Live Action: Arch Angels

June 30th, 2008

After watching and reading fourteen million hours worth of Catholic schoolgirls getting into vary degrees of trouble, or not, I am the obviously not the only one who thought, “I wonder what would happen if these characters had superpowers and had to fight evil nuns?” Kawahara Izumi clearly had that same thought and so wrote the shoujo manga Warau Daitenshi Mikaeru, about three girls at St. Michael’s Academy, a private school for girls. I have not yet had a chance to read the manga, but after watching the Live Action adaptation of the story, which has come to America under the name Arch Angels, I absolutely will track it down.

The story follows Shijou Fumio, whose life radically alters when her mother dies. Although they lived in poverty, it turns out that Fumio’s father was unbelievably wealthy and her older brother, who had been kept by the grandmother who threw her pregnant mother out, now wants Fumio in his life.

Fumio transfers to St. Michael’s and instantly, due to her good grades, excellent athleticism and general down-to-earth qualities, is immediately escalated to the rank of star of the school, nicknamed “The Saviour.” She joins Saiki Kazune, known as “Oscar-sama,” and Sarashina Yuzuko called, hysterically, “the Colobockle.” Of course, there’s oodles of akogare/admiration involved in this new star status.

The three are bonded together over their love of average, everyday Japanese food and snacks, and further grow close because they suddenly manifest superpowers, which they will use to defeat the evil Sister Marlena who is kidnapping random delectably pure girls for some nefarious fate or other.

Okay, so that’s the plot. What makes this movie work is the utterly crackheaded use of special effects, and the insane plot complications, compounded by things like eyeball grenades, a CGI dog named “Damian” and a climax which had me *howling* with laughter. Everytime you thought it couldn’t get weirder and funnier…it went leaps past that.

So, now I have a submarine run by a St. Michael’s nun to add to my helicopters at Astrea Hill. If I keep this up, I’ll have a whole military division just based on Catholic school armaments! Awesome. Clearly I need to collect the whole set! And that doesn’t even include soulassassin’s fighter jets.

Oh, and for those of you who watched Ueno Juri in Last Friends and went gaga for her butchy Ruka – she plays Fumio. ^_^


Cinematography – 7
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 2
Service – 2

Overall – 8

Anyway, if you, like myself, need to detox from Catholic schoolgirls and their keigo-speaking proper selves, by watching them slurp ramen before they take on evil with their superpowers, Arch Angels is exactly what you are waiting for. ^_^

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18 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    *sees the name Ueno Juri*

    That’s all the persuasion I need to watch some live action movie with bad CG.

  2. My, my. I saw the trailer and it looks hilarious. I don’t know if that was intentional, though… It seems to be some good, mind-numbing fun, anyway.

    No worries. Very soon there shall be a light novel out about Japanese Catholic school girls of questionable sexuality who drive tanks set in the backdrop of World War II (which would explain the inexplicable tanks.) Or something like that.

  3. I’ve decided to add the guns used in Noir, Madlax, El Cazador and Vanilla to the collection, so we have some handguns and rifles, too. :)

    …this is going well. Now I just need something to represent the Marines….

  4. Anonymous says:

    This movie was surprisingly enjoyable! I think all the elements of exaggeration, use of CGI, the characters of the 3 girls and acting all balanced out well giving us a good 90 minutes of mindless humour!! Juri is of course another good reason to watch this!

  5. Hmm, what about the Pixel Maritan crew? Those girls have all facets of the military covered, yeah?

  6. They are not weapons. I’m collecting my own army here. I don’t need avatars – I need artillery! lol

  7. I think you can throw Army-san at somebody and it would count as a deadly weapon :P

  8. I’ll give you that. lol

  9. It’s too bad Revy of Black Lagoon isn’t batting for our softball team, as the expression goes…sort of. Because she’s got a boat.

    Does your list of necessary battle gear extend to weapons found within plausible reality??

    Because Hagino’s love boat–I mean, big gay space ship–could sure come in handy, I think.

  10. I’m sticking with the real for this. If I start adding space ships and mecha, it wouldn’t be any challenge. :-)

  11. BruceMcF says:

    This whole Catholic girls school tank corps idea has me puzzled … between the Blue Drop ship (and given its original mission, that would be more or less the Marine landing craft) and the small arms in Madlax and Noir, some helicopters for close support and some jet power …

    … what for they need tanks? scratches head

    … close quarter bonding between tank commander and gunner? That’s the only possible benefit I can see for having tanks in the mix.

    And before anyone says it … don’t you believe it for a minute. They are out there, lurking in the deep sea trenches.

  12. ana says:

    You don’t need the Marines. You need an undercover cop… with a steel yoyo (Sukeban Deka). Besides, an artillery round would flatten the school. :P

  13. My Sukeban corps is a completely different thing from my Catholic schoolgirl army and both are completely different from my list of Evil Psycho Lesbians that I keep. ;-)

    Oh, hey – Gunsmith Cats! More handguns and rifles. Still need some more heavy ground artillery, though…

  14. I did a double-take, blinking and nearly pitched forward to the screen after following this link from Ultimo Spalpeen:

    Told myself, “WTH is that? And what’s with their Titanic-style empire-cut dresses… er, uniforms?” And noticed that there are nine of those girls… Like the YamaYurikai (the all-time champion team, bar none), do they also function as a student council? O_o

    Next thing I come down checking this entry and the DVD cover gets a Buffy-in-action-style revamp. xD

    Gotta get it for some campy fun. Been a long time looking for some action since I watched The Returner. :)

  15. marcela – I already did. I didn’t think it was good. And every episode that comes out is still not good. Here is my review if you want to read it, but you will probably not agree with me, since you want me to review it so badly:

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