As RAPT and the shadowy force that back it seize control of Tokyo, Sei’s allies force her to disband her mercenary team and start working for the enemy she had previously been fighting against. Left to their own devices, Jo and Meg has been given the perfect opportunity to leave the city and get on with their lives, but can Jo give up the fight whilst the questions about her past remain unanswered?
It is always somewhat disheartening to go into the last four episodes of a series that had so far displayed no kind of coherent main plot whatsoever, and needless to say, my expectations for the finale of Burst Angel were far from high. Nonetheless, it turned out that even the most pessimistic of predictions could not prepare me for the complete shambles that passed for the conclusion of this series.
It was clear from the start that Burst Angel did not have time to put together a decent ending, but even so, it is hard to justify the poor quality of these four episodes. A badly edited mishmash of two generic plot threads, the final disc sees a stereotypical evil organisation take over Tokyo for flimsy and forgettable reasons; unfortunately, it’s hard to care about ugly policemen menacing generic citizens whilst named characters like Kyohei don’t even seem to notice what is going on outside their windows. Meanwhile, Jo’s nemesis Maria decides to initiate a final showdown between them, a plotline so poorly thought out that it has to be concluded in the most ridiculously contrived way possible.
Although it is likely that most viewers will be past caring by this point, this volume does have one thing to its credit- at long last, several of the series’ unanswered questions are finally addressed. As well as briefly seeing how the Burst Angel team originally got together, the majority of the mysteries regarding Jo and Maria’s pasts are finally resolved, albeit in an entirely standard and predictable way. Unfortunately, despite her increased importance in this volume, Maria is even more insipid than the leads, with her actions ranging from questionable to inconsistent. In contrast, Sei and Amy only appear when it is convenient to the plot, sacrificing the last opportunity for these two characters to receive the development they so vitally needed.
Visually, Burst Angel remains a mixed effort, with this volume drawing ever more attention to the overuse of CG elements. Action scenes are particularly poor; ranging from being ugly CG mecha fights to simplistic and uninspiring gun battles. Even the highly anticipated hand-to-hand showdown between Jo and Maria turns out to be a particularly disappointing and poorly choreographed piece.
Despite some hints of promise in its early episodes, by the second half, Burst Angel had thrown away everything that had made it enjoyable in favour of an barely coherent and poorly edited mess. Unless you have a predilection for nipple shots and intermittent shoujo-ai undertones, this is one series to avoid at all costs.