Archive for the Bakuretsu Tenshi Category


Yuri Manga: Burst Angel, Volume 3 (English)

June 19th, 2009

Answer: Love

Question: What is the one thing that defines something as being not a “monster?”

In Volume 3 of Burst Angel, the revelation that Jo was actually created to be a monster comes too late for us to ever be able to believe it, because we’ve already seen the look in her eyes when she looks at Meg.

And so has Meg.

So, no matter what people say about Jo – no matter what Meg hears about her inhumanity, she knows damn well that Jo is really a human and really, truly, someone that she’d go to the wire for. It doesn’t matter that Sei offers her scads of cash to stay away, that a crazy-ass killer named Rumpelstiltskin insists she was a cold-blooded killing machine or even an evil corporation that reveals Jo was created as a Genocide Angel, can keep her away from Jo’s side.

And that, my friends, is all we ever wanted to see out of this series. Jo and Meg together. And it is why the manga is orders better than the anime.

Thankfully, the reproduction was up to snuff this time. At last, a volume worthy of Burst Angel. I can’t speak for you, but the image of Meg and Jo walking away from the hospital together arm in arm, Meg asking if they’ll be together forever from now on, and both of them smiling at one another was *exactly* the ending I wanted from this series.

Meg and Jo are together.

QED.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 6
Service – 5

Overall – 8

Once more I tip my hat in thanks to Okazu Superhero Eric P. for being the sponsor of today’s and all our Burst Angel reviews. I think this is the final chapter Eric, we’re going to need a new series to obsess about. ^_^

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Yuri Manga: Burst Angel, Volme 2 (English)

March 18th, 2009

Burst Angel, Volume 2 is a classic case of “be careful what you wish for.”

When I first read this volume in Japanese, I was touched by the tender and genuine relationship between Jo and Meg, and enjoyed Meg’s obvious desire for Jo – something the anime had set aside in favor of extended giant robot fight scenes.

And then Tokyopop licensed the series. I was very excited, because I knew who was working on it, and was reasonably assured it would not suck. Then reality hit. Take a look at the long list of people who worked on this book on the front page and you will see a story of lay-offs and process malfesance. And, in the end, the best volume of the Bakuretsu Tenshi manga has become the not-terribly great second volume of Burst Angel. It’s not crisis-level “OMG, this sucks massively!”, but I’m not singing paeans of joy accompanied by heavenly choir, either.

The good news is that the manga itself is nice. Sweet, a little funny, with a light-hearted beginning that darkens as the series goes on to a more ominous tone. Much like the anime. The Yuri-est bits are not handled well. The translation is a bit silly – in one key moment, completely utterly incorrect and it has the overall effect of diminishing the reason I am reading this otherwise merely okay series.

But what really pushes this particular volume into “fail” territory for me is the craptastic reproduction. Tokyopop is, hands down, the most inconsistent of the large manga publishers. One series will be handled beautifully, the next like they did it on their lunch break. I realize that a lot of that has to do with timing, staff and money resources, etc. What you see with this volume is what happens when a book is rushed through as the staff is being fired from underneath it. The lettering is unacceptably bad in several spots – clearly no one was left to check it. I am *very* tolerant of margin and lettering errors, because I know just how hard it is to get that kind of thing right. But this is really abysmal.

The reproduction of the art (which was terrible in Volume 1) is much improved here. And to be fair, the art is not clean, draftsman-quality lines. (This was the artist’s first professional manga.) If the translation and lettering were at least at the level of the reproduction, the book would be perfectly fine.

All that having been said, if you are a Burst Angel fan, a fan of Jo and Meg, or just like a little light-hearted Yuri and can look past the technical issues, this volume is still worth getting.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 6
Service – 5

Overall – 7

It is once again my pleasure to thank Okazu Superhero Eric P. for being the sponsor of today’s review!

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Flamboyant Artbook (English)

November 23rd, 2008

Thanks to Okazu Superhero Eric for sponsoring today’s review of the Flamboyant art book by Hakua Ugetsu, translated by DMP!

This artbook contains a number of full-color artworks by Hakua for the Bakuretsu Tenshi, aka Burst Angel series. The art is colorful, servicey and full of action, scanty clothes and Jo. Sometimes a picture might also have Meg, Amy and Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth.

There are a number of pictures in which Jo and Meg are touching and/or are in close proximity to one another. There is even one where Jo’s scarf becomes a red string of fate that binds Meg to her. Sadly, the one picture I like best, of them sitting in each other’s laps in bed, was included only as a sketch.

The remainder of the book includes art from other series (including the intriguiging-looking Everybody’s Bounty Hunters, in which girls with guns stand near each other and sometimes touch) and some original sci-fi and fantasy art. the book also includes sketches and commentary by the artist, which I found to be both amusing and alarming. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 9
Yuri – 2
Service – 8

Overall – 9

I’m quite pleased to be able to add this artbook to my collection, where it will live with some of my crazy out-of-print artbooks that one day I will get around to reviewing.  ^_^

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Yuri News This Week – November 15, 2008

November 15th, 2008

Away we go!

Yuri Anime

Mediaworks has announced a Strawberry Panic anime box set in Japan. It’s not out of the pale to think that we might see one for the English release as well one day.

Right Stuff has announced a slightly delayed release date for the second season box set of Maria Watches over Us. Now it’s slated to hit the streets on December 9, 2008. And they’ve given us an initial release date of February 24, 2009 for the third season, the OAV box set!

Katherine shares news about an upcoming anime called Queen’s Blade, which will include women fighting in bikini-like battle armor for the approval of the Queen. (I’m kind of loosely summarizing there, lol). In any case, she thinks we’ll find it relevant to our interests and there’s plenty of Yuri-service for those as who find that good enough. :-)

Winterbraid has weighed in to let folks know that the third volume of El Cazador de la Bruja hit the European market without fanfare – or indeed, without promotion of any kind. I want to take a moment to include some of Winterbraid’s review here, because no only do I sympathize, I think it’s worth reading:

Unfortunately, the release leaves much to be desired. The translation
goes down the toilet right from the start of this volume, and doesn`t
get much better towards the end; I have caught a typo in the polsub that
would for sure give any of my former language teachers a heart attack,
and the characters mostly use language you`d expect from a
half-illiterate person.

[nag]
I don’t get it; Polish is in my opinion one of the most beautiful and
poetry-friendly languages in the world (not that I know that many
languages, mind you ^-^;), yet most translators write as if they`d
stopped their education at elementary school level. (Although I remember
being able to write way better than that in the elementary school.) It
makes me recall a very wise sentence, which says that a person doing
translations doesn`t need to know the language of the original work
perfectly; however, they must excel at the language they are translating
into. Sadly, the majority of translations indicate that the reverse is
more often the case. :/
[/nag]

Gerdub doesn`t fail at life any less than it did previously;
unfortunately, I listened to quite a bit of it, `cause Mplayer went on
strike and VLC switched to gerdub by default on every new track. >_Maybe it`s just me, but even the postcards in this volume seem a bit
weird. The cover is Ellis and Nadie with cat ears, the inside is the bad
guys on one page and Lilio on the other, and the DVD label is E/N in
waitress uniforms;

LOL, we sympathize on those dub issues, Winterbraid!

Winterbraid also wants us to know that the Murder Princess OAV is available in a single box set in Europe. A bit pricey, we’re warned, but hey – it’s all in one.

***

Yuri Manga

Silapa is proud to announce that the CoYuHi forums have launched their original Spanish-language Yuri Project manga. Good luck to them!

***

Yuri Contests

Just as a reminder, Okazu is holding a special Hayate x Blade contest. Entries will be accepted until November 30, so entertain me and get a copy of HxB for yourself or for a library near you!

Johann writes in to let us know that not only is there a spiffy Maria Watches Over Us poster in this issue of OtakUSA magazine, but they are holding a contest as well! The current giveaway, Johann says, includes two Marimite S1 DVD box sets. Nice.

***

Yuri Artbook

Johann also pointed out Flamboyant artbook by Ugestu Hakua, the artist for Burst Angel, (aka Bakuretsu Tenshi,) has been translated and released by DMP. He tells us that the first half of the book is all BA pictures, so if you ever wanted Meg, Jo, Amy and Sei-who–is-not-named-Beth in full color, here’s your chance! Great catch, Johann!

***

I think that’s everything for today. My continued thanks to the folks who write in with tidbits (or, perhaps I should use the British alternative for that?) and news items for us all! Please feel free to send any news you come across of Yuri interest and I’ll share it with everyone. :-)

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Yuri Manga: Burst Angel, Volume 1 (English)

October 1st, 2008

BurstAngel1I previously reviewed the Burst Angel manga back in 2005. You can find all of those reviews under the Bakuretsu Tenshi category on the right-hand sidebar, if you want to compare and contrast my first impressions.

In the original manga reviews I pointed out that the manga is somewhat – not significantly, but somewhat – Yurier than the anime. Sure, in the anime it’s *obvious* to anyone with two eyes that Jo and Meg are together. They even go so far as to show affection for one another. What we *want,* however, is a big old snogging scene where Jo rescues Meg and reaps the just rewards of that effort.

We don’t get that in Volume 1 of Burst Angel manga, either. ^_^;

What we do get, is more of Meg fantasizing about the life she’d like to live with Jo, instead of the hand-to-mouth, job-to-job, violent existence that they currently lead.

I’ve read comments here and that dismiss the manga because there is a young boy character inserted into the story. Don’t dismiss it because of that. The story is never about the boy, even if he does return later in the volume. The story is absolutely, firmly, about Jo and Meg. And, like the anime, it quickly becomes about Jo.

If you like the classic western structure of the early anime episodes – Meg and Jo get a job, defeat the bad guys, don’t get paid, move on, get a job, etc., you’ll enjoy this volume of the manga. If you’re looking for something more like later episodes of the anime, hang on – it’ll get there. The last chapter gives us a glimpse into that, as Amy and Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth show up on the very last pages, hinting at more to come.

The translation and adaptation are all fine, no complaints here, but I was really floored at how awful the reproduction of the art is for this TokyoPop edition. It’s pretty loose art, hard to follow at times in the original – very pencil drawing sketchy, if you know what I mean – but the pages of the English language edition…! If you don’t have the original to compare from, it might not seem that bad, but wow. It really is. I hope the second volume is reproduced better, since it’s my favorite of the three.

In the meantime, enjoy this action-filled prequel to the Burst Angel anime!

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 5
Service – 5

Overall – 7

Thanks once again to Eric P. for being the sponsor of today’s review! You have joined Dan and Ted the Awesome in the ranks of Okazu superheros. ^_^

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