This Frequently Asked Questions file ("FAQ") answers many questions that are often posted to the newsgroup alt.fan.bgcrisis regarding the Japanese anime Bubblegum Crisis.
The FAQ maintainer, Rob Kelk, wishes to thank the following people for their assistance with this document:
Cliff "Lowen SoDium" Coleman
Jason "Unagi" Ng
Hunter "peregrine" Wilcox
and all the other regulars on alt.fan.bgcrisis.
This FAQ is available on the World-Wide Web. The primary site is currently <http://robkelk.ottawa-anime.org/bgc-faq.html>.
An older version is mirrored at <http://www.ravensgarage.com/~rkelk/bgc-faq.html>.
This is the fourth FAQ for BGC that the list maintainer is aware of.
The first is Welcome to alt.fan.bgcrisis, by Steve Pearl, and the second is Bubblegum Crisis (link via the Internet Archive), by Brian Edmonds. They do not cover BGC2040 or the alt.fan.bgcrisis newsgroup, and their owners do not appear to be maintaining these FAQs at this time.
There is also a Bubblegum Crisis 2040 FAQ maintained by Andy 'Payndz' McDermott. It does not cover original BGC or the newsgroup, and does not appear to have been updated since late 1998.
Original BGC is the eight-episode OAV series made by Artmic and Youmex between 1987 and 1990, followed by the prequel three-episode OAV series AD Police Files and the sequel three-OAV series Bubblegum Crash, both made by AIC. These are released in North America by AnimEigo. (There was also an AD Police manga by Toshimichi Suzuki (writer) and Tony Takezaki (artist), translated into English by Viz Communications. It acts as a "bridge" story between ADP and BGC.)
BGC2040 is the twenty-six-episode TV series Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 made in 1999 by AIC. There is also an AD Police TV series, made in 1999 by AIC, that appears to be yet another unrelated story. The North American rights to these versions of BGC are owned by ADV Films.
Mr. Sonoda is a character designer and manga artist, best known in North America for his manga Gunsmith Cats and his design work on the original BGC series. He designed the basic look of all four of the original Knight Sabers and their hardsuits, and his hardsuit designs were re-used in Bubblegum Crash and BGC2040.
Kenichi Sonoda did not create Bubblegum Crisis itself - the anime was created by Toshimichi Suzuki.
All versions of BGC have been or are being professionally translated and released in North America. Support your local anime store - they should be able to get all of these shows for you (although they can't get the ones that haven't been translated yet).
If you don't have a local anime store and you live in North America, you can order BGC straight from the translators:
MVM Video distributes PAL versions of BGC and BGC2040 in the United Kingdom.
Will Svenselius reports that Stockholm's Science Fiction Book Shop sells BGC dubs&subs, Crash dubs&subs, 2040 dubs&subs, the BGC DVD's (collectors edition box), Grand Mal, BGC2040 t-shirts and the BGC Roleplaying game.
Madman has released BGC2040 in Australia.
Nikkou reports that both original BGC and BGC2040 are available on DVD in at least one HMV store in Hong Kong.
The list maintainer welcomes information on how to obtain episodes of any version of BGC in other parts of the world.
Jeanne Hedge answered this question on 24 August 1999:
BGC 2040 is not related to the original BGC.
BGC 2040 was never intended to be related to the original BGC.
Different background stories.
Different character attitudes.
About the only thing that's the same are character names, and that the Knight Sabers, the AD Police, and Genom are all in the city of Tokyo (which also has a different name depending on series)
Of course, it looks like the AD Police of the ADP TV series is not any more related to the ADP of 2040 than it is to the ADP of classic BGC/BGCrash/ADP. That is to say, it ain't. Yet another alternate universe.
Think of it like Tenchi or Patlabor. All those series, with apparently the same characters, but the series have nothing to do with each other because they're all set in different universes.
Better yet, think of it like Dirty Pair vs Dirty Pair Flash. Both feature characters named Kei and Yuri who work for WWWA, but that's where any resemblence ends. Different universes.
Will Svenselius passed along the following text from an interview with Hiroki Hayashi (director of BGC2040) in the June 2000 issue of Manga Max:
"I didn't really care about how fans thought it should tie in with the original," says Hayashi. "I didn't particularly have a very different idea in mind with the new series either, because I also like the original videos, especially the first three episodes. So I wanted to make 2040 with the same themes and feeling. Not just rehash it, but also to give it a new life, to reach a new audience." If he does have criticism of the original, it's that because it was envisaged as a one-shot video, there was always a different team of people working on the latter instalments. "I wanted to have a consistency with the staff and ideas this time around."
Usually, the "regulars" will assume everyone knows they're talking about original BGC if they don't say thay're talking about BGC2040. (If the Subject line starts with the tag "[BGC2040]", then they're not discussing original BGC.) But not everyone's a regular, and sometimes the regulars will forget, so here's a few indicators:
There are some "accepted" ways to spell the various characters' names. Sarah Davis complied this list, which the list maintainer has tweaked:
Despite what Ryan Mathews wrote in Bubblegum Cards, the following are not acceptable spellings for Sylia:
Celia, Cilia, Selia, Cilea, Sillya, Sellya, Slya, Ceelia, Cilya, Cellea, Sileea, Seli-Uh, Sellea, S'Lee-A, Celiah, Seliah, Silea, Cylia, Cylya, Seelia, Cylea, Sylea, Celiya, Seliya
And finally ... never confuse Sylia with Sylvie.
Start at the rec.arts.anime.creative archives' BGC directory.
If you can't find the story you're looking for there, check the BGC Fan Fiction Guide.
"Good" is a relative term - you may not agree with what I think is good.
Instead, Sarah Davis has suggested three lists of BGC-related links: The Anime Web Turnpike's list of BGC pages, Bubblegum Crisis Links of Links, and Linking to the World of MegaTokyo. Another similar site is the dmoz Open Directory Project's Bubblegum Crisis page.
There is also an active BGC Webring and an unknown number of inactive BGC webrings.
The list maintainer is not aware of any current BGC fanclubs.
Compilation copyright © 1999-2006 Rob Kelk. All Rights Reserved.
Text copyright © the individual authors (Rob Kelk, unless credited otherwise), and used either with permission or under "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act.
Images copyright © AIC, and used under "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act.