is a specialist in their own field. The blonde haired Rio is a combat expert, trigger happy Maya can tell you everything there is to know about weapons, Nanvel invents all the technology and Lilica is the computer expert. Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
This may be a team effort, yet Burn Up Excess focuses on the financially troubled, man-hunting, fashion victim Rio. She's a sassy one for sure, and not the kind of girl who keeps her opinion to herself. Many viewers may find her antics a little hard to stomach, although I really didn't dislike her. She's always cash-strapped, always the underdog, so I found it easy to sympathise with the character (even if she does waste all her money on clothes). The remaining cast are considerably less hyperactive, even if they do have their abnormalities.
Maya, who has an episode to herself in the first volume, is always trying to 'let off steam' by shooting at anything that moves - a less than subtle hint that she may be sexually excited by guns and ammo. This is the calibre of joke that will be repeated ad infinitum throughout Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
It's true that the comedy has none of the subtlety of, say, Maison Ikokku, but that's not say that it isn't without its charm. Just like Tenchi and El Hazard before it, Burn Up Excess does a lot to make the viewer feel comfortable. So while it may not be laugh-out-loud funny it does enough to keep a strong jovial atmosphere throughout.
Some of the funniest moments come from the only major male character in the cast, the handsome yet perverted Yuji. He's always peeping in the girl's changing room (where we're 'treated' to an over-long shot of the girls in their underwear) and filming his precious Rio with his handheld video recorder whenever he can. During the latter half of the series we are introduced to 'Yuji's omake theatre' at the end of each episode, in which Yuji carries out some crackpot plan to peep at the girls. The omake theatre is so over the top it Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 3 of 3. Click to enlarge
Primarily a fanservice show, Burn Up Excess' second forte is action. There is at least one good action scene per show, usually featuring Rio or Maya, which gives some decent variety between close combat and gunplay. The smooth animation compliments the action, and the bold, bright colours and sharp artwork make for some nice action poses from our busty heroines.
If it were not so over the top I'd put it in the same category as all the over fanservice-heavy shows. Yet Burn Up Excess manages to be greater than the sum of its parts and I found myself enjoying a kind of guilty pleasure from the whole thing. Maybe it was a blessed relief from the dour Boogiepop Phantom that I'd watched the night before? Whatever the case, I found Burn Up Excess to be a light-hearted, enjoyable show. Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but if you liked Tenchi, you'll love this.
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