From the DVD cover: A new law has been passed in Tokyo
Ordinary people are now allowed to freely carry firearms. Crime has turned citizens against each other in a fight for survival on the city’s mean streets. Thanks to the Recent Armed Police of Tokyo, the arrest rate is going down. After all, the only prison a dead man needs is a hole in the ground.
RAPT is taking away jurisdiction from local authorities quicker than they can draw their guns. In these dark times, an angel arrives on Earth. No one is sure if she came from up above or down below, but with her partners Sei, Amy, and Meg, Jo’s the best chance this town’s got.
Burst Angel is rated TV-14 for bloody violence, language, and near-nudity.
The series follows the adventures of a mercenary band of four women, Jo, Meg, Sei, and Amy, in a future Tokyo overrun by violent gangs. Stylistically, the series is cyberpunk punctuated by frequent nods to spaghetti westerns and Hong Kong action movies. It’s wall-to-wall action clichés, but delivered in a manner that is more homage than ripoff.
The four episodes divide neatly into two-episode story arcs. In the first two episodes, Sei hires a shy culinary student named Kyohei as the group’s cook. Kyohei is a shy, peaceful type and immediately finds himself kidnapped by the girls’ enemies. Most of the action in the first two episodes is seen through Kyohei’s eyes and it would be natural to assume he becomes the main character, but this is merely a device to introduce us to the girls. Kyohei takes a definite backseat in episodes 3 and 4.
The real main character of the series is Jo, a quiet, mysterious girl who wields twin .50 cal Desert Eagles with deadly accuracy. Apart from her gender and the fact that she goes into battle wearing next to nothing, she’s the archetypical spaghetti western hero. She’s usually accompanied by Meg, who is Jo’s polar opposite in personality and who shares a relationship with Jo that is only hinted at in the first four episodes. They are supported by Sei, the group’s apparent leader, and Amy, a precocious computer expert. Like Jo, all go for the scantily-clad look to one degree or another, and all are action-movie archetypes. Rounding out the cast, in a way, is the girls’ giant robot Django, which is usually piloted by Jo.
From a technical point of view, it’s pretty obvious this DVD is an A-list release. The transfer is gorgeous, detailed 16:9 widescreen. Both the English and Japanese soundtracks are full 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
The DVD’s TV-14 rating should be taken seriously by parents. The series is quite violent, often bloody and (especially in episode 4) explicitly gory as well. The English soundtrack has occasional profanity. Although the girls’ outfits are quite revealing, there’s little actual nudity, at least in these first four episodes.
The DVD case includes a 16-page guide booklet with character and mechanical descriptions, and background paintings of the various locations. It also has a short interview with Akeno Watanabe, voice actress for Jo on the Japanese track, and commentary from the bands who performed the theme songs.
The Collector’s Set packages the first DVD in a box big enough to hold all six TV series DVDs plus the OAV special, and includes a charm strap featuring Jo and Meg.
The DVD includes the following extras:
Radio drama – a collection of audio tracks featuring the Japanese voice cast, subtitled over a still background. Though it can also be a bit amusing at times, it’s for hardcore seiyuu (Japanese voice actor) fans only.
Textless songs – the opening and closing theme songs (“Loosey” and “Under the Sky”) without credits. The opening song is in Japanese, while both Japanese and English versions of the closing theme are included. Unfortunately, there’s no romaji karaoke subtitles like some previous Funimation releases have included.
Outtakes – various vocal flubs from the production of the English dub, of decidedly uneven humor value.
Trailers – commercials for other Funimation titles, including Dragon Ball Z, Lupin III, Burst Angel, and Baki the Grappler.
The Bottom Line: