When it comes to money, police officer Rio Kinezono is little more than hopeless- with her love of expensive clothes, living within her means is an unlikely goal. Fortunately, whenever Rio needs some extra cash, she can turn to her undercover job as a member of Team Warrior, a group of mercenaries tasked with taking on high stakes, high risk assignments. Together with firearms maniac Maya, ace hacker Lilica, inventor and tech expert Nanvel, token pervert Yuji and enigmatic leader Maki, Rio sets out to complete a range of missions, and earn a nice bonus in the process.
Girls with big guns and even bigger breasts- it’s a theme that’s not uncommon in anime, and one that brings a mixture of light entertainment and tedious dross, of guilty pleasure and outright pain. Sorting the good from the bad is often a case of trial and error, and in many cases- Burn Up Excess included- the series in question is a mixture of the two.
The star of the show is the buxom, energetic and eternally destitute Rio, who manages to be surprisingly likeable despite lacking much in the way of originality. Burn Up Excess seems to be at its best when Rio is squarely at the forefront, with an episode detailing her first days at Team Warrior, and another one in which she guards an AI-controlled tank standing out as some the series’ better moments.
Unfortunately, for every moment of entertainment, Burn Up Excess extracts an equal amount of pain, in the form of over-the-top villains and one-dimensional supporting characters. From a team of cross-dressers seeking to steal money from a sex-change operation to the obligatory obsessive panty thief, many of the antagonists are nothing short of excruciatingly dire, whilst character-based episodes for the likes of Maya and Nanvel are tedious rather than enlightening. Even the series’ attempt at a main plot falls flat, consisting of the machinations of a woman named Ruby, which later ties into Maki’s past in the most predictable of ways.
As to be expected from a series of this type, fanservice is never far from the screen- in fact, the sheer amount of bouncing bosoms featured onscreen caused ADV to include a now-trademarked Jiggle Counter on their DVDs to keep track of them all. That’s not all the ecchi content the series has to offer, however- shower scenes, intentionally suggestive undertones, and even omake sections following Yuji’s perverted fantasies are all included for your viewing (dis)pleasure.
Visually, the age of the series means that the animation is somewhat rough around the edges, with only the female character designs standing out as being at all noteworthy.
Although it has its entertaining moments, Burn Up Excess errs on the side of agonising tedium too often to be labelled as truly enjoyable. Unless you’re a devoted fan of high-fanservice action series, you’d be better of finding your light entertainment elsewhere.