Many, many thanks to Daniel P., who is one of my favorite “people who I have never met.” Once again, it is through his kindness and generosity that I am able to bring you a review of something shiny. In this case, the shinyness comes in the form of Burst Angel, Volume 3.
There’s some good in Volume 3, some bad and a lot of “now, where are we going with this?” and finally, towards the end, it appears as if the story might *actually* go somewhere. Where it goes is reasonably bizarre, but at least it’s off and running. :-)
If you recall, last volume, we had a story in which Kyouhei (which the American VA for the part pronounces “Kee-yo-hey” which obviously drives the *other* VAs a little crazy, because they keep saying “Kyou-hei” very pointedly at him) and Jo bash around the city, ostensibly to something something, but really so they can bond a bit.
This volume starts off with another “get to know” episode. In this case, we’re treated to a visual feast that is meant to introduce us to the complicated life of Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth. The obligations of her family/organization ties, and the trials of being a leader (and, in fact, what it means to be a leader.)
Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth is a good leader. The other guy, the bad guy for the episode, is not. It’s a simple moral – real leaders feel the weight of their followers’ trust as a responsibility, not as an invitation to do whatever they want. Duh.
So, because Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth is a good leader, Meg and Jo are inspired to help her escape an untenable situation. Meg is given some help through manipulation of qi, how convenient, and becomes, for a short time, a gungfu master. But it’s Jo who saves the day with lots of bullets.
The next episode is just wrong. This time it’s Amy and Kyouhei who bond in a very Alice in Wonderland type episode. Hacker Amy is dragged into a digital reality where a bunch of creepy FanBoys “invite” her to stay with them. The best part of this episode was Kyouhei’s low-res face in a box and the fact that the otaku created artificial bodies for themselves that are just as unappealing as their meat bodies probably were, with extra dorkiness for having monitors for faces. Because, obviously, all of us geeks want to be dorkish robot bodies w/freak faces. Obviously.
(Hello, writers? That’s your audience you’re dissin’ there….)
Finally, finally, finally, the plot gets revving in the last two episodes. It doesn’t make more sense, mind you, but at least there’s an inkling of a plot. We move to Osaka, where their professional wrestling industry is being threatened by real monster. Jo saves the day, but is arrested by the sincere and zealous Osaka Police which is made up of a series of familiar stereotypes. The fact that one of these is Takane, the sword-wielding, ex-motorcycle gang member has absolutely *nothing* to do with the fact that I like this bit a lot. (Don’t believe me? Me neither. ^_^)
So, slowly, some of the random bits from previous episodes are gathered together (several by flashback, in case we forogt them,) and a even sillier than usual evil shadow organization begins to appear in the background mist. Or something. In any case, Jo shoots things alot.
In terms of Yuri, it’s way minimal. On Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth’s grandfather’s ship, Meg fantasizes about having cool martial arts skills and how she would save Jo and Jo would be all over her. That was basically all that we got. But it was kind of cute and harkened back to Meg’s similar, if slightly more explicit, fantasies in the manga.
The extras continue to be rewarding. Three radio dramas where Watanabe Akeno (Jo) and Toyoguchi Megumi (Meg) have tongue-twister showdowns, act out fan-created dramas and generally babble alot, and two extras where they talk in incredibly high-pitched voices about *nothing*. English cast commentary on the Amy in Wonderland adventure, where they saw the mildly suggestive scenes as being way filthier than I saw them as. And the usual color pamphlet with Japanese cast and crew commentary and purty pictures of things.
Art – 6
Characters – 5
Story – 5
Yuri – 1
Service – 6 (Breasts simply don’t do that. They just *don’t*)
Overall – 5
I’m surprised at how much of Bakuretsu Tenshi I remember since I watched all those many long years ago. I would have sworn that I had forgotten most of it, but nope.