First things first: this show is NOT about yuri policewomen!!! Now then…
The series start off with what appears to be a direct continuation of the show’s Second Season – that is, Miyuki ending her LAPD exchange program and Natsumi completing her special training with the Self Defense Forces of Japan. Miyuki leaves her LAPD comrades and bids farewell to them at the airport, and checks in her luggage. Here, she meets a polite young boy who allows Natsumi to check-in her baggage first (“ladies first”) and they end up sitting in the same row on the plane.
Once aboard the plane, Miyuki relaxes and reads over a letter from Natsumi that talks about their coworkers back at the Bokuto Police Station (it also mentioned Saori from Season 1 & 2 being transferred to a completely new police station somewhere else). With that done, Miyuki turns on her laptop and plays… Bomber Run (the anime world equivalent of Bomber Man perhaps?). This captures the interest of the child passenger next to her, and with a little convincing, the two players face off, only to have the poor boy getting defeated successively.
Tired from all the time spent on video games, Miyuki and the boy has a little conversation (he introduces himself as Randy). Randy mentions his mother also having the name Miyuki (which effectively makes him half-Japanese and half-American) and passionately talks about his interest in visiting the various Japanese castles…which are full of samurai. ^^; Randy also mentions his desire to be able to live independently and protect the ones he love, which grabs Miyuki’s intrigue. Natsumi, meanwhile, departs from the military training camp in the woods and asks her driver to stop by a cafeteria-style restaurant to satisfy her voracious appetite.
Miyuki arrives at Narita airport and heads back home, but stops as she sees Randy sitting by himself. Randy claims that no one is there to pick him up, and curiously asks if it is possible to walk to Tokyo from the airport (note: although Narita Airport is usually recognized as Tokyo’s international airport, it is in reality almost 60 km/37 miles away from the city’s central hub). A concerned Miyuki offers to bring Randy to the city, but a large, burly gaijin man appears before them and drags Randy off with the badly made reason of “We are looking for him.”
Taking no time in assessing that the man is a kidnapper, Miyuki hurls a large suitcase (that is not hers) and knocks off the criminal. She quickly leads Randy outside of the airport, and with no time to lose, “borrows” another person’s minivan and leaves the scene. The kidnapper follows suit, as he gets on a car driven by his accomplice; Nakajima-kun, who is in charge of welcoming back to Miyuki back to Japan also chases after them on his police motorcycle. Highway chase, anyone? 😉
While on the highway, Randy declares his full name, Randy Hammond, and talks about how he is being pursued by people with malicious intent. This revelation brings a news flashback for Miyuki, in which she remembers the Hammonds being a family of status and wealth – with Randy being its direct heir.
The criminal duo, desperate to nab the inheritor of the Hammond fortune, starts firing at the car Miyuki is driving, and successfully stops the pursuing police cars. All this commotion naturally gets noticed, and a helicopter airing footage of the chase on tv catches Natsumi’s attention…
The chase shifts to a different metropolitan highway (Nakajima-kun is left behind), with Miyuki aiming to bring the alleged kidnappers directly into the Bokuto Police Station. She finally reunites here with Natsumi, who gracefully leaps into the minivan right off her motorbike (Randy: “Wow! She’s like a ninja!”). The two successfully traps the kidnappers’ car into the barrage of police cars near the Bokuto Police Station, resulting in the villains’ car leaping into midair and miserably crashing down. Kidnappers, you two are under arrest! 😛
Un-policewomanlike conduct by NatsuMiyu this episode:
Clarification: To the best of my knowledge, Japanese police officers are *technically* not given the ability to commandeer private property such as cars (Japanese military personnel do have this ability, but can only do so under certain guidelines and only when they are on duty). Thanks for bringing this up Kiltmaster!
The OP is a standard J-techno piece that fits in nicely with the overall theme and atmosphere (even the lyrics are appropriate for the show). The ED, however, is not something I’m too fond of. The animation accompanying the ED is considerably misleading as well, because Taiho Shichauzo was not, is not, and will not be about yuri policewomen (ahaha…). Those familiar with the franchise – including myself – should be well aware, after all, that Miyuki will forever be paired with Nakajima-kun, while Natsumi is either smitten with her superior, Kachou, or Lt. Toukairin Shouji (who may or may not appear this season).
Miyuki and her impeccable driving ability that will make any special agent jealous. Check. Natsumi kicking butt. Check. Yoriko (VA: Kozakura Etsuko) still sounding like she’s 13. Check. Criminals getting arrested by the end of the episode. Check. All the things that made Taiho Shichauzo entertaining for me when I first watched it on TBS at the age of 8 is still present, and all is well. The same veteran seiyuus that brought Miyuki and Natsumi to life (voiced by Hiramatsu Akiko and Tamagawa Sakiko, respectively) are still able to portray the dynamic duo convincingly just like when the show first aired so many years ago. (Now, if only the Slayers will be reanimated with a 4th season, will my anime life be truly complete…) Taiho Shichauzo was never too heavy or philosophical, but it’s definitely entertaining if you give it the chance. It is not recommended however, for lovers of outrageous fanservice. The closest thing to fanservice you’ll probably ever get is the ED. ^^;
Next Time: Miyuki looks alarmed. Natsumi takes a non-fanservice shower. Randy faces the difficulty of being the chibified, more responsible anime counterpart of Stavros Niarchos III.