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Miyuki is a gentle, reserved young woman, but for all that she's an ace driver in her working life as one of Tokyo's police officers. Natsumi is hot-headed, impulsive, and disorganized. She too is a Tokyo police officer, in the motorcycle division, and, when the two are teamed up, she doesn't think she and Miyuki will ever hit it off. But from their first important case, a pursuit of a reckless driver with a deadly agenda, they come to rely on each other and value each other's good qualities.
This pretty, innocuous, and astoundingly sanitized cop show takes the mismatched-partners cliché, removes almost all jeopardy, and hopes to muddle through on infantile foolery, female flesh, and an anal attention to audio effects-particularly engine noises. Based on the manga by Oh My Goddess!-creator Kosuke Fujishima, YuA flips incessantly between car chases and mawkish flirting at the station house, creating a peculiar combination of CHiPs and a school disco. The 1996 TV series that followed the four videos-quite literally, with the first episode numbered as episode five-is pure soap opera, following day-to-day life at the station and expanding the roles of their colleagues, in particular Officer Ken Nakajima, whose romance with Miyuki forms an ongoing subplot. The episodes pack in much fan service and even a little violence, like Miyuki trying to electrocute a pervert, but there's nothing to merit real concern on these counts. A new series, YuA: Special (1999), comprised much shorter episodes, screened as part of the Wonderful program. The 1999 movie, directed by Nishimura, did much the same thing with a bigger budget for its story of an abandoned car full of weaponry and the danger that arises from its discovery. The series also spun off into audio dramas, wittily written by former Patlabor-scenarist Michiko Yokote, including Police Stories and Only One. The latter CD features the girls getting jobs as the pop group "Tokyo Policewoman Duo," in which guise they record the worst song ever made, the "We Are Policewomen" rap. In taking the genre that gave us "Cop Killer" and using it to extol the virtues of driving safely, the song is the perfect summary of the series as a whole. It returned for a 26-episode TV season in spring 2001. In 2002, the show was also adapted into a live-action TV series (*DE), and returned to anime form with YUA: No Mercy (aka YUA in America), in which the girls are transferred to the LAPD, and end up chasing a former Japanese detective who has stolen Miyuki's car-not quite The Shield.