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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Burst Angel Vol 4
Burst Angel Vol 4
FUNimation // Unrated // October 25, 2005
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 20, 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
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The Show:

With the fourth volume of Burst Angel the series starts picking up some steam.  They start examining some of the mysteries that have popped up in the show (finally!) and also have some fun action filled episodes.  If you've followed along so far, you won't want to stop watching now.

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.  They also have Jango, a "cybot" the Jo pilots.

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:

The first episode on this disc wraps up the story that was started on the previous volume.  Meg has been captured by a group of terrorists that are trying to take over Osaka.  They have a cybot that's much bigger than Jango, but that isn't going to stop Jo from saving Meg, or kicking the bad guy's butts.

A couple of orphans find a woman with long silver hair laying in the river in the next episode.  They take her home and nurse her to health, and it turns out that she has amnesia.  The mysterious lady joins up with the small rag-tag group of kids who pull petty crimes to survive.  The only problem is that there's someone after the silver-haired lady, someone who wants to kill her.  This is one of the better episodes in the series, and explains a lot about Jo's past, and why she's so attached to Meg.

Then the Angels take a break at a new resort that's just opened up on an gorgeous island.  When a giant sea monster attacks though, it's up to Jo and the Burst Angels to save the vacation spot.

The volume concludes with another good episode that ends in a cliff-hanger.  Jo and Meg are hunting a child killer, when something strange happens to Jo.  She starts having strange visions that really upset her.  They manage to capture the villain, but later Jo's hallucinations cause her to run off into a strange forest where she meets a samurai.  One who doesn't like intruders and is a match for Jo.

This series is improving as it goes on.  They actually started addressing some of the questions about Jo and her superhuman abilities as well as adding some continuity.  These shows are fun too, like the earlier episodes.  I though the series slowed a little, but now it's picking up again.

There's still a little too much fan service for my tastes though.   Come on, does every woman in anime shows have to have breasts the size of watermelons and walk around in skimpy bikinis?  Most of the outfits they wear wouldn't hold their mammoth mammaries in anyway.  It gets worse in the seaside resort episode where everyone's breasts (except Jo's) seem to grow tow or three sizes.  What's up with that??  This is a minor complaint though.  The fan art isn't too intrusive, not nearly as bad as some other shows.

The DVD:


This DVD contains episodes 13-16 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.

Like most of FUNimation's DVDs, this one starts off with an unskipable trailer before the menu.  You can't fast forward, chapter skip or hit the menu button to get past it.  This is really annoying.

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.  Some of the voices in the English dub had stupid accents that were pretty irritating.  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 episode thirteen with ADR Director Chris Bevins (who identifies himself this time), and actresses Monica Rial (Jo) and Kaitlyn Glass (Ticany Katsu).  Chris explains why he used southern accents in this episode, which I thought sounded horrible (sorry Kaitlyn.)  FUNimation usually doesn't do these fake accents, and listening to this episode you can see that it is a wise policy.  This is one of those commentaries were everyone laughs and has a good time.  It sounds like it was a lot more fun to record than it is to listen to.
 
Then there are three more 'Bakuten (Burst Angel) Radio' selections included on this disc, along with three 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 episode is "Vol. 02 Refrigerator."

Final Thoughts:

I thought this volume was markedly better than the previous couple of discs.  The story has started to slowly come out, and the action scenes were a little more exciting.  Though Meg is a hostage in this disc, there are two episode where she isn't which is fairly amazing.  This is turning out to be a fun show.  Recommended.
 

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