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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Burst Angel Vol 3: East Meets West
Burst Angel Vol 3: East Meets West
FUNimation // Unrated // September 13, 2005
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted September 18, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Show:

Burst Angel reaches the halfway point with the third volume.  The series is fun, but there isn't that much to it.  By this time I was hoping that an overriding plot would have materialized, but it hasn't.  The characters haven't evolved very much and the stories don't seem to be leading anywhere.  Even so, it's worth a viewing.

Series recap:

In the not too distant future, Japan is a crime filled country where it is legal to carry guns. In this violent future lives Tachibana Kyohei, a young student who wants to earn some money so that he can go to France to become a chef.  He answers a want ad for a part time cook, and finds himself working for four attractive, yet mysterious women who live in a very large mobile trailer.  There's Sei, the leader, Jo, the grouchy fighter of the group, Meg, who doesn't seem to do much except become a hostage, and the youngest, Amy, is a computer expert.  It turns out that these girls make their money by preforming hazardous jobs for an unknown contract agent.  They are good at what they do, but it turns out that their mercenary lifestyle can also endanger their domestic help.  It isn't long before Kyohei is helping the Angels out on their missions.

This volume:

Sei visits her grandfather and discovers that he's arranged a marriage for her.  He wants to link their clan with one that broke off from them years ago, and a marriage seems to be the best way.  But the man she's supposed to marry has other plans.

Amy gets an episode of her own next.  While the others are off relaxing, Amy and Kyohei go shopping in the bootleg district in town.  When she tries out some of the things she's scored though, someone hacks into her computer, and Amy gets pissed.  She tracks down the hackers, but they aren't what she's expecting at all.

The volume ends with a story that is continued on the next volume.  Jo goes to Osaka for a job to protect a professional wrestler who's been threatened.  During his match his opponent turns into a giant bug, which wasn't in the script.  It turns out that this is an act of terrorism by someone who wants to take over the whole town.  The monster is only the first step though, and this unknown person soon lets loose a giant robot on the city.  One that might be too much for the Burst Angels.

I enjoyed this volume more than the last one, but this series still isn't going the way I had hoped.  At the end of this volume we are half way through the series and there still isn't a main plot, though one in hinted at in episode 12.  These stories are okay.  They are entertaining enough but they lack the meat that better series have.  There isn't anything mysterious in the show (or those aspects that are have been glossed over) and there isn't anything that makes you want to see the next episode.  It's good fun, but nothing more.

There are a few things about the show that I just don't get.  For example, what's up with Kyohei?  Why is he even in the show? The cook is a nice guy, but he doesn't fit into the show at all.  If he wasn't there, the program would hardly change at all.  He's not growing or changing, his parts in the mission amount to him just tagging along, and he isn't even a hostage, that's Meg's role.  He seems to be totally superfluous.

One thing I will give the series is that the animation is great.  Gonzo did this show, and the 3D CGI meshes seamlessly with the traditional animation, something that Gonzo does better than anyone else.  The movement is fluid and they don't cut corners on the fight scenes.  A really good looking show.

The DVD:


This DVD contains episodes 9-12 of the series and comes in a clear keepcase with reversible cover.  There is also a 16 page booklet that has character profiles and art from the series.  It was a nice insert.

This time FUNimation didn't include a non-skipable trailer before the menu.  Woo-hoo!
 
Audio:

This disc comes with the original Japanese language track as well as an English dub, both in 5.1.  I preferred the Japanese track, but there wasn't anything wrong with the English dub.  Both make use of the full soundstage with a good amount of directional effects.  I thought that the voices that come from the rear speakers were mixed a little high, but that wasn't a big deal.  There are optional English subtitles which sometimes overlap with text on screen, but only very rarely.

Video:

This is a recent show, and the anamorphic widescreen image looks really good.  The colors are strong with a good amount of detail:  Images waver as they are seen through the rising heat of a fire, and the glow of a CRT display lights up Amy's face.  The lines are tight and the picture is clean.  As far as digital defects go, I notice some light aliasing in the background, but it was very minor. A very good looking show.

Extras:

This disc has a nice amount of extras included on it.

First off is a commentary track to the tenth episode with ADR Director Chris Bevins (who identifies himself this time), and actresses Alison Retzloff (Amy) and Greg Ayres (Kyohei).  Like the commentary on the previous volume, they actually talk about the episode and why they enjoy it, and it isn't a 'party' commentary track.  Unfortunately there isn't a lot of meat to the commentary.  There are a lot of silence, and most of their comments are pretty self evident.  They don't really revel anything new about the show.  Even so, it wasn't an irritating track like many anime commentaries are.

Then there are three more 'Bakuten (Burst Angel) Radio' selections included on this disc, along with two more 'bonus tracks.'  Each of these runs about 15 minutes.  I'm not sure what to make of these.  They two of the Japanese voice actresses from the show (Jo and Meg) chatting about inconsequential things; their names, how old they think they look, their favorite food, and racing to say tongue twisters.  I found them really dull.  They are in Japanese, of course, with English subtitles.

There is also a textless opening and closing and trailers to other FUNimation series

The most interesting bonus item was Mr. Stain.  This 7-minute CGI short was pretty amusing.  The series is going to be released in 2006, and this is a great way to get the word out about it.  This was the same episode that appears on Galaxy Railways Vol. 2.

Final Thoughts:

I enjoy this series, even though there isn't much too it.  A typical girls-with-guns show, there's a battle every episode and some light fan service.  I wish that the plot was a little deeper, and that this series was telling an overriding story, but it's still worth watching if you don't except too much.  Recommended.

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