Burst Angel

Alt titles: Bakuretsu Tenshi

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DistMan's avatar By DistMan on Dec 2, 2004

Story
Here we are again, with one of Gonzo's later works. Being the Gonzo fan I am I of course watched it, and here is what I have to say about it.

What we have here is a special OPs group with lots of funding, lots of will power and four 'hot' chicks (pun intended). This group consists of women, girls, ladies, chicks -- whatever you wish to call them. Their mission in life is to bust some ass. They work for a corporation called Barren whose goal in life I won't mention.

Ohh yes, I almost forgot to mention their chef. He's 18 years old and wants to become a patissier in France (don't ask me what that is). To do so he needs money, which he gets from the girls who are in dire need of someone who can cook for them. They can shoot, kill, terrorize, shut down networks, etc., but they can't cook?! In other words, he's a part-time worker aka arubaita aka wage-slave.

Alright, on to the story. What they've tried to do is to pull a Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex (GITS SAC), meaning there are a bunch of standalone arcs that usually span two episodes or so (from bodyguard situations to others). There are very subtle things going on in the background that you might not notice at the beginning of the series, and in the end we discover an entire plot built around the small parts presented in each arc. Unfortunately, they failed a bit; the problem is that everything feels very rushed and it's easy to get lost along the way. The show kicks off great but loses itself somewhere at the end of the first third, only to find itself again at the start of the last third. I didn't find it very annoying though, it was still good entertaining action and there were small things being hinted at in the second third as well. it's just that these episodes didn't feel in synch with the rest of the show

The plot itself was quite interesting. It's something which brings me back to the good 'ol cyberpunk days with robots running rampant, monsters mutating and all that. Then we have a nice chunk of fanservice which was executed in an okay way, it didn't feel very forced at all. There is one thing though, and I don't know if it's my imagination -- but it felt like the bust size of a couple of characters increased after some episodes.

The second thing which drags down the score is the character development -- it's basically zero, and that's something which doesn't sit well with someone like me who likes to watch characters grow. Of course, I also have to ask myself "how much would be a reasonable amount of character growth in this type of series, in the time frame it was played out?". Still, though, it could've been done a bit better.

The show ends in a barely okay manner. I won't go into details. It is rumored though, that there will be an OAV and I will certainly look forward to watching that one as well.
Animation
Ohh boy, this GONZO. These are *THE* animators out there when it comes to anime. This was by far the best show I've seen animation-wise since a couple of months ago when I saw GITS Innocence.

There are so many things I could say here but I'll keep it short. The CG integration is outstanding and doesn't clash with the 2D at all. The colors are great, the framerate synching (you don't want to have fluid 24fps CG if you've got the rest running at let's say 18fps), did i mention outstanding?

The mecha fights are outstanding and amongst the best i've seen visual-wise. The normal fights are executed well. Almost everything is executed excellently. almost...

There is one itsy bitsy tiny weeny bit which takes away the 0.5 point (10 is perfection after all) and that is the pistol animation. Sometimes it looks like one of the characters holds a piece of black plastic which spews fire -- no pistol movement, no recoil, nothing -- and that certainly took away some of the enjoyment in the fighting scenes. Just imagine it: you have two big Desert Eagle derivatives that spew bullets that go through god-knows what, and there are NO movements at all, just a muzzle-flash.

The character designs were great as well: very attractive and suitable! I do, however, refer to the bust size comment I made above.
Sound
Ohh yes. Gonzo again. Not only can they produce great animation, they can also produce some kick ass audio. First of all, the OP tune kicks ass and fits the opening animation like a hand in a custom made glove. The soundtrack is great as well with varied tunes, everything ranging from slower stuff to faster wilder stuff.

The whole soundtrack follows some strange new wave of western inspired music. Think of the old tune "ghost rider" or other western tunes with spanish classic guitars playing in the background, while the electric guitar pulls off some guitar solo. Take that sort of thing and mix it with more modern rhythms and you've got likeable (yet different) stuff which I like. There are other more wild tunes with electric guitars and synths, as well as some chinese tracks. Also there is a variety of techno. Yes, it's a varied soundtrack with lots of different sounds produced to fit the given situations in the show. I found myself noticing the soundtrack several times in the show and thought "this fits the show". I'm actually listening to the soundtrack right now, and i've got a couple of tunes from the character CDs in my car as well.

The sounds are crisp and clear throughout the show and the VAs act out their lines well.

Why not a 10? The ED tune could've been better. It's a rock track but feels a bit stiff and doesn't have the depth I like. Some of the tunes on the soundtrack use synthesized strings instead of the real thing. Sorry -- a 10 requires perfection... this is close but not quite there.
Characters
We have the leader: tall, calm, acts with grace; the young computer girl who knows all about everything and can do all about it; the extrovert: a sensitive clutzy girl; and then we have the quiet and violent mystierious girl. Anyone noticing any patterns here? That in itself doesn't actually bother me, not at all. It's executed in a manner so it doesn't feel overused. The only real problem with this quintet is that the clutzy girl always conveniently screws up. One would think that one would learn from mistakes made in the past, especially in a special OPs group, but i'll leave it at that.

The problem here spells "Character Development". The characters act almost the same in ep 1 as in ep 26. There were moments in this show when I actually thought they'd develop a character, but at the start of the next episode it was like it had never happened. Also, the chef was very undeveloped and sometimes I wondered why he was in the show in the first place.

The character interactions were alright. There were some interesting secondary characters introduced every here and there in the show, whereas some returned later on.

By the end of the day though, I didn't feel very connected with any one of the characters. The moment could be sad, tragic, hectic, violent, people could be dying, crying or going berserk but I wouldn't feel very emphatic towards them. There were characters that I found myself liking, but the characters' past and such were never really explored.
Overall
It almost pains me that I have to give this show a mere 7.5. With visuals and audio that are amongst the best I've ever seen or heard, with a promising plot and nice set of character designs, it had a great chance of becoming something. It falls flat, though, on the character development part, and the story feels split and can't decide what it wants to do.

In conclusion, I'd say that this is a very enjoyable action/sci-fi entertainment show. I recommend giving it a try. The visuals and audio DO make the other problems less apparant, and thus makes everything more enjoyable, but the problems are still there nonetheless. If you're like me you will feel a bit dissatisfied since it could've been so much more than what it ended up being. It was, however, definitely worth my time.
8/10 story
9.5/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
7/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
Tears2's avatar By Tears2 on Sep 1, 2014

When watching this anime, you will find a lot of battles full of action and it can get your heart raceing a little bit, it can be a little confusing in the beginning, but all animes can be like that ( which is why i recommend and use the watch 3 episodes then judge rule) It gets better, it just depends on how you see the overall anime it's self. 

In the end i can't say anything negitive, i would say i'm in the neutral zone, i can't really say you have to watch it and i can't say you shouldn't watch it. To me rating wise, it's a 3.5 at the most.

6/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
8/10 overall
EBunny13's avatar By EBunny13 on Jun 14, 2010

THE STORY:

The story in Burst Angel was not entirely relevant I feel, since the anime strikes me overall as a more character driven style than anything.  The story was pretty lax.  Each episode seemed to be its own entity, especially towards the beginning, until I noticed that the enemies they faced had similarities and such that the characters in the show also began to notice.  The first 20 episodes honestly didn't feel all that character driven though. This, paired with the choppy story progression, did not strike me impressively at all.  The final four episodes brought it all together and made the character drive much more apparent.  The only other thing that I really noticed was that for the first 23 episodes our team of protagonists spent their time almost entirely finding out who the bad guys were.  Somehow Gonzo packed the final battle into a singular episode.  A tad anti-climactic if you ask me. The story wasn't horrible, just not enough effort was put into it. Occasionally days would pass between episodes as well which is why I described it as "choppy".

THE ANIMATION:

The animation was pretty decent.  The implementation of CGI effects was superb.  If the 2D and 3D styles were not so different I may even venture to say seamless.  The CGI animation itself wasn't phenomenal though, frankly, it wasn't much better than the old TV show Reboot, or Beast Wars.  The mesh of 2D and 3D helped it though giving the backgrounds a more normal look.

Gonzo frequently animates the female portion of their characters with insane bustiness and Burst Limit is no exception.  Through the first half of the series I thought that the show was simply an excuse to have large breasts flamboyantly bounce around.  I was wrong about that, with the last few episodes at least.

The only other thing that I wish to comment on is the poor quality in which the gunfire was animated.  Jo (the main protagonist) is wielding two massive Desert Eagle size pistols.  These are no ordinary weapons though, as it seems that they have the ability to choose when they do or do not have a kick! Half the time when Jo fires her weapons the outcome is a simple muzzle flash. WHAT?! It was annoying and distracting to see this continually throughout the series.

SOUND:

The sound isn't really worth mentioning, but I will anyways.  The opening theme "Loosey" was kind of catchy so there aren't really thumbs down for that. The closing theme was pretty lame though, as such, I didn't stick around for it often.  The background music for the show worked somewhat, incorporating a new age rock vibe with the occasional old west tune, of which there is only one track.  You could tell when the show was getting good when the music style shifted gears completely to this solitary western sound.  I don't think there was anything that I particularly liked as far as sound goes in this one, but I didn't hate it.

CHARACTERS:

The characters! Finally, I really should have done a review on each character between reviewing the other crap in this show. There are two in this show Jo and Megumi (nicknamed Meg) who stand above the others as the main face of the show. They have a technological genius, partner named Amy who is much younger than them, and they all serve as subordinates to their direct overseer Sei.  They are an elite team in charge of taking on the tasks no one else can do for the secret organization known as Bai Lan.  There is another character named Kyohei but we don't talk about him....

Jo - is the quiet, athletic, get-out-of-anything, power-house in the squad, and she makes sure that the mission is completed, so long as her best friend Meg doesn't get caught in the mix.  For the most part ruthless, she doesn't worry about collateral damage, with the exception of Meg of course, which makes her the perfect person for the work they do.  Jo has lost her memory in an incident fighting some unknown foe.  Since then she has found a friend in Meg.

Megumi - My favorite character in the series, Meg is Jo's partner in crime.  Jo does all the heavy lifting due to her undeniable expertise, and more often than not Meg gets captured.  Yes, you did read that correctly, I said more often than not, which implies that it happens many times throughout the series, it does! It gets annoying to see Meg taken by enemies so much. Meg also has some pretty terrible lines in the show so at first I really hated her, and found more ammunition than grace in Gonzo's habitual nature making her so outrageously busty.  In spite of all that, she emerges my favorite simply because she is the only character in the series with an ounce of a dynamic nature.

OVERALL:

In the end, the show was worth the time spent watching it and that's all, I don't think I'll recommend it, but I won't tell anyone not to watch it either.  I definitely won't be buying it. Watch if you wish to do so, I'm neutral.

4/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
8/10 characters
6/10 overall
otakusan41's avatar By otakusan41 on May 15, 2012

This was the first time that I got to hear my girl Monical Rial in such a low key while doing her thing. The story starts off good but, falls short in the end. I thought the animation was tight however.

7/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
DuskFey's avatar By DuskFey on Feb 2, 2012

Anime in 200 Words: Burst Angel

Premise: A teenage boy gets saved by (and ends up working for) a group of girls with amazing combat abilities. The girls are actually mercenaries, and the strongest, Jo, is nearly unstoppable both in and out of battle. Things escalate like crazy towards the end, since Jo just can’t sit by when there’s a fight at hand.

Audience: Teenage boys. Definitely. Costume designs and body shapes prove this one.

Strength: Burst Angel is exciting and moving enough that even someone outside the target audience (like me) can be swept away by the action. Plus, the girls don’t feel like they’re purely objects created for fanboy lust to me. I know that there’s a part of that in them, but the good news is, there’s actually MORE to them than that.

  Characters: I love Jo. I can’t help it. She’s reckless, impulsive, and dangerous, but she has a good heart... in there... somewhere. I just know it!

Overall: Burst Angel was fun to watch, and there were some really great action sequences. It’s not a standard shounen anime, but it has a very similar feel to it. Expect your heart to race for this one. :)

7/10 story
7/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
8/10 characters
7/10 overall