Archive for the Bakuretsu Tenshi Category


Yuri News For The Weeks of August 24 – September 5

September 6th, 2008

Hi all – I have returned from vacation, have seen many things, acquired the t-shirts as proof and am now once again home on my comfy sofa.

Thanks to every one who sent in news items – we have a lot of news, as you can imagine. :-)

Yuri Manga

Several people have wanted me to remind you that the Burst Angel manga is due out shortly. The manga, as you might remember from my reviews (click the Bakaretsu Tenshi Category on the righthand sidebar to find them) have more Yuri than the anime. Not scads of Yuri, but compared to the anime, a lot.

The good folks at Seven Seas have passed along a link to news about their Strawberry Line. http://www.gomanga.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6405&start=15. This link goes to their forums, where they run down all the titles on a book-by-book status. The Strawberry Line is not dead and as culpable as I am in the original report, I will now report that rumors of its demise were greatly exagerrated. In short – more Yuri is coming from Seven Seas – please stop *whining*. :-)

Sean wants you all to know that Kozue Amano, mangaka of Aria, is starting a new series as yet unnamed, in Comic Blade magazine. If it has as much Yuri as Aria it will have none, but that won’t stop fans from seeing it there anyway. lol

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Snatches of Yuri

bottle is very excited to mention Akiyama Haru’s Octave, ‏which is about a failed pop idol’s attempt to regain a normal life and how she falls in love with a female musician. I’ve heard nothing but good about it so far and of course will report back to you when I have it.

As good as Octave sounds, Pure Pure Lips sounds bad. lol A poor girl and the lesbian dorm owner…it might not be so bad if the cover wasn’t cringe making. The “little” girl looks like a harp seal waiting to be clubbed.

Hakodate Yuujin Buraijou Himegami 3 will be out soon, so we can see Himeka press Hyou against her extremely large breasts some more. Whee!

And lastly, Sasamekikoto, Volume 3, is also coming out soon, so we can watch two girls who are in love with one another not get together in extremely contrived, yet amusing ways.

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Live-Action Yuri

Erin reminds us all that the Live-Action movie, Love My Life based on the Yuri manga of the same name is now available from Wolfe Video. She also thought you might be interested to know that it was on the top sellers list at Wolfe, as well.

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Maria-sama ga Miteru News

Emilie wrote in to let us know that Konno Oyuki and Hibiki Reine attended the 9th Comic Exhibition 2008, in Taipei. dormcat provided a translation of an interview with them, in this thread on ANN. Johann adds a link to a Chinese translation of this interview at: http://blog.yam.com/dormcat/article/16765879.

Emilie also let us know that in the new Marimite Web Radio show, Inoue Marina and Nazuka Kaori have been announced to voice Naitou Shouko and Naitou Katsumi respectively for the radio drama of “Chocolate Portrait,” the story in which Tsutako first meets Shouko. Tsu and Shouko are an awesome pair and I recommend this highly. :-)

Last up for Marimite, here’s a press release from Right Stuf on the Second Season:

RIGHT STUF’S NOZOMI ENTERTAINMENT Announces the MARIA WATCHES OVER US – Season 2 DVD Collection: Printemps

Second TV season of Maria-sama ga Miteru scheduled for Nov. 25, 2008

GRIMES, IA, September 4, 2008 – Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and Nozomi Entertainment are pleased to announce the release of the MARIA WATCHES OVER US (Maria-sama ga Miteru) – Season 2 DVD Collection: Printemps on November 25, 2008.

The Season 2 DVD Collection is the second of several “season box sets” scheduled for the series’ North American DVD release.

· Each set features Japanese audio, along with English on-screen translations, and two English-language subtitle tracks: one with regular dialogue subtitles and a second, special subtitle track that retains the Japanese honorifics.

· Additionally, each set will include the “specials” – comedic shorts that depict the series’ characters in “chibi” form – for its respective season.

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“leaves you eagerly wanting more” – AnimeOnDVD at Mania.com

“Shelf Worthy” – Anime News Network’s Shelf Life
“a truly beautiful anime” – Future Anime
“A beautifully illustrated, surprisingly effective slice-of-life drama…” – Anime News Network
AnimeOnDVD.com Pick of the Week

The Maria Watches Over Us anime is based upon an ongoing series of novels – written by Oyuki Konno and illustrated by Reine Hibiki – that began in 1998 and currently spans 33 volumes. Short stories related to the series have been published in the shoujo (girls’) magazine Cobalt, and a manga adaptation is serialized in the anthology magazine Margaret. The series’ publisher, Shueisha, also produced 14 drama CDs (featuring radio-style plays).

The anime adaptation of Maria-sama ga Miteru – also referred to by fans as “MariMite” – encompasses two, 13-episode TV seasons, a 5-episode OVA (original video animation) as its third season, and a fourth season, currently in production in Japan.

The first three seasons of Maria Watches Over Us feature animation by Studio DEEN (Fruits Basket, Gravitation, Rurouni Kenshin), direction by Yukihiro Matsushita (Blue Dragon, Sugar Sugar Rune), and scripting by Reiko Yoshida (Aria, Boys Over Flowers, Story of Saiunkoku).

Visit mariasama.rightstuf.com for more information about Maria Watches Over Us (Maria-sama ga Miteru), detailed character profiles, trailers, downloads and more.

About MARIA WATCHES OVER US (Maria-sama ga Miteru) – Season 2

The spring term is beginning for the students at Lillian Girls’ Academy. Friends are reunited, but for the Yamayuri Council, it’s a bittersweet time. Yoko, Eriko and Sei are busy preparing to depart Lillian, while Sachiko, Rei and Shimako are doing their best to ensure their dear sisters receive a memorable commencement. Soon, Lillian will have new leaders in the Council offices of Rosa Chinensis, Foetida and Gigantea, along with many new faces and budding relationships. Contains the complete 13-episode second season, plus Season 2 “specials” 1-6.

MARIA WATCHES OVER US (Maria-sama ga Miteru) – Season 2 DVD Collection: Printemps (TV)
Pre-Book: 10/28/2008
Street Date: 11/25/2008
Runtime: Approximately 325 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo, Color
Genre: Drama
Suggested Rating: 13+

Format: DVD (Japanese, 2 English Subtitle Tracks, English On-Screen Translations)
Catalog #: RSDVD0816
ISBN: 1-57032-791-2
UPC: 7-42617-0816-2-0
SRP: $49.99

Discs/Set: 4
Item Measurements: 5 3/8” X 1 7/32” X 7 5/8” (LxWxH)
Case Qty: 9

DVD Features:
Scene access; Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio for Japanese dialogue; two English subtitle tracks (regular dialogue subtitles, plus a special subtitle track that includes Japanese honorifics); and English on-screen translations. PLUS: Season 2 “Specials” 1-6, liner notes and Nozomi Entertainment trailers.

* Cover Art: http://outgoing.rightstuf.com/sleeves/rsdvd0816.jpg
MARIA WATCHES OVER US (Maria-sama ga Miteru) PRINTEMPS © OYUKI KONNO / SHUEISHA • YAMAYURIKAI • TV TOKYO Licensed by d-rights Inc.

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Yuri Anime

In a maddeningly zero-information ad, I was reminded that the Ichigo Mashimaro Encore OVA is coming – but the ad had no date as of yet. Maybe we’ll have something out this fall, because the upcoming autumn TV season looks bereft of Yuri.

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That’s it for this week – thanks to everyone who sent in news items. I really couldn’t do it without you – keep ’em coming!

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Burst Angel Infinity OAV Anime (English)

June 10th, 2008

Much thanks to Daniel today for providing another Sunday afternoon’s worth of great entertainment and incidentally sponsoring today’s review!

As I wrote, in my initial review of Burst Angel Infinity OAV, screencaps make up for a LOT of nothing. ^_^

The story follows Jo and Meg post them meeting, and pre them hooking up with Amy and Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth. (And really, the ONLY reason I’m reviewing this OAV again, is to be able to type that once more. ^_^ And now that Tokyopop is cutting back, who knows if they’ll ever get the BA manga out, so this may be my last chance.)

The adventure itself is much of a muchness. Jo and Meg come back to visit one of the street urchins that Meg ran with previously – as we know from the episode where we learn how they met. It’s Shirley’s birthday, Meg wants to get her a present, so they need money. Of course the whole thing spirals out of control immediately and Jo is forced to do something she just hates – beat the crap out of people and shoot them.

The final credits run alongside a recap of Jo and Meg’s meeting and initial adventure and at the veeerry end, there’s a supershort clip of Meg full of awesomeness she absorbed from Jo’s scarf. (which was her scarf originally, but obviously it picked up awesome from proximity to Jo, so when she got it back at the end of the series, it confirmed awesome upon her. I’m sorry that they didn’t make a whole story with awesome Meg – the short looks way better than anything with Shirley. But that’s just me.

Of course we’re also watching the miniscule moments of tenderness between Meg and Jo, which completely confirms the obviousness of their relationship. lol Don’t get me wrong, I think they are a couple. I just also think that this anime makes us work harder at it than necessary. ^_^

Extras were kind of dull for me, not being a mecha fiend, but if you like them, there’s a retrospective of all the exciting robot designs in the series.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 3
Service- 4

Overall – 7

As I said the first time, if you like the series, this OVA is at least as good as some of the better episodes.

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Burst Angel Anime, Volume 6 (English)

May 7th, 2008

My biggest complaint about the previous volume of Burst Angel was that the winning formula – i.e., Jo and Meg being the point people – was sort of dropped and left behind as the plot flailed around in a Jo-focused sort-of-back- and sort-of-present- story.

Thankfully, Volume 6 recaptured what made the early episodes work, so we get to wade about in a pool of satisfyingly standard tropes of action team anime, with a decidely Western flair.

First, having resolved Jo’s personal arc, we must face the inevitable Storm before the Calm, as the team is dissolved for political reasons. As is typical in this particular plot complication, the characters, despite their personal bonds, shoot apart like shrapnel. I don’t know why that is, but it is a requirement that we all go bara-bara. Jo and Meg take to the road, Amy does Amy things and Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth does Sei-who-is-not-named-Beth things.

Jo and Meg face one more crisis, as Maria returns (another standard, which I mentally refer to as “Can’t keep a good bad guy down”) and in a lovely fit of Yuri, she kidnaps Meg, because she wants her for herself. There’s some lovely sexually suggestive stuff in there, before Jo shows up and beats the crap out of Maria in a nicely animated fight. (A trope my wife has just named “Get your hands off my Betty!”)

Meg has a chance to have her own moment of Yuri where she confesses her feelings to a sleeping Jo, kisses her and promises to protect her forever, thus notching up the Yuri without making any committment at all.

Akane returns, as the wildcard cowboy who rides in for the last battle; a nice touch, as it’s a classic tactic for Westerns.

And there’s the standard emotional parting scene where Jo leaves Meg behind before the final showdown. Also a classic Western moment, reflected beautifully by the music.

Last thing I noted was a convention of mecha/sci-fic/cyberpunk anime – the main brain to which all other brains are connected, is inexplicably wired to explode when something something something. Whose idea was that? Imagine if Google did that with their servers…. Seems to me to be a *really* bad idea.

So, the final volume returns to the classic Western roots it sort of vaguely nodded towards in the beginning. It really worked, I think. This wasn’t a deep look at anything particular, it’s not “slice of life,” or “drama,” or despite fans’ insistence “romance,” – Burst Angel is a pretty standard action anime, with strong ties to conventions of good, ole’ American Westerns. For a decent live-action analogy, I recommend Silverado which contained many of the same tropes and was about as satisfying to watch as any Western I’ve ever seen. Plus, the cast kicks. No giant weaponry though, unless you count Danny Glover’s shotgun. :-)

In the end, we get a teeny little brief glimpse of Meg’s future, which I really would have prefered to be her present, but oh well, it’s nice to know that Jo’s scarf bestows +10 competence on the wearer.

Extras as always – the American cast commentary, the Japanese radio dramas and a nifty book full of nifty facts and pictures. Extras aren’t crucial to me, and they won’t save a bad anime, but it feels nice to have such a *chunky* set of extras for this series. It’s the best of both worlds – something for the intellect and something tactile to enjoy.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 4
Sevice – 4

Overall – 8

Overall, a fun series that would make really good background images on a big screen during a party. :-) My thanks to Ted the Awesome for sponsoring today’s review!

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Burst Angel Anime, Volume 5 (English)

March 9th, 2008

This review was made possible by the generosity of Daniel P., and I offer many thanks in his general direction. :-)

Today’s lesson is how you can take a moderately entertaining action series and ruin it, part 37. We’ve talked previously about things like doing reset endings so everything that happened up to that point is rendered meaningless, and getting sidetracked in long, drawn-out and irrelevant back or side story. Today’s lesson is “establish a primary couple as the focus of the story then ignore it completely.”

The early volumes of Burst Angel establish Jo and Meg as the primary couple and set Meg up as the *reason* Jo fights with such gusto. In Burst Angel Volume 5, Meg just about drops off the face of the series.

So we start off with the second half of Jo’s battle with a samurai in an alternate dimension against a monster, which is coincidentally similar to Django and piloted by a girl who is clearly the same as whatever Jo is. She says that Jo has to come back with her, but, no, that’s not happening. Jo fights, wins, we leave the alternate dimension and move on.

We move on to…a filler episode about a cyborg who used to be a classmate of Kyouhei’s. Very tragic.

Then Akane from Osaka drops in and police cybots go beserk and – can you guess? Jo has to fight them! Only, Akane seems to be victim du jour.

And where is Meg in all this? Jo’s boon companion, her Boston Marriage, her raison d’etre? Sitting in the trailer eating pizza and not much more than that.

Once again, I found my attention slipping off every episode, because the thing that made Jo interesting was her dedication to Meg and her passion in saving her. The Jo of this volume appears to get fired up over any old thing donuts, ants, and uses any old excuse for a fight. So…what was the point of Meg in the first place? We don’t even get a nice reunion after Jo and Meg are together again after Jo’s been missing for a while.

Lots of extras, as usual, interviews, radio dramas, American voice cast BSing while an episode plays in the background, and a two-sided DVD cover, which made me think how creatively they manage the costumes for maximum perviness.

Ratings;

Art – 7
Story – 5
Characters – There’s more than one? Seems like Jo’s the only one in the story now. 5
Yuri – 0
Service – 6

Overall – 5

Today’s lesson – don’t forget the winning formula.

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Burst Angel Anime, Volume 4 (English)

January 23rd, 2008

Slowly, slowly, I am working my way down the piles of items to review. This item sort of fell to the bottom of that pile with all the new incoming. My apologies to today’s sponsor, Daniel, for the delay.

Burst Angel Volume 4 is pretty much where the series lost my attention the first time around. I was having difficulty holding my attention on it this viewing, as well. Time after time, I had to stop starting a second thing while the DVD was playing. The story just sort of loses focus. Perhaps because BA is really a 13-episode series wearing a 24-episode season? I dunno. I’ll leave that to the philosophers.

The volume starts off pretty strong, with the end of the Osaka arc, complete with tragedy, loyalty, heroism and pride in Osaka that just bursts out of the screen. Thinking about it, if the Osaka arc has been lengthened by another episode, and the entire series was just that arc, I think I would have liked it better. Well, okay, the Bible Black rip-off arc was pretty good too. But the rest of the episodes…meh.

Immediately after the big bang full of sound and fury signifying nothing, we move into a series of filler episodes. The first of these is the backstory when Jo met Meg. It’s a little lighter-handed than the expanded OAV version of the story, so Meg remains a lovable incompetent with bad fashion sense and large breasts that jiggle. Jo saves her.

This is followed by a simply hysterical episode where everyone wears terrifying bathing suits and there is a big monster with tentacles. Meg gets nabbed. Jo saves her.

In the final episode we are treated to heavy-handed Jo-ness. Jo’s past – hinted at in her and Meg’s backstory – is catching up with her. She ends up joining forces with a samurai-esque guy to fight an out-of-control robot. And to be really, really honest, I can’t remember a single thing about this episode.

So, while the anime is in one sense heading towards a climax, the tension that draws *me* into a series has been lost. Too much filler between one arc and the other, maybe? Too much something, or not enough.

Yuri from here on in can be summed up as “Jo seems to be fond of Meg.” (You remember that line? It was from the official Vandread description of Jura. “Jura seems to be fond of Barnette.”) We’ve established just about all the relationship we’re going to get between Meg and Jo, and the series has shifted focus away from them as partners to Jo alone. And while there will be thrills and spills and shoot-outs and giant robots from here on in, somehow…it’s less compelling than the action that was wrapped around utter stupidity. Not *every* action series needs to have a plot. Sometimes we’re okay just watching Jo kick ass. We might even be willing to be kidnapped to have her save us. ;-)

Ratings:

Art – 5
Characters – 6
Story – 5
Yuri – 1
Service – 7 (someone came up with those bathing suits…)

Overall – 5

Last volume I said I was surprised how much I remembered. This volume I’m not surprised to see how much I forgot.

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