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Burst Angel: Volume 1

Burst Angel: Volume 1
Review Date:
Reviewed By: Jeremy

Released By: FUNimation

Age Rating: 13+

Region: 1 - North America
Volume: 1 of 6
Length: 100 minutes
Subtitles: English
Audio: English 5.1 Surround
Japanese 5.1 Surround
In the not-too-distant future of 2050, the citizens of Tokyo are now legally allowed to carry firearms. Naturally, there’s a slight increase in crime and corruption, with all sorts of shady deals going down. Amidst all this chaos, four young women – cool gunslinger Jo, klutzy over-achiever Meg, cutesy computer-smart Amy and mysterious leader Sei – do their part to clean up the mess Tokyo has become while at the same time doing mercenary work for the mysterious Bai Lan group, who, along with other factions, seem to have their own agenda.
Burst Angel is the latest from GONZO, the studio that brought us such recent hits as Hellsing and Last Exile. The signature style is there: 2-D cell animation mixed in with slick CGI. It’s easy to figure out what’s what, but it still looks cool as hell. While the future setting of "Burst Angel" follows the standard "pattern" seen in stories of this type (a somewhat dystopian future following a major disaster where crime is high and corporate corruption runs rampant), it’s still probably the most realistic one I’ve ever seen. All the technology to be found, from the mecha, the weapons and even the cybernetic implants, look more like what we might actually have around this time rather than what we’ve seen in other future-set shows like Bubblegum Crisis or Ghost in the Shell. True, I doubt we’ll have giant robots running around, but even those are constructed almost more realistically than what you might find on other shows.

One might get thrown off a bit by how the show starts out. The first episode deals with young Kyohei, a temp worker with dreams of being a pastry chef, getting hired on to work as the resident cook for these four attractive young women. He then finds out the hard way what it is they really do, wants to get out, but finds himself being drawn back for various reasons, the top two being that the girls love his cooking and that he’s encouraged by his friend and guidance counselor to stick to the job. Sounds like the set-up for a romantic comedy, doesn’t it? Kyohei and Meg even get off to a bad start when they meet and Meg dislikes Kyohei until she warms up to him (the good news is they don’t meet in the traditional romantic-comedy manner of the boy running into the girl in the buff). Well, there’s no romance yet, and Kyohei is hardly a main character at this point. He’s only in the first half of the third episode, and is not even in the fourth one at all (he does get mentioned a couple times, though). Still, this in only the first four episodes, and who knows what could happen down the line?

There’s little not to like about this show so far. Those expecting an excess amount of fan service fluff are in for a surprise. The girls may dress in sexy outfits (Sei and Meg are practically spilling out of theirs), but they hardly go around deliberately flashing their goods on a regular basis. One might also think Meg’s only purpose in the show is to get kidnaped by whatever villain the girls have to fight that episode, but somehow that manages to serve the plot and keep things going, and Meg even manages to make herself useful while she’s kidnaped. Add in some slick music (you’ll just love the jazzy opener), plenty of mysteries going around and cool spaghetti western-style action (even Jo’s mecha whips out a pair of guns gunslinger-style when it goes into action!) and you’ll get one of the sweetest shows to come out recently.

Rating: 8/10
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