Burn Up! Scramble is a ★☆☆☆☆︱The Cop Catastrophe

Burn Up! Scramble seemed to have been an ambitious project, they brought on the director of Tenchi Muyō, and swept away all of the old seiyū talents and replaced them with actresses like Mamiko Noto and Rie Kugamiya. Everything seemed to be part of an allegorical jigsaw puzzle that was falling into place, but then, the entire reason that Burn Up! was any good to begin with, was violently corroded… until there was nothing left of its carcass.

⚠️ This review will be spoiler-free ⚠️

—Story/Characters

Synopsis: AD. 2023, Tokyo. Because of the change of the society such as internationalization and enlargement of the trading, the dark side of the society also continues changing. The criminals are getting deep, and their organizations are increasing its size, then the peace and security is getting worse. The government takes it seriously, and decides to introduce an innovative system. In order to cope with the special criminals, an extralegal police is founded. It is a special criminal team, Warriors, which consists of a few elite members. 

I am partially relieved that there were new character designs for the cast of Scramble, if there had been a resemblance to the characters I loved in Excess and W, I would have probably hated this series a lot more. Sufficed to say, the designs are kind of ugly. Both Rio and Lilica have gone up several breast sizes, while the usually busty Maya is sporting the underage, assassin appeal. 

Toshinari ※Yamashita’s aesthetic had more of a Kenichi Sonoda appeal to it, whereas the new designer (Toshiharu ※Murata), made the characters look liked faded pastel, blow-up dolls. The scripting of the characters isn’t any better than their artistic renderings, either. In their predecessor series, Rio was in massive debt, so she would comedically look for a sugar daddy to pay them off for her. Every time this happened in Excess, there were arcs where her attempts would go awry,  and then Rio would majorly kick ass; realizing that she doesn’t need a man to take care of herself. As opposed to Scramble‘s iteration of Rio… an empty-headed blonde, that passively yearns for a rich husband, and relies on horoscopes and lucky colors to try and land a date.

※I really loved Mr. Yamashita’s design-work on “Divergence Eve” and “Amazing Nurse Nanako,” too! Mr. Murata did character designs for “Batman: Gotham Knight,” “Eat-Man,” “Hellsing,” and “Mouse.” A talented individual, but his style for ecchi series like “Mouse” and “Burn Up! Scramble” is (in my opinion) hideous!

Talk about a downgrade in character writing! Lilica is probably the worst, out of the trio, while Maya has the greatest moments. In the Excess series, Lilica is a sarcastic, tech nerd; her counterpart in Scramble is a stupid psychic, that has homoerotic inclinations and a pension to get naked, when she’s drunk. Leading to unnecessary, pornographic scenes that seem random and shoe-horned into the plot. There’s no explanation, or even a hint, why Lilica is possibly a lesbian. The script-writer just assumed that we should know it, since she has short hair and tries to kiss Rio, while drunk.

Maya is tit-for-tat Ein from “Phantom of Inferno”/”Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom!” They have the exact same backstory, and even have the same hair-color and eyes! I think Gen Urobuchi may have been… inspired, to say the least. What differentiates the two is that this version of Maya has a fetish for guns, like Rally from “Gunsmith Cats;” and she’s cold and soft-spoken, a very extreme version of the kūdere archetype. I still prefer the Maya from Yamashita’s versions, but new Maya is, hands down, the best part of the series.

The plot is all over the place, and never really hits a crescendo. There is just an episodic slog of shenanigans and missions; it’s like “Dirty Pair,” if the writing and characters were terrible. Most of the weekly-aired hijinks, seemed to have a new excuse to show a gratuitous amount of fanservice. As for the romantic relationships, Rio and Yuji have a long-standing kind of camaraderie in the Shin’ichirō Kimura continuum, but their friendship has been stripped bare! To the point, where Yuji will act perverted and she’ll punch him, ad nauseam, which causes him to brood, because he actually does come from a wealthy family. The repetition of tired puns, is what kills the latter half of a series, take Ranma ½ as an example!

—Technical

Luna’s Favorite Works by Each Respective Creator = ✅

Hiroki Hayashi (director), notable works:

  • Battle Programmer Shirase
  • Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
  • El Hazard: The Magnificent World
  • Explorer Woman Ray
  • Gall Force 2: Destruction (co-director)
  • Katayoku no Khronos Gear
  • Mahō Yūgi ✅
  • Tenchi Muyō! Ryōōki (first season) ✅

Commentary: Mr. Hayashi isn’t entirely to blame for this series’ downfall, into a tumbling disaster. Episode 6: “Western Sapporo – A Hell at Shiretoko,” was actually pretty enjoyable and may have been what inspired Gen Urobuchi to put his first visual novel, “Phantom of Inferno”, into production. I think the lack of a feasible direction and the writing was what did it in. There are blips in the series, where it feels really ※abrupt or the transition was really awkward, but from what I’ve seen, Mr. Hayashi is a pretty good director. Though, “Mahō Yūgi” stumbled a bit in its production… it was genuinely funny and iconic to watch!

※To quote Anime News Network’s review, the series gave “the staff new ways of coming up with lazy shortcuts. …the key frames and poses look loaded with energy but they’re strung together by awkward motions that don’t look like fighting at all.”

Sumio Uetake (script, series composition), notable works:

  • Akihabara Dennō-gumi
  • Angel Heart
  • Dotto Koni-chan
  • Elf wo Karu Mono-tachi II
  • Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!!
  • Haja Kyosei G Dangaiō
  • iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia
  • Kannazuki no Miko
  • Karin
  • Kyōhirō to Towa no Sora
  • Lost Universe
  • R-15
  • Saber Marionette J
  • VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fire
  • Yūsha Tokkyū Might Gaine

Commentary: Man, have you ever looked at someone’s resume and thought to yourself, maybe this person isn’t cut out for the job they’re applying for? These are my personal preferences, keep in mind, but every one of these series (out of the ones I have actually seen), have never exceeded a 1★ ranking from me. The same issue that I had with Burn Up! Scramble… is the exact same pitfall that I had with series like “Kannazuki no Miko” and “Kyōhirō to Towa no Sora”! The scripts don’t lead much of anywhere, several scenes seem random or jarring, and then when you actually reach the conclusion, you’re exhausted and disoriented.

I watched Burn Up! Scramble with the Geneon dub, so I will list the Japanese seiyū, but comments will be on the performances of the English voice actors.

Megumi Toyoguchi as Rio Kinezono, notable roles:

  • Mimiru, .hack//SIGN
  • Layla Ashley, Avenger ✅
  • Meg, Bakuretsu Tenshi (“Burst Angel”)
  • Kirino Chiba, Bamboo Blade
  • Revy, Black Lagoon
  • Hyakurin, Blade of the Immortal
  • Yumi Omura, Chobits
  • Shōko Mataki, Cossette no Shōzō
  • Junko Enoshima, Danganronpa ✅
  • Rubi, DearS
  • Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri, Fate/Zero
  • Winry Rockbell, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅
  • Sara Ishida, Gunparade Orchestra
  • Tsukasa Nishino, Ichigo 100%
  • Mōyū, Ikkitōsen
  • Chifuyu Orimura, IS: Infinite Stratos ✅
  • Fubuki, Kamen no Maid Guy
  • Nora Leoria Floriann, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (“The World God Only Knows”) ✅
  • Nene, Kirameki☆Project
  • Klan Klang, Macross Frontier ✅
  • Sei Satō, Maria-sama ga Miteru ✅
  • Yao Sakurakōji, Miami Guns
  • Miriallia Haww, Kidō Senshi Gundam SEED
  • Yukari Takeba, Persona 3
  • Hikari, Pokémon
  • Sylvia van Hossen, Princess Lover!
  • Aria, Seiken no Blacksmith
  • Oda Nobunaga, Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox (“Battle Girls: Time Paradox”)
  • Haruka, Senran Kagura
  • Alti, Simōn
  • Ellen Kurokawa, Suite PreCure♪ ✅
  • Ran Kotobuki, Super GALS
  • Honoka, The Third: Aoi Hitomi no Shōjo
  • Sakurako Kariya, Viper’s Creed

Julie Ann Taylor as Rio Kinezono, notable roles:

  • Milly Ashford, Code Geass
  • Shōko Mataki, Cossette no Shōzō
  • Taiga Fujimura, Fate/stay night
  • Takumi Kisaragi, Gad Guard ✅
  • Mikan Kurenai, Grenadier: Hohoemi no Senshi
  • Héloïse Villefort, Gankutsuō ✅
  • Marcia, Gundress ✅
  • Ayumi Yamada, Hachimitsu to Clover ✅
  • Haruie Kakizaki, Honō no Mirage
  • Palpu Ranrang, Idol Project
  • Makoto Saotome, Kannazuki no Miko (“Destiny of the Shrine Maiden”) ✅
  • Shun Kisragi, Koko wa Green Wood ✅
  • Akane Sano, Kurokami the Animation
  • Sophia Forrester, Last Exile ✅
  • Mutsumi Otohime, Love Hina ✅
  • Alibaba Saluja, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
  • Yukari Hayasaka, Paradise Kiss ✅
  • Ai Tanabe, Planetes
  • Mica Minazuki, Rakushō! Hyper Doll
  • Sōseiseki, Rozen Maiden
  • Akiha Tōno, Shingetsutan Tsukihime
  • Bellows, Suisei no Gargantia
  • Meia Gisborn, Vandread
  • Hokuto Sumeragi, X ✅

Commentary: Ms. Taylor gave one of the best performances, out of the English dub cast. She gives off the impression of a determined young woman, that has to kick booty, when it’s necessary. Mirroring my commentary on Kari Wahlgren, she’s a talented lady, with a role in a poorly-written series.

Rie Kugimiya as Maya Jingu, notable roles:

  • Yūhi Katagiri, Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka
  • Astarotte Ygvar, Astarotte no Omocha!
  • Drew, ēlDLIVE
  • Flora Skybloom, Basquash!
  • Nemu Kurotsuchi and Karin Kurosaki, Bleach
  • Ikuto Noguchi, Digimon Savers
  • Aguri Madoka, Dokidoki! PreCure ✅
  • Rose, Dragon Crisis
  • Happy, Fairy Tail ✅
  • Alphonse Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅
  • Hotaru Imai, Gakuen Alice
  • Sophia Hennes, Garo: Vanishing Line
  • Masako Hara, Ghost Hunt
  • Kagura, Gintama ✅
  • Chaba, Gokicha!!
  • Vyrn, Granblue Fantasy the Animation ✅
  • Hasuta, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
  • Nagi Sanzenin, Hayate no Gotoku! (“Hayate the Combat Butler”) ✅
  • Alice Liddell, Gekijōban Heart no Kuni no Alice: Wonderful Wonder World
  • Aria Holmes Kanzaki, Hidan no Aria
  • Alexandrite, Hōseki no Kuni ✅
  • Yukimura Sanada, Hyakka Ryōran: Samurai After
  • Hoihoi-san, Ichigeki Sacchū!! Hoihoi-san
  • Sukuna Gojō, K ✅
  • Kurumi Hazuki, Kaitō Tenshi Twin Angel: Kyun Kyun☆Tokimeki Paradise!! (“Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise”)
  • Mika Kujin, Kanamemo ✅
  • Ning Fu, Ken En Ken: Aoki Kagayaki (“Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary”)
  • Diao He Liao, Kingdom
  • Mari Kikui, Koiken!: Watashitachi Anime ni Nacchatta!
  • Mami Mihashi, Konbini Kareshi
  • Tio, Konjiki no Gash Bell!! (“Zatch Bell!”) ✅
  • Rokumon, Kyōkai no Rinne
  • Koto, Kyōsō Giga
  • Kaoru Daichi, Ladies versus Butlers!
  • Kōya Sakagami, Loveless ✅
  • Alisa Bannings, Mahō Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ✅
  • Daisuke Komori, Major
  • Sena Kuroi, Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to The Animation
  • Tōko Matsudaira, Maria-sama ga Miteru ✅
  • Yuni, Mewkledreamy
  • Mimi, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne ✅
  • Nena Trinity, Kidō Senshi Gundam 00
  • Nostradamus, Monster Strike
  • Suzume Imamura, Munto
  • Miharu Rokujō, Nabari no Ō
  • Harley Quinn, Ninja Batman
  • Kotora, Nyanbo!
  • Ringo Kinoshita, Otogi Jūshi Akazukin (“Fairy Musketeers”)
  • Isabella Yamamoto, Paradise Kiss
  • Rise Kujikawa, Persona 4
  • Koboshi Uematsu, Pita Ten
  • Meika Daihatsu, Punch Line
  • Melona, Queen’s Blade ✅
  • Angela Balzac, Rakuen Tsuihō ✅
  • Atsumi Miyagawa, Recorder to Randoseru ✅
  • Mikan Katsuragi, Rental Magica
  • Rizel Iwaki, Rizelmine
  • Airi Yukifune, Robotics;Notes
  • Mizore Shirayuki, Rosario to Vampire
  • Yūki Kataoka, Saki ✅
  • Thomas Dō, Santa Company
  • Ulith, Selector Infected WIXOSS
  • Yuzuki, Sengoku Night Blood
  • Shana, Shakugan no Shana ✅
  • Melty Do Granite, Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan ✅
  • Momo Akanegakubo, Shokugeki no Sōma ✅
  • Mametchi, Tamagotchi
  • Iori Minase, The iDOLM@STER ✅
  • Taiga Aisaka, Toradora! ✅
  • Shannon, Umineko no Naku Koro ni ✅
  • Kamyu, Utawarerumono ✅
  • Kagura, Onmyōji: Heian Monogatari
  • Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière, Zero no Tsukaima (“Familiar of Zero”)
  • Mio Tsukushi, Zettai Karen Children

Sandy Fox as Maya Jingu, notable roles:

  • Mireille, .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu (“.hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet”)
  • Kiyoko, Akira ✅
  • Harriet Bartholomew, Argento Soma
  • Kururu, Binzume Yōsei
  • Chibiusa, Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal
  • Sumomo, Chobits ✅
  • Suzu, Chōjū Densetsu Gestalt
  • Haruna Niekawa, Durarara!! ✅
  • Vyrn, Granblue Fantasy the Animation
  • Lin, Hokuto no Ken (“Fist of the North Star”) ✅
  • Tachikoma, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex ✅
  • Flonne, Makai Senki Disgaea
  • Haro, Kidō Senshi Gundam SEED ✅
  • Sakura, Ninja Mono
  • Kurumi, Otogi Story Tenshi no Shippo
  • Pyocola “Piyoko” Analogue III, Piyoko ni Omakase pyo!
  • Mao Onigawara, Rikujō Bōei-tai Mao-chan (“Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan”)
  • Neju Na Melmas, Tenchi Muyō! GXP
  • Miiko, Totsuzen! Neko no Kuni Banipal Witt (“Catnapped”) ✅

Commentary: Ms. Fox’s portrayal of Maya Jingu is probably the only saving-grace; it keeps this series at a 2/10, instead of a 1/10. Nasally, youthful, and deadly… in her portrayal of the young assassin.

Mamiko Noto as Lilica Evette, notable roles:

  • Karen Minamino, AIka
  • Fiona, Allison to Lillia
  • Mayumi Fujimiya, Aquarian Age 
  • Felicità, Arcana Famiglia
  • Azusa, Azusa Otetsudai Shimasu!
  • Alice Gehabich, Bakugan Battle Brawlers
  • Makie Otono-Tachibana, Blade of the Immortal
  • Takami Komoda, Bokura no ✅
  • Kotomi Ichinose, Clannad ✅
  • Satomi Anzaki, Dear Boys
  • Yukihime, Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera ✅
  • Jil, Druaga no Tou: The Aegis of Uruk ✅
  • Yuka, Elfen Lied
  • Mavis Vermillion, Fairy Tail ✅
  • Satellizer el Bridget, Freezing
  • Alex Benedetto, Gangsta.
  • Yukinari Sasaki, Girls Bravo
  • CAL-141, Halo Legends
  • Mitsuki Ikuta, Hit wo Nerae!
  • Aya Tōjō, Ichigo 100%
  • Ana Coppola, Ichigo Mashimaro ✅
  • Rin, InuYasha ✅
  • Ai Enma, Jigoku Shōjo ✅
  • Ayano Satō, Joshikōsei: Girl’s High
  • Neiro, Kaiba ✅
  • Aoi Kannazuki, Kaibutsu Ōjo
  • Kōta Oyamada, Kanokon
  • Fujino Asagami, Kara no Kyōkai ✅
  • Sawako Kuronuma, Kimi ni Todoke ✅
  • Kyoko Asahina, 北へ。 ~Diamond Dust Drops~
  • Emi Kizaki, Kurogane no Linebarrels
  • Nodoka Miyazaki, Mahō Sensei Negima!
  • Einhart Stratos, Mahou Shōjo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid ✅
  • Ōka Sayama, Manyū Hikenchō
  • Shimako Tōdō, Maria-sama ga Miteru ✅
  • Yuri Takikago, Mawaru Penguindrum ✅
  • Rin Asogi, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne ✅
  • Anna Liebert, Monster ✅
  • Shizu Murasume, TO LOVEる ✅
  • Tsukiko Sagi, Paranoia Agent ✅
  • Inia Sestina, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse ✅
  • Narue Nanase, Narue no Sekai
  • Akira Sakura, Shadow Star Narutaru ✅
  • Moriko Morioka, Recovery of an MMO Junkie ✅
  • Saeko Okuyama, Niji-iro Hotaru: Eien no Natsuyasumi
  • Haruka Nogizaka, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
  • Ririka Nishizono, Occultic;Nine
  • Fūka Yamagishi, Persona 3
  • Tomoe, Queen’s Blade ✅
  • Nayu Hasegawa, Rō-Kyū-Bu! ✅
  • Aria, Saint Seiya Omega
  • Yakumo Tsukamoto, School Rumble
  • Iona Urazoe, Selector Spread WIXOSS
  • Kenshin Uesugi, Sengoku Collection
  • Hecate, Shakugan no Shana
  • Limone, Simōn
  • Matsuri Shihō, Sola ✅
  • Yuki Sōya, Taishō Baseball Girls
  • Noel Hiiragi, Tansu Warashi.
  • Aisa Himegami, Toaru Majutsu no Index ✅
  • Esther Blanchett, Trinity Blood ✅
  • Benten, Uchōten Kazoku ✅
  • Rinko Jerrard, The Law of Ueki
  • Masane Amaha, Witchblade ✅
  • Kotori Monō, X ✅
  • Hazuki Azuma, Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito ✅
  • Kaori, Yojōhan Shinwa Taikei ✅
  • Megumi Hasegawa, よみがえる空 -Rescue Wings-
  • Tiffania Westwood, Zero no Tsukaima
  • Kotone Sasaki, Zettai Junpaku♡Mahō Shōjo

Kari Wahlgren as Lilica Ebett, notable roles:

  • Chika Minazuki, Ai Yori Aoshi
  • Saya Otonashi and Diva, Blood+ ✅
  • Sakura Kinomoto, Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fūin Sareta Card ✅
  • Kotoko, Chobits ✅
  • Celty Sturluson, Durarara!! ✅
  • Saber (“Artoria Pendragon”), Fate/stay night ✅
  • Tsubasa Shiina, Figure 17
  • Haruko Haruhara, FLCL ✅
  • Arashi Shinozuka, Gad Guard ✅
  • Miu Manaduru, Gatekeepers 21
  • Kyoko Milchan, Heat Guy J
  • Rip Van Winkle, Hellsing Ultimate
  • Michiru Satomi, IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix (2005)
  • Anemone, Eureka Seven ✅
  • Lavie Head, Last Exile ✅
  • Kagami Hiiragi, Lucky☆Star
  • Yume Kikichi, Mahōtsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto (“Someday’s Dreamers”)
  • Miina Miyafugi, Onegai☆Twins
  • Momo, Otogi Story Tenshi no Shippo
  • Misora Tsukishima, Rikujō Bōei-tai Mao-chan (“Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan”)
  • Fū Kasumi, Samurai Champloo ✅
  • Pacifica Casull, Scrapped Princess
  • Kohaku, Shingetsutan Tsukihime
  • Scarlett O’Hara-St. Jones, Steamboy
  • Tsuruya, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yūtsu
  • Karina Lyle (“Blue Rose”), Tiger & Bunny ✅
  • Arisa Glennorth, Stellvia ✅
  • Robin Sena, Witch Hunter Robin ✅
  • Cher Degre, Wolf’s Rain ✅

Commentary: S-tier English voice actress; horrible role. Lilica’s iteration in Scramble is nothing, but an obnoxious and harebrained, ecchi vestibule. I doubt that Mamiko Noto would have even been able to pull off her character, if I had watched the Japanese dub. Ms. Wahlgren is very talented, but the writing for this character, in particular, is beyond atrocious.

Conclusively, the show has tolerable scenes, but overall is very bad. If you’re already a fan of the series, it makes it that much worse. And if Scramble has tainted your view on the franchise, please give W a viewing, before solidifying that opinion! Scramble earns a 2/10 on the rating scale; and a “please, do not watch”!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Other Burn Up! Rankings:

Burn Up! ★★☆☆☆

Burn Up! Excess ★★★☆☆

Burn Up! W ★★★★☆

Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: https://myanimelist.net/profile/Egghe... Twitter: https://twitter.com/EggheadLuna #真柏Project #JunipersTree

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