As far as I can recall I’ve only seen glimpses of Burst Angel before so fans of the series will have to forgive me for my lack of Burst Angel knowledge. I may have actually seen a couple of episodes at some point but for whatever reason I don’t remember anything about it. I guess that says a lot. Only having a review disk with no cover art to go by I was greeted to the series by the DVD menu. First impressions mean a lot and the image of a couple of scantly clad women with guns and music that sounds like it was ripped from a puzzle solving game on the Master System didn’t bode very well. Let’s just say I took a moment for my eyes to finish rolling the whole way round and make myself a cup of coffee. Now back fully refreshed, filled with positive vibes and the necessary caffeine dose I was ready to stop judging a book by a cover. So let’s get on with it!
Straight away we’re thrown into the deep end where a strange cyborg like creature is going around the city and murdering people whilst the person controlling it sits in a dimly lit room getting… well shall we say rather Right Said Fred whilst watching videos of these murders. The cyborg ends up attacking a little girl called Shierly who doesn’t die but is in critical condition and has a connection with the two main characters, Jo and Meg. Jo and Meg sharply decide to avenge her but the murderer just as quickly sets his sights on Meg.
Having little to no knowledge of the series usually has its drawbacks in releases like this since we’re introduced to the setup with the expected knowledge that we’ve already seen at least some of the series. Having said that, this particular story seems stand alone and there’s also a wealth of extras to help introduce you to the series. There’s also a bonus episode hidden away in the Extras section of the DVD called ‘The Lightness and Darkness of Jo’. I’ll be honest, the first time I watched the DVD I missed this completely. Not being familiar with the series I have no idea if these extras have any new material or are just compilations of clips from existing episodes.
Moving back to the main feature however, this was not the most intellectual half hour of television I’ve ever watched but the production values were high enough to let it slide as a decent action show. The incidental music is upbeat and connected well with the flow of the action sequences. Apart from a few dodgy looking CGI robots the animation was first class and while not up to cinematic standard is probably better than your average episode of TV anime. Certainly one of Gonzo’s better efforts. There was also a pretty funny scene where Jo and Meg try to get an old ladies cat out of a tree using guns. Something that pleased me slightly was the fact that the fanservice during the main feature wasn’t as in your face as I expected especially given the villain here was a guy who jacks off to people getting maimed. In the Extra episode however there’s an extended sequence where the female characters go to a swimming pool and wear bathing suits that don’t quite fit resembling someone trying to stuff a babybel up an exhaust pipe.
Given its length there’s not really much more to say about it except that while it was enjoyable it was only the length of a standard TV episode and you’d probably feel cheated in paying for a single episode of any show.
A pleasant surprise. Good atmosphere, very well performed English dub and a lot fun but perhaps too short for the price tag. The DVD tries to make up for the main features short running time with cramming in a lot of extras but I’m unsure as to if it’s new footage or just collections of clips from the TV series. If that’s the case then to those that already own the main series on DVD the extras would serve little point. Bottom line: If you can pick it up for about £1.99 or less then go for it otherwise don’t bother.