The 2nd Dimension

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Viewing Journal: Burst Angel (complete)

Series Overview
DVD Info

Overall= C
Story = C
Video = B-
Audio = C


I was only interested in watching Burst Angel for one reason: the character designs. I think I first caught a glimpse of them in Newtype magazine and I just thought they looked so incredible that I had to watch it. Of course, I know as well as anyone that visuals alone can't carry an anime, and at some point the story has to be at least half-way decent. Regardless though, while the story was admittedly not particularly wonderful, the designs apparently were intriguing enough to hold my interest through much of the show.

The anime actually mixes a lot of different genres together including giant robots, cowboy western, "girls-with-guns", and mutant monsters. At times this can work, but the problem with this particular show is that it throws everything at you all at the same time and doesn't have a satisfyingly cohesive design. And since it doesn't pin down any single focus, it winds up feeling a bit disjointed. Plus, since each genre appears in relatively equal quantities, the elements that you dislike might counteract the ones that you do like. For instance, I liked the "girls-with-guns" aspect, but when it was paired with the monster/horror elements, it really turned me off to both aspects.

I wasn't all that crazy about the characters in the show either. They seemed to start out with a lot of potential, but as the show progressed they just fell flat. For instance, when Meg first showed up on screen it seemed like she would be a strong character, but ultimately she ended up being the biggest wuss in the show. And when Jo fist showed up she seemed like she would be the silent-but-deadly type who only speaks when she has something significant to say. But as it turns out, she was almost as much of a blabbermouth as everyone else, and when she did talk most of her dialogue didn't have anymore significance than anyone else. Pretty disappointing.

Gonzo's job with the animation was good at times, but the quality wasn't consistent. The music also didn't really stick out in any significant way... either on its own or as a part of the show.

At the end of the show, it was like all of a sudden there's a build up and an explosion and then that's it. It wasn't a particularly satisfying climax -- not necessarily because it doesn't tie up loose ends, but because the continuing story wasn't all that interesting to begin with so there was no anticipation to satisfy anyway.

All in all Burst Angel is a mix-and-match of different genres that don't really meld well together. If there was more focus given to specific elements it might have had more appeal, but since everything was thrown at you at the same time, nothing about the show stuck out as particularly acceptional. You're enjoyment of the series will probably depend on how much you like any one of its specific elements. I liked the character designs, so that kept me going for the most part. You, however, may not be quite so shallow.

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