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Burst Angel (爆裂天使 北米版) [Blu-ray]
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The pros and cons are one in the same, so I'll approach it as such:
- The setting is in a dystopian future Tokyo. While that's never a fresh concept, it's still a great platform for telling stories. They set the tone in the first episode by showing lawlessness, violence in the streets, and mech-wielding criminals. As later stories emerge, the cast of heroines investigate a rich all-girls-school, attend family outings on wealth engorged dragon yachts, and attend culinary schools. The hard boiled landscape they tried to create disappears to a memory.
- The character designs are cool, sexy, and unique enough to look great on a cover. Yet the animation is subpar, so they look washed out and flat in the show. Detail is removed from them, and choppy, 3 frame movements steal whatever cinematography is being attempted.
- Computer animation is used heavily on the robots, so that saves the mech battles from being as poorly animated as the characters. The only problem is that this show was made before anime learned how to integrate CG effects properly, so it's also jarring and poorly done.
- The characters are somewhat interesting, but don't venture far from classic anime archetypes. The main female character is very boyish, which lends to the show championing a Yuri (girl on girl) love tale. I read other reviews on this and other anime where the Yuri aspect is the center of gripes, but I've found that emphasis comes from younger crowds who simple don't want their sexy heroines removed from the heterosexual palette, denying the possibility of them living vicariously through the male characters romantic exploits. The Yuri aspect of Burst Angel is taxing in dialogue only, but is actually one of the only unique and interesting parts of the show.
- The music is a mix between grunge rock and twangy western like they were trying to inject a "Trigun" feel to it, but instead, the two styles clash quickly and the shows' soundtrack is rendered clunky and ineffective.
- The only male character is the mercenary groups cook, and provides little comedic relief while he tries to fend off the advances of the pixie girl character ensuring the show doesn't avoid the classic Lolita angle. He is mildly entertaining but suffers from extreme castration and as a result curtsies to the back of the show.
All in all, Burst Angel provides a format that could be successful to most fans and would be, but it's completely beaten in all categories by 90% of other anime. It's hard to declare mech fights, battling vixens with jiggly parts, and frequent gun bouts boring, but it is. This show would be best served as a S.A.V.E. title, providing entertainment to younger crowds who are strapped for cash, but as it's not, I'd warn fans to spend their money elsewhere on higher quality.
The character designs aren't what I am used to watching but I have to say that the anime designs were great. From long haired to short haired, shapes and sizes, every character was excellently designed. Each character also had their own figures of speech and dialect I guess you could say. Jo with the short answers, Meg with the American slang, Amy is childish when not involving computers, and Sei as the mature calm one. Gonzo and FUNimation did an excellent job on the angels I must say.
Music in the series wasn't the best I had heard but then again it did fit the purpose. Some points I found myself bobbin' my head alittle bit to the beats. I noticed that another reviewer had said that the music kept chainging from a 'western' style to a techno like style and that they kept getting confused (or something along those lines). I personally did not have this problem, I thought that the music was actually pretty consistant.
The extra features in the series has got to be mentioned. I can't go through all of them but the one thing that stood out to me were the episode commentaries. These were HILARIOUS because of people like Monica (Jo) and the others who participated in the project were always having a good time and making jokes about one another. I was laughing so hard I watched all of them over again! The box set also comes with guidebooks for the each of the disks, which can help greatly with undersatnding what is going on in the series.
The series did have some bad spots but not many. The 'bads' being that the series left some things unanswered. The series also is built for non-linear (people able to look back and say 'ah ok so thats why this was shown and that happened) thinkers. If you are a linear thinker (a person who has to have everything put out there and not able to look back), you might have some problems following the series.
This can either be good or bad depending on how you look at anime. The angels are sexually dressed, I guess would be the best way to put it. Meg has more undergarment shots than the rest and Jo just doesn't wear much in general. There is also an episode where it is clear as day, called the 'Swim-suit Episode' by all who watch the set.
Stick with the ratings if your getting this set for someone. Like I said, the series does contain 'sexy' shots and does contain alot of killing and blood, not as much as other series, but a fair amount none the less. Other than that this series kicks a** and takes names! I love the Angels!