The second volume of Burst Angel carries on in much the same manner as the first volume. The four Angels take on more dangerous jobs and take on some pretty weird characters, and Meg continues to be captured by the bad guys. This volume includes two more stories that span two episodes each, and manages to be fun and filled with action though the overall plot isn't advanced very much.
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 presents another pair of two-part episodes. In the first, there has been a series of strange events occurring at an elite prep school for girls. The Burst Angels decide to send one of their own in undercover to discover what's happening. Of course, the decide to send in their lest capable member: Meg the wonder hostage.
The school is populated by stuck-up rich girls, but aside from that everything seems normal. Normal until Meg encounters a hypnotized girl who tries to jump off the top of the school. Snooping around some more, Meg breaks into the elite Ishtar club's headquarters and discovers a monster hiding there who attacks her. This is definitely not part of the curriculum.
The next story involves a giant crow-man who has been kidnaping women in Tokyo. Everyone thinks that its nothing more than an urban legend, but the giant crow is real all right. Meg discovers that for sure when she's taken by the robotic bird.
Meanwhile the other Burst Angels have an assignment to guard a VIP transporting
a valuable object. The giant crow attacks and creates a lot of mayhem.
During the disturbance, the VIP injects Kyohei with the syringe he's carrying
in order to hide the contents. Unfortunately for the cook, he's transporting
an experimental nanobot virus. The virus will eat away at him from
the inside out, and he only has six hours to live. The doctors can
save him, but the crow offers to trade Meg for the virus. So Jo,
wanting to rescue her friend, takes Kyohei as insurance. If all else
fails, she can trade him away.
Another problem that I have with the series is Meg's character. She doesn't seem to fulfill any purpose in the team and all she really does is get into trouble. I have a hard time believing that the other Angels would want her help since she messes up so often. Aside from being a hostage (she's been captured by the bad guys in every episode in the series so far) she doesn't really help out.
This DVD contains the next four episodes 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.
There is one thing about this DVD that really rankles: there is a two-minute unskipable trailer before the menu. You can't fast forward, chapter skip or hit the menu button to get past it. I really wish FUNimation wouldn't do this, there's no need for it.
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.
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.
This disc has a nice amount of extras included on it.
First off is a commentary track to the eighth episode with ADR Director Chris Bevins (who identifies himself this time), and actresses Monica Rial (Jo) and Clarine Harp (Sei). This is one of the better anime commentary tracks. 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. Most of their comments are pretty self evident, and 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 is a fourth '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. Missing from this disc are the outtakes that they included last time. It was one of my favorite bonus items last time, and I'm sorry that they didn't include more.
The two stories that are presented on these four episodes are pretty
entertaining and fun. I am getting a little tired of Meg getting
captured every episode, and I hope they stop that trend soon. Aside
from that, this is a good series that shows some promise. Recommended.