Mad Bull 34: The Complete Series
Pros: Completely shameless in what it wants to be.
Cons: Completely shameless in what it wants to be.
In the rough streets of New York where rape, prostitution, and murder run rampant. New officer on the force, Daisuburo “Eddie” Ban, is assigned to the 34th Precinct. His first day of duty sees him partnered up with officer John Estes aka Sleepy, but better known as Mad Bull. Daisuburo gets his first taste on what it means to be a cop working the 34th. But Sleepy’s excessive force has him wondering, what kind of cop is he? And how the hell did he make it to the force? –summary
Well… Mad Bull 34, I never thought the day would come when this 4 episode OVA hit DVD shelves, and it’s not because this series is some hard to find masterpiece. Instead, Mad Bull 34 embodied all of the negative clichés found in early 90’s anime. It’s over the top violent, exploitive, and gross. The series is totally shameless in what it wants to be, but to its credit though, the series does a fine job in setting out what it wanted to be. There are a small group of anime fans out there whom hold this high as some type of classic, but it’s definitely far and away from that.
Based on the manga written by Kazuo Koike, and directed by Satoshi Dezaki; the series follows the two cops as they combat muggers, rapist, gangsters, and eventually the mafia. The first volume is a plotless and sex-filled blood bath, with some type of story coming around towards the end. However, the last three stand alone episodes are story driven as the two cops go up against in-house corruption, a suicidal Japanese cult, and a robotic monster reminiscent of the Predator.
Unfortunately, Mad Bull 34 will hit you with so much profanity and violence that the stories become an after thought, and you’ll just be wondering how they’ll kill someone next or how the two cops and later on a third cop by the name of Perrine Valley are getting out of these jams. One moment stands out to me when Sleepy guns down two robbers leaving one terribly wounded and attempting to take a female hostage. He kills the guy in a way that needs to be seen to be believed. The girl goes in to shock and grabs a hold of his partner; Sleepy advises him to stick his finger up her ass ( in those exact words) for her to let go and come back to her senses. This doesn’t even scratch the surface on how mad this anime is; from the Predator monster’s antics to the hand grenade jock strap, there is usually something floating out of left field. Mad Bull 34 is hilariously sick and the cool thing is that it never takes itself seriously.
The blood-lusting action fiend will no doubt see their appetite for destruction satisfied. There is seriously tons of action with only the third episode being the weakest to me. My only issue is that I need more than this stuff in my anime, because after awhile a more mature audience will become numb to all of the killing, cursing, and sex.
I enjoy the English dub mainly because of those hilarious Boston-Italian accents. Daisuburo doesn’t sound even remotely close to a Japanese born American or New Yorker for that matter. I can almost swear that I ordered a pizza from this guy when I was in Massachusetts. The animation is hand drawn old school goodness, with the male designs looking quite brawny, and the females all looking sexy in some way. The violence isn’t the least bit tame; viewers will get it all from blown off heads to slit throats. One thing about the visuals that stood out to me, is how the artist must have visited New York because they did a well enough job on the landscape and subways. The 4,5, and 6 trains transfer to the 7 line in Grand Central station was detailed enough. The soundtrack isn’t anything truly gripping, but it does a good job working alongside the action.
Mad Bull 34 is a bad title that I mildly enjoy. I can’t exactly hate it because at the very least it’s tonally consistent, and just not meant to be taken seriously. However, this is something I would only recommend to the most serious otakus who must see everything. If this title sounds too out of control for you then skip it for sure. If you love loads of violence then this is for you.
Run time: 180 minutes