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Tsujimoto Natsumi and Kobayakawa Miyuki are two patrol officers at the Bokutou precinct in metropolitan Tokyo. Working with their fellow policemen (and women), they must deal with the day to day life of being a police officer in Japan from high speed car chases to helping little old ladies cross the street.
You’re Under Arrest would never have made it in America.
I’m not talking about the fact that Natsumi is constantly coming to work hung over or Yoriko gossiping about all the latest news or even the breathtakingly beautiful police"woman" Aoi (who happens to be a transvestite). No, no, no. This is normal.
I mean the fact that the majority of crimes in this series are running red lights, minor assault, vandalism and trespassing are tame compared to American shows like Law & Order or NYPD Blue. Apparently, this section of Japan is relatively peaceful. Of course, there are a few episodes that deal with really bad bad guys, but they always lose with no casualties. Life is good.
I know I sound almost cynical but in reality this is kind of refreshing. You’re Under Arrest downplays the realistic aspect of police work in exchange for some of the best character development I’ve seen in a very long time. The lack of death, explosions, and random violence does not make the series boring by any means and quite a few episodes serve to remind the viewer that writing tickets and nabbing criminals are not what police work is all about. We would all probably do well to remember that police officers everywhere serve the community, not only by risking their lives but by helping us out in smaller areas as well.
The animation is a step down from director Fujishima Kousuke’s Ah! My Goddess! but still, with a series who’s 1st season is a whopping 48 episodes long, that is to be expected.
The popularity of this series spurred a 2nd and 3rd season as well as a movie and even a live action series in Japan. It is absolutely marvelous.
As for content, as I said the violence is relatively tame. There is no nudity and the language is mild. There is Aoi, the cross-dressing policeman (woman, er…whatever you want to call him/her). Not only is Aoi completely harmless, but his character and personality are believable, aside from a few embarrassing (and hilarious) moments of introduction. The violence in You’re Under Arrest is mild and seems almost silly compared to American cop dramas. Fine for 12+. 10/10. Those of you wanting more action or violence, subtract 2 points.