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
Maury Edwards has beaten a rape and murder charge due to the lack of solid evidence. News reporter Jacqueline "Jackie" Moyer has strong reason to believe that he is in fact guilty of the crime, and many other similar attacks against women. But since he's able to manipulate the system, she's hellbent on bringing him down by manipulating the public. Perrine Valley of the 34th Precinct happens to be an old friend of Jackie's, and has now begun to worry about her safety, due to Edwards wealthy status and his ties with the Mafia. Sleepy and Daisuburo join Perrine to assist in Jackie's protection. The situation turns very serious when Jackie returns home and finds her cat roasted in the oven, with a threatening phone message afterwards.-summary
City of Vice is the third part of the four volume OVA series directed by Satoshi Dezaki. The anime is based off the manga by Kazuo Koike, and up to this day I still haven't read it. Therefore, I don't know how accurately it's followed, or if it's even followed at all. But one thing is for sure, there's still a consistent flow in the series, as Mad Bull 34 remains on its chosen path, which is to deliver a hardcore action romp, and keep everything that made it so fun to watch in the first place firmly intact.
Although the series sticks to its guns overall, this volume in particular is a little bit more story driven at first, and isn't as over the top with the action as in the previous volumes. It happens to focus in some ways on the corruption of the system, something we all know has been taking place for years, with wealthy individuals tossing out several dollars to escape justice, thus, leaving them free to attack those who can't fight against them. The themes this volume plays on really doesn't seem too out of place with the zany style of the series, mainly because Mad Bull 34 has been able to keep its dark edge to a certain degree. When it really wants to, I think the series at times has been able to juggle with the different styles, and create a good blend of seriousness and comedy. Now even though the series does work well with its themes, it really doesn't last too long, and Mad Bull 34 goes right back to being a mere action title.
The plot changes pace when a suicidal Chinese gang is hired to take out the main characters. What occurs next, is pretty much a gauntlet made up of random attacks by the gang. The action scenes this time around, at times, are a little bit more in the realm of realism, and far more brutal in their simplicity. When comparing them to the first two volumes, they really aren't as over the top and silly, but I find them more effective. It's far more believable seeing someone take a single shot gun blast to the chest or eye, then taking three shot gun blasts to the head.
The story and plot itself is definitely missed potential, because the creative team was obviously hellbent on mainly delivering an action packed kill fest, all the while tossing in the immature sexual content, and foul language just because. But I'll be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy a lot of it. The dialogue with all of the cussin' had me cracking up on several occasions.
Amongst the blood shed, surprisingly, there are small traces of character development, with small hints of a stronger bond between Perrine and Daisuburo, which plays off events from the previous volume. It was nice to see that the final moment of the last episode wasn't wasted. Sleepy is still himself for the most part, and I can't really see that as a bad thing. However, I was really disappointed in the ending though. I found the action scenes to be very bland for the most part, outside of maybe one moment, they were just plain non engaging with a bit too much stalling.
The anime still has its stylish moments with a very good soundtrack that compliments the mood and fits well with every scene. I also laughed quite often with the voice acting, especially on the part of the Chinese gang, with their heavy and over exaggerated "Chinglish" accents. The animation is decent considering the low quality of the OVA. My only real issue is that the action consisted of many still-like moments, such as characters standing in one place and firing for way too long. The artwork isn't bad, but I couldn't help but notice the focus on the fan service.
Mad Bull 34 City of Vice will more than likely appeal to those who are heavily into overly violent anime. Those who have enjoyed the first two volumes will more than likely get into this one as well. There is no real shortage of violence and misogyny going on here. Only recommended if you enjoyed anime titles like Ninja Scroll or Fist of the Northstar.
Pros: More story driven than other entries, brutal action scenes
Cons: Very weak ending, not as over the top as earlier volumes, still pretty mindless though
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Mad Bull 34 (マッド★ブル34, Maddo Buru Sanjūyon?) is a manga series written by Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Noriyoshi Inoue, serialized in Shueisha's Young Jump between 1986 and 1990 and collected in 27 volumes. The series follows the toughest cop in the NYPD's 34th precinct, Mad Bull, and his often-violent exploits when dealing the city's criminals. Mad Bull was adapted into a four part original video animation released from December 21, 1990 to August 21, 1992. A sequel manga, Mad Bull 2000 (マッド・ブル 2000?) began in 1999.