Burst Angel is a
24 episode TV show that FUNimation released on six DVDs back in 2005
and 2006. Created by the fine folks at
program is heavy on the action but doesn't leave characterization and
the wayside either. With a perfect
melding of traditional and computer animation, the visuals are very
and they really stand out in this fine looking Blu-ray set.
In the not too distant future, Japan is a crime filled
where it is legal to carry guns. In this violent future lives Tachibana
a young student who wants to earn some money so that he can go to France
become a chef. He answers a want ad for
a part time cook, and finds himself working for four attractive, yet
women who live in a very large mobile trailer.
There's Sei, the leader, Jo, the grouchy fighter of the group,
doesn't seem to do much except become a hostage, and the youngest, Amy,
computer expert. They also have Jango, a
"cybot" mecha that Jo pilots.
It turns out that these girls make their money by performing
hazardous jobs for an unknown contract agent.
They are good at what they do, but it turns out that their
lifestyle can also endanger their domestic help. It
isn't long before Kyohei is helping the
Angels out on their missions.
The first episodes of the show give a good introduction to
the series while setting up some mysteries for future volumes to
explore. Who is the mysterious person who
them? Just how are all these women
related? It is obvious that Jo and Meg
have some kind of connection too. But
why is the fighter so protective of her less able companion? These questions are eventually explored and
that makes for a satisfying series.
There is a lot of action in this series, which I enjoy, but
the thing that surprises me is that there isn't much fan service. I was really happy to see that.
It seems that anytime you have a show that
involves women with guns, there is more time spent on watching their
bounce than actually fighting the villains.
Yes, these women have unrealistic skimpy clothes, and there is
occasional peak at some underwear, but it isn't something that they
there aren't any guys getting bloody noses and fainting every time a
walks by. Aside from the clothes, the
character designs were pretty good. None
of the characters have grotesquely large breasts, they all look fairly
Of course one of the things Gonzo is famous for is their
ability to seamlessly mesh 2D and 3D animation, and this show is no
exception. The CGI mecha fights look
really good, but they animation style isn't so different from the
and other characters that it's distracting.
If you've seen any of the myriad of shows where the CGI
out like a sore thumb, you'll know how nice it is to have a nice
There are some nice touches that the animators put into this
series too. They spent a lot of time
including little background details that add a lot to the atmosphere of
show. There are holographic billboards
that pop up overhead as drivers pass through tunnels and they made sure
the glow from a computer screen would highlight the users face. It is little touches like these that make
Gonzo such a well respected studio.
The entire 24 episode series comes on three 50 GB Blu-ray
discs that are stored in a pair of cases, which in turn are housed in a nice slipcase.
The AVC encoded 1080p 1.78:1 image looks very good.
The SD DVDs were nice looking, but these are
even better. 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
clean. As far as digital defects go, I
notice some light aliasing in a very few scenes (and only in the
and some minor posterization is present.
Neither are distracting and are only noticeable if you're really
This disc comes with the original Japanese language track as
well as an English dub, both in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (the back of the box
Japanese track as being presented in DD 5.1.
This is incorrect.) I preferred
the Japanese track, but there wasn't anything wrong with the English
track. They make good use of the
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.
FUNimation ports over many (if not all) of the extras from
the SD release of the show, this time presented in HD (unless noted). There are commentary tracks to six of the
episodes, but they aren't that interesting.
They are 'party' commentary tracks, where everyone has a good
laughing at each other's jokes and kidding around with each other, but
of interest is said.
The set also contains the OVA episode, Burst Angel Infinity, which wasn't
entertaining as the show itself. I'm not
sure why, but OVAs frequently have trouble capturing the excitement of
original show, and that's the case here.
So would you like to watch the best scenes from the show one
more time but only have an hour and a half before you have to catch a
plane? No problem. This
set also includes Battle Record of All 24 Episodes.
This basically trims the series down to 84 minutes concentrating
battles. It's pretty pointless, but what
the heck it's here.
One of the coolest bonus item is entitled Ugetsu Hakua
(Character Designer) Special. This 2
½-minute short looks like the opening
to a sequel series. It looks very cool,
showing the Angels a few years in the future.
Meg has matured and is competent, Ami's a high school student
age at least), Sei is the business woman-type.
When duty calls they leap into action, ready to kick ass and
names. The most poignant shot in this
short clip is Kyohei, who's dressed in a cook's uniform standing
outside of an
impressive castle. He's achieved his
dream of being a chef, but he has a wistful and slightly sad look in
as he stares off into the blue sky. This
is a great way to wrap up the series, and I hope they're considering
entire show based on this opening.
There is a series of Japanese
Staff & Cast Interviews (presented in 480i/p) that run a little
than half an hour all together that gives viewers a good look behind
scenes. Not so interesting is The
Lightness and Darkness of Jo
(presented in 480i/p) another nearly half hour featurette that consists
clips of Jo taken from the series. Like
the Battle Record, I can't really see
anyone sitting down and watching this.
Wrapping up the bonus sections is a series of previews that
aired promoting the series when it was on TV, a preview of the OVA, an
reel, clean opening and closings and some FUNimation trailers.
Though my interest waned a bit in the middle, this show
ended up being pretty good. There was a
lot of fun action and the fan service was not distracting and obnoxious. There was a nice overall story, though they
do lose sight of that during some filler episodes, they remember at the
wrap things up nicely. A fun series that
I'm a little sad to see completed, Burst
Angels gets a strong Recommendation.