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Burn-Up W Anime Review

Burn-Up W Box Art

Burn-Up W

3 stars / OVA / Action / 15-up

Bottom Line

Action, comedy and plot, but no conclusion.

It’s Like...

...Dirty Pair Flash does AD Police Files.

Vital Stats

Original Title

Burn-Up W

Romanized Title

Burn-Up W

Animation Studio


US Release By

Section23 (also ADV Films)


Action Comedy

Series Type



4 30-minute episodes

Production Date

1996-04-10 - 1996-09-26

What's In It


Look For

  • Loser Terrorists
  • Wacky Action
  • Nude Bungie Jumping
  • Evangelion Parody
  • Psycho Chicks (get a load of Maya!)
  • Virtual Drug Use (well, not really)

Objectionable Content

  • Violence: 2 (moderate)
  • Nudity: 3 (significant)
  • Sex: 2 (moderate)
  • Language: 1 (mild)

full details

See Also


  • Burn Up! (sequel of)
  • Burn Up Excess (sequel)
  • Burn Up Scramble (sequel)

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Plot Synopsis

In File 1: SKIN DIVE terrorists take over a tower where world leaders are meeting, and the elite Team Warrior is called in to rescue the hostages. The terrorists are complete amateurs, leaving Warrior wondering who was really behind the attack...

In File 2: SEARCH FOR THE VIRTUAL IDOL, a popular virtual idol goes missing off the net and the Warriors are assigned to find her. However, after they receive a ransom demand from the missing idol herself and are ambushed by an attack android, things start to go downhill...

In Files 3 and 4: POLICETOWN ASSAULT, a strange device is seized during a police raid. Before Warrior can figure out what it is, Policetown is attacked by the elite soldiers of the Virtual Drug Cartel: Cerberus, the Dogs of War. With a traitor inside rendering the police helpless, it's up to Warrior once again to defeat the terrorists and retake the building. Now it's personal.

Quick Review

Switch to Full Review

Burn-Up W is serious comedy--seriously silly and funny for the first half, and a serious action show with some comedy in the second. Both halves work well enough, and surprisingly, they also seem to work together. It looks good, too, so the only thing missing is a satisfying conclusion--it feels like it ends before it's really done.

Overall, Burn-Up W is some crazy comedy, dense plot and cool action all rolled into one series. If only it had a proper end.

Read the full-length review...

Full Review

Switch to Quick Review

Without a doubt, Burn-Up W is serious comedy. That can be taken two ways, depending on which file you are watching.

File 1 is absolutely silly, with those loser terrorists and their stupid demand, Rio making a fool out of her section chief and the crazy nude bungee jump sequence which has to be one of the funniest sequences I've ever seen. It's all pretty harmless really, and is good fun. File 2 gets a little more serious, mainly due to the Acthia attack android, which can really cause a mess. The Evangelion parody is bluntly obvious, though good for a laugh and the characters of Maria and Nanvel are funny just based on their attitudes.

The two Policetown Assault files, however, are not comedy. Yes, there are plenty of jokes in there, at least in the first one, but once the Virtual Drug Cartel begin their counterattack against the police the whole anime goes somewhat dark and more than a little tragic (the counterattack does NOT start with Cerberus' attack). It gets extremely violent, at least by comedy standards, but you still get the feeling that the production crew were trying to turn an extremely silly police comedy into an action story halfway through. Surprisingly, it seems to work.

Leaving the plot aside, the animation is of a reasonable quality, though a little sloppy at times--think of it like Evangelion with the edges removed and more SD animation. The character designs are somewhat exaggerated, especially the women--these have to rank among the bustiest girls ever to appear in an anime (okay, not really, but it is still a bit overdone).

The dub voices are done by ADV's usual crew--Amanda Winn Lee does Rio, Tiffany Grant does Maki (extremely well mind you) Jason Lee does Yuji, and the rest do, well, the rest. As with Ellcia you can generally match the voice actors to some of the characters they play in other ADV releases, although there are a few new ones, such as Maya's. Overall, the voices are carried off well enough, so just forget them already. The less said of the music, the better--not because it's bad, but simply because there isn't anything much to say about it.

Unfortunately, Burn-Up W doesn't end. It doesn't have a bad ending, it simply has no ending at all. Okay, Warrior defeats Cerberus, but the Virtual Drug Cartel is still out there plotting revenge, the Warriors have been pulled off the case and Maki has sworn that she'll get to the bottom of this, no matter what. There is a sequel series (two now, actually--Excess and Scramble), but this one ends on a thoroughly unsatisfying note.

Overall, Burn-Up W is some crazy comedy, dense plot and cool action all rolled into one series. If only it had a proper end.

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Related Recommendations

In the same general vein as most girls with guns series--Dirty Pair Flash coming to mind above others. There's also the original Burn Up! OAV, although that's not of the same calibre, as well as the two sequel TV series.

Notes and Trivia

A sort-of follow up series to the original Burn Up! one shot (the only character who apparently carries over is Maki with some changes), Burn Up W is considerably higher budget and more filled out. It has since been followed up by two TV series featuring the same set of characters, Burn-Up Excess and Burn-up Scramble.

US DVD Review

The DVD is standard ADV fare, featuring flashy menus. It includes all four episodes, both English and Japanese soundtracks, an English subtitle track, production sketches, and the Japanese credits via an alternate angle. It has since been re-released as part of ADV's "Essential Anime Collection" with a remastered 5.1 channel soundtrack.

Parental Guide

ADV calls it 15-up.

Violence: 2 - Starts off with none, escalates to considerable, but the blood ain't convincing.

Nudity: 3 - Surprisingly little actual nudity, but almost all outfits are tight (except Yuji's of course).

Sex/Mature Themes: 2 - Quite a lot of sex-based jokes, including a trip into a used underwear shop.

Language: 1 - Nothing exceptional.


Available in North America on hybrid DVD from ADV. There is also an older DVD release, as well as subtitled and dubbed VHS sets.

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