I feel I've made all of my most pertinent comments on Burst Angel's sound and visual effects in my review for Volume
2; if you haven't already, please feel free to read it. Also take note of my review of Volume
Burst Angel continues
onwards with Volume 4, released 24th July. It's in this
volume that we finally learn of how Meg and Jo met each
other. Meanwhile, the ongoing Osakan adventure from Volume
3 is resolved, and the gang foil more plots by the ever-lurking
sinister organisation that's been setting monsters on
the loose. This volume contains four episodes; 13-16
police officer is holding Osaka to ransom, proclaiming
himself "The King". But with new upgrades to Jango, and
help from Takane, Jo should be able to stop him and save
Meg at the same time.
Jo fell to earth with a bang, losing most
of her memories in the process, and it was left to
a hesitant Meg and her gang of orphans to introduce
her to life again. This is the story of how they first
gang visit a newly-opened water park, but are stuck in
the park when an oil spillage occurs. The resulting inferno
is compounded by the emergence of a giant squid – which
isn't quite what it seems.
Man with No Name"
routine mission, Jo unearths hidden and disturbing memories
from her past, as well as an anicent destroyed village
protected by a silent samurai warrior. He and Jo must
join forces to combat an ancient "steel demon" – another
not seen Volume 1, I was both surprised and pleased to
learn that Jo's "origin story" had been
left to a later episode and not contained solely in the
first few – it does make me wonder how critical I might
have been on Volume 1, if – I'm guessing here – the whole
crew had been introduced without any specific backstory.
One thing I dislike in most films and TV shows is having
to work out for myself who the characters are and what
their purpose is, and the show in question assuming that
the viewer knows all this information.
15 is the most fanservice-laden of the four; it's the
obligatory "swimsuit episode".
Those looking for an Ikki Tousen-style fix won't come away disappointed – the girls (all except Amy and Jo, whose figures are more modest) seem to defy the laws of physics, squeezed into impossibly revealing swimsuits. Not that a high-class reviewer such as myself cares about such silly things, of course (wink wink)...
I'm continually impressed by the quality of the CGI, and the way it blends almost seamlessly into the traditional animation. It's especially noticable in episode 13, which features two mecha dueling it out on the streets of Osaka, with the human pilots sitting in amidst the CG-animated machinery.
Angel's format is still working well. Instead of putting
the focus on the major plotlines (the mysterious shady
scientists), the series puts forth self-contained episodes,
with only a few large "spectaculars" – the
recent 11/12/13 three-part Osakan adventure being one
of them. With two volumes still to come, let's hope it
can maintain this standard.
anamorphic 16:9 transfer is, as on the previous Burst
Angel releases, a decent enough job – if anything,
the picture seems slightly more pleasing here, though
this could be partly down to the artwork of the included
episodes. Colours are strong, picture detail is good
and black levels are solid. Outlines are very distinct.
again the English 5.1 dub is superior to the Japanese
original, with a more expansive use of sound, especially
the music score, and better bass – the voices on the
Japanese track are noticeably more tinny. The voices
on the English dub tend towards the American South (this
is explained in the commentary), and the pronunciation
of Japanese place names ("Osaka" is
a good example) is particularly American.
Voice director Chris Bevens returns for another audio commentary,
this time accompanied by Monica Rial (Jo; sounding nothing
like her in real life) and Caitlin Glass (Takane). The
yak-track accompanies episode 13, "Showdown in Osaka" -
they explain why they had everyone in Osaka speak with
a Texan accent, as well as making the usual crazy observations
Once again, the Japanese voice cast are showcased in their own Radio Play; you can watch the textless opening and endings, and trailers for La Portrait de Petit Cosette and
another series that I can't identify.