Fujishima Kosuke, he rose to his fame with Aah! Megami sama (Oh, my Goddess) series. Before his hit series, there was You are under arrest! series which I am going to review in this entry.
I have the Korean version of its manga. I never bothered acquiring Japanese version because this series wasn’t high on my list.
You are under arrest! has two main protagonists who are Tsujimoto Natsumi (left) & Kobayakawa Miyuki (Right). The former is a highly athletic, hyper active, woman whose taste in men is weird. The latter is a mechanic who is cool-headed and smart, basically the opposite of Natsumi.
In episode 1, Natsumi joins a police department and teams up with Miyuki. This is how everything begins for them.
This series was pretty popular. It was not a huge hit like Ah, megami sama but it was a success.
Both anime and manga versions are identical in its core plot elements. However, the anime counterpart does offer more filler episodes whereas the manga plot is fairly straightforward. Basically, the anime has added fat to its plot.
This is due to a fact that the manga has only 7 volumes and each volumes are fairly thin, around 150 pages each. If they stayed true to the manga, anime would have had around 25 episodes max. But it has 51 episodes.
So, yeah, expect a lot of filler episodes.
I would classify this as a slice of life series with a heavy focus on action. You will see Natsumi and Miyuki solving various issues as policewomen although … none of issues is that serious. It’s mostly comedic and ridiculous events.
But then, again, it makes sense that none of their issues is dire simply because they are basically policewomen at the lowest end of food chain. There is no drug raid. There is no fight against gangs (Yakuza). All events they face are tame.
The anime version has season 2 which I recommend to skip. Not worth it.
I would personally recommend manga over anime. Anime starts out really strong but fades out in the end whereas manga starts out okay and stays that way until the end. It’s not great but not that bad, either.
There is something interesting/amiss about the anime version. It is that from episode 5 and onwards, animation and art quality drops really sharply.
This makes me suspect that they spent all of their budgets on the first four episodes.
I mean, look and compare.
The quality does improve a tad bit later but doesn’t reach the levels initially shown.
And at times it’s really bad. I am not quite sure what they were thinking.
Well, let’s look at the manga. Again, this is the Korean version I have which is more than 20 years old in 2021.
You may be able to tell that the art style is very rough. Basically, Fujishima Kosuke’s art style wasn’t refined at that point. Only after volume 5, his art style looks refined enough. Similar stuff happen in Aah! Megami sama manga as well.
What that means is that he began both series at a similar point.
It also means that he was basically learning on the job. This does not happen nowadays but this was a rather common trend back in 80s although Fujishima’s case is rather extreme.
Again, compare the drawing style from the cover of volume 2 and 5. The gap is pretty huge.
One last thing, Fujishima’s works have a tendency of relationships going absolutely nowhere. Doesn’t matter how close a couple is, neither will express their affection toward one other, and even kissing is brutally hard to be seen if not absolutely forbidden.
This tendency is not unique to Fujishima’s works. Remember Ramma 1/2? Orange Road? Patlabor? Ozanari Dungeon, etc. Basically, majority of manga in that era had issues with relationships going public.
But that’s understandable since Japan is a conservative country. Even more so in 80s.