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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Shattered Angels - Complete Box Set
Shattered Angels - Complete Box Set
FUNimation // Unrated // February 24, 2009
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted February 21, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

Ever heard of Shattered Angels? Yeah, me neither. When the Complete Collection showed up at our door courtesy of FUNimation, I must admit that I was somewhat perplexed. The series had completely slipped beneath my radar, and I was surprised to find out that this was one of those defunct ADV series that traded hands when the publisher began having issues.

Shattered Angels is a twelve episode show from the manga group Kaishaku, who created Kannazuke no Miko and Steel Angel Kurumi, which were two series that I enjoyed. Naturally this peaked by interest in Shattered Angels, which originally was released in Japan during 2007. Now, to my knowledge only one volume was ever released by ADV back in 2008, so if you happen to have been one of the unlucky few who bought that, well, FUNimation's release is a double-dip.

In case you're joining Shattered Angels as a relative newcomer, like I was, there's quite a bit you should know. For starters this show feels very similar to Tsubasa by CLAMP in the way that it kind of embodies the complete works of Kaishaku. The series all takes place in their established universe at some point in the future and it bears strong similarities to Kannazuke no Miko with the way it approaches the theme and storytelling. This isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, and it means that if you appreciated some of their works before you'll love this. Unfortunately it also holds true if you didn't like what you saw before. Keep that in mind when coming to this series.

Prior to the start of Shattered Angels an incident occurred that unleashed devastation across the land. Humanity suffered greatly, but they eventually overcame adversity and were better for it. In the ashes of what once was they erected Academia, a city of learning that is filled with schools designed for the betterment and education of its populace. It is in this educational fortress that we're introduced to Kuu, who is an otherwise normal girl going through the motions of life.

At the beginning of the series there's really nothing outstanding about Kuu, save for the fact that she has vivid dreams about a prince whom she's never met. Well, imagine her surprise when a new transfer student comes to town and he's a dead ringer for the man of her dreams. Kyoshiro certainly bears a striking resemblance to Kuu's prince, but things get out of hand almost as quickly as he shows up into her life. Right on the schoolyard there's something of a secret battle about to be had between Absolute Angels, which are a version of giant mechs similar to Steel Angels from Kurumi's series.

Kuu is dragged into the fray and from there the plot in the show gets much more complex as we discover that people can be Absolutely Angels in disguise, and Kyoshiro is on a mission to destroy them all. How Kuu is involved in all of this becomes clear as the show progresses, and though I won't say anything about it, let's just say her character's development is rather predictable to some extent. Actually, this show as a whole feels very by-the-numbers in some regards. Some plot points are just too familiar, some relationships too forced, and overall the show never really has a natural flow to it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely does detract from things a bit, and keeps you distanced. The fan service elements also don't help matters and the naughty bits just don't seem to fit in with the story Kaishaku was trying to tell.

Despite a somewhat formulaic structure, and its other flaws, Shattered Angels does offer some refreshing moments and there are plot twists aplenty, especially towards the end. None of these bits are enough to break the slightly mundane feeling that comes from watching the show, but they are nice just the same. If you saw Kannazuki no Miko and enjoyed it, then you'll definitely dig Shattered Angels. This effort feels a little less polished, but it's entertaining enough for a rental at the very least.

The DVD:

Video:

Shattered Angels hits DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio and for the most part it's a very solid looking show. The animation is very good with some nice, if not generic, designs accompanied by a vibrant palette that is very pastel in nature. Technically speaking the video quality is pleasing, but the transfer isn't exactly as clean as it could have been. There is some grain in parts, as well as some compression here and there. The image also has a tendency to look softer than it should, but this seems to be attributed to the production of the show rather than a result of the transfer. Overall the show looks good, but not outstanding.

Audio:

It shouldn't really come as any surprise that Shattered Angels is presented on DVD with 2.0 stereo tracks for both English and Japanese. It's a shame that a more robust 5.1 track wasn't included, as there's a fair amount of action here, but considering how unknown this property is it's not very shocking. What's here sounds decent enough and is free of dropout or distortion, so there are no real complaints. As far as the dub quality is concerned both the English and Japanese teams did a nice job and I really can't say that I enjoyed one more than the other.

Extras:

Clean animations and some trailers are the only bonus features you're going to find on this collection of Shattered Angels.

Final Thoughts:

If mecha, cute girls, fan service, and fairytale plots are your thing then you're going to love Shattered Angels. The show brings all of those elements together in a way that few shows could. I will say that the effort isn't a complete success, but it's not exactly a total failure either. There are plenty of moments here where the show rises above mediocrity and leaves an impression. Unfortunately the rest of the series feels kind of forced and several things just don't gel as well as they could have. Consider this one a rental.


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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